The work of the Agency centres on ensuring the highest levels of civil aviation safety, through certification of aviation products, approval of organisations to provide aviation services, development and implementation of a standardised European regulatory framework. We further engender a culture of safety through our work in the fields of accident investigation, Safety Analysis and our research programme.
The Agency acts as the focal point for coordination of aviation accident investigation safety recommendations and is responsible for the follow-up of occurrences where aviation safety has been endangered, as well as the internal coordination of the corrective actions that need to be undertaken, including actions proposed in safety recommendations.
The Agency also conducts studies and provides reports concerning the safety of European and world-wide aviation. Data on the aviation system and accidents, incidents and occurrences is collected, categorized and stored and forms the base for its studies.
Furthermore, safety research projects needed to support the Agency's tasks are specified, commissioned and managed. Working with partners we aim to leverage safety knowledge gains through joint funding schemes.
Global Safety Dashboard
A quick statistical summary of global aviation safety as of June 2013. The graphs include accidents in commercial air transport operations and aeroplanes with maximum take-off mass of 2,250kg and above.
The Agency's role in the field of aircraft accidents and incidents investigations is focused mostly in:
- to follow the progress of aircraft accidents and incidents investigations,
- to be represented in investigations and deliver technical expertise whenever needed,
- to achieve the processing of Safety Recommendations addressed to the Agency and monitor its follow-up,
- to provide progress reports and statistics on the Safety Recommendations processing,
- to maintain a working coordination with European Accident Investigation Bodies,
- to be aware of safety deficiencies and disseminate related information for establishing corrective actions.
Regulation (EU) No 996/2010 of the European Parliament and the Council of 20 October 2010 on the investigation and prevention of accidents and incidents in civil aviation, repealing Directive 94/56/EC, takes into account the Convention on International Civil Aviation signed in Chicago on 7 December 1944 and implements the latest provisions set in ICAO Annex 13 laying down international standards and recommended practices for aircraft accident and incident investigation.
It defines common principles governing the safety investigation of civil aviation accidents and incidents in EU Member States and requires the State of Occurrence or the State of Registry, to investigate accidents and incidents.
The safety investigation of accidents and incidents aims solely at the promotion of aviation safety, through accident prevention. It shall not abortion blame or liability. Following the safety investigation, the published reports enable to share the lessons learned and may contain safety recommendations for consideration.
Since the entering into force of the Basic Regulation, EASA is the competent Community Aviation Authority for the safety of aviation. Results of air accident investigations should be acted upon as a matter of urgency, in particular when they relate to defective aircraft design and/or operational matters, in order to ensure consumer confidence in air transport without prejudice to Community law; thus, EASA is the recipient of safety recommendations within its remit. Under international and community law, all safety recommendations must be taken into full consideration by the entity to which they are addressed.
Furthermore, ICAO Annex 13 provides that the State of Registry, the State of Design and the State of Manufacture shall each be entitled to appoint an accredited representative because of the function that have been attributed to each of those States with respect to the airworthiness of aircraft under ICAO Annex 8. Therefore, as the EASA is now carrying out on behalf of the Member States the functions and tasks of the State of Design, Manufacture and Registry whenever it related to Design approval, Regulation (EU) No 996/2010 entitles EASA to participate to investigations.
Whenever the investigation takes place in an EU Member State, EASA acts as advisor to the Investigator in charge. Outside an EU Member State, EASA advise the European Accredited Representative appointed by the State where the principal place of business of the manufacturer is.
Geographical distribution of the safety recommendations
A safety recommendation may be addressed to the EASA by the Accident Investigation Agency of any country around the globe, following a safety investigation into an occurrence.
Towards a common safety recommendations management tool in Europe
Safety information sharing and capability of access to occurrence related data is of great value in the area of accident prevention in general. The EASA Accident Investigation Section along with other European Accident Investigating Agencies is developing a European standard for exchanging safety recommendations, which is built upon the already operating ECCAIRS application. This management tool will increase the quality of the current recommending organisation and thus will be another step towards aviation safety.
