Operation of sailplanes

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The Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1976 of 14 December 2008 sets out the rules applying to the operation of sailplanes.

For commercial operations with sailplanes, operators need not hold an Air Operator Certificate (AOC). Sailplane operators may only engage in such commercial operations after having declared to the competent authority, i.e. the Luxembourg Directorate of Civil Aviation (Direction de l’Aviation Civile – DAC), their capacity and the means at their disposal to assume the liabilities associated with the operation of the sailplane.

These operators must:

  • file the said declaration with the DAC; and
  • operate the sailplane in compliance with the requirements set out in Annex II (Part SAO) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1976 as detailed below (see 'Obligations' section).

Who is concerned?

Sailplane operators who:

Article 3, paragraph 2 of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1976 specifies the types of activities that do not need to be declared. Those activities are referred to as marginal activities. The following criteria (Part AMC1 ARO.OPS.300) of Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 of 5 October 2012 must be taken into account for marginal activities, specifically:

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

When such marginal activities take place, the organisation must inform the DAC.


In accordance with Article 3 of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1976, sailplane operators engaged in commercial operations must declare to the DAC their ability and the means at their disposal to assume the liabilities associated with the operation of the sailplane.


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 sailplane.


The fees for sailplanes are based on the time spent, with a minimum of 8 hours of service.

How to proceed

Filing the application

The sailplane operator must complete and sign the "Sailplane Operation Declaration" form.

It should be sent to the DAC at the following email address: ops@av.etat.lu.

The declaration must include the following information:

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

Supporting documents

Sailplane operators engaged in commercial activities must provide evidence to the DAC that the DAC is their competent authority.

Application processing time

Upon receipt of the declaration, the DAC will:

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.


At the request of the DAC, the operator must be able to demonstrate compliance not only with the essential requirements set forth in Annex V of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 but also with the other requirements of that Regulation.

The operator must also operate the sailplane in accordance with the requirements set out in Annex II (Part SAO) of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1976.

Furthermore, the following requirements, as provided for in Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1976, also apply to:

  • a non-commercial sailplane operator:
    • the Cover Regulation;
    • Annex I Part DEF;
    • Annex II Part SAO - Subpart GEN, Subpart OP and Subpart IDE;
  • a commercial sailplane operator:
    • the Cover Regulation;
    • Annex I Part DEF;
    • Annex II Part SAO - Subpart GEN, Subpart OP, Subpart IDE and Subpart DEC.

The operator must notify the DAC without delay:

  • of any change in circumstances that affects its compliance with the applicable requirements as declared;
  • of the cessation of their commercial sailplane 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 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

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