The air services licensed by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) permit the carriage by air of passengers, mail and/or cargo for remuneration and/or hire. Services like scenic flights, which depart and arrive at the same location, and air services which are carried out by non-power-driven aircraft and/or ultralight power-driven aircraft are not required to be licensed by the IAA. The IAA has no role in the licensing of flight training schools or operators offering training flights.
There are 9 requirements listed in the Regulation governing the issuance of operating licences. The following conditions must be met by an undertaking before an operating licence can be granted (see Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008):
its principal place of business must be located in Ireland
it must hold a valid AOC as issued by the Irish Aviation Authority
it has one or more aircraft at its disposal through ownership or a dry lease agreement
its main occupation is to operate air services in isolation or combined with any other commercial operation of aircraft or the repair and maintenance of aircraft
its company structure allows the competent licensing authority to implement the provisions of the Regulation
it meets the relevant ownership and control requirements of the Regulation
it meets the financial conditions specified in Article 5 of the Regulation
it complies with the insurance requirements specified in Article 11 of the Regulation and in Regulation (EC) No 785/2004
it complies with the provisions on good repute as specified in Article 7 of the Regulation
Applications for an operating licence must be made using the IAA's application form. The application form is a fillable PDF form and it can be downloaded from our website along with relevant guidance material here.
All licensed EEA carriers are free to operate on most routes within the EEA without requiring to obtain further authorisation. However, for operations beyond the EEA, operators are required to obtain further authorisation(s). The Aviation Services Division of the Department of Transport should be contacted in this regard on Tel: +353 1 6707444.
Applications should be made well in advance of the proposed commencement of operations as it is important that the IAA has adequate time to process applications.
Article 10 (1) of Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 provides that a licensing authority shall take a decision on an application as soon as possible, and not later than 3 months after all the necessary information has been submitted.
The above timeframe assumes that all necessary information has been received with the initial application and is sufficient for the IAA to take a decision. However, should the IAA require further information, the processing time then becomes dependent on a number of issues including how soon an applicant can respond to any queries arising. In any case, the IAA cannot issue an operating licence until the applicant has been granted an AOC. Therefore, it is not possible to give an average time in this regard as each application is different.
If the applicant does not engage with the IAA for a period of three months in relation to any queries or requests for further information, the application will be treated as abandoned and thereafter a fresh application will be required along with the relevant fee.