Insurance for air carriers and aircraft operators
Following the terrorist attacks in the United States on the air transport industry, the European Union (EU) has taken an interest in insurance requirements in the aviation industry. In the framework of the common transport policy, and in order to foster consumer protection and avoid distortion of competition between air carriers, the EU would like to ensure a proper minimum level of insurance to cover liability of air carriers in respect of passengers, baggage, cargo and third parties.
The objective of this regulation is to establish minimum insurance requirements for air carriers and aircraft operators in respect of passengers, baggage, cargo and third parties, for both commercial and private flights.
With regard to the carriage of mail, the insurance requirements are those set out in Regulation (EEC) No 1008/2008 and in the national laws of the European Union (EU) countries.
This regulation applies to all air carriers and to all aircraft operators flying within, into, out of, or over the territory of an EU country.
This regulation does not apply to:
- state aircraft (military, Customs department or police aircraft);
- model aircraft with an MTOM * of less than 20 kg;
- foot-launched flying machines (including powered paragliders and hang gliders);
- captive balloons;
- parachutes (including parascending parachutes);
- aircraft, including gliders, with an MTOM of less than 500 kg, and microlights, which are used for non-commercial purposes, or for flight instruction (in so far as the insurance obligations under this Regulation relating to the risks of war and terrorism are concerned).
This regulation is intended to apply to Gibraltar airport. The Governments of Spain and the United Kingdom will inform the Council of the date of application.
Principles of insurance
This regulation requires air carriers and aircraft operators to be insured, in particular in respect of passengers, baggage, cargo and third parties, to cover the risks associated with aviation-specific liability (including acts of war, terrorism, hijacking, acts of sabotage, unlawful seizure of aircraft and civil commotion).
This regulation is without prejudice to the rules on liability as arising from international Conventions, EU law and the national law of the EU countries.
Air carriers and, when so required, aircraft operators, must demonstrate compliance with the insurance requirements set out in this regulation by providing the competent authorities of the EU country concerned * with a an insurance certificate or other evidence of valid insurance.
Insurance in respect of liability for passengers, baggage and cargo
For liability in respect of passengers, the minimum insurance cover must be 250 000 SDRs * per passenger. However, in respect of non-commercial operations by aircraft with a MTOM of 2 700 kg or less, EU countries may set a lower level of minimum insurance cover, provided that such cover is at least 100 000 SDRs per passenger.
For liability in respect of baggage, the minimum insurance cover must be 1 131 SDRs per passenger in commercial operations.
For liability in respect of cargo, the minimum insurance cover must be 19 SDRs per kilogram in commercial operations.
The levels of cover set out above do not apply with respect to flights over the territory of the EU country carried out by non-EU air carriers and by aircraft operators using aircraft registered outside the EU which do not involve a landing on, or take-off from, such territory.
Insurance in respect of liability for third parties
For liability in respect of third parties, the minimum insurance cover per accident and per aircraft must be:
|Category||MTO(kg)||Minimum insurance(million SDRs)|
|2||‹ 1 000||1,5|
|3||‹ 2 700||3|
|4||‹ 6 000||7|
|5||‹ 12 000||18|
|6||‹ 25 000||80|
|7||‹ 50 000||150|
|8||‹ 200 000||300|
|9||‹ 500 000||500|
|10||≥ 500 000||700|
Enforcement and sanctions
EU countries must ensure that air carriers and aircraft operators comply with the regulation.
With respect to overflights by non-EU air carriers or aircraft registered outside the EU which do not involve a landing on or take-off from any EU country, as well as with respect to stops in EU countries by such aircraft for non-traffic purposes, the EU country concerned may request evidence of compliance with the insurance requirements laid down in this regulation.
Sanctions imposed by EU countries for infringement of this regulation must be effective, proportional and dissuasive. For EU air carriers, these sanctions may include the withdrawal of the operating licence. With regard to non-EU air carriers and to aircraft operators using aircraft registered outside the EU, the sanctions may include refusal of the right to land on the territory of an EU country.
Where EU countries are not satisfied that the conditions of this regulation are met, they must prohibit an aircraft from taking off until the air carrier or aircraft operator concerned has produced evidence of adequate insurance cover.
|Key terms used in the act|
|Act||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Regulation (EC) No 785/2004||
OJ L 138 of 30.4.2004.
|Amending act(s)||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008||
OJ L 311 of 21.11.2008
|Regulation (EC) No 285/2010||
OJ L 87 of 7.4.2010
Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 785/2004 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.