Types of aircraft used in commercial air transport may be an airliner, corporate jet, helicopter, small single-engined aircraft or a balloon. Pilots must hold a valid Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence (ATPL) or Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL).
An aircraft operator involved in commercial air transport must be the holder of a valid Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and a valid Air Carrier Operating Licence (ACOL) issued by the Irish Aviation Authority.
The issue of an AOC and ACOL authorises an operator to conduct commercial air transport operations in accordance with such conditions and limitations as may be prescribed for that aircraft operator.
To obtain an AOC and ACOL an operator must complete a thorough process to satisfy the authority that they are competent to secure the safe operation of aircraft. They are subject to rigorous oversight by the Irish Aviation Authority and are audited regularly for competence and adequacy of resources in areas such as management and organisational structure, crew training, aircraft maintenance, flight planning and support, including many other areas.