In order for a flight school to train pilots, it has to hold an Approved Training Organisation (ATO) certificate or have submitted a declaration for a Declared Training Organisation (DTO). Based on the relevant European standards that are applicable in Switzerland, the FOCA and its inspectors are responsible for the certification and oversight of flight schools providing training for airplanes, helicopters and balloons.
This newsletter informs training organisations, pilots and anyone interested about our current activities, news and regulatory changes. The newsletter is available in German, French and Italian. You can subscribe here: FOCA Newsletter subscription
Newsletter 03/2019 Flugschulen und Leichtaviatik (PDF, 1 MB, 05.12.2019)Topics: New revision 4 of GM/INFO CL OM/TM, UPRT and CS-FSTD(A) Issue 2, Part-M Light new CAO possible instead of CAMO, VFR radiotelephony, Area 100 KSA, subject 090 Communications, wake turbulence of helicopters, keeping the flight plan up-to-date, mechanic licenses Part-66 L1/L2/B2L, annex-I-aircraft in ATO/DTO and recording of flight time
Newsletter 02/2019 Flugschulen und Leichtaviatik (PDF, 1 MB, 11.07.2019)Topics: DTO templates complete, IFR radiotelephony exam material, UPRT, NCO.SPEC, sailplane towing rating, FI(S) instructing on TMG, new Part-BFCL and Part-SFCL, Part-BOP templates OMM/OM, class and type rating renewals
Corrigendum: Sailplane towing rating not only obtainable in ATO but also in DTO
Newsletter 01/2019 Flugschulen und Leichtaviatik (PDF, 2 MB, 19.02.2019)Topics: AltMoC Management personnel withdrawn, updated forms PRA/Compliance List/Form 105, theoretical knowledge instruction of general subjects, new theory exam aids, changed learing objectives for ATPL/MPL/CPL/IRs, definition of marginal activity, SAR brochures, new rules for balloons Part-BOP, Easy Access Rules for Part-SERA
Newsletter 03/2018 Flugschulen und Leichtaviatik (PDF, 2 MB, 31.08.2018)Topics: Part-DTO now in force, responsibility of the Compliance Monitoring Manager (CMM), RTF changes, Area 100 KSA (new theory element for ATPL, CPL, MPL), IFR minimum equipment and maintenance, GA-Roadmap 2.0 event, EASA GA Community for interaction with the agency
Newsletter 02/2018 Flugschulen und Leichtaviatik (PDF, 1 MB, 29.03.2018)Topics: This issue is focused on Part-DTO, specifically for Declared Training Organisations
Newsletter 01/2018 Flugschulen und Leichtaviatik (PDF, 1 MB, 28.02.2018)Topics: Root-Cause-Analysis, Update CL MS and CL OM/TM, MOU(H), DTO status, Syllabus templates, OSD implementation, Close your flight plan!, 8.33kHz, infuencing future regulation by commenting NPAs
Newsletter 01/2017 Flugschulen und Leichtaviatik (PDF, 1 MB, 06.11.2017)Topics: EU/EASA implementation for training organisations 08. April 2019, presentation of FOCA certification leaflets (CL) and introduction of syllabus templates for ATOs and DTOs, PBN learning objectives, OSD implementation, IFR flight plans, logging PIC time, Easy Access Rules of EASA, Part-NCO, Balloon and Sailplane rulebooks
The following presentations were held by FOCA at events for training organisations:
Presentation about the topic of DTO and ATO from the meeting of flight schools, held on 16/09/2017:
Switzerland has made use of an opt-out, whereby the ballooning schools and gliding schools can still be operated according to national law until April 07th 2020.
From April 08th 2020, these organisations must be approved or declared under EU law. There are two options: The Approved Training Organisation (ATO) or Declared Training Organisation (DTO). For gliding and ballooning, the DTO is the first choice, as this option involves the least effort. Only a few documents have to be created and a declaration has to be submitted - training in the DTO can be started immediately. However, with the ATO a certification process takes 6-12 months and until the ATO certification no training may take place in this organizational form.
Flight schools can already switch to the organizational form of a DTO or ATO today. We have created templates for all documents that a DTO or ATO must present. These are available for download on this page under "Declared Training Organisation (DTO)" or under "Approved Training Organisation (ATO)".
Approved Training Organisation (ATO)
Organizations seeking an ATO certification are informed about the process by means of a pre-application meeting. Depending on the quality of the submitted documents, a complete certification requires about 6-12 months. We are looking forward to hearing from you to set a date for your pre-application meeting.
New applications and changes within an Approved Training Organization (ATO) usually require a document evaluation and, in some cases, further oversight activities by an inspector. Certain documents must be submitted, depending on the type of application. On this page you will find these documents and downloads.
For obtaining an ATO certificate, a training organisation is required to have a FOCA approved management system. The management system consists of an «Organisation Management Manual» (OMM), an «Operation Manual» (OM) and a «Training Manual» (TM).
The «Certification Leaflet CL MS» is available to training organisations (ATO) as guidance to establish their «Organisation Management Manual» (OMM), which should describe the ATOs management system.
FOCA GM/INFO - CL Management System (PDF, 2 MB, 27.01.2022)Covers all aspects of management system requirements and shall assist the applicant to implement a Management System and to comply with the requirements
For developing and maintaining the «Operation Manual» (OM) and «Training Manual» (TM), we are providing the CL OM/TM as a guidance. It contains examples for the content of these manuals, as well as questions for compliance verification and self-assessment and as a preparation tool for audits and inspections.
