Freight air carrier leasing in Belgium is “out
of step” with EU regulations for aircraft operating or ‘wet’ leases
due a lack of amendment to Belgian aviation law since European
changes in 2008, according to an online global corporate counsel

Assessing the situation for International Law
, Pierre D Frühling of Holman Fenwick Willan LLP in
Brussels said the “broad scope of interpretation” for aircraft
wet-leases available in the EU Licensing of Air Carriers Regulation
of 1992 had been lessened by a series of amendments in 2008 but
that Belgian Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) leasing codes of 1996
had not been updated to reflect those amendments.

Perhaps counter-intuitively, Belgian aircraft
operating lessors could be losing out by having stricter regulation
of air carrier leasing, based on 1992 rules, rather than responding
to what Frühling calls the “liberalised” 2008 definitions.

Principles laid out in 2008 include defining a
wet lease within the EC as “an agreement between air carriers
pursuant to which the aircraft is operated under the air operator
certificate of the lessor” and permitting an air carrier the
freedom to lease aircraft unless this would endanger safety.

Operations between Belgian lessors and EC
lessees still adhere to 1992 safety and liabilityimposed by the
BCAA, as well as requiring the lesseetoprovide both evidence a
lease agreement is proportionate to the capacity of an aircraft
stipulated in its license and air operator certificate and
technical and operational audit results of the lessor’s safety and
liability standards.

Belgian carriers are similarly restricted,
Frühling has argued, in operating leases between a Belgian lessor
and non-EC lessee, which should not require approval from a
national authority, according to the 2008 EU regulations, yet the
BCAA still asks for such and generally limits leases to 45