Air transportation in Bulgaria is governed simultaneously by EU legislation e.g. Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 [PDF 113Kb], international aviation law and the domestic legislation, such as the Civil Aviation Act and secondary legislation ordinances. The authority which supervises civil air transport is Directorate General “Civil Aviation Administration”.

How to establish an air carrier in Bulgaria

Air carriage is subject to licensing by the Directorate General “Civil Aviation Administration”. Each company applicant needs to match certain requirement before the license is granted:

  • the applicant is a company duly registered in Bulgaria and solvent.
  • its main activity is to operate air services in isolation or combined with any other commercial operation of aircraft or the repair and maintenance of aircraft;
  • the applicant must enclose a well grounded business plan for its activity
  • the applicant must possess own capital of minimum 160,000 Bulgarian Levs (or €81806.70)
  • the applicant must possess a certificate for air operator
  • the applicant must enclose a proof for its financial stability. According to the legal definition of the Civil Aviation Act the applicant company is “financially stable” when as a result of an analysis and evaluation of the presented balance sheet, income and expenses report and cash flow report, certified by a registered auditor, it is established that the entity is at good financial status, it is solvent and can provide the necessary funds for ensuring flight safety.

The license is issued for an indefinite term, but all conditions for its granting are subject to regular and interim checks by Directorate’s inspectors. If a condition is no longer met by the air carrier, the license can be revoked.

One of the aforementioned requirements is possession of air operator certificate (AOC). It is a certificate delivered to the company and confirming that the company has the professional and organisational competence to ensure the safety of operations specified in the certificate, as provided in the relevant provisions of Community law and the National law. The Directorate General “Civil Aviation Administration” grants the certificate and applies strict preliminary and ongoing control on all AOC holders.

AOC is issued for an initial period of 12 months. The AOC can be extended up to 3 years, after the initial period expires.

In order for an AOC to be granted, the applicant company shall provide:

  • a list of the names and addresses of the managing persons, as well as evidence that they have the necessary qualification and professional experience;
  • a list of the names, addresses, licence numbers and other information about all persons related to the operation of the operator’s aircraft;
  • an Operations Manual which may be presented later but not more than 60 days before the date of scheduled operations;
  • documents for issuance of a continuing airworthiness management organization approval and approval of organizations and personnel involved in these tasks, or a Maintenance Control Manual;
  • documents for issuance of an aircraft maintenance organization and components service approval to be installed in these aircrafts under Part 145 of Regulation 2042/2003 on the maintenance of airworthiness of aircrafts and aviation products, parts and appliances, and on the approval of organizations and personnel involved in these tasks, or a Maintenance Organization Exposition; or submitted for review and approval technical service agreement with another approved organization for TS;
  • a quality system;
  • an accident prevention and flight safety program which must be comprehensive and effective, with enclosed evidence of available resources;

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1 Comment

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  • Alex.Zades 3 January 2013 Reply

    I have a question and will appreciate your advoses. I’m going to establish an airlines in Bulgaria, accordingly I’m going to apply for AOC. According to my business plan, our airlines is going to operate by IL – 76 and AN – 12. But at the moment we have small combined types of airpalnes, like Cessna, Beachcraft etc.as part of our capital. So, my question is: Can we obtain an AOC having initially such small types of an aircrafts and to add later IL-76, or we need to lease first mentioned type of aircraft and then apply for AOC.
    Thank you in advance gentleman for your kind advice and wish you all the best.

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