European Aviation Safety Agency.
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The European Aviation Safety Agency promotes the highest common standards of safety and environmental protection in civil aviation in Europe and worldwide. It is the centerpiece of a new regulatory system which provides for a single European market in the aviation industry.
As a Community body, EASA provides the Commission with all the technical expertise it requires and assists it in exercising its legislative and regulatory tasks. The Agency prepares technical opinions which form the basis of the legislative proposals of the Commission. EASA is also responsible for carrying out standardization inspections to monitor the uniform application of Community legislation in Member States, evaluate its effects and make the necessary recommendations.
For instance, EASA is entirely responsible for the certification of aircraft types and other aeronautical products. EASA also issues certificates for organizations located in third countries. The national authorities of the Member States continue however to issue individual certificates to aircraft and most organizations and personnel located in their territory.
EASA is an essential component for the management of civil aviation safety risk. Applying rigorous processes, indicators of safety performance will be provided so as to measure the level of safety experienced by users of the European aviation system. Timely and reliable information of high integrity will be provided to support the decision making processes of the Agency and its partners.
Over time EASA aims to play its part in reducing the number of fatal accidents and fatalities irrespective of the volume of air traffic. Safety has to be managed. Safety management is anchored in EASA impacting all aspects of the organizations activities.
a. Airworthiness and environmental certification of aeronautical products, parts and appliances (IAW);
b. Continuing Airworthiness Oversight (CAW), including mandatory corrective actions;
c. Operations related approvals and recommendations, including the qualification of Flight Simulation Training Devices (FSTD);
d. Product safety related services to external stakeholders.
a. The systems operated by pan-European ATM and ANS services providers, e.g. EGNOS today and Galileo and IRIS in the future;
b. The systems used by the European ATM network managers;
c. Future systems as, for example developed under SESAR.
The responsibility for implementing Annexes 1 and 8 rests with the State of Registry, that is the State in which the aircraft is registered. The responsibility for implementing Annex 6 rests with the State of Operator, the State in which the airline is based. Often the State of Operator and the State of Registry will be the same, as airlines tend to operate aircraft registered in the State in which they are based.
Significant increases in the volume of air travel over the last decades or so have made it more of a burden for many States to oversee their airlines in compliance with the Chicago Convention. To maintain confidence in the system, and to protect the interest of the European citizens who may be living in the vicinity of airports or travelling onboard a third-country aircraft, the Community identified the need to effectively enforce international safety standards within the Community.
This is done through the execution of ramp inspections on third-country aircraft landing at the airports located in the Member States. The official definition of 'third-country aircraft' is an aircraft which is not used or operated under the control of a competent authority of a Community Member State.
The principles of the programme are simple: in each EU Member State and those States who have entered into a specific 'SAFA' Working Arrangement with EASA, third country aircraft may be inspected. These inspections follow a procedure common to all Member States and are then reported on using a common format. If an inspection identifies significant irregularities, these will be taken up with the airline and the oversight authority. Where irregularities have an immediate impact on safety, inspectors can demand corrective action before they allow the aircraft to leave.
The 42 Member States engaged in the EC SAFA Programme are: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Georgia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Ukraine.
All reported data is stored centrally in a computerized database set up by EASA. The database also holds supplementary information, such as lists of actions carried out following inspections. The information held within this database is reviewed and analyzed by EASA on a regular basis. The European Commission and Member States are informed of any potentially safety hazards identified. On behalf of and in close cooperation with the European Commission EASA will develop qualitative criteria with the aim to achieve a more focused approach regarding the SAFA inspection priorities.
Data reported by the inspectors in each Member State is stored centrally in a computerized database set up by the JAA. The database also holds supplementary information, for example lists of actions carried out by the air carrier after the inspections. Furthermore the information in the database is reviewed and analyzed by the JAA regularly, and the Member States are informed of any potential safety hazards which have been identified.
From 2006, SAFA Programme is under the responsibility of the European Commission, supported by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), regulated by different directives and regulations.
In the EC SAFA Programme there are many stakeholders participating: the European Commission (EC), EASA, the Member States and Eurocontrol. They come together regularly in the Air Safety Committee meetings (ASC) and the European SAFA Steering expert Group (ESSG) meetings.
Based upon its technical expertise EASA supports the EC with the implementation of the EC SAFA programme in the Community and as such ensuring that appropriate follow-up measures are initiated based upon the SAFA inspection that have been performed.
In the Air Safety Committee (ASC) the EU Member States are represented having an (legislative) advisory role regarding in particular through performance of the following tasks:
In the European SAFA Steering expert Group (ESSG) the non-EU ECAC Member States engaged in the EC SAFA Programme together with the EU Member States are represented having an (technical) advisory role regarding in particular through performance of the following tasks:
Oversight authorities of the Member States engaged in the EC SAFA Programme choose which aircraft to inspect. Some authorities carry out random inspections while others try to target aircraft or airlines that they suspect may not comply with ICAO standards. In either case only a very small proportion of third country aircraft operating into each State are inspected.
A checklist of 54 inspection items is used during a SAFA Ramp Check. As the time between arrival and departure (the turn-around time) may not be sufficient to go through the full checklist, not all 54 items may be inspected. It is SAFA policy not to delay an aircraft except for safety reasons.