Mobility and Transport


Strengthening aviation safety through international cooperation

Strengthening aviation safety through international cooperation

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Aviation safety is an issue of global concern. The EU promotes aviation safety worldwide to the benefit of the general public and European passengers, who are global travellers. Furthermore, international cooperation activities in the field of safety play an important role in enhancing competitiveness of European aviation businesses, notably by minimising the economic burden on the aviation industry resulting from redundant regulatory oversight.

Enhancing the EU's international role in the field of aviation safety is a key element in the 2015 'Aviation Strategy for Europe', and contributes to the objectives of an ambitious external EU aviation policy.

Strengthening worldwide aviation safety oversight

European operators and passengers may be exposed to increased safety risks when operating or travelling to regions with less developed aviation infrastructure or deficient aviation safety regulatory frameworks. Reports from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) indicate that the average worldwide level of implementation of international safety standards in civil aviation in 2016 is estimated at only 63 %.

The EU considers it to be the joint responsibility of the global aviation community to support States that have difficulties or are unable to establish sustainable safety oversight systems in compliance with international standards. The EU is actively engaged in a number of technical assistance and cooperation initiatives aimed at promoting aviation safety globally and regionally, particularly in areas with high accident rates.

Global regulatory cooperation

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

The EU is seeking to establish long-standing cooperative arrangements with its main aeronautical partners around the world, such as the bilateral agreements entered into with the United States of America, Canada and Brazil, to ensure a high level of civil aviation safety worldwide. Similarly, the EU is actively engaged in multilateral safety cooperation through its work within the ICAO.

Pan-European dimension of aviation safety

Aviation safety is a key priority of the EU in its aviation relations with neighbouring countries, and especially for States with which the EU has established a privileged relationship. European States that, on the basis of international agreements concluded with the EU such as the Common Aviation Area agreements , accept to apply Union safety rules can participate in the European safety system and works of the EASA. Participation is also open to activities such as the Ramp Inspections Programmes (SAFA/SACA ). It is noteworthy that the SAFA Ramp Inspection Programme boasts a total of 47 participating States.



Memorandum of Cooperation between the EU and the ICAO

Aviation Seurity Policy Annex 17

EASA bilateral agreements

EASA working agreements

EASA international agreements


Press room

21/09/2011 - EU and ICAO launch closer collaboration on civil aviation issues