Winglet Airplane

Operations Manual for Aviation: Vital information for persons involved in flight operations

Regardless of whether you are a commercial or non-commercial aviation operator: You are obliged to create and maintain an Operations Manual (OM). This is a set of documents describing not only the duties of aircraft operators and aviation personnel, but also detailed instructions as well as courses of action and step-by-step procedures. In order to ensure that the Operations Manual is in line with rules and regulations, it must be submitted to the competent authority.

Official requirements regarding this documentation are high: Operators have to ensure that their Operations Manual permanently complies to the relevant regulations. In Europe, these regulations are imposed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). In other regions of the world, different rules apply e. g. as laid down by the Feder Aviation Authority in the US.

What exactly is an Operations Manual?

These are several documents including operating procedures and relevant information that the operations personnel must be aware of. In Europe, it is legally required that the whole document conforms to the Regulation for Air Operators 965/2012 established by EASA.

The Operations Manual contains detailed information on the company operation including for example:

  • flight planning
  • passenger handling
  • ground operations
  • security procedures
  • information provided by the aircraft manufacturer
  • health precautions
  • flight time limitations
  • goods that may be carried
  • performance of the aircraft
  • training of the personnel
  • management system

This information is not only relevant to the pilots but also to the cabin crew and all company staff required for the operation of aircraft.

The operator is responsible to keep the Operations Manual updated. Regulatory bodies continuously modify regulations, aircraft manufacturers regularly change procedures and modification within the company take place all the time (e. g. innovation in training programmes, operating procedures, nominated persons or destinations). These developments need to be implemented by the operator in a timely manner.

Furthermore, it is required that the content is presented in a form that can easily be accessed, used and understood. All the information that is necessary to run must be laid down in the OM. Therefore, a copy of OM parts relevant to the individuals’ duties is provided to each employee who is responsible for keeping his documentation up to date.

What does the Operations Manual contain and how is it structured?

The regulation for air operators 965/2012 describes the structure and content of the Operations Manual in section ORO.MLR.100 and ORO.MLR.101. According to these regulations, an OM for commercial air transport must include four parts. However, the OM for non-commercial operations is allowed to be more flexible regarding its structure.

The structure of Operations Manuals for an air operator performing commercial air transport is defined as follows:

  • Part A:
    In this part, general information on the organisation and its structure as well as procedures is given.
  • Part B:
    It contains aircraft specific contents like limitations and performance information as well as normal, abnormal and emergency procedures.
  • Part C:
    Here, details on the route, the area as well as the aerodrome instructions and information are described for company operations.
  • Part D:
    This part includes training related information and course outlines for company staff and crew members.

Information about the operator’s safety management system must also be included in the OM. This might be part of Part A but may also be published as a separate Safety Management Manual, including the company’s emergency response plan. Compliance monitoring is also an important part of safety management and to be found in this section of the OM. It specifies the procedures of internal audits and inspections to ensure that the operation complies with all relevant standards and regulations.

Some operators use a combination of Safety Management and Compliance Monitoring in one separate manual: the Organisation Management Manual. This type of manual is not mentioned in official regulations, but it is an acceptable way to present the information required.

How do operators ensure maintaining a high standard in their Operations Manuals?

The Aviation Authorities demand that the Operations Manual is regularly updated according to external and internal changes. By choosing TRS Aviation Consulting as a provider for your Operations Manual, your documentation will be kept compliant and up to date in order to ensure safe and efficient operations to the highest standards.

TRS Aviation Consulting provides an excellent expertise in Document Management Services. We are continuously keeping track of regulatory changes and will inform you promptly about upcoming changes. Additionally, we provide detailed information of how new or amended regulation will affect your current procedures as well as your Operations Manual. It is part of our comprehensive service to edit and update all corresponding documentation. TRS Aviation Consulting efficiently supports you in keeping your Operations Manual in compliance with regulations.