European Flight Recorder Partnership Group (EFRPG)
The Accident Investigation Section chairs since 2009 the European Flight Recorder Partnership Group (EFRPG). This is a voluntary group of experts dedicated to evaluating issues related to the design, operation and serviceability of flight recorders. It is composed of delegates from safety investigation authorities, national aviation authorities, industry and pilot associations. The EFRPG produces initial evaluations of issues mainly stemming from safety recommendations and from changes to ICAO Annex 6. In May 2014 the organizations represented in the EFRPG were: AAIB UK, Airbus, Alitalia, ANSV Italy, BEA France, BFU Germany, Boeing, Bond Offshore Helicopters, CAA UK, DGAC France, Eurocopter, European Cockpit Association, FAA, Fedex, Lufthansa Technics, Pilatus.
The Agency is provided guidance in the multidisciplinary field of Human Factors by means of the European Human Factors Advisory Group (EHFAG). This group acts as a source of human factors and safety management system expertise that regularly meet to discuss Human Factors issues to provide advice to EASA and the National Aviation Authorities (NAA’s). This expertise is drawn from National Aviation Authorities (including the FAA), industry, professional associations and Human Factors academia and science community.
The Agency wants to ensure that human factors are addressed across the aviation system in a consistent and proportionate manner. It recognizes that current and future operations rely on humans for safety, efficiency and effectiveness (Pilots, ATC, Trainers, Managers, Maintainers, Loaders, Dispatchers, Designers, Regulators etc). Human factors and performance affects all aspects of the Aviation System (Individual and Organisational) and should not be addressed in isolation.
The EHFAG assembles thrice annually and meets initially in a plenary session and then in sub-groups comprised of Operations and Licensing, Certification & Design, Maintenance & Continued Airworthiness. EHFAG adapts its working groups and tasks according to the evolving needs of the Agency.
Contacts: If you have any questions on the EHFAG, please send an e-mail to ehfag [at] easa [dot] europa [dot] eu.
Current Plenary Activities
This group is tasked with developing, and continuity updating, a European human factors strategy and action plan as part of the European Aviation Safety Plan’s Human Factors Actions.
Current Technical Working-group Activities:
- Supporting the RMT 411 task for CRM
- Reviewing the content of NPA-2013-09 "Reduction of Runway Excursions"
- Developing further guidance for CS 25.1302
- Developing regulatory inspector competencies to be able to assess the HF programmes
- Supporting EASA on the MDM.055 RMT task for implementation of SMS into the continuing airworthiness codes
- Support E2.3 Research on the EXCROSS project, -review the HF aspects to documents on automation and safety culture
|Member name||Business affiliation|
|Fabiola Cardea||ENAC Italy|
|Marisol de Mena||Boeing|
|Chris Drew||Baines Simmons|
|Marc Julie||Dassault Aviation|
|Marcus Kaelin||Swiss FOCA|
|Dr. Gernot Konrad||Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.|
|Member name||Business affiliation|
|Loukia Loukopoulos||Swiss Air|
|Hans Mayer||Lufthansa Technics|
|Chris Meigs||GE Aviation|
|Simon Roberts||UK CAA|
|Peter Shaw||UK CAA|
|Nicklas Svensson||Swedish CAA|
|Erik Van Der Lely||ECA|
|Frans Van Gorkum||EASA|
If you are after some general information on Human Factors, please visit these web sites:
- FAA HF Research and Engineering group web portal
- CAA UK List of Human Factors Publications
- Skybrary Human Factors Training
- EUROCONTROL Human Performance in Air Traffic Management (ATM)
- Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
- National Aeronautics And Space Administration Human Systems Integration Division
- The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on Human Factors
- FAA Lessons Learned From Transport Airplane Accidents - Accident Common Themes - Human Error
- FAA - Human Factors in Aviation Safety (AVS)
Note: EASA is not responsible for the content of external websites, and takes no responsibility for the contents, advertising, products, services or any other material available on, or from, those websites or other external sources.
