What is the issue?

Since 16 July 2008, new European framework rules for air operations (so-called "EU-OPS") apply throughout Europe, based on the EU Regulation 1899/2006. In addition, in 2008 the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) acquired a new mandate to create rules in this area.

Based on this mandate, the Agency worked to create "Implementing Rules" which will replace the current EU-OPS rules by 2012 at the latest. These "EASA OPS" rules have a direct impact on the pilot's future operational environment. Practically speaking, this means that the former JAR OPS and the EU-OPS rules will be transposed into a new EU legal text. Whereas JAR OPS was an "operational" text, easily understood by aviation professionals such as pilots, the new EASA Implementing Rules will be in legalistic language.

Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on air operations was published in the Official Journal of the European Union in October 2012. The initial issue covered only commercial air transport (CAT) operations with aeroplanes and helicopters. It entered into force and became applicable on 28/10/2012.

Afterwards, Regulation (EU) No 83/2014 amending Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 was published in January 2014, covering flight and duty time limitations and rest requirements for CAT operations with aeroplanes.

A table containing the cross-references between the old EU-OPS and JAR-OPS 5 (amendment 5) and the current Regulation (EU) 965/2012 on air operations  is available at EASA website.

How is ECA involved?

In the former JAA days, ECA pilots worked to ensure that JAR Ops reflected the pilots requirements. During the development of the new OPS rules, the Agency invited a selection of ECA pilots to participate in working groups to effectively transpose JAR-OPS.

These working groups contributed to the draft Notice of Proposed Amendments (NPA) and the Comment Response Document (CRD). Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on air operations was eventually published in the Official EU Journal in October 2012, and a consolidated version of the Air Operations regulation is available at EASA’s website. While the ECA TLO WG monitors EASA rulemaking program for possible future changes to the Air Ops rules, ECA’s operations experts remain involved in the EASA stakeholder bodies that are consulted by the Agency on the future air operations rules changes.

Why is the issue important to ECA?

Pilots have to work on a daily basis with the OPS implementing rules. The pilot representatives in EASA working to make sure that the new rules do not result in a lowering of safety standards. EASA is creating new non-binding rules to allow for more flexibility and to avoid the consultative and administrative burden involved in the changing of rules. The pilots aim to ensure that there are no substantial changes in content and that the future EASA OPS rules fully meet the pilots' safety and operational requirements.

Who is responsible?
  • Executive Board Director: Tanja Harter
  • Staff member: Paulina Marcickiewicz
  • Working Group: Training, Licensing and Operations (TLO WG)
  • Chairman: Javier Martin-Chico

External Links


EASA Air Operations Explained

EASA Air Ops Easy Access Rules

Table containing the cross-references between the old EU-OPS and JAR-OPS  and the current Regulation (EU) 965/2012 on air operations