Declaration of specialised operations (SPO)

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Specialised operations (SPO) refer to any operation other than commercial air transport that involves the use of an aircraft for specialised activities such as:

  • agriculture;
  • construction (lifting operations);
  • photography;
  • surveying;
  • observation and patrol;
  • aerial advertisement.

For additional examples of specialised activities, see GM1 SPO.GEN.005 of Annex VIII of Regulation (EU) No 965/2012.

Who is concerned?

Operators concerned

SPO aircraft operators:

  • who carry out commercial specialised operations or non-commercial specialised operations using a complex motor-powered aircraft; and
  • who have their principal place of business in Luxembourg (for businesses) or reside in Luxembourg (for natural persons), regardless of the state in which their aircraft is registered;

must file a declaration with the Directorate of Civil Aviation (Direction de l'Aviation Civile – DAC) regarding their activities. This declaration is required to set up and continue the oversight programme that is required for SPO operators.

Aircraft concerned

The term complex motor-powered aircraft is defined in Article 3 of Regulation (EC) 2018/1139. This applies to:

  • aeroplanes:
    • having a maximum certified take-off mass exceeding 5,700 kg; or
    • certified for a maximum operational passenger seating configuration of more than 19; or
    • certified for operation with a minimum crew of at least 2 pilots; or
    • equipped with one or more turbojet engines or more than one turboprop engine;
  • helicopters:
    • certified for a maximum take-off mass exceeding 3,175 kg; or
    • certified for a maximum operational passenger seating configuration of more than 9; or
    • certified for operation with a minimum crew of at least 2 pilots;
  • tilt rotor aircraft.


The operators concerned must:

  • declare their capability to discharge their responsibilities associated with the operation of aircraft, and the means at their disposal to do so; and
  • operate the aircraft in accordance with the provisions specified in Annex III (Part ORO), Annex VIII (Part SPO) and Annex V (Part SPA) of Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 of the European Commission.


The declaration must be filed:

  • before the start of the planned specialised operations; and
  • before any changes in connection with this declaration are made.


In accordance with the Grand Ducal Regulation of 19 November 2019, operators must pay an annual fee of EUR 1,000 for ongoing oversight per type of aircraft used in specialised operations.

How to proceed

Filing the declaration

The duly completed and signed declaration must be sent by email to the DAC at before the operations begin.

The declaration must be filed using the official declaration form.

All of the following information must be included in the declaration:

  • the operator's name;
  • the place where the operator has its principal place of business;
  • the name and contact details of the operator's accountable manager;
  • the starting date of the specialised operation and, where applicable, the date on which a change to an existing specialised operation takes effect;
  • for all aircraft used for the specialised operation:
    • the type of aircraft;
    • its registration;
    • the main base of operations;
    • the type of operation;
    • the airworthiness management organisation.

Supporting documents

SPO operators participating in specialised operations must provide the DAC with:

For aircraft used for commercial specialised operations, operators must be able to present an airworthiness certificate, which means that the aircraft must be registered in an EU Member State. If this is not the case, the aircraft may remain on a third-country register if it is subject to a lease contract with or without crew. Please note that operators of an aircraft registered in a third country must still satisfy certain conditions as outlined in requirement ORO.SPO.100 of Annex III of Regulation (EU) No 965/2012.

Application processing time

On receiving a declaration, the DAC will ensure that it contains all the information required under Part ORO of Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 and will send the applicant a confirmation of receipt of the declaration within 10 working days.

If the declaration does not contain the required information, or contains information that reveals non-compliance with the applicable requirements, the DAC will inform the applicant of the non-compliance and request additional information, and will carry out an inspection if it deems it necessary to do so. If the non-compliance is confirmed, the DAC may:

  • prohibit or restrict the operator's activities;
  • revoke, restrict or suspend the operator's certificate or specific approval;
  • set a deadline for the operator to remedy the detected non-compliance.

Validity period

The declaration will remain valid as long as the operator has not notified the DAC that it has discontinued its activities.


SPO operators must continue to comply with the applicable requirements and the information provided in the declaration. Where applicable, they must, as soon as possible, also provide the DAC with:

  • a list of alternative means of compliance (AltMoC);
  • notification of the discontinuation of their activities;
  • notification of any change to their declaration or means of compliance.

In the event of a change, operators must file an amended declaration with the DAC as soon as possible using the required form.

There is no obligation to register aircraft that are used for non-commercial specialised operations.

Online services and forms

Who to contact

Directorate of Civil Aviation

  • Directorate of Civil Aviation
    4, rue Lou Hemmer L-1748 Senningerberg Luxembourg
    Postbox 283 L-2012 Luxembourg
    Closed ⋅ Opens Monday at 8.30
    8.30 to 12.00, 13.00 to 17.00
    8.30 to 12.00, 13.00 to 17.00
    8.30 to 12.00, 13.00 to 17.00
    8.30 to 12.00, 13.00 to 17.00
    8.30 to 12.00, 13.00 to 17.00
    Monday to Friday from 8.30 to 12.00 and from 13.00 to 17.00

Related procedures and links


Application for document approval (air operations) Application for a specific approval Application to take off and land at a location other than an aerodrome


Legal references

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