Balloon operation - Part-BOB

Since April 8th 2019, regulation (EU) No. 2018/395 applies to the operation of balloons. The European Aviation Safety Agency EASA has developed rules for the operation of private and commercial balloon flights, for the licensing of pilots, as well as for the maintenance and certification of balloons.

The Balloon Rule Book of EASA contains the European rules for balloons and is structured as follows:

  • Cover Regulation
  • Part-DEF: Definitions
  • Part-BOP: Balloon air operations with subpart BOP.BAS for all balloon flights (private and commercial), and additionally the subpart BOP.ADD for commercial balloon flights
  • Part-BFCL: Balloon flight crew licensing
  • Part-ML: Continuing airworthiness for the maintenance of balloons
  • Certification Specifications (CS): Initial airworthiness for the certification of balloons

Commercial balloon operations: Declaration, operating license and operations manual

For commercial balloon flights, the operation must be declared. Whenever the information in the declaration changes, it must be resubmitted. If commercial operations are discontinued, the FOCA must also be notified. It should be noted that flights against remuneration (including cost sharing) with more than four persons on board are considered commercial under EU law and must therefore be declared. The national conditions for obtaining or renewing an operating license according to Art. 104 of the Aviation Ordinance (LFV) remain in force. If the operation is deemed commercial under the national definition as well, an operating license is required in addition to the declaration.

Commercial balloon operations are subject to an oversight cycle of four years. A minimum of one inspection will take place within this cycle.

Declared balloon operators must have an operations manual. This manual may continuously be improved, without approval by the FOCA. However, it will be monitored by the FOCA during inspections by means of spot checks. During such inspections, it is also determined whether the manual's procedures and processes are applied in the actual operations. It is very important, for example, that the list of hazards is continuously extended, which enables a conscious handling of risks. If you have any questions about creating or improving the operations manual, please feel free to contact us. The Swiss Balloon Association SBAV has extensive experience with Part-BOP as well and provides templates for the operations manual for download.



Federal Office of Civil Aviation

Training Organisations and Light Aircraft Operations
Isabelle Pecoraio / Florian Rhyn
3003 Bern

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