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Strengthening aviation safety through international cooperation

Air transport is a global industry and aviation safety cannot be considered as an issue confined to the borders of the European Union (EU) only. The EU promotes aviation safety worldwide to the benefit of the general public and European passengers, who are global travelers, in particular. International cooperation, in response to the increasing trend towards multinational design and production, plays also an important role in facilitating cross border flow of aeronautical products and services.

Strengthening safety oversight worldwide

Community operators and European passengers may be exposed to increased safety risks when operating or travelling to the regions with underdeveloped aviation infrastructure or deficient regulatory frameworks. Reports of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) indicate that the average worldwide level of implementation of international safety standards in civil aviation is estimated at only 57%.

The EU considers that it is a joint responsibility of the global aviation community to support States which, on their own are unable to establish sustainable safety oversight systems in compliance with the applicable international standards. In this respect, the EU has developed an ambitious programme of technical assistance and cooperation aiming at the promotion of aviation safety worldwide and in particular in regions with high accident rates.

Global regulatory cooperation

International cooperation in aviation safety can positively contribute to greater international harmonisation of standards and processes to the benefit of the passengers and aeronautical industry.

The EU is seeking to establish long-standing cooperative arrangements with its main aeronautical partners around the world, such as the United States, Canada or Brazil to ensure a high level of civil aviation safety worldwide and to minimize economic burdens on the aviation industry and operators from redundant regulatory oversight. Similarly, the EU is actively engaged in multilateral safety cooperation through a regular dialogue with ICAO.

Pan-European dimension of aviation safety

Aviation safety is a key priority of the EU in relations with the neighbouring countries. This is especially true in respect of States with which the EU established a privileged relationship within the framework of Common Aviation Area agreements. European States which on the basis of international agreements concluded with the EU accept to apply Community safety rules, can participate in the European safety system and the works of EASA. Participation is also open to such programs as SAFA, which currently boasts a total of 42 participating States, including all the States which Aviation Authorities participated in the former Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA).