Balloon operations

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Regulation (EU) 2018/395 sets out the rules applying to the operation of balloons. These rules do not apply to air operations in tethered gas balloons.

For commercial operations with balloons, operators need not hold a Commercial Air Transport certificate (CAT). Balloon operators may only engage in such commercial operations after having declared to the Luxembourg Directorate of Civil Aviation (Direction de l’Aviation Civile – DAC) their capacity and the means at their disposal to accept liabilities associated with the operation of the balloon.

Such operators must:

  • file the said declaration with the DAC; and
  • operate the balloon in compliance with Subparts BAS and ADD of Annex II of Regulation (EU) 2018/395, as set forth below (see section "Obligations").

Who is concerned?

Balloon operators who:

Article 3, paragraph 2 of Regulation (EU) 2018/395 specifies the types of activities that do not need to be declared. Those activities are referred to as marginal activities. The following elements (Part AMC1 ARO.OPS.300), as provided for in Regulation (EU) No 965/2012, are to be considered for marginal activities:

  • activities engaged in for fewer than 20 days per calendar year; and
  • activities that do not generate profit distributed outside the organisation.


To engage in commercial operations, balloon operators must have declared to the DAC their capacity and the means at their disposal to assume the liabilities associated with their activity.


The operator must file a declaration with the DAC specifying that they possess the capacity and the means to assume the liabilities associated with the operation of the balloon, before operating the balloon.


For ongoing oversight of a commercial balloon operator, an annual fee of EUR 1,000 is charged.

This sum is multiplied by a coefficient that depends on the number of balloon types.

How to proceed

Filing an application/declaration

In the declaration, the operator is required to confirm that they comply with, and will continue to comply with:

The operator must fill in and sign the "Balloon Operation Declaration" form.

The form must be sent to the DAC by email to:

The declaration must include the following information:

  1. the operator's name;
  2. the place where the operator has its principal place of business;
  3. the name and contact details of the operator's accountable manager;
  4. the starting date of commercial operation and, where applicable, the date on which a change to existing commercial operation takes effect;
  5. in respect of all balloons used for the commercial operation, the balloon type, registration, main base, type of operation and continuing airworthiness management organisation.

Supporting documents

Balloon operators who engage in commercial activities must provide the DAC with:

  • documents certifying that the DAC is the competent authority for the operator;
  • a list of alternative means of compliance (AltMoC), if necessary.

Application processing time

Upon receiving the declaration, the DAC will:

  • check the declaration contains all the required information; and
  • acknowledge 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 operator of the non-compliance and request additional information.

The DAC may carry out an inspection. If the non-compliance is confirmed, the DAC may take the following measures:

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

Duration of validity

The declaration will remain valid until and unless the operator notifies the DAC that it has discontinued its activities.


The operator must comply with the essential requirements set forth in:

Accordingly, for the purpose of ascertaining such compliance, the operator shall allow any person authorised by the DAC access to:

  • all their installations, data and procedures; and
  • all their balloons, documents and files; and
  • any equipment associated with the operator's activity, whether or not such activity is subcontracted.

Note: If a balloon is being commercially operated for the purpose of carrying passengers, access to the balloon includes boarding the balloon and remaining on board during flight operations, unless such operations pose a risk.

The operator shall immediately notify the DAC of:

  • any change in circumstances affecting its compliance with the essential requirements mentioned above;
  • any change in respect of the following, as set forth in Regulation (EU) 2018/395:
    • the information referred to in point BOP.ADD.100 b); and
    • the list of alternative means of compliance (AltMoC) referred to in point BOP.ADD.100 c);
  • the discontinuance of its commercial balloon operations.

Furthermore, the following requirements, as provided for in Regulation (EU) 2018/395, also apply to:

  • non-commercial balloon operators:
    • the Cover Regulation;
    • Annex I Part DEF;
    • Annex II Part BOP – Subpart BAS;
  • commercial balloon operators:
    • the Cover Regulation;
    • Annex I Part DEF;
    • Annex II Part BOP – Subpart BAS;
    • Annex II Part BOP – Subpart ADD.

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




Further information


on the website of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency

Legal references

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