Third Country Operators (TCO) engaging in scheduled or non-scheduled commercial air transport operations into, within or out of a territory subject to the provisions of the Treaty of the European Union, must hold a safety authorization issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 452/2014. This includes operators which are wet leased-in by, or code-sharing with, an EU operator when commercial air transport flights to any territory subject to the provisions of the Treaty of the European Union are performed. This TCO authorization is not required for operators only overflying the above-mentioned EU territories without a planned landing.
Applications for TCO authorization should be submitted to EASA at least 30 days before the intended starting date of operation.
EU Member States continue to be responsible for issuing operating permits. The safety authorization issued by EASA is one prerequisite in the process of obtaining an operating permit, or equivalent document, from the respective EU Member State under existing Air Service Agreements between EU Member States and third countries.
Non-scheduled flights - one-off notifications
A third country operator may perform air ambulance flights or a non-scheduled flight or a series of non-scheduled flights to overcome an unforeseen, immediate and urgent operational need without first obtaining an authorization, provided that the operator:
- Notifies EASA in a form and manner established by EASA prior to the intended date of the first flight;
- is not being subject to an operating ban pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005; and
- submits to EASA an application for TCO authorization within 10 working days after the date of the notification.
The flights specified in the notification may be performed for a maximum period of six consecutive weeks after the date of notification or until EASA has communicated the formal decision on the application for a TCO authorization, whichever occurs first. One-off notifications may be filed only once every 24 months by an operator.
For more information please visit the EASA website.
Go to EASA - Third Country Operators (TCO) website (new window)