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Member States
Sri Lanka
Executing Agency

International Civil Aviation Organization






Manual of Air Operator Certification, Administration and Surveillance

Volume 1 - Air Operator Certification

Volume 2 - Administration

Volume 3 - Surveillance

ICAO Annex 6 Part I (International Commercial Air Transport - Aeroplanes) Para mandates that: "The State of the Operator shall establish a system for both the certification and the continued surveillance of the operator to ensure that the required standards of operations established in 4.2 are maintained."

Para 4.2 pertains to Operational Certification and Supervision.

ICAO Document 8335 - AN/879, Manual of Procedures for Operations Inspection, Certification and Continued Surveillance provides detailed guidance the State and the Operator concerning the establishment and maintenance of safe , regular and efficient internation commercial air transport operations in accordance with the provisions of the Convention on International Civil Aviation and its associated Annexes. The Manual outlines the duties and responsibilities of both the State and the Operator; and also provides guidance on the Organization, Administration and procedures required for inspection, certification and continued surveillance of operators including the establishment of an operations inspection organization within the Civil Aviation Authority.

To assist Members States with their safety oversight responsibilities, the first Generic Manual developed by COSCAP-SA and provided to all States (April 1998) was the 'Manual of Air Operator Certification, Administration, and Surveillance'.

This Manual is intended to provide detailed instructions for the Department of Civil Aviation and in particular the Flight Operations Inspectors to carry out its flight operations certification and inspection responsibilities. It is divided into three volumes: Volume 1 contains the procedures to be followed by the Department of Civil Aviation and Operators for initial issuance of an Air Operator Certificate. Volume 2 includes selected practices related to Operator and Pilot Certification and Administration; and Volume 3 contains requirements for continuing inspection (surveillance) of certified Operators.

(Inspectors Qualifications, Training and Duties)

While Annex 6 Part I mandates the State of the operator to establish a system for both certification and continued surveillance of the operator (, ICAO Doc. 8335 Chapter 9 (The Operations Inspection Organization) Section 9.3 deals with the staffing requirements of such a system; section 9.4 provides guidelines on the qualifications of the inspector; and Section 9.5 delineates the duties and responsibilities of a CAA Inspector.

During the IUSOAP audit it was highlighted that some States had not defined the Flight Operations Inspector Qualifications and the subsequent training process as provided for in ICAO Doc 8335 (Section 9.3.1, 9.4 and 9.7)

The Generic FOI Manual (Inspector Qualifications, Training and Duties) was developed with the intent of defining the Inspector Qualifications, Training and also address the administrative details of the inspector job functions.

It was suggested to the States to either issue the document as an 'Addendum' to the FOI Manual of the State or as a 'Stand Alone' Document. Changes in aviation technology, legislation and within the industry would necessitate changes to requirements stipulated in the document.


ICAO Doc. 8335, Chapter 9, Section 9.3.2 States: "....when properly controlled by the CAA, the designation of qualified operator personnel to assist in some inspection functions, such as periodic pilot proficiency checks, route checks, etc, can be acceptable in terms of safety and is generally economically beneficial to both the State and the Operator. However, in such cases, it must be stressed that the designated operator personnel, when performing their duties, must be kept under the supervisory and technical control of CAA."

COSCAP-SA developed the Designated Check Pilot (DCP) Manual to standardize the process for delegation of authority to the operator personnel. The DCP Manual contains the standards, policies, procedures and guidelines concerning the Designated Check Pilot Program and it is intended for use by both the Flight Operations Inspectors (CAA) and the Air Operator Designated Check Pilots (DCPs)


ICAO Annex 6 Part I Para 6.1.2 mandates that: "The Operator shall include in the Operations Manual a Minimum Equipment List (MEL), approved by the State of the Operator which will enable the pilot-in-command to determine whether a flight may be commenced or continued from any intermediate stop should any instrument, equipment or systems become inoperative".

The MMEL/MEL Policy and Procedures Manual was developed by COSCAP-SA for the use and guidance of Civil Aviation Authority and Industry personnel.

This Manual will assist the Flight Operations Inspector and the Airworthiness Inspector in ensuring standardization. It contains all the relevant information pertaining to the philosophy, development and approval of the Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) and Minimum Equipment List (MEL).


As a contracting State of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), all signatories have an obligation to oversee the safe and efficient operation of aviation activity in their respective States. The mandate of Civil Aviation Authority is the promotion of Aviation Safety through voluntary compliance with the Civil Aviation Regulations by the aviation community. Article 12 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Doc. 7300) states in part:

"Each contracting State undertakes to adopt measures to insure that every aircraft flying over or maneuvering within its territory and that every aircraft carrying it's nationality mark, wherever such aircraft may be, shall comply with the rules and regulations relating to the flight and maneuver of aircraft there in force. Each contracting State undertakes to insure the prosecution of all persons violating the regulations applicable."

The IUSOAP Audit highlighted the absence of an enforcement process in many States.

The Generic Aviation Enforcement Procedures Manual has been prepared by COSCAP-SA for use by all CAAs in developing a State specific Enforcement Procedures Manual for use by their respective Inspectors. The manual contains information and instructions on the manner in which delegated enforcement duties and responsibilities are to be performed. The Manual is developed in five (5) parts and contains procedures /methodologies for Prevention, Detection, Investigation and deterrent action pertaining to violation of the Civil Aviation Regulations.


The Audit Checklist has been developed to provide a systematic approach to the inspection of an Air Operator's various Functional Areas. The Checklist is designed to identify specific Items within each Functional Area, with reference to the applicable regulations or standard.


ICAO Doc. 8335 Section 8.2.7 States that: "....the surveillance function should be accomplished on a continuing basis, performed at specified times or intervals or conducted in conjunction with the renewal of an AOC. Regardless of the methods used, all significant aspects of the Operator's procedure and practices should be evaluated and appropriate inspections conducted at least once in every twelve-month period".

COSCAP-SA developed the Manual of Regulatory Audit to promote conformance with the Aviation Regulations and Standards, which collectively prescribe an acceptable level of Aviation Safety

The Manual is meant for use by the Department's Airworthiness and Operations Inspectors. The Manual ensures Audit Policies and Procedures are applied uniformly across the State. The Manual is in three parts. Part 1 describes the Audit Policy and Procedures, while part 2 and part 3 describe in detail, the Airworthiness and Operations Audit Policy and Procedures respectively. Both Parts 2 and 3 contain a comprehensive Audit Checklist.


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