The Safety Regulation Unit (SRU) is a relatively new section of the Cyprus DCA. It was created in 2002. The reason for this was the need for the Cyprus government to assume the full responsibility of the safety oversight for aviation. This need was made even more urgent mainly due to two factors. Firstly, the Republic of Cyprus aspired to become a full member of the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA). Secondly, because of the imminent accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the European Union (EU), the country would become a member of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), an EU agency responsible for the field of aviation safety in Europe. EASA Regulations are now applicable to Cyprus.
The Head of the SRU reports to the DCA Director. The Unit consists of three sections. The Flight Operations Section is responsible for oversight of the commercial operations and training standards. The Licensing Section is responsible for the Flight Crew and Maintenance Engineers licences as well as the Flight Training Organisations in Cyprus. Finally the Airworthiness Section has the responsibility of overseeing the approved maintenance organisations, the maintenance arrangements of the AOC holders and the airworthiness and maintenance of all aircraft on the Cyprus register. Each of these three sections consists of experienced local inspectors and support (administration) staff.
AOC Applications and oversight
Applicants for Air Operators Certificate AOC
Any individual, organisation or company that wishes to operate an aircraft for the purpose of Commercial Air Transport requires to obtain an Air Operator Certificate from the Cyprus Department of Civil Aviation (in accordance with Regulation EU 965/2012).
The Air Operator Certificate allows you to charge fare for the transport and/or passengers on your aircraft whether this is an airlines operating in trans – continental schedule service or helicopter flying passengers to gas exploitation platforms.
Before submitting an application for an AOC, a pre application meeting will have to be arranged with the personnel of Safety Regulation Unit of the Cyprus Department of Civil Aviation at the following address:
27 Pindarou str.
Email address: email@example.com or
The purpose of the meeting is to determine that your organisation have sufficient understanding of the relevant regulations and requirement and to confirm for your benefit the expectations of the DCA. Please ensure that your key management personnel is present. As a minimum, there should be the candidate Nominated Persons of Flight Operations and Technical, the Accountable Manager and the Compliance Monitoring Manager. A Flight Operations Inspector and an Airworthiness Inspector will discuss with you the procedure involved for the award of the AOC. All aspects of the AOC will be discussed and there will be an opportunity for you to ask questions about the application process. You will be provided with an overview of the certification process and made aware of the various departments responsible for financial, economic and legal matters and for the necessary assessment of your financial resources and ability to support the proposed operations.
You should be prepared to discuss and demonstrate that you have considered:
· The organization of the company
· Where your operation will be based
· The intended AOC management structure,
· The competence of the individuals who will be working for the operation.
· How the AOC will be financed
· What sort of Operation you require
· What sort of Maintenance arrangements you require
· What aircraft you intend to operate
· What Area you intend to operate in
· Your understanding of the regulations and requirements
Instruction to proceed
If the pre-application meeting is satisfactory and both parties are in agreement that the application may proceed you will asked to submit a formal application.
You will then be provided with an AOC Application package that included the following documents:
· AOC Application Form
· A draft schedule of events in the Application certification process.
· The Operations Manual Checklist.
· An AOC Approvals Document template.
· The Aircraft Equipment check list template (the K & L document).
· Template EASA form 4, to be completed for each nominated postholder.
· Airworthiness related forms
Further to the Operations Manual, the applicant should also submit to the DCA Aviation Security Section for approval Security Plan compliant with EC 300/2008 Article 13.
The evaluation of any Manuals will commence only once the formal application with the appropriate charge have been submitted to the Department of Civil Aviation.
The applicant will have to nominate a person from its organisation to act as a focal point with the DCA and be responsible for disseminating any findings from the evaluation process raised by the DCA to the appropriate person within the organisation.
During the process of the evaluation of the AOC application there will be a number of inspections such as premises, sampling of internal training, FDM as well as interviews with management personnel. The assigned Flight Operations Inspector will advise the nominated person from the organisation acting as focal point accordingly. The final inspection before granting the AOC, is the proofing/demonstration flight(s) which has to be carried out on an aircraft belonging to the flee that will be included in the AOC.
