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Aircraft Operating Certificates (AOC’s) are issued on the basis of Annex III to the Regulation (EC) 3922/1991, as amended: EU-OPS for airplanes and JAR-OPS 3 for helicopters. If all supporting documents are in order, the time frame for issuance is usually three months.

AOC applicants must adhere to the CAD rules, as set out in the Operations Advisory Notice No. 02/10 “Guidance To Operators Planning To Commence An Air Service”. Under these rules, an applicant:

  • Cannot not hold an AOC issued by another Authority unless specifically approved by the Authority concerned
  • Must have his principal place of business and, if any, his registered office located in the State responsible for issuing the AOC
  • Must satisfy the Authority that he is able to conduct safe operations.

The operator must satisfy the CAD that its organisation and management are suitable and properly matched to the scale and scope of the operations, and procedures for the supervision of the operations have been defined. The specific requirements are detailed in the Operations Advisory Notice No. 02/10, namely:

  1. The Pre-application phase
    This initiation phase involves preliminary discussions with the Flight Operations Inspectorate where information regarding the type of operations to be authorised shall be provided. In this phase, the applicant must have a clear understanding of the content of the documents necessary for the formal application.
  2. Formal Application phase
    Once the assessment is completed, the formal application for the AOC is submitted. Such application must reflect the method of compliance and preparations for detailed inspections in relation to the necessary manuals, training, the aircraft, operational and maintenance services including the keeping of records, flight crew, etc.
  3. Document Evaluation phase
    The documents and manuals provided by the applicant are at this stage examined thoroughly. This phase can be facilitated by the coordination of all the stages together with the Flight Operations Inspectorate.
  4. Inspection and demonstration phase
    At this stage, inspections of base and station, operational control and supervision facilities, training programs and facilities are carried out.
  5. Certification phase
    At this phase, the flight Operations Inspectorate is satisfied that all the certification requirements have been met, that the application has been completed, that the operator fulfills all the regulations and has the capacity to fulfill all responsibilities and conducting safe operations. The manifestation of this phase is reached with the issuance of the AOC. The Civil Aviation Directorate will in the meantime continue to conduct periodic inspections to ensure that the operator meets EU-OPS and CAD regulations.

Fee schedule for the issue of an AOC

The applicant shall pay, depending on the maximum total weight authorised of the heaviest aircraft listed in the Air Operator’s Certificate, the following fees:

First issue of an AOCSubsequent issue
If the aircraft with the highestMTWA does not exceed 1,500 kg€698.81€349.41
If the aircraft with the highest MTWA exceeds 1,500 kg but does not exceed 4,000 kg€1,164.69€582.34
If the aircraft with the highest MTWA exceeds 4,000 kg but does not exceed 15,000 kg€11,646.87€5,823.43
If the aircraft with the highest MTWA exceeds 15,000 kg but does not exceed 50,000 kg€23,293.73€11,646.87
If the aircraft with the highest MTWA exceeds 50,000 kg€46,587.47€23,293.73

* There is a down payment of 25% of the charge required to be paid upon the first application for an AOC, which is forfeited if the application is withdrawn.

The Air Operating Licence (AOL)

AOC holders must also possess an AOL. This application will include the admission of certain financial information and projections, as detailed in the application form available from the CAD “Application For An Air Operating Licence Or For A Route Approval” (FORM TM/CAD/0062 Issue 1).

Fee schedule for the issue of an AOL

Maximum authorised seating capacityInitial issue feeAnnual fee
Less than 20 seats€1,397.62€465.87
More than 20 seats but less than 49 seats€2,329.37€1,397.62
More than 50 seats but less than 99 seats€3,494.06€2,329.37
More than 100 seats but less than 199 seats€5,823.43€3,494.06
More than 200 seats€8,152.81€5,823.43