The Commission for Aviation Regulation is responsible for licensing Irish airlines in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008.
An Operating Licence permits the licence holder to engage in the carriage by air of passengers, mail and/or cargo for remuneration and/or hire. The Operating Licence does not in itself confer any rights of access to specific routes or markets. These rights, often referred to as 'traffic rights', must be obtained separately. All licensed EEA* carriers are free to operate on most routes within the EEA without requiring to obtain further authorisation. However, for operations beyond the EEA, operators are required to obtain further authorisation(s). The Aviation Regulation and International Relations Division of the Department of Transport should be contacted in this regard (Tel: +353 1 6041332/6041048).
In order to be eligible for an Operating Licence the applicant must, among other things, have its principal place of business and registered office (if any) in Ireland and its main occupation must be air transport in isolation or combined with any other commercial operation of aircraft or repair and maintenance of aircraft. The applicant must also meet the ownership and control requirements of the legislation (i.e. Member States and/or nationals of Member States own more than 50% of the undertaking and effectively control it- see Documents Section for Guidance Note on these requirements). In addition, applicants must also meet requirements regarding financial fitness and insurance cover. All applicants must have, and for the duration of the Operating Licence hold, a valid Air Operator's Certificate (AOC). The Irish Aviation Authority is responsible for granting AOC's.
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* European Economic Area- All EU countries and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.