6 March 2014
On 6 March new rules providing for the first time common standards for safe design, operation and maintenance in over 700 of the largest EU and EEA airports have become applicable.
Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said "Safety is the paramount objective of the EU aviation policy. With the application of these new rules airports will be safer, and so will be the airline operators and the passengers using those airports."
The new rules put in place a European legal framework for national aviation authorities to certify airports' compliance with technical and operational requirements, as well as for the oversight of certified airports. They allow for the necessary flexibility in case of deviations from the airports design rules in case of already existing infrastructure. They also outline the necessary steps for the conversion of existing national airports' certificates, based on national rules, to new certificates based on the European rules.
Commission Regulation (EU) No 139/2014 ensures continuity with international aviation safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). With its coming into force, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued a package of accompanying material to the Regulation which will assist Member States in their application of the rules and provide for harmonised implementation across the EU.