The European Authorities Coordination Group on Flight Data Monitoring is an expert group of authorities dedicated to the promotion of Flight Data Monitoring.
A Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) programme is a powerful tool for an aircraft operator to improve and monitor its operational safety.
National Aviation Authorities (NAAs) of EASA Member States are responsible for the oversight of their national aircraft operators including their FDM programmes. Beyond this function, NAAs can play an essential role in the promotion of FDM. In addition, information derived from FDM data can help a NAA in better assessing safety issues of national concern.
This is why several NAAs have put in place national safety meetings or forums dedicated to FDM, involving operators’ safety experts and NAA safety experts.
FDM in the European Aviation Safety Plan
The role of NAAs and EASA in FDM promotion has been recognised in the European Aviation Safety Plan (EASP). Since 2012, the EASP recommends that States set up a regular dialogue with their national aircraft operators on flight data monitoring (FDM), and that EASA foster actions by States which contribute to improving the implementation of FDM programmes. The EASP also recommends that efforts be made to monitor through FDM the risks of Runway Excursion, Controlled Flight into Terrain, Mid-Air Collision and Loss of Control in Flight, in a more standardised manner
- see Safety Management page for more information on the EASP
The European Authorities Coordination Group on Flight Data Monitoring (EAFDM) is a voluntary and independent safety initiative with the following objectives:
- to foster actions by NAAs which contribute to improving the implementation of FDM programmes and to making FDM programmes more safety effective,
- to contribute to EASA objective of a high and uniform level of safety in Europe,
- to contribute to a better overview of air transport operational safety in Europe for EASA and NAAs.
Created in 2011, this group has met twice a year since then. Membership of EAFDM is open to NAAs of EASA Member States. In 2013, 12 Member States were represented: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom. In addition, observers of other regulators are allowed to EAFDM meetings. The topics covered by EAFDM are related but not limited to:
- Development of national FDM forums,
- Oversight of FDM programmes by NAAs,
- FDM-based indicators.
- EAFDM terms of reference
- Guidance for National Aviation Authorities on setting up a national FDM forum
This document is meant for authorities and addresses the objective set by the EASP on EASA to support States' efforts to improving the implementation of FDM programmes. This document provides practical advice on how to establish a regular dialogue on FDM with national aircraft operators, and how to promote FDM safety benefits beyond normal oversight activities
- Developing standardised FDM-based indicators
This document is meant to address the objective set by the EASp on EASA to assist States initiate the standardisation of FDM events relevant to State Safety Plans' top safety priorities. This document offers a set of standardised FDM-based indicators that an NAA can promote to its operators, to monitor the risk related to runway excursions, controlled flight into terrain, loss of control in flight and mid-air collisions. These categories of occurrences have been recognised as a high priority by the EASp
For further information about the EAFDM, or if you would like to join this initiative, do not hesitate to contact us - EAFDM [at] easa [dot] europa [dot] eu
The Agency may launch and finance research projects in its field of competence which are safety and environmental protection. This provides the Agency with a solid scientific knowledge basis for its policy, strategy and decisions.
To the benefit of the whole aviation community and the public an overview of research projects, please find below results and reports funded by the Agency:
Aviation safety needs to be managed proactively by all actors. Safety management benefits the total aviation system by strengthening traditional risk control practices and ensuring safety risks are managed in a systematic way. Safety management allows room for innovation and flexibility: It is less about describing what to ‘do’ and more about how to ‘achieve safety’.
Patrick Ky - EASA Executive Director
For further information or to provide feedback on any safety management related issue, you may use the following form.
In order to further improve the already good safety record that exists in the civil aviation industry, ICAO has promoted the principles of safety management. These principles revolve around the implementation of a Safety Management System (SMS) in industry organisations and a State Safety Programme (SSP) in Contracting States. The Safety Management Manual is a good starting point to become more familiar with the principles promoted by ICAO. A link to the unedited advance version of ICAO Doc 9859 Edition 3 can be found here. The final edited version may still undergo alterations pending final approval by the ICAO Secretary General. ICAO is currently developing a new Annex (Annex 19). The new Annex will collect in one document all the safety management requirements now spread across various Annexes. ICAO plans to adopt Annex 19 in November 2013.
