On May 30 2016 the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) issued Circular EAL-23 regarding non-scheduled air transport services operated outside the European Union to and from Italian airports. ENAC's rules apply to EU carriers (licensed pursuant to EU Regulation 1008/2008 on common rules for the operation of air service) and extra-community carriers, on the condition that their states of origin grant equal treatment to EU carriers (the so-called 'reciprocity principle'). The rules are in line with Article 787 of the Italian Navigation Code, which states that "extra-community services are authorized, on a reciprocity basis, to air carriers holding a community license and to carriers of the State with which the traffic is made".
ENAC's definition of a 'non-scheduled service' include:
- passenger air transport, including:
- charter flights;
- emergency and humanitarian flights; and
- other kinds of flight, such as for special events and taxi services;
- cargo or airmail transport, including flights for the carriage of cargo, mail or dangerous goods.
Further to the reciprocity principle, extra-EU carriers willing to obtain authorisations to fly to and from Italy must be accredited in advance by ENAC. The first prerequisite is that the carrier holds a third-country operator authorisation from the European Aviation Safety Agency. Accreditation will be subject to the following conditions:
- consistency between the contents of the third-country operator authorisation relating to the aircraft to be operated in Italy and the applicant carrier's air operator certificate;
- approval of the carrier's safety programme by the competent civil aviation authority and a declaration of conformity to Annex 17 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation; and
- valid insurance coverage pursuant to EU Regulation 785/2004.
In terms of timing, flight information and documents to be provided to ENAC, the authorisation process is regulated depending on whether the aircraft intended to be used has a maximum operational passenger seating configuration of less than, equal to or more than 20 seats.
Further, for extra-EU carriers planning to perform fifth freedom and seventh freedom flights, authorisation is subject to non-objection from Italian and EU carriers with a permanent establishment in Italy. This rule applies to flights:
- originating in State A and operated by a carrier from State A between State B and State C (fifth freedom); and
- operated by a carrier from State A between State B and State C (seventh freedom).
Italian and EU carriers must receive prior notice of the extra-EU carrier's intended operations, alongside its filing of an authorisation request to ENAC. If a carrier has an objection, it must inform the extra-EU carrier and ENAC within three days from the date of the flights concerned. ENAC evaluates objections based on:
- the condition that the objecting carrier can cover the requested load capacity (for passengers or cargo); and
- other factors, such as the number of carriers submitting the objection and whether they already serve scheduled flights on the same route.
Fifth freedom and seventh freedom all-cargo flights are exempted from the non-objection procedure.
For further information on this topic please contact Laura Pierallini at Studio Legale Pierallini e Associati by telephone (+39 06 88 41 713) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Studio Legale Pierallini e Associati website can be accessed at www.studiopierallini.it.
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