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Licensing of air carriers

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Licensing of air carriers

This regulation aims to lay down transparent, non-discriminatory rules on the criteria for economic and technical competency which must be met before air carriers can be granted licences to operate in the Community.


Council Regulation (EEC) No 2407/92 of 23 July 1992 on licensing of air carriers [Official Journal L 240 of 24.08.1992].


This Regulation lays down the economic and technical competency criteria which must be met by air carriers wishing to obtain or maintain an operating licence.

Only undertakings that are holders of the appropriate operating licence or air operator's certificate are permitted to carry passengers, mail and/or cargo for remuneration within Community territory.

Operating licences: Member States may not grant operating licences unless air transport is the main activity of the undertaking concerned and its registered office and principal place of business are located in the issuing Member State, and unless it is majority owned and effective control is exercised by Community nationals.

Hence, whenever the State that issued the licence, or the Commission, so request, an air carrier must be able to demonstrate that it meets the abovementioned requirements.

The carrier must meet certain conditions with regard to start-up capital, business costs, financial obligations, seating capacity of the aircraft he intends to operate, etc.

At the beginning of each financial year, air carriers must provide the national authorities with the audited accounts of the undertaking.

Air carriers must have civil liability insurance to cover risks in the event of an accident, particularly with regard to passengers, cargo and third parties.

Air carriers must also hold a valid air operator's certificate (AOC) specifying the activities covered by the operating licence.

Any undertaking which provides an aircraft and complete crew to an air carrier but retains the functions and responsibility for the operation of the aircraft is itself subject to the safety requirements of the Regulation.

The operating licence and the air operator's certificate remain valid as long as the air carrier meets the obligations. Licences and certificates not used for six months must be resubmitted for approval by the competent authorities. Similarly, in the event of a merger or take-over, licences and certificates must be resubmitted for approval by the competent authorities.

Application procedures for the issue of licences. The Member State concerned must make these procedures public and must decide on applications not later than three months after receiving all the necessary information. There is provision for the Commission to review rejected applications upon the request of the undertaking concerned.


As from 1 November 2008, Regulation (EC) n°2407/92 has been repealed and replaced by , Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 establishing common rules for the operation of air services in the Community tr0008. In particular, this Regulation introduces new rules on the issue of licences to air carriers.



Dateof entry into force

Final date for implementation in the Member States

Regulation (EC) 2407/92




Council Resolution of 19 June 1995 - Official Journal C 169 of 05.07.1995 On 19 June 1995, the Council adopted a Resolution on relocation in air transport.

This Resolution calls upon the Commission to submit to the Council the outcome of the study on the consequences of air transport liberalization. It also calls upon the Commission to examine the application of the provisions of Regulation (EEC) No 2407/92 relating to the leasing of non-Community resources and, if necessary, to draw up guidelines enabling them to be applied uniformly.

Publication of Member States' decisions to grant or revoke operating licences pursuant to Article 13 (4) of Regulation (EEC) No 2407/92 on licensing of air carriers:Official Journal C 246 of 24.08.1996 (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany and Sweden);

Official Journal C 73 of 08.03.1997 (Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, Sweden, Greece, Finland, Ireland);

Official Journal C 363 of 29.11.1997 (Spain, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Sweden, the Netherlands);

Official Journal C 143 of 08.05.1998 (Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Finland, Sweden);

Official Journal C 2 of 05.01.2000 (United Kingdom, France, Spain);

Official Journal C 368 of 21.12.2000 (Denmark);

Official Journal C 99 of 29.03.2000 (Norway).

Last updated: 19.11.2008