January 12, 2024


Sofema Aviation Services (SAS) www.sassofia.com considers the regulatory drivers for aerodrome certification.


  • According to Art. 2.1 (e) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139, the applicability of the Basic Regulation (BR) in the domain of aerodromes is as follows:

>>  The design, maintenance and operation of aerodromes, including the safety-related equipment used at those aerodromes, located in the territory to which the Treaties apply, which:

>>  Are open to public use;

>> Serve commercial air transport; and

>>  Have a paved instrument runway of 800 meters or more, or exclusively serve helicopters using instrument approach or departure procedures;

Basic Regulation (BR) Aerodromes Regulatory Provisions:

  • The design, maintenance and operation of aerodromes, including the safety-related equipment used at those aerodromes, located in the territory to which the Treaties apply, which:

Note 1 – According to Art. 2.7 of the BR, a Member State can decide to exempt the design, maintenance and operation of an aerodrome, and its safety-related equipment, where that aerodrome handles no more than 10,000 commercial air transport passengers per year and no more than 850 movements related to cargo operations per year.

  • The Member State concerned must ensure that such exemption does not endanger compliance with the essential requirements for aerodromes that are detailed in Annex VII of the BR.
  • The design, maintenance and operation of aerodromes, including the safety-related equipment used at those aerodromes, located in the territory to which the Treaties apply, which:

Aerodrome Certification Basis

The term “Certification Basis” (CB) is a key term in the area of oversight of aerodromes.

  • According to Art. 34.1 (a) of the Basic Regulation (EU) No 2018/1139 a certificate is required for aerodromes in the scope of the BR.
  • The process of obtaining such an aerodrome certificate involves the establishment of the aerodrome’s CB to describe the infrastructure and equipment in terms of the regulatory requirements which they are meant to comply with.
  • The concept of the CB gives also the necessary flexibility to take account of the non-uniform elements of the infrastructure at Europe’s airports.
  • The CB concept does so by allowing local solutions to local issues of deviations from the European aerodrome certification specifications (CS). This CB document is proposed by the applicant (usually the aerodrome operator) and is finally decided on by the Competent Authority, the State entity designated to certify and oversee aerodromes.

The CB concept is enshrined in the Basic Regulation under Art. 34.5, where it is stipulated that the certification basis for an aerodrome shall consist of the following:

  • The applicable certification specifications related to the type of aerodromes;
  • those provisions of the applicable certification specifications for which an equivalent level of safety has been accepted;
  • the special detailed technical specifications necessary when the design features of a particular aerodrome or the experience in operation render any of the certification specifications referred to in point (a) of this paragraph inadequate or inappropriate to ensure conformity with the essential requirements referred to in Article 33.

The CB can be a list of all the applicable Certification Specifications, which are relevant to the aerodrome infrastructure elements in question, ideally with an indication for each infrastructure element how each relevant and applicable CS is satisfied. For CS that are not met, an equivalent level of safety (ELOS) or special condition (SC) can be proposed. The CB would normally reference the documentation showing the compliance, the ELOS or the SC, as the case may be.

When the applicant has demonstrated that the aerodrome complies with the agreed CB as per ADR.OR.B.025 (in Annex II of Regulation (EU) No 139/ 2014), one condition for the issuance of the certificate would be met.

The final aerodrome certificate shall be considered to include the aerodrome’s CB, and moreover any Deviation Acceptance and Action Documents (DAAD) based on Art.7 “Deviations from certification specifications” of Regulation (EU) No 139/2014, which may have been issued. (See also ADR.AR.C.035 (d) in Annex II of 139/2014).

Certification Requirements – Compliance with EASA Standards:

  • Aerodromes must comply with the standards and recommended practices outlined by EASA, which are in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 14.
  • Safety Management System (SMS) – Aerodromes are required to implement a Safety Management System to identify and mitigate risks and to continuously improve safety performance.
  • Aerodrome Manual – The aerodrome operator must prepare an Aerodrome Manual detailing all aspects of the aerodrome, including operational procedures, emergency plans, and infrastructure details.
  • Infrastructure and Equipment – The aerodrome must meet specific requirements related to runway length, width, surface type, lighting, marking, and other navigational aids.
  • Security Measures – Adequate security measures must be in place to protect passengers, staff, and infrastructure from unlawful interference.
  • Environmental Considerations- Aerodromes must adhere to environmental regulations, including noise abatement procedures and waste management practices.
  • Operational Procedures – Standard operating procedures must be established for normal and emergency situations, including fire safety, medical emergencies, and aircraft incidents.
  • Regular safety audits and inspections should be conducted to ensure ongoing compliance with certification requirements.
  • Staff should receive continuous training and development to stay abreast of the latest safety and security procedures and regulations.
  • Engaging with stakeholders, including airlines, ground handlers, air traffic control, and emergency services, is crucial for maintaining effective communication and coordination.
  • Implementing proactive risk management practices to identify and mitigate potential hazards and risks is essential.
  • Adopting sustainable practices, such as energy efficiency and waste reduction, can contribute to environmental conservation and can also be economically beneficial.
  • Aerodromes must continuously monitor compliance with certification requirements and address any non-compliance promptly.
  • Any changes to the aerodrome, such as infrastructure modifications or operational changes, must be managed effectively and communicated to all stakeholders.

Next Steps

Follow this link to our Library to find & download related documents for Free.

Please see the following course EASA Airports Aviation Compliance Management and Auditing – 4 Days or email team@sassofia.com for additional information



Action Documents (DAAD), Aerodrome Certification, Aerodromes Regulatory Provisions, Art. 2.1 (e), Article 33, Basic Regulation (BR), Certification Requirements, Certification Specifications, Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 14, Deviation Acceptance, Regulation (EU) 2018/1139, Safety Management System SMS, SAS blogs