Policy issues

Non-compliant flights

Non-compliant flights

Definition: A non-compliant flight is any flight that breaks the rules and regulations.

Practically speaking, EBAA distinguishes between six main categories of non-compliant flights:

  • Illegal charter: EU operator/TCO flies commercially without valid AOC EU operator with valid AOC undertaking an invalid non-commercial operation
  • Tax evasion: EU operator avoids VAT & associated duties on purchase of goods and services such as fuel and handling costs
  • Lacking traffic rights: Third Country Operator (TCO) undertakes commercial air transport without appropriate traffic right
  • Defective certification: EU operator not fully maintaining EU safety requirements (EG Part-CAT and Part-NCC) as defined in Operating Manual and Certificates
  • Illegal goods & services: EU operator/TCO transports illegal goods, also persons or goods without proper declaration over borders or provides illegal services through flight operations
  • Non-compliant operations: EU operator does not comply with EU regulations and requirements during flight (airworthiness non-compliance)


Why are there non-compliant flights and what does EBAA do to curb them?

It is difficult to determine the motivation for non-compliant flights.

EBAA assumes the following contributing factors:

  • Business aviation is not adequately understood and interpreted appropriately into rules and regulations
  • The operator was lured by an easy shortcuts or inexpensive alternative, reinforced by years of challenging economic environments
  • The operator has been encouraged as compliance is poorly enforced


EBAA non-compliant flight strategy

The strategy of EBAA against non-compliant flights consists of four main aspects:

  • Identify, with the national authorities and EASA, an adapted regulatory framework on key aspects to defuse the attractiveness of being non-compliant
  • Give practical tools to authorities to enforce, and when appropriate, punish rogue operators
  • Adopt a kit of industry best practice and have its standards voluntarily applied across the board
  • Carry on with our awareness campaign by focusing on personal risks to the passenger (related to loss of insurance, etc.)


EBAA action against non-compliant flights

In 2009, the impact of non-compliant flights was taking an ever-growing toll on the bottom line of our member companies. EBAA understood that a portion of noncompliant flights were due to lack of awareness rather than an an intentional decision. An awareness campaign targeting the operator and consumer started to tackle this issue, access the materials here (LINK: publications).

EBAA shared its concerns with the member states and with various European institutions, such as the EASA and the Commission.


EBAA also designed an impact assessment to define the variety of non-compliant flights and illegal movements, and expose their impact. In January 2014, the conclusions of the study by Roland Berger and WINGX was released and is available to EBAA members.


Reporting non-compliant activity

It is in the best interests – in terms of safety, reputation and business – of everyone involved with business aviation to ensure that flights are legal and compliant with the regulatory safety standards demanded by AOC holders.

If you are a passenger, crew member, or anyone else who suspects a non-compliant business aviation activity, please report the activity. Effective countermeasures can only be developed if the trends are correctly identified.

Inform your national authority directly or complete our ‘suspected non-compliant flight form’ here. Please note: to be effective, the authorities need the information preferably before takeoff.


The information you provide to EBAA will be used to produce help us to develop tailor-made solutions to address the non-compliant activity issue, which can then be presented to national authorities. All information provided to EBAA will be kept confidential, none of your personal details will be published.

Download the form to report suspected non-compliant operations

Impact assessment study – final report and presentation (by request)

Need more information ?

Please contact Belarmino Goncalves Paradela at bgparadela@ebaa.org