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Commercial Operations (passenger and/or cargo) may only be conducted if the operator has been granted, and continues to hold, an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the BCAA.

An AOC certifies that the holder is competent to safely operate that aircraft in accordance with the prescribed regulations and standards.

The BCAA may only grant an AOC to an operator that has its principal place of business in Bermuda once we are satisfied that the applicant is competent to safely operate the types of aircraft specified in the certificate, on flights and for the purposes described.

Particular regard will be paid to the applicant’s:

  • previous conduct and experience;
  • equipment;
  • organisation and staffing; and
  • maintenance and other arrangements.

The operator must establish and maintain to the satisfaction of the BCAA a safety management system appropriate to the size and complexity of the operation.

An operator’s “principal place of business” is defined as the primary location: from which flight operations and maintenance management and control are exercised; where the majority of the operational and safety-related records are kept; and at which accountable managers are based.

A person must not hold himself or herself, or any other person, out as being a person who may offer flights on an aircraft registered in Bermuda for the purpose of commercial air transport unless the person, or that other person (as the case may be), holds a valid AOC granted under the AN(OT)O, for the time being in force.

AOC Process

The processes involved in the granting of an AOC are fairly lengthy and follow the five stages established by the ICAO:

  • Pre-certification phase
  • Formal application phase
  • Document evaluation phase
  • Demonstration and inspection phase
  • Final certification phase

The steps for completing the “pre-certification phase” are described below, along with the associated information form. Once this first phase is completed, the BCAA and the applicant will communicate directly with the aim of progressing through the remaining phases.

Completion of Preliminary Information Related to an Application Form for the Grant, Renewal or Variation of an AOC

Use the information below as a guide for completing the preliminary information Form 9000 for the issue, renewal or variation of an AOC. While this direction is meant to assist companies of all sizes, some of the detailed information requested may not be applicable to smaller companies.

The BCAA requires evidence of suitable insurance cover in respect of aeroplanes, passengers, carried goods and third-party claims, before issuing or renewing an AOC.

Complete and submit AOC Application – Preliminary Information Form – Form 9000 together with the appropriate fee to flightops@bcaa.bm c/o Director of Operations:

Specific contact information will be provided for the submission of any other documentation relating to an AOC application.

Section 1A

All applicants must complete this section which collects basic information, including the name and mailing address of the company, the address of the main base of operation and the proposed start of operation date. If a business name is used, provide it in this section of the application form as well as the place and number of company registration. All “trading names” used should be specified. If a “trading name” is adopted subsequent to the completion of the application form or the issue of the AOC, notify the BCAA at the address above.

Finally, details concerning management and key personnel staff are essential if contact is required. An operator must have a management organisation capable of exercising operational control and supervision over any flight operated under the terms of the AOC.

The information provided in Block 5 should give a clear picture of the chain of responsibility, appropriate to the size of the company, for all major aspects of management and of the arrangements for suitable qualified deputies to assume the functions of senior executives temporarily absent from duty. In particular, the person or persons responsible for the following duties should be named:

  • The issue and amendment of operations and training manuals, and other instructions to members of operating crews
  • Management of the operations department
  • Management of the Quality System
  • Controlling the rostering of crew for flying duty
  • Guide for the Completion of AOC Application – Form 9000A
  • General supervision of flight operations
  • Accepting operational commitments (i.e., deciding whether or not a particular charter or flight can be undertaken)
  • Ensuring that crew training and periodical tests are carried out as necessary
  • The discipline and general supervision of flying staff
  • Coordinating any necessary action arising from Commander’s voyage and incident reports
  • Making arrangements for the services of handling agents
  • Liaising with maintenance organizations, including contractors, on airworthiness matters and the continuing satisfactory implementation of the declared maintenance support arrangements

Section 1B

To be completed by the Air Operator and/or Approved Maintenance Organisation. Information provided under this heading will show what type of maintenance program will be performed. The proposed type of operation shall be specified if the information is required by the type of maintenance program.

State the Approved Maintenance Organisation and how the maintenance is carried out in Block 8 of this section if applicable.

Section 1C

The Air Operator shall provide details of all aircraft associated with the company. If an aircraft is foreign registered, attach a copy of the lease agreement to the form. Include details of types of aircraft by make, model, series, number of passenger seats or cargo payload capacity and any other pertinent information.

In Block 10, provide the proposed route structure as well as the areas where intended operations will be conducted (e.g., the Middle East, Americas, Africa, etc.).

Section 1D

Provide a proposed business plan outlining how the company will be structured and operate. This information shall offer a better picture of the proposed operation of the business and how it plans to be profitable. State details concerning proposed training in aircraft and/or simulator.

Note: An AOC Application – Preliminary Information Form – Form 9000 will be provided on receipt of the information for completion by the nominees for Accountable Manager and Postholders for Operations Manager, Chief Pilot and Training Manager.