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‘ATCO Regulation’ marks a new era of harmonised air traffic controller licensing in Europe

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Eur-Lex Cologne, 31-08-2011.- Today marks the entry into force of new European rules for the licensing and medical certification of Air Traffic Controllers (ATCO). Commission Regulation (EU) No 805 / 2011 creates uniform requirements and mandates the Europe-wide recognition of all air traffic controller licenses, associated ratings, language endorsements and medical certificates. Upon the request of the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, EASA prepared a draft proposal to establish a Regulation in the field.

Published as Opinion No 3/2010 on 28 May 2010, the proposal was further developed by the European Commission in close cooperation with the Agency and Member States until its adoption on 10 August 2011. Building on a European Directive from 2006, the Regulation replaces potentially differing national rules and offers greater professional mobility for air traffic controllers. Air traffic controllers holding a license issued in accordance with the Regulation will be able to work in all Member States. The legislative process has ensured continuity with previous rules, as demanded by stakeholders. Changes are limited to the most necessary, and adaptation periods are granted to concerned parties.

The grandfathering of privileges of already acquired licences is ensured via transitional arrangements. "With the entry into force of the ATCO Regulation today, EASA has contributed the first Implementing Rule of the extension of the Agency's competence to Air Traffic Management," said EASA Executive Director, Patrick Goudou. "The harmonisation of air traffic controller licensing will make an important contribution to the achievement of a high and uniform level of safety across Europe". The Regulation can be downloaded from the website of the Official Journal of the European Union

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