Regulatory Framework

Regulatory Framework

Authority requirements and legislation

ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices

  • ICAO Annex 6 Part I (International Commercial Air Transport – Aeroplanes) contains a Standard requiring an operator of an aeroplane of a maximum certificated take-off mass (MCTOM) in excess of 27 000 kg to have an FDM programme ‘as part of its safety management system’ (this concept is encompassed by the Management System described in ORO.GEN.200). Annex 6 Part I also contains a corresponding Recommended Practice for operators of aeroplanes of an MCTOM exceeding 20 000 kg.
  • ICAO Annex 6 Part III (International Operations – Helicopters) contains a Recommended Practice recommending a FDM programme for operators of helicopters of an MCTOM exceeding 7 000 kg or a passenger seating configuration of more than 9.
  • ICAO Annex 19 (Safety Management) contains provisions on the implementation of a Management System and of a State safety oversight system.


Air operation rules

Paragraph ORO.AOC.130 of Commission Regulation (EU) 965/2012, Annex III (Part ORO) contains the implementing rule requiring an FDM programme for aeroplanes with an MCTOM of over 27 000 kg and operated for commercial air transport.

Commission Regulation (EU) 965/2012 is applicable in all EASA Member States since 29 October 2014.

AMC1 ORO.AOC.130 of EASA Executive Director (ED) Decision 2012/017/R contains acceptable means of compliance for the implementation of paragraph ORO.AOC.130 of the implementing rules.

Flight Data Monitoring for Alternative Training and Qualification Programmes

Operational requirements applicable to an Alternative Training and Qualification Programme (ATQP) 4 are laid down in Commission Regulation (EU) 965/2012, Annex III (Part ORO), paragraph ORO.FC.A.245.

An acceptable means of compliance is provided by EASA ED Decision 2012/017/R, AMC1 ORO.FC.A.245.

FDM data collection should reach a minimum of 60% for all relevant flights conducted by the operator before ATQP approval is granted.

An advanced FDM programme is required when an extension to the ATQP is requested.

Flight Data Monitoring for the serviceability of a flight data recorder

Commission Regulation (EU) 965/2012, Annex IV (Part CAT) contains in paragraph CAT.GEN.MPA.195 a requirement that the aircraft operator maintains the serviceability of the flight recorders through operational checks.

Acceptable means of compliance are provided by EASA ED Decision 2012/018/R paragraph AMC1 CAT.GEN.MPA.195. This paragraph recommends an annual inspection of the FDR recording, however in the case where the aircraft is subject to an FDM programme this could be relaxed. For this alleviation to be acceptable, the data source of FDR mandatory flight parameters and of FDM data should be the same, the FDR should be fitted with reliable built-in-test equipment (most solid-state FDRs are, but magnetic tape FDRs are not) and the integrity of the FDR mandatory flight parameters should be monitored by the FDM programme.

Hence, under certain conditions, an FDM programme can be an acceptable substitute for the annual inspection of the FDR recording.


Federal Aviation Authorities

In Title 14 CFR Part 13, Section 13.401, Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) Program definitions and requirements are given.

The FAA approach is quite prescriptive, and some operators may wish to implement FOQA in a way that better suits their organization without adopting the I&O plan required by the FAA, in which case they can operate their voluntary process without adopting all these regulations.



119.61 Flight data analysis

(a) An operator shall establish and maintain a flight data monitoring system, which shall be integrated in the management system:

(1) for aeroplanes with a MTOM of more than 20,000 kg; and

(2) for helicopters with a MTOM of more than 7,000kg or having a MAPSC of more than 9.

(b) The flight data monitoring system shall be non punitive and contain adequate safeguards to protect the source(s) of the data.