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10 December 2014
The Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) has issued a revised version of Circular EAL-14A, which implements the Navigation Code provisions on the operation of extra-EU scheduled services by regulating the authorisation and designation procedure for both Italian and Italy-based EU carriers in accordance with international air transport agreements to Italy is party. ENAC explained that this attempt to enhance the regulatory framework was influenced by the challenges experienced by the air transport industry in recent years, as well as the need to sustain the industry in its exploration of new markets and business opportunities.
The new circular is primarily intended to expand and clarify the role of ENAC in liaising with the Ministry of Transport with regard to the negotiation and conclusion of air transport agreements with non-EU countries. ENAC will report the specific needs of the aviation industry to the ministry, with particular consideration of:
Along with the Ministry of Transport, ENAC representatives will also attend meetings with foreign government/aviation authorities and – in preparation thereof – explore the existing interests of Italian/EU stakeholders (eg, carriers, airports, passengers' associations) in the relevant non-EU countries with which negotiations are planned.
In addition, the revised circular better explains the requirements to be met by EU airlines for ENAC authorisation to operate extra-EU routes to and from Italy. In particular, EU airlines must be qualified as 'established carriers', which entails that they:
ENAC will assess these requirements on a case-by-case basis. Once an EU airline has been recognised by ENAC as an established carrier, it must comply with all national laws and regulations applicable to its specific business in Italy (including any relevant fiscal and employment laws).
Further, ENAC has clarified the general criteria governing the selection procedure for carriers applying for traffic rights to and from extra-EU destinations. The selection process will be carried out with the main purposes of:
The general 'use it or lose it' principle applies to all traffic rights granted by ENAC, meaning that if the selected carriers do not activate, partially activate or suspend the relevant flight operations, ENAC will withdraw their traffic rights and the carriers will be required to re-protect passengers affected by the non-activation/suspension of the scheduled flights.
ENAC recently collected comments and remarks among the aviation industry regarding the provisions of a new circular (EAL-14B), which is expected to come into force soon.
For further information on this topic please contact Laura Pierallini at Studio Legale Pierallini e Associati by telephone (+39 06 88 41 713), fax (+39 06 88 40 249) or email (email@example.com). The Studio Legale Pierallini e Associati website can be accessed at www.studiopierallini.it.
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