EASA All Weather Ops Changes: Part I

By Rebecca Lougheed

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EASA are bringing in new “All Weather Ops” stuff and like usual, they’ve published the up-and-coming changes in an online document that is harder to wade through than a murky swamp, during monsoon season, filled with hungry hippos.

So we’ve tried to wade through it a bit for you. Full disclaimer, we might have missed a hippo or two, which is why this is Part I…

You can read it yourself if you want to.

The full 330 page draft document is on the EASA website, along with a 2 hour webinar involving all stakeholders. So if you really want to, go have a listen.

We don’t particularly recommend it though. It’s not that their ‘Holistic Rules Making Tasks’ aren’t super interesting, or that hearing what the aerodromes are doing to implement isn’t gripping stuff, but a lot of it won’t apply to you and you’ll have to try and work out what does and there is a lot of blue highlighting fog to find your way through.

So instead, if you read on, we have actually done most of it for you.

But before we get to that…

Before we get into the specifics of what you really need to know, here is a ‘quicker than a fly with a jet pack’ summary of what is going on.

EASA are taking a ‘Total System Approach’ to AWOs. Currently airports have equipment, airplanes have equipment, there are no real standards between the certifications of each. Plus, runway suitability really should be determined by aircraft type because trying to define what is regular, irregular, suitable, not suitable doesn’t really work unless you’re thinking about what the aeroplanes can actually do…

So, a Total System Approach has been taken to create a regulatory framework that fits for everyone. A one-size-fits-all (and hopefully looks good on everyone) pair of lovely AWO unisex pants.

  • On March 30 the aircraft equipment manufacturers got filled in
  • Aerodromes will be from August 1
  • Then from October 30, Air Operators and all the flight crew licensing stuff will have its ‘entry into force’. Which sounds very Star Warsy but basically mean you’ll probably want to have read about it all by then.

What are we reading at the moment?

We are reading the New CS-AWO Issue 2. It is divided into three subparts. Subpart A has all the info on the ‘Enabling Equipment’ (ALS, HUD, EFVS, SVGS, CVS…) and Subparts B and C basically contain the performance requirements and airworthiness type stuff.

The (very basic) idea

The (very basic) idea is aerodromes won’t change – their existing equipment already pretty much works for this. You (the operator) can check out the new AWOs and look at your aircraft equipment, and look at the performance specs and work out what you can do where allweatheropswise.

90% of airports basically fit with this already. Of the remaining 10%, if you’ve been operating safely into them already then you’re going to be able to sort out some “grandfather” rights to keep operating into there. All the rest (ie if its a totally new route) you’ll need to get talking to your aircraft manufacturer equipment provider folk to get approval.

What does it mean?

It means for smaller operators, and especially ones who don’t have CAT II/III approval it should be a lot easier for you to operate into places during nasty weather conditions.

It also means a lot of those gadgety bits and bobs you might use are now going to be included in it making permissions to use it much easier.

OK, so October 30 – What do you need to know?

If you’re an operator then we think these are the questions you’ll want to be asking (and the new AWO stuff will hopefully be answering for you):

  • What equipment do I have?
  • What do I want to do with it?
  • Does it meet the performance specifications?
  • What do I need to do to get the approval?
  • What training does my crew need?

If you’re a pilot then these are your recommended questions:

  • Where am I going?
  • What are the new limitations and regulations (in terms of DH, RVR etc)?
  • What occurrences do I need to report?

The answers

Sorry! We don’t have them for you (yet)! But we reckon if you’re heading into this then do so with these questions in mind, and watch this space for our ‘answers’ once we get that far with it.

If you have answers then email us at team@ops.group and help us out.


More on the topic:

More reading:

Rebecca Lougheed

Rebecca Lougheed

I am an OPSGROUP team member, an A340/A380 pilot, and interested in all things flight ops, cats and beer related. Based near an undisclosed airfield in England. Question for us? Write to blog.team@ops.group.

One Comment

  • chris says:

    Thanks for this Rebecca! As an ex Ansett pilot living in SYD this is all a bit of a revelation and makes me glad that I am not UK based. That said, being updated on all of the current ins and outs of operating around Europe might one day come in handy. I’m fortunate to own a ’64 model PA30. Her 900 nm range (at 160 knots TAS) could eventually get me up into EASA’s domain…

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