The EATC Operations Manual (OM) is a feather in EATC’s cap. We are proud of it. The OM was one of our first challenges and, today, we offer our member nations a thorough basic document governing the flight operations managed by EATC.

When EATC was inaugurated eight years ago, no overarching common military regulation existed. The EATC nations produced documents to regulate the operation of their flying assets on their own. These national regulations were translated at execution level for the use by the crews and mission support personnel.

With the establishment of EATC in 2010, one of the first objectives was to have a common flight duty regulation: the basis for flightplanning and control. The development of this common regulation took about eight months and it was promulgated end of 2011.

Not without a number of obstacles to overcome…


One of the biggest hurdles was to start from common definitions and ways to measure the limits – these were not standardised among the four EATC founding nations. Moreover, two of the nations were using their national language for their aviation documents.

To meet the challenge, the nations had not only to accept new definitions and English as the governing language but they also had to train their people accordingly.

Another target was to harmonise the way passenger and cargo was handled in the different nations and units. 

In fact, EATC has as an overall objective to optimise limited airlift assets, including the optimisation of loading cargo and boarding passengers on the aircraft, without losing time.

This is why EATC published the EATC Ground Operations Manual or EGOM in 2013. The EGOM complements the OM and is unique in the air business (not covered by traditional civilian regulations). It reflects what EATC is doing really: ensuring that payload movement as requested by the nation is effectively moved from the airport of departure to airport of arrival.


The OM is constantly developed, updated and enhanced….

A major factor that pushed the further development of the OM was the arrival of the A400M. For the first time, in many decades, a sizeable fleet of common aircraft is operated by a single operator, the EATC. To maximize this commonality, EATC aims to have, one day, qualified crew members exchanged between nations, including during on-going missions.

A prerequisite for this: the aircraft are to be operated in the same way and the crews are trained according to a single standard procedure. This is why the four EATC nations using the A400M requested EATC to develop common regulations on this prerequisite.

The arrival of the C-130J assets in France and in Germany, with a common unit, and the creation of the Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) brings the number of common EATC fleets to three. This with all seven EATC nations being involved:

A 400M: Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and Spain

C-130J: France, Germany and Italy

MMF: Belgium, Germany,  Luxembourg and the Netherlands (plus Norway)


Interested to get to know the results and how EATC implemented these? Want some details on the different subparts of the OM and read about the future? Just wait for the next EATC newsletter…