FAQ

What are air transport flights?

Air transport flights are flights where freight and passengers are transported in return for a fee. To operate such flights, one must have a valid air operator certificate and an air operator licence.

How do I apply for an air operator licence and air operator certificate?

If you are interested in starting flight operations, you should start by contacting the Flight Safety Division of the Icelandic Transport Authority. Next, you fill out an application for an air operator licence and air operator certificate which can be found on the front page of www.caa.is and then submit the application to the Transport Authority.

Whose requirements must be fulfilled in order to obtain an air operator certificate and air operator licence?

To obtain an air operator certificate and air operator licence in Iceland for air transport flights, one must demonstrate that the conditions of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) concerning airworthiness are fulfilled, as well as the conditions of the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) concerning management of flight operations. The requirements of EASA and JAA are much more detailed and comprehensive than the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). An overview of Icelandic air operators can be found on the home page of the Icelandic Transport Authority.

Can others besides air operators with valid air operator licences conduct air transport flights between Iceland and Europe?

Various parties contribute to the transport of passengers and freight between Iceland and Europe, but they must get air operators with the necessary permits to carry out the flights. It is always the air operator that is responsible for the flight.

Who can conduct air transport flights between Iceland and Europe?

Those who can conduct air transport flights between Iceland and Europe (European Economic Area) are air operators which have licences for flight operations in states within the European Economic Area and which thus fulfill the requirements of EASA and JAA in most instances. They do not need permission from Icelandic civil aviation authorities, but they announce their flights and submit a copy of air operator certificates to the Icelandic Transport Authority.

What about air operators outside the European Economic Area?

Icelandic civil aviation authorities can permit air operators in other ICAO states to carry out air transport flights between those countries in the case of charter flights and thus irregular flights. A regulation on such flights stipulates, for example, that safety standards should be followed which the Transport Authority deems equivalent to those which Icelandic authorities specify. Here, it is, for example, clear that air operators or states which are on the ban list of the European Commission are not allowed to carry out such flights. Furthermore, the state which is flown to in Europe must approve the flight for its part. Generally, when assessing the risk of such flights, it is taken into account whether the air operator in question unequivocally fulfills the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) concerning air transport flights. Also taken into account are the odds of something occurring during the flight, the number of trips, and the severity of the consequences if something were to go wrong. In practice, this has led to an arrangement where only those air operators that fulfill the requirements of EASA/JAA carry out flights where passengers are transported to and from Iceland.

Has an air operator without a certification from JAA/EASA received permission from the Icelandic Transport Authority to conduct air transport flights?

In a few instances, permission has been granted to transport freight from Iceland with an air operator which is not certified by JAA/EASA. This has usually been limited to individual flights and special circumstances, for example, in the case of important Icelandic interests or if air operators with suitable aircraft have not been available in the area. In the case of such authorisations to parties not certified according to EASA and JAA requirements, it should generally be kept in mind that all Icelandic air operators must fulfill those requirements which are much more detailed and comprehensive than ICAO requirements.

Why doesn't the Icelandic Transport Authority just grant permission to everyone who applies to transport freight to and from Iceland?

The main rule is therefore that air operators which have permits from European Economic Area states to carry out air transport flights and which fulfill the requirements of EASA and JAA can conduct air transport flights from Iceland and Europe. But at the same time, it is clear that Icelandic civil aviation authorities have the right to grant permission to air operators outside this area to conduct individual flights, on the condition that the operators' overall flight safety is acceptable and requirements equivalent to those which Icelandic air operators must fulfill. In such instances, one must however consider the severity of the consequences if something were to go wrong, and, at the same time, the frequency of such flights. Last but not least, it is a decision on aviation politics whether it is sensible to allow air operators outside the area that are not certified according to EASA/JAA requirements to carry out such flights, but at the same time to require Icelandic air operators to fully comply with EASA and JAA requirements. The Icelandic Transport Authority believes that great caution should be exercised concerning the extent of such authorisations, so as not to hinder the progress of Icelandic air operators and their expansion which not least has taken place in air freight transport.


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