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Consultanță aeronautică

ANNEX 6 Operation of Aircraft (Parts I, II and III)

The essence of Annex 6, simply put, is that the operation of aircraft engaged in international air transport must be as standardized as possible to ensure the highest levels of safety and efficiency.

In 1948 the Council first adopted Standards and Recommended Practices for the operation of aircraft engaged in international commercial air transport.

They were based on recommendations of States attending the first session of the Operations Divisional Meeting held in 1946, and are the basis of Part I of Annex 6.

In order to keep pace with a new and vital industry, the original provisions have been and are being constantly reviewed.

For instance, a second part to Annex 6, dealing exclusively with international general aviation, became applicable in September 1969.

Similarly, a third part to Annex 6, dealing with all international helicopter operations, became applicable in November 1986.

Part III originally addressed only helicopter flight recorders, but an amendment completing the coverage of helicopter operations in the same comprehensive manner as aeroplane operations covered in Parts I and II was adopted for applicability in November 1990.

It would be impractical to provide one international set of operational rules and regulations for the wide variety of aircraft which exist today.

Aircraft range from commercial airliners to the one-seat glider, all of which cross national boundaries into adjacent States.

In the course of a single operation, a long-range jet may fly over many international borders.

Each aircraft has unique handling characteristics relative to its type and, under varying environmental conditions, may have specific operational limitations.

The very international nature of commercial aviation, and of general aviation to a lesser degree, requires pilots and operators to conform to a wide variety of national rules and regulations.

The purpose of Annex 6 is to contribute to the safety of international air navigation by providing criteria for safe operating practices, and to contribute to the efficiency and regularity of international air navigation by encouraging ICAO's Contracting States to facilitate the passage over their territories of commercial aircraft belonging to other countries that operate in conformity with these criteria.

ICAO Standards do not preclude the development of national standards which may be more stringent than those contained in the Annex.

In all phases of aircraft operations, minimum standards are the most acceptable compromise as they make commercial and general aviation viable without prejudicing safety.

The Standards accepted by all Contracting States cover such areas as aircraft operations, performance, communications and navigation equipment, maintenance, flight documents, responsibilities of flight personnel and the security of the aircraft.

The advent of the turbine engine and associated high performance aircraft designs necessitated a new approach to civil aircraft operation.

Aircraft performance criteria, flight instruments, navigation equipment and many other operational aspects required new techniques, and they in turn created the need for international regulations to provide for safety and efficiency.

The introduction of high-speed, long- and short-range aircraft, for example, created problems associated with endurance at relatively low altitudes, where fuel consumption becomes a major factor.

The fuel policies of many of the international civil aviation carriers are required to take into account the need for possible diversions to an alternate aerodrome when adverse weather is forecast at the intended destination.

Clearly defined International Standards and Recommended Practices exist in respect of operating minima based on the aircraft and the environmental factors found at each aerodrome.

Subject to the State of the Operator's approval, the aircraft operator has to take into account the type of aeroplane or helicopter, the degree of sophistication of equipment carried on the aircraft, the characteristics of the approach and runway aids and the operating skill of the crew in carrying out procedures involved in operations in all weather conditions.

Another development has been the introduction of provisions (generally referred to as ETOPS) to ensure safe operations by twinengined aeroplanes operating over extended ranges, often over water.

This type of operation has arisen because of the attractive economics of the large twin-engined aeroplanes now available.

The human factor is an essential component for the safe and efficient conduct of aircraft operations.

Annex 6 spells out the responsibilities of States in supervising their operators, particularly in respect of flight crew.

The main provision requires the establishment of a method of supervising flight operations to ensure a continuing level of safety.

It calls for the provision of an operations manual for each aircraft type, and places the onus on each operator to ensure that all operations personnel are properly instructed in their duties and responsibilities, and in the relationship of such duties to the airline operation as a whole.

The pilot-in-command has the final responsibility to make sure that flight preparation is complete and conforms to all requirements, and is required to certify flight preparation forms when satisfied that the aircraft is airworthy, and that other criteria are met in respect to instruments, maintenance, mass and load distribution (and the securing of the loads), and operating limitations of the aircraft.

Another important aspect covered in Annex 6 is the requirement for operators to establish rules limiting the flight time and flight duty periods for flight crew members.

The same Standard also calls for the operator to provide adequate rest periods so that fatigue occurring either on a flight, or successive flights over a period of time, does not endanger the safety of a flight.

An alert flight crew must be capable of dealing not only with any technical emergencies but with other crew members and must react correctly and efficiently in case of an evacuation of the aircraft.

Rules such as this must be included in the operations manual.

Critical to safe aircraft operations is the knowledge of the operating limits of each particular type of aircraft.

The Annex sets out minimum performance operating limitations, with respect to aircraft in use today.

These Standards take into account a significant number of factors which can affect the performance of a wide range of aircraft: mass of the aircraft, elevation, temperature, weather conditions and runway conditions, and include take-off and landing speeds under conditions which involve the failure of one or more power-units.

A detailed example is included in Attachment C to Annex 6, Part I, in which a level of performance has been calculated and found to apply over a wide range of aeroplane characteristics and atmospheric conditions.

ICAO is actively engaged in efforts to foresee the requirements of future operations such as the recent acceptance of a new set of procedures which revise the obstacle clearance requirements and instrument approach procedures for all categories of international civil commercial aviation.

Hijacking of civil aircraft has placed an additional burden on the pilot-in command.

The various safety precautions that such acts necessitate, in addition to precautions of a purely technical nature, have been studied by ICAO and made to cover as many emergency situations as possible.

Part II of Annex 6 deals with aeroplanes in international general aviation. International commercial in transport operations and general aviation operations in helicopters is covered in Part III.

Some international general aviation operations may be performed by crews less experienced and less skilled than commercial civil aviation personnel. eEquipment installed in some general aviation aircraft may not meet the same standard as in commercial in transport aircraft, and general aviation operations are subject to less rigorous standards and conducted with a greater degree of freedom than is found in commercial air transport operations.

Because of this, ICAO recognizes that international general aviation pilots and their passengers may not necessarily enjoy the same level of safety as the farepaying passenger in commercial air transport.

Part II of the Annex, however, was designed specifically to ensure an acceptable level of safety to third parties (persons on the ground and persons in the air in other aircraft).

Thus, operations involving commercial and general aviation aircraft in a common environment are required to adhere to the minimum safety standards.

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