EASA Regulatory Overview & Development of New Basic Regulation 1139/2018 Considerations


On 4 July 2018, the European Parliament and Council adopted EC Regulation 1139/2018, which entered into force on 11 September 2018 and replaced the existing basic regulation EC 216/2008.

As of 11 September 2018, the basic regulation was repealed -ref Article 139(1) of EC Regulation 1139/2018.

The new basic regulation is based on the aviation strategy adopted by the European Commission on 7 December 2015, which aims to:

  • Adequately address the future challenges faced by the EU aviation sector; and
  • Improve the competitiveness of the European aerospace industry worldwide.


5 Years to Amend Implementing Rules

The implementing rules set out in the previous basic regulation will be amended to accord with the new basic regulation within five years (ie, no later than 12 September 2023).

Acceptable Terminology

Certain terms in the implementing rules (eg, ‘commercial operation’ and ‘complex motor-powered aircraft’) will be understood as referring to the definitions set out in the previous basic regulation ref – (Article 140(2) of EU Regulation 1139/2018).

New Elements & Changes

The numbering (and some of the contents) of the annexes have been changed and new annexes have been added.

Annex I now lists the aircraft to which the basic regulation does not apply (previously Annex II Aircraft). Including historic aircraft, aircraft for research and military aircraft, unless the aircraft is of a type for which a design standard has been adopted by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)).

Unmanned Aircraft

Unmanned aircraft are defined as any aircraft that operate or are designed to operate autonomously or are piloted remotely without a pilot on board (Article 3(30)).

Pursuant to Article 56, a certificate or declaration (in accordance with the delegated acts referred to in Article 58 and the implementing acts referred to in Article 57) may be required in order to produce, maintain or operate unmanned aircraft.

Ultralight airplane limit increased to 600kg Under Article 2(8) of the new basic regulation, operations of ultralight airplanes (other than unmanned) which have no more than two seats and a maximum take-off mass of less than 600kg.

Revised rules regarding certification, oversight and enforcement

Under the new basic regulation, the competent authorities that issue air operator’s certificates and operating licences may be different (May be either an EU member state or EASA). Therefore, according to Article 134, EU Regulation 1008/2008 has been amended as follows:

Article 4(b) has been replaced by the following:

(b) it holds a valid AOC issued in accordance with Regulation (EU) 1139/2018 of the European Parliament and of the Council either by a national authority of a Member State, by several national authorities of Member States acting jointly in accordance with Article 62(5) of that Regulation or the Agency

Article 6 has been completely replaced and now regulates how the competent authority responsible for issuing an air operator’s certificate will cooperate with the competent authority responsible for the operating licence.

Article 12(1) has been replaced by the following:

1. Aircraft used by a Community air carrier shall be registered, at the option of the Member State whose competent authority issues the operating license, either in its own national register or in the national register of another Member State. However, when used under a dry lease or a wet lease agreement in accordance with Article 13, such aircraft may be registered in the national register either of any Member State or of a third country.

Delegated Authority

The Competent Authority (CA) may request the EASA or another EU member state to carry out the tasks relating to certification, oversight and enforcement referred to in Article 62(2) with respect to any or all natural and legal persons, aircraft, safety-related aerodrome equipment, air traffic management and air navigation systems and constituents, flight simulation training devices and aerodromes for which the German authorities are responsible under the new basic regulation and the delegated and implementing acts adopted on the basis thereof (Article 64).

Once the EASA or EU member state has accepted such a request, it will become the competent authority responsible for the tasks covered by that request and the CA will be relieved of the responsibility for those tasks (Articles 64(1) and 64(2)).

Potential For EASA to act as the Competent Authority

Organisations may request the EASA to act as the competent authority responsible for the tasks relating to certification, oversight and enforcement with respect to that organisation if it holds or is eligible to apply for a certificate from the national competent authority of one EU member state, but has or intends to have a substantial proportion of facilities and personnel covered by that certificate located in one or additional member state(s) (Article 65).

Such a request may also be made by two or more organisations which form part of a single business group if each organisation:

has a principal place of business in a different member state; and

holds a certificate or is eligible to apply for a certificate for the same type of aviation activity.

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