93/551/EEC: Commission Opinion of 5 October 1993 concerning the application of Article 4 (2) of Council Directive 91/670/EEC on mutual acceptance of personnel licences for the exercise of functions in civil aviation (Equivalence of British and Belgian pilot licences) (Only the French and Dutch texts are authentic)

Prom. L OJ. 267/28 Oct 1993

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85/185/EEC: Commission Opinion of 28 February 1985 addressed to the French Government pursuant to Council Regulation (EEC) No 954/79 concerning the ratification by Member States of, or their accession to, the United Nations Convention on a code of conduct for liner conferences

COMMISSION OPINION of 5 October 1993 concerning the application of Article 4 (2) of Council Directive 91/670/EEC on mutual acceptance of personnel licences for the exercise of functions in civil aviation (Equivalence of British and Belgian pilot licences) (Only the French and Dutch texts are authentic)

(93/551/EEC)THE COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community,

Having regard to Council Directive 91/670/EEC of 16 December 1991 on mutual acceptance of personnel licences for the exercise of functions in civil aviation (1), and in particular Article 4 (2) thereof,

Having regard to the request of the Belgian Government,

Having requested the Member States involved to submit their pilot training schemes and programmes,

Whereas:

(1) By letter No 911.91.42.40.477., registered by the Commission on 6 July 1993, the Belgian authorities requested the Commission, pursuant to Article 4 (2) of Directive 91/670/EEC, to give its opinion on the equivalence of pilot licences granted by the Civil Aviation Authorities of Belgium and the United Kingdom.

Pursuant to Article 4 (2) (b) of the Directive the Commission is obliged to give its opinion within two months of receipt of the request. On account of the summer holiday period the Commission sought, by letter of 26 August 1993 to the Belgian authorities, an extension of the consultation procedure till 30 September 1993.

(2) Directive 91/670/EEC requires a Member State to accept, without undue delay or additional tests, any licence issued by another Member State together with privileges and certificates pertaining thereto (Article 3 (1)). Licences issued by another Member State of the Communty can be accepted on the basis either of equivalence (Article 4 (1) to (4)) or of experience (Article 4 (5)). Article 4 (1) provides that the requirement of acceptance shall apply where a licence issued by another Member State is based on requirements which are equivalent to those of the host Member State. Pursuant to Article 4 (2) (a) of the Directive any Member State may ask the Commission for an opinion on the equivalence of a licence, presented to it for acceptance, within three weeks of receiving the request.

(3) As regards pilots, the fundamental principles of free movement of persons and freedom of establishment and to provide services, enshrined in Articles 48, 52 and 59 of the Treaty, have been given effect by Article 3 (1) of the Directive (2). That

Article provides for mutual acceptance of pilot licences.

Nevertheless, Article 4 of the Directive makes the mutual acceptance of those licences subject to a possible procedure for the verification of equivalence between the requirements of the host Member State and the issuing Member State when reasonable doubts as to the equivalence of the licences concerned remain. Article 4 thereby aims at ensuring the safety of air transport services, to which explicit reference is made in the sixth recital of the Directive. However, use of that procedure must not go beyond what is strictly necessary for achieving the overall objective of safety of air operations and must, therefore, not prejudice the effective exercise of the abovementioned fundamental freedoms of the Treaty.

(4) The Commssion has examined the respective Belgian and British requirements for the issue of an air transport pilot licence (ATPL) and evaluated them in accordance with three essential criteria:

- general minimal requirements,

- skill requirements,

- theoretical knowledge requirements.

(a) An examination of the respective general minimal requirements of the Belgian and British authorities for the issue of an ATPL shows that there is equivalence.

(b) As regards pilot skill, comparison of the Member States' requirements is based on an analysis of the requirements laid down in the rules and regulations and the check forms used during tests. The minimum characteristics of aircraft on which the practical tests landing to the ATPL have to be taken is an essential component of that licence.

Belgium uses an aircraft over 20 tonnes whilst the United Kingdom uses a multi-engined light aircraft. In practice, an ATPL is issued when the experience criteria are met, but there is no separate ATPL skill test, since this is incorporated in the type-rating test.

Consequently, a UK licence holder would require a type-rating on FAR 25/JAR 25 aircraft.

(c) The comparison between the United Kingdom and Belgium on theoretical knowledge requirements demonstrates that the same overall level regarding breadth of knowledge required, is applied. Additional tests to evaluate their equivalence do not therefore appear appropriate.

(5) On the basis of the available information, having regard to the principles set out above and given that all Member States satisfy the internationally accepted standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regarding air safety,

HAS ADOPTED THIS OPINION:




Article 1

The airline transport pilot licences issued in the United Kingdom may be regarded as equivalent overall to a comparable licence issued by Belgium, subject to the holder's also having a type-rating as pilot-in-command on JAR Category 25 aircraft (multi-engined aircraft of over 5 700 kg).




Article 2

This opinion is addressed to the Kingdom of Belgium.

Done at Brussels, 5 October 1993.

For the Commission

Abel MATUTES

Member of the Commission


(1) OJ No L 373, 31. 12. 1991, p. 21.

(2) See also the Judgments of the Court of Justice in Case 222/86 (Heylens v. Union Nationale [1987] ECR 4097, Case C-340/89 Vlassopoulou v. Ministerium fuer Justiz [1991] ECR I-2357, and Case C-19/92 Kraus v. Land Baden-Wuerttemberg, Judgment of 31 March 1993 (not yet published)).




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