Safety Management International Collaboration Group
With safety management becoming the standard for aviation safety worldwide, it is most beneficial for the international community to harmonise safety management activities, collaborate on common topics of interest and share lessons learned. To garner these benefits, the FAA along with the Agency, ICAO and TCCA have initiated a Safety Management International Collaboration Group (SM ICG).
Safety Management at the Member State level
When developing these principles, ICAO mandated that all Contracting States (and therefore also EASA Member States) implement an SSP while organisations in the Member States were required to establish an SMS. Both elements are complementary.
For an overview of the various SSPs, Safety Plans and related documents published in various States click here.
Safety Management at the EU level
The first EASA SSP/SMS requirements have been adopted in the form of authority and organisation requirements with Regulation (EU) 290/2012 in the domain of flight and cabin crew and Regulation (EU) 965/2012 in the domain of air operations. Requirements will be progressively extended to other domains of the aviation system.
The European Commercial Aviation Safety Team (ECAST), a partnership among EASA, other European regulators and the aviation industry, established an SMS and safety culture working group with the objective of providing guidance on safety management in support to regulatory materials being developed by ICAO and EASA. The materials developed by the group can be found here.
The European Helicopter Safety Team (EHEST), the rotorcraft component of the European Strategic Safety Initiative (ESSI) and the European branch of the International Helicopter Safety Team, published a Safety Management Toolkit comprising a sample Safety Management Manual, a sample Emergency Response Plan and a Safety Management Database User Guide. This material was developed with consideration to Annex III to Regulation (EU) 965/2012 (Part-ORO Subpart GEN, Section II 'Management System' and related AMC).
Additionally to the above, EASA, the Member States, the European Commission, our safety initiatives, the Performance Review Body and Eurocontrol have taken a more proactive approach and worked collaboratively to develop the European Aviation Safety Programme (EASP). The EASP aids Member States in meeting their legal obligations and further improving safety.
Certain systems such as the one set up in the European Union need further consideration when it comes to safety management principles and requirements.
The sharing of roles between the EU and the Member States, as described in the EASA Basic Regulation, makes it necessary for the Member States to work together with EASA to fully implement the SSP. Production of an EU equivalent of an SSP (i.e. the EASP) is a more efficient means of discharging this obligation and would support the EU Member and associated States in developing their own SSPs.
To download a full article explaining the pioneer approach taken in Europe click here.
The main elements of the EASP
The proposed approach for European aviation safety is based on three elements:
- A set of policies and objectives from political authorities (the strategy). The strategic elements are spelled out by the European Commission in a Communication to the Council and the European Parliament. To download the communication click here.
- An integrated set of regulations and activities aimed at improving safety (the programme). The EASP is published as a Commission Staff Working Paper. It conforms to the ICAO SSP framework. To download the latest version click here.
- A high level safety issues assessment and related action plan (the safety plan). The Safety Plan is updated every year. Three editions have been issued already:
A final list of actions for implementation during the period 2014-2017 is available:
For further information about the EASP or to provide feedback and help us improve it, do not hesitate to contact us at easp [at] easa [dot] europa [dot] eu
The EASp summits
The EASp implementation and review summits consist of face to face meetings attended by the States, the European Commission and the Agency aimed at evaluating how the EASp is being implemented as well as in which ways the approach can be improved to better coordinate efforts; hence making a difference in the way we manage safety in aviation. They check the pulse of the implementation by fostering discussions on relevant matters.
Previous summits can be found via our event section on the website.
