The European Union has adopted new rules to ensure a high and uniform level of civil aviation safety

On 22 August 2018, Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2018 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and amending Regulations (EC) No 2111/2005, (EC) No 1008/2008, (EU) No 996/2010, (EU) No 376/2014 and Directives 2014/30/EU and 2014/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 552/2004 and (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91, has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

The Regulation aims at establishing and maintaining a high uniform level of civil aviation safety in the Union, facilitating the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital, providing a level playing field for all actors in the internal aviation market, improving the competitiveness of the Union’s aviation industry,establishing appropriate cooperation with third countries and their aviation authorities, and promoting the mutual acceptance of certificates and other relevant documents.

The Regulation applies, among others, to the design, production, maintenance and operation of aircraft, as well as their engines, propellers, parts, noninstalled equipment and equipment to control aircraft remotely, subject to conditions. However, in light of their limited risk to civil aviation safety, aircraft that are of simple design or operate mainly on a local basis, and those which are home-built or particularly rare or only exist in a small number, remain in general under the regulatory control of the Member States.

The new legislation also cover unmanned aircraft, regardless of their operating mass, laying down requirements concerning the registration of unmanned aircraft and of their operators and establishing digital, harmonised and interoperable national registration systems in which information, including the same basic data, about unmanned aircraft and their operators is stored.

Moreover, the Regulation applies to the design, maintenance and operation of aerodromes, including the safety-related equipment used at those aerodromes, which are open to public use, serve commercial air transport and have a paved instrument runway of 800 metres or more, or exclusively serve helicopters using instrument approach or departure procedures. Aerodromes that are controlled and operated by the military, as well as air traffic management and air navigation services (‘ATM/ANS’) that are provided or made available by the military, are excluded from the scope of the Regulation.

The Regulation will enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.


Davide Scavuzzo