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Europe adopts single EU-wide safety authorisation for foreign airlines flying to the EU
8 May 2014


The European Commission has adopted a new regulation paving the way for airlines from outside the European Union to obtain a single EU-wide safety authorisation to fly to, from or within the EU.

With the rule, known as Part-TCO, Europe centralises the process to authorise third-country (non-EU) operators performing commercial air transport operations into the EU, thereby replacing various schemes of the 32 EASA Member States currently in place. Instead, a single safety authorisation will be issued centrally by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

The “third country operators” (or TCO) safety authorisation issued by EASA will be applicable to all commercial airlines from outside the EU that intend on flying to EU territory, and will be valid for the entire EU. The safety authorisation will be a precondition for obtaining the operating permit in each Member State.

EASA will employ a risk-based model to determine the appropriate assessment methodology to be applied in each authorisation process. A pre-defined set of credible internal and external data sources will be continuously analysed to keep the model up-to-date. As a rule of thumb: the lower EASA’s certainty about the applicant’s reliability or the less credible data available for an applicant operator or the State of the Operator, the higher will be the assessment category which corresponds to the level of scrutiny applied during the assessment.

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