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Key Issues Facing International Flight Operators to and from Europe

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With the 2018 European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (EBACE) taking place this month, all eyes in the business aviation industry will be focusing on Europe. We thus wanted to share the key issues flight operators need to keep in mind when traveling to and from Europe.

Regulatory Compliance

2018 has ushered in some significant changes that impact the business aviation industry. For those operating to and from Europe, the two key regulatory issues to keep in mind are:

  • The 2018 IS-BAO standard. Released at the beginning of 2018 in beta version, the go-live date is scheduled for July 1, 2018. It is a code of best practices designed to help flight departments worldwide achieve a high level of safety. If your manual has not been updated to the latest IS-BAO standards, and you have an audit prior to July 1, 2019, you should consider updating your FOM at least two months prior to your audit. We can include best practices and any revisions that you may have as part of a standard reissue.
  • Part-NCC. The European Union’s Part-NCC (Non-Commercial Complex) is a regulation aimed at enhancing safety, training and record-keeping protocols within Europe for companies flying complex corporate aircraft privately. With Part-NCC, it’s not about where the aircraft is registered, but where the operator of the aircraft is established or, in the event of an individual owner, resides. So, if you are a UK-based operator with a Cayman Island registered aircraft, you should be Part-NCC compliant for instance.

Customs

Customs can be a challenge for flight operators traveling to multiple European destinations. Each country and airport may have unique customs requirements, and managing those requirements for flight operators is critical to quickly and efficiently clear customs. The US is currently working on a customs compliance guide for private operators with hopes it will be commonplace within the next few years.

A key factor to keep in mind is ensuring passports or visas for all flight crew are current, and making sure visas especially – which may vary from country to country – are approved well in advance.

Weather

On Atlantic crossings, weather and volcanic activity become a significant factor and one that flight operators need to be prepared for. Temperature conditions, for instance near Greenland, may also make it challenging to maintain altitudes in certain aircraft.

Security

Flight operators need to stay vigilant when it comes to personal and IT security. With recent system hackings, it is crucial to ensure that flight (and personal) devices stay within your control and that malware is not downloaded. Breached network issues also apply to onboard Wi-Fi systems, so it is important that operators equip aircraft broadband access with secure networks.

Finally, regarding personal security, flight operators should establish an emergency plan that is ready to be implemented if a situation arises. This should include, for instance, an evacuation plan coordinated with passengers designating and communicating a meeting place.

To learn more about how AviationManuals can help support your efforts to achieve trouble-free flights to and from Europe, contact us today.

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