Each edition of the EASp, when published, incorporates hyperlinks to the deliverables of the actions it contains (see each year’s Status Report). Those deliverables that are not published anywhere else are listed below:
- Action SYS5.6 - Automation Policy (28/05/2013)
- Action EME 1.1 - Methodology to Assess Future Risks (11/12/2012)
- Action HFP1.1 - European Human Factors Strategy (01/09/2012)
- Action SYS5.5 - Training Implementation Policy (31/10/2013)
- Action SYS3.9 - NoA Annual Report 2012 (15/04/2013)
- Action SYS3.14 - EASA Member States Common Safety Performance Indicators (04/03/2014)
Current rulemaking status regarding SSP and SMS:
The first opportunity for the Agency to draft regulations in the area of SSP and SMS was offered through the first extension of its remit to cover the areas of Air Operations and Flight Crew Licensing. This process started back in 2006. Among other deliverables it resulted in the development of two distinct sets of requirements for authorities and organisations respectively:
- Authority Requirements take due account of the critical elements of a safety oversight system defined by ICAO, thus they support the implementation of SSPs, while serving the standardisation objective set out in the Basic Regulation . They further include elements that are essential for establishing a comprehensive aviation safety management system at EU level, encompassing EU and Member State responsibilities for safety management. Hence, these common authority requirements are directly relevant to the implementation of the European Aviation Safety Programme (EASP).
- Organisation Requirements include consolidated general requirements for management systems, designed to embed the ICAO SMS SARPs in a way as to ensure compatibility with existing management systems and to encourage integrated management. The Agency believes that SMS should not be implemented through an additional requirement superimposed onto the existing rules: Imposing a safety management system as a separate element could be interpreted as yet another prescriptive requirement, with the risk that organisations seek to satisfy their competent authority by showing that they have added in their organisation all required prescriptive elements, without effectively embedding safety management into all their processes. The EASA management system requirements fit various organisations, whatever their size, nature or complexity of activities and whatever business model they follow, thus catering for proportionate application.
For the different technical areas these general Authority and Organisation Requirements are complemented with more specific requirements (for example: flight data monitoring requirements for air operators). These general Authority and Organisation Requirements have been designed to set the standard for implementing streamlined requirements for all areas within the Agency's remit. In particular, the common management system requirements constitute a single safety management framework for all approved organisations within the scope of the Basic Regulation. Considering the different historical backgrounds of the different aviation domains within the EU (e.g. airworthiness and air operations with a similar background, whereas ATM/ANS comes from different background) harmonisation of the existing regulatory material to align with this framework cannot be achieved in the short term.
Airworthiness (initial and continuing)
The existing authority and organisation requirements as defined in Sections B and A respectively of Regulations (EU) No 748/2012 (superseding Regulation (EC) No 1702/2003) and Regulation (EC) No 2042/2003:
- Task: MDM.060 addresses initial airworthiness (Commission Regulation (EC) No 748/2012) and will focus on introduction of safety management principles into "Part-21" (Annex to Regulation 748/2012). MDM.060 combines four rulemaking tasks on two subjects: Level of Involvement (LOI) of the Agency in product certification (RMT.0262 (IR) + RMT.0611(AMC/GM)) and Safety Management System (SMS) for Design and Manufacturing organisations (RMT.0550 (IR) + RMT.0612(AMC/GM)). The ToRs, together with a concept paper have been published on the EASA website (cf. ToR and Concept Paper MDM.060). A Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) No.1 for LOI will contain draft implementing rules only. NPA No. 2 with AMC/GM material for LOI will be published at a later stage in 2014 after completion of pilot certification projects to validate the LOI concept and provide AMC/GM material. NPA No.3 for SMS covering both the implementing rules and AMC/GM material will build upon the results of SMS pilot projects.
- Task RMT.0251 (MDM.055) addresses continuing airworthiness - Commission Regulation (EC) No. 2042/2003 - "Part-M", "Part-145", “Part-66” and "Part-147", meaning safety management in the area of maintenance organisations, continuing airworthiness management organisations and maintenance training organisations.
