Today, the Commission and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued the first single air safety authorisations to 22 third country operators. These certifications will be valid throughout the EU.
By 2016, all non-EU airlines wishing to fly to the EU will be required to hold such authorisation certifying their compliance with international safety standards. The objective of this new scheme is twofold: cutting red-tape by replacing today’s maze of national authorisations with a single document and maintaining high level of aviation safety in Europe. EASA will be the “one-stop shop”, delivering the authorisation to airlines.
EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said, “The new safety authorisation scheme has a clear European added value. It will take the safety of Europeans one step further by ensuring that third country operators flying to Europe match the highest safety standards, comparable to those the EU requires from European carriers. The “one-stop-shop” approach means cutting red-tape and reducing administrative costs for airlines.”
EASA’s Executive Director Patrick Ky added, “Today, I am honoured to deliver the first single safety authorisations to 22 airlines originating from all over the world and covering different business segments. This new system further increases the safety standards that passengers expect. A total of 700 foreign air carriers from more than 100 countries have already applied to be authorised to fly in the European Union.”
These 22 authorisations were signed by Mr Patrick Ky during a ceremony held today at Brussels airport, in the presence of Commissioner Violeta Bulc. By November 2016, all third country operators, regardless of whether they already fly to the EU, will be required to hold such authorisation. This new system complements the two existing EU-wide tools to prevent unsafe airlines from operating in the EU: the air safety list, which was updated on 25 June 2015, and the system for aircraft ramp inspections SAFA (Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft).
The new authorisation system does not apply to EU airlines, which are still subject to safety oversight and certification by National Aviation Authorities.
Next steps. Additional authorisations will be signed in the coming months. All will be published on EASA’s website.
The Third Country Operators (TCO) authorisation is provided by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and confirms EU-wide compliance with international safety standards. The authorisation is therefore valid throughout the EU.
TCO safety authorisations are provided by EASA under the mandate of a European Commission Regulation known as PART TCO adopted by the Commission on 29 April 2014. This marked the beginning a of a formal single EU-wide safety assessment process for foreign airlines that wish to fly to the EU. EASA manages the assessment process on behalf of the European Commission.
Obtaining such an EU-wide safety authorisation will become a prerequisite for obtaining an operating permit in each Member State. EASA is perfectly well placed to carry out the required safety assessment and subsequent monitoring of TCOs.
PART TCO complements the existing EU Air Safety List Regulation as well as the SAFA Programme (Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft).
For Airlines registered in the EU certification and safety oversight is conducted by the National Aviation Authorities on the basis of EASA standards. In addition EU wide safety inspections are conducted under the Safety Assessment of Community Aircraft (SACA) programme.