Yacht Heli-Ops – Are You Ready for Part-NCC?

In the same way as we have maritime regulations that are either compulsory for Commercial yachts, or voluntary for Private yachts, there are aviation rules that also make the distinction between commercial and non-commercial use – the latter having more freedom/flexibility in their operation.  This is about to change…

By the 25th August this year ‘non-commercial’ Operators of  ‘complex powered aircraft’ which are registered in, or have their principle place of business based in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) member states, will need to comply with Air Operations Regulation (EU) No 965/2012.

‘Complex powered aircraft’ also includes helicopters as follows: –

  • Certified with a maximum take-off weight more than 3175kg, or
  • Certified for maximum PAX seating more than 9, or
  • Certified for operation with a minimum of two pilots

This would include helicopters such as the EC145 and AS365, both of which are used within the Superyacht fleet on the larger yachts.

The regulations are mainly focused on the operational safety; including ensuring there is a safety management system, operations manual, training program and an approved MEL.

To comply, Operators will have to complete and submit a declaration to their National Aviation Authority (NAA) before 24 August 2016.

The impact on superyacht helicopter operations is likely to minimal, especially given this affects only the larger helicopters in the fleet, and those are probably managed by Operators who are already running with similar operational standards and are aware of the new regulations; however, it is worth checking that compliance is in-hand to avoid the potential issues, such as grounding of the helicopter by the authorities, when the regulation comes into effect.

More information can be found on the following websites: –