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European Aviation Safety Rules

Common safety rules constitute the backbone of the EU aviation safety system. They provide for a uniform level of requirements for the operators, manufacturers and aviation personnel, thus facilitating the flow of products, persons and services in the internal market, and allowing for mutual recognition of certificates, reducing the administrative burden and workload for the national authorities and the industry.

On 30 November 2009 the Commission adopted Regulation (EC) No 1194/2009 amending Regulation (EC) No 1702/2003 laying down implementing rules for the airworthiness and environmental certification of aircraft and related products, parts and appliances as well as for certification of design and production organisations.

This Regulation updates technical requirements and administrative procedures for the certification of aircraft and related products, parts and appliances and of design and production organisations, in particular to introduce the definition of the concept of principal place of business; to improve the content of the Authorised Release Certificate ‘EASA Form 1’ and to revise the provisions on permit to fly.

Europe has long traditions in rulemaking cooperation in aviation safety, with the first common standards developed as early as 1990, within the framework of the currently no longer existing Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA). At that time, the European aviation safety authorities collaborated in the development of the Joint Aviation Requirements (JARs), and related procedures, initially in the field of aircraft manufacturing and design, and later also in respect of flight operations, maintenance and crew licensing. JARs, although constituting a first major effort in harmonisation of safety standards in Europe, did not have mandatory nature and the JAA did not have the necessary power to ensure their uniform implementation across Europe.

Basic regulation

In 2002, the EU adopted a first set of new generation of aviation safety rules based on the Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002 , which also established the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as the cornerstone of the European aviation safety policy. These new rules, fully compliant with the international standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), currently cover all issues related to the initial airworthiness, including the design and the production of aircraft and other aeronautical products, their continuing airworthiness and maintenance, as well as the training and the licensing of aeronautical mechanics, technicians and engineers.

In 2008, by virtue of the Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 , the EU extended the common aviation safety rules and the corresponding responsibilities of EASA to aircraft operations and crew licensing and training. In 2009, the EU adopted a second extension of the common rules covering safety aspects of aerodrome operations and provision of air navigation services and air traffic management. These newly acquired competences will be executed by a progressive adoption, till 2013, of implementing rules for the training and licensing of crews, flight operations (of both Community and third country operators), as well as safety aspects of aerodrome operation, air traffic management and provision of air navigation services.

Aviation safety implementing rules are adopted by the European Commission on the basis of technical opinions issued by EASA. The proper implementation of the rules is regularly monitored by the Commission with the assistance of EASA which carries out regular standardisation inspections in all Member States.  Enforcement actions can be taken if safety deficiencies are detected. These can involve the suspension of the mutual recognition of certificates or penalties imposed on certificate holders.

Related documents

Legislation

Regulation (EC) No 1194/2009 amending Regulation (EC) No 1702/2003 laying down implementing rules for the airworthiness and environmental certification of aircraft and related products, parts and appliances as well as for certification of design and production organisations

Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of 20 February 2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency, and repealing Council Directive 91/670/EEC, Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002 and Directive 2004/36/EC

Regulation (EC) No 2042/2003 of 20 November 2003 on the continuing airworthiness of aircraft and aeronautical products, parts and appliances, and on the approval of organisations and personnel involved in these tasks

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1702/2003 of 24 September 2003 laying down implementing rules for the airworthiness and environmental certification of aircraft and related products, parts and appliances, as well as for the certification of design and production organisations

Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002 of 15 July 2002 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency

Regulation (EEC) No 3922/91 of 16 December 1991 on the harmonization of technical requirements and administrative procedures in the field of civil aviation

Directive 91/670/EEC of 16 December 1991 on mutual acceptance of personnel licences for the exercise of functions in civil aviation

Implementing Rules (information on the EASA website)