Part-SPO declaration issued by CAA

Part-SPO glider towing

The CAA has issued the declaration for operators taking part in flying activities known as ‘Aerial Work’ as part of the requirements to comply with EASA regulation Part-SPO (Specialised Operations).

Part-SPO comes into force on 21 April 2017. It includes activities such as agriculture, construction, photography, surveying, observation, patrol and aerial advertisements.

Part-SPO does not apply to personal flights by individual pilots unless they are engaged in one or more of the activities listed as a specialised operation.

Bell Huey II

Many helicopter operations fall under Part-SPO. Top: glider towing also falls under Part-SPO.

Specialised Operations include

  • Helicopter external loads operations
  • Helicopter survey operations
  • Human external cargo operations
  • Parachute operations and skydiving
  • Agricultural flights
  • Aerial photography flights
  • Glider towing
  • Aerial advertising flights
  • Calibration flights
  • Construction work flights, including stringing power line operations, clearing saw operations
  • Oil spill work
  • Avalanche mining operations
  • Survey operations, including aerial mapping operations, pollution control activity
  • News media flights, television and movie flights
  • Special events flights, including such as flying display and competition flights
  • Aerobatic flights
  • Animal herding, animal rescue flights and veterinary dropping flights
  • Maritime funeral operations
  • Scientific research flights (other than those under Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008)
  • Cloud seeding
  • Sensational flights: flights involving extreme aerobatic manoeuvres carried out for the purpose of allowing the persons on board to experience zero gravity, high G-forces or similar sensations.

Operators should refer to the EASA regulation and to the Acceptable Means of Compliance material developed by EASA. The CAA is also devoting a part of its website to Part-SPO and will be publishing updates there. Until Part-SPO becomes effective from 21 April 2017, current rules for Aerial Work under the ANO apply.

High Risk operators
‘High risk’ activities will need authorisation and this process will be in place from 23 January 2017, said the CAA. This means any commercial specialised aircraft operation which poses a high risk, particularly to third parties on the ground.

CAA Part-SPO Declaration


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