The requirements and the evaluation of the Continuing Airworthiness Maintenance Exposition requirements will be dealt by the Department’s Airworthiness Section.
The duration of the procedure to obtain an AOC will mainly depend on the timely response and corrective actions by the Applicant to the comments raised by the Inspectors of the Department, however according to AMC1.ORO.AOC.100 of Regulation (EU) No 965/2012, the application should be submitted at least 90 days before the intended start sate of operations, except that the Operations Manual may be submitted later, but not less than 60 days before the intended start date of operation.
Once the AOC has been issued, the applicant should approach the Ministry of Transport and Works in order to obtain an Operating License (in accordance with Regulation EU 1008/2008) before commercial operations may commence.
With an AOC granted, the Cyprus Department of Civil Aviation has a duty to ensure that the operator continues to maintain and operate their aircraft safely. Ongoing surveillance will be conducted and in the event of unsatisfactory findings, the DCA is empowered to vary or revoke an AOC where appropriate.
Operational Oversight- Continued Validity
The validity of an AOC is continuous unless surrendered or revoked provided the organisation remains compliant with the requirements of Regulation EC No 216/2008.
The Department of the Civil Aviation will assess the organisation and monitor its continued competence to conduct safe operations in compliance with the applicable requirements. Thus the organisation will be subject to annual audit and inspections by the Department of Civil Aviation.
An annual report will be compiled collating the oversight activity conducted within the past 12 months and will include or contain an oversight programme for the ensuing 12 months.
An agenda for the annual meeting between the Flight Operations Inspector and the Accountable Manager will also be determined.
In addition, for the purpose of sampling the output of the operator, a number of the following checks will also be completed:
· Cabin Check - A flight inspection to confirm that the operation of the aircraft cabin is in accordance with published procedures.
· Document Check - An inspection of aircraft and/or crew records to confirm that all relevant regulations are being complied with.
· Flight Check - A flight inspection to ensure that the operation of the flight deck is in accordance with published procedures.
· Ground Check - An inspection of one or more ground support functions to ensure conformity with relevant regulations and published procedures.
Functions inspected may include baggage, freight control, passenger handling, company facilities and support and aircraft surveys.
· Manual Check - An audit to confirm the compliance of Operational Instructions with regulatory requirements.
· Operator Competency Check - An audit to assess the suitability of the management structure for the scale and scope of the operation. Individual post holders or nominees may also be assessed for competence.
The competence of the organisation to secure the safe operation of their aircraft will also be assessed.
· Compliance conformance Check - An audit to establish that an AOC holder has an effective quality system, able to achieve and monitor compliance with procedures required to ensure safe operational practices and the airworthiness of aircraft.
· Ramp Check - An inspection conducted at the location of aircraft arrival or departure. Compliance with equipment regulations, crew licence requirements, fuelling procedures and control of cabin baggage are included in a Ramp Check.
· Training Department Check - An inspection of training conducted by or on behalf of the company.
Converting from EU-OPS to Air Operations (Regulation EU 965/2012)
Operators with an AOC issued under EU-OPS will have to submit new Operations Manuals compliant with Air Operations Regulation EU 965/2012 before the implementation of the new legislation 28 October 2014.
The structure of the Operations Manuals is almost the same in Parts A, B, C & D. The list of contents for these Manuals can be found in AMC3 ORO.MLR.100.
There is also an additional requirement of a Management System, which among others includes the compliance monitoring and the Safety Management System.
In Part-ORO (Annex III of Air Operations) ORO.GEN.200 and its relevant AMCs & GMs, a list of the contents required to be included in the Management System, can be found.
EASA in its website has produced a cross reference table showing where an EU-OPS/JAR-OPS3 rule has transposed in the Regulation EU 965/2012. Follow the link: http://easa.europa.eu/system/files/dfu/flightstandards-doc-Cross-reference-table_Final-Version.xlsx.