FOCA GM/INFO - Operations and Training Manual (PDF, 5 MB, 14.09.2021)Provides guidance on all aspects of the required structure and content of an Approved Training Organisation’s (ATO) documentation
An application for a certificate is required for an initial ATO application or if a change to the ATO certificate is requested (e.g. new courses, modification of the simulators used). In the course of the evaluation of such an application, an ATO certificate will be issued upon fulfillment of the requirements, listing the requested training programmes and FSTDs. Only with the receipt of the certificate and the PRA-document signed by the FOCA a new or amended course is considered approved. In order for an application to be processed, the following three documents must be submitted:
- Form 105
- Compliance List (only for initial certification of the entire ATO)
An application for the amendment of an ATO's documentation (eg changes of OMM, OM, TM or Syllabi) does not affect the certificate of an Approved Training Organization. Therefore, no new certificate will be handed out, but only the signed PRA document will be sent back, which is considered the corresponding approval or acceptance of the change (depending on if the change requires prior approval or not, as per the compliance list). The following two documents must be enclosed when applying for a change in the documentation:
The nomination of a person for a function at an ATO must be notified to the FOCA. This applies both to the initially nominated person and to the replacement of a function. Additionally, the accountable manager requires the acceptance of the FOCA.
These functions are: Accountable manager (AM), Head of Training (HT), in case of professional pilot training the Chief Flight Instructor (CFI) and Chief Theoretical Knowledge Instructor (CTKI), and except for ATOs using the organisational review, a Safety Manager (SM) and Compliance Monitoring Manager (CMM). Some of these positions may be combined, refer to Part-ORA of the Air Crew Regulation for further information.
At least 10 days before a change of management personnel, the FOCA must be informed. This change also triggers an OMM revision. Consequently, in addition to the revised OMM, the following forms must be submitted:
- Form 105
Further information is available in the GM/INFO - Management Personnel:
FOCA provides template manuals (OMM, OM, TM) for ATOs in word-format. The content of these templates correspond to the examples given in the CL OM/TM. The aim of these templates is to support new ATOs in preparing their management system. It is paramount, however, that an ATOs management system reflects the actual procedures and processes used and is ultimately useful in the operation.
There are two options to implement an OMM’s “Safety Risk Management” and “Compliance Monitoring”. The method of the «Organisational Review» (OR) is, however, only available to training organisations providing training toward the LAPL, PPL, SPL, BPL and their associated ratings.
- TM Template (DOCM, 357 kB, 23.01.2018)Currently under revision
- OM Template (DOCM, 394 kB, 23.01.2018)Currently under revision
- OMM Template (DOCM, 379 kB, 10.10.2017)Currently under revision
- OMM-OR Template (DOCM, 1 MB, 10.10.2017)Currently under revision
- OMM ATT5 Internal Audit Checklist and Report (DOC, 47 kB, 10.10.2017)Currently under revision
- OMM-OR ATT1 Organisational Review Checklist and Report (DOC, 48 kB, 10.10.2017)Currently under revision
Flight schools are required to develop a training programme for any kind of training. These programmes must comply with Part-FCL of the Air Crew Regulation. Additionally in case of type ratings, the training programme shall take the operational suitability data (OSD) of the aircraft manufacturer into account. The document CL OM/TM contains further information on the development of the specific training programmes.
The Implementation Journals support the flight schools with new requirements in specific topics. The documents help to implement these changes and accompany the certification process.
Declared Training Organisation (DTO)
The Declared Training Organization (DTO) is a simplified form of organization for flight schools. The DTO is a result of the GA roadmap of the EASA.
In order to start with training activities, a declaration and the corresponding training programs (syllabi) have to be submitted. The FOCA provides templates for all documents on this website.
The legal basis has been published as Part-DTO (Annex VIII) of the Air Crew Regulation. For sailplanes and balloons, Part-DTO will apply as of April 08th 2020.
Due to a shortage of resources, the oversight in the DTO domain has been outsourced. After a formal invitation to tender in the fall of 2017 the contract has been awarded to the company Quality Control Management AG (QCM) in Belp.
To operate as a DTO, a flight school must declare that it will operate within the bounderies of the law and provides information on training courses offered. In case of changes to the organisation, the declaration shall be amended and submitted again.
The representative of the DTO states by means of a safety policy that the organisation aims for a safe operation of all activities. The annex thereto is the implementation of the safety policy, based on hazard identification and occurrence reporting. The training organisation should also have a flight instructor list and aircraft list.
By means of the annual activity report, the DTO reflects on the past year and reviews its internal processes. The annual activity report is made in the first two months of the new year and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flight schools are required to develop a training programme for any kind of training. These programmes must comply with Part-FCL of the Air Crew Regulation. Additionally in case of type ratings, the training programme shall take the operational suitability data of the aircraft manufacturer into account. The document CL OM/TM contains further information on the development of the specific training programmes.
Lists of Swiss flight schools
These organisations are primarily active in the areas of basic pilot training (LAPL, PPL), class and type ratings for single-engine aircraft , as well as touring motor gliders, aerobatics and flights over mountainous regions.
Here you can undergo all forms of training up to and including airline pilot, and obtain type ratings (single and multi-pilot).