Italian Charter Permits Changes – Part 1 of 2: General Requirements
This is a post by author Stefano Bruno. Stefano is the station manager for Universal Aviation Italy, which has Fixed-Base Operator (FBO) and ground support locations at Rome (LIRA), Venice (LIPZ), Milan-Linate (LIML), and Milan-Malpensa (LIMC). Stefano is an expert on business aircraft operations in Italy. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is part one of a two-article series on changes in Italian charter permit requirements.
Italian charter permits and associated requirements have changed a few times over the past two years. Today, permit requirements vary depending upon where your aircraft is registered, passenger seating capacity, where you’re operating, and how recently you’ve conducted a charter operation to Italy. As a general rule, the Ente Nazionale per l’Aviazone Civile (ENAC) which is the Italian Civil Aviation Authority, is very strict in regard to regulations and to documentation that needs to be submitted.
1. Italian charter landing permit requirements
All charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights by non-European Union (EU)-registered aircraft require landing permits. For any aircraft with up to 19 passenger seats, these operations are referred to as "air taxi flights," and only annual charter permits are available. An annual charter permit covers an operator’s entire fleet, assuming all aircraft have been specified on the permit. Once approved, an Italian charter permit is valid for 12 months.
- Air taxi
- An air taxi flight involves transport of passengers, with their own freight (baggage), under a single charter contract for the entire capacity of an aircraft having no more than 19 passenger seats.
2. Exemptions for EU-registered aircraft
EU-registered charter aircraft with 19 passenger seats or less do not require landing permits. While such operators should submit a ground handling request and file a flight plan, no special permit or notification is required by ENAC.
3. Processing of landing permits
Processing time for an annual Italian charter landing permit is 20 business days, assuming the operator has landed within the EU, as a charter, within the last two International Air Transport Association (IATA) seasons. IATA seasons are March-October and October-March. Otherwise, permit processing time is 45 business days.
4. Permit processing hours
ENAC processes charter permits Monday-Friday, 0900-1700 local. The office is closed on weekends and holidays. No after-hours permit processing is possible under any circumstances, and after-hours contact numbers are not available.
5. Requirements for non-EU-registered aircraft
Operators applying for the first time charter to Italy – or those who have not operated to Italy during the past two IATA seasons – must submit specific documentation to the Italian Air Transport Development Division.
- Air Operator Certificate complete with operational specifications.
- Foreign Operator Questionnaire, validated by the aeronautical authorities, of the applicant is always required for air carriers performing flights with aircraft that have more than 19 passenger seats.
- Certificate of Registration and Airworthiness, along with a noise certificate and ACASII EGPWS equipment certification.
- Valid liability insurance issued according to EU Regulation 785/2004 and in compliance with ENAC’s standard form insurance requirements.
- Letter of approval from the civil authority in which the aircraft is registered, certifying that the company’s security program complies with International Civil Aviation Organization Annex 17, and it must be signed by the Transportation Security Administration inspector who supervised the issuing document.
- Power of attorney (POA) authorizing the ground handler to obtain the permit on the operator’s behalf. This POA must be on the company’s letterhead and notarized (include a stamp and signature).
6. Domestic operations
Your charter landing permit specifies which Airports of Entry (AOEs) you may travel to within Italy. In order to travel to a domestic airport, you must first arrive/depart via an Italian AOE. Note that, for domestic travel within Italy, you may not carry passengers that are not associated with your international legs, which would be considered cabotage. In other words you may not board any additional passengers that you did not bring into Italy. At some point in the future, it’s anticipated that Italy may expand its cabotage restrictions – to include travel to and within other EU countries – but this has not yet occurred, and no date for implementation has been announced.
Keep in mind that if regulations are not followed, or proper documentation is not submitted, ENAC will not process your charter landing permit. For permit renewals you’ll only need to submit documents that may have expired, or will expire shortly (within the next year). Documentation that remains valid does not have to be re-submitted with your annual charter permit renewal.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Italy, contact me at email@example.com.
Later, we’ll discuss Italian permit processing details for your aircraft.