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European Commission - Press release

Aviation safety: new EU-wide licences to make flying safer

Brussels, 25 November 2011 - The European Commission has published today a regulation harmonising qualification and medical requirements for pilots. This regulation will enable pilots holding a licence issued in one Member State to fly throughout the European Union without needing to fulfil any additional technical or medical requirements. The rules are based on international aviation safety standards set out in the Chicago Convention.

Vice-President Siim Kallas, commissioner responsible for transport and mobility, said: "These new rules will simplify the lives of thousands of pilots across the EU while ensuring high levels of safety."

The Commission has adopted this proposal on the basis of the technical opinion delivered by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and after extensive consultations with all stakeholders. This proposal has also received positive backing from the Member States and the European Parliament.

The rules will be applicable from 8 April 2012 and will contribute to a simpler, more cost-effective and efficient framework to obtain both commercial and non-commercial pilot licenses.

Several new approaches have been included:

  • New light aircraft pilot licences and related medical requirements are introduced, making it easier to engage in flying activities while ensuring a high level of safety;

  • The creation of the first set of harmonised rules covering licenses for sailplanes, hot air balloons, airships and powered-lift aircrafts;

  • Medical fitness of cabin crew is harmonised at EU level, improving existing EU rules (1).

The rules will also bring about common requirements for pilots' examiners, instructors and aeromedical examiners, allowing them to fully benefit from the internal market.

This legislative measure will soon be complemented with EU-wide requirements for aviation authorities, pilot training organisations, aeromedical centres and simulators that will further contribute to simplifying rules for the aviation sector.

The regulation is now online:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:311:0001:0193:EN:PDF

Contacts :

Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)

Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)

1 :

Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 (EU-OPS), OJ L 373, 31.12.1991, p. 4.


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