This task resulted in the publication of two distinct NPAs:
- Task RMT.0251 (MDM.055) has been postponed: The Opinion covering all of the Annexes to Regulation (EC) No. 2042/2003 is now expected in the second half of 2016. This change follows a recent decision taken by the Agency’s Executive Director and the EASA Management Board, to consider the overload of the EU aviation regulatory system and the economic downturn, calling for a breathing space:
- to allow for consolidation of the existing regulatory framework,
- to facilitate introduction of new key technologies and systems, and
- to focus on proportionality and suitability of regulations (‘better regulation’).
With an Opinion published in 2016, the amending Regulation would tentatively be adopted in the second half of 2017. The effective applicability date of the new requirements will be determined by the transition measures negotiated at EU Commission & Member State level.
Aircrew (flight crew and cabin crew)
The amending Regulation defining Authority and Organisation Requirements for civil aviation aircrew (Regulation (EC) No 290/2012) was published in March 2012, following EASA Opinion 03/2011. The organisation requirements encompassing the SMS elements apply to:
- approved training organisations (ATOs), i.e. all organisations providing training for commercial and/or private licences in accordance with the EASA rules on flight crew licensing, as well as organisations engaged in flight test training.
- all holders of a Flight Simulation Training Device (FSTD) qualification certificate
- all aero-medical centres.
Member States may decide not to apply the new provisions until up to one year after entry into force of the Regulation (which provides an "opt-out" possibility until 08 April 2013). Additional transition measures are applicable for training organisations providing training for private licences only, as well as for training organisations providing flight test training only: These organisations need to comply by 08 April 2015 latest. All organisations whose certificates are "grandfathered" under the new rules need to show compliance with the new requirements by 08 April 2014 latest.
A text comparison between the ICAO Annex 6 SMS framework and the EASA management system provisions is available here (starting on page 8 of the explanatory note).
Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 defining Authority, Organisation and Technical Requirements for air operations entered into force on 28 October 2012. The Regulation, as last amended by Regulation (EU) No 800/2013 covers only commercial air transport (CAT) with aeroplanes and helicopters, non-commercial operations of Complex Motor-powered Aircraft (NCC), commonly referred to as “business aviation” and non-commercial operations of non-Complex Motor-Powered Aircraft (NCO). It will subsequently be amended to also address CAT A-A operations as well as CAT with sailplanes and balloons and specialised operations (aerial work).
The organisation requirements encompassing the SMS elements will apply to:
- all operators who are required to hold an AOC / organisation certificate under the new EU rules.
- all operators who will be required to declare their activity under the new EU rules (non-commercial operations of CMPA)
Regarding the first package of the rules related to CAT, Member States may decide not to apply the new provisions until 28 October 2014. As for the area of aircrew, operators whose certificates are "grandfathered" under the new rules will need to show compliance, including adapting their management system, no later than two years after the entry into force of the Regulation (28 October 2014).
Regarding the second package of the rules related to NCC and NCO, Members States may decide not to apply the new provisions, including the management system requirements applicable to operators required to declare their activities (NCC), until 25 August 2016.
- Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012
- AMCs/GM to Annex III “Part-ORO” Organisation Requirements for Air Operations (Consolidated version including Amendment 2 dated 23 August 2013)
ATM/ANS (Air traffic management/Air navigation services)
Following the second extension of the Agency's remit to the areas of Air Traffic Management, Air Navigation Services and Aerodromes a number of European Union regulations building upon the former Single European Sky Regulations (which were built upon EUROCONTROL ESARRs (Safety Regulatory Requirements) have been issued. The most relevant ones in relation to SMS and SSP implementation for ATM/ANS are listed below:
- Regulation (EC) No 1035/2011 "Common requirements for the provision of air navigation services", mandates Air Traffic Services and Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) providers to have a Safety Management and to all Air Navigation Service providers to implement a Quality Management System. For the QMS requirement the Regulation recognises an EN ISO 9001 certificate covering the air navigation services of the provider as a sufficient means of compliance. Under this Regulation service providers may integrate safety, security and quality management systems. In the future, this Regulation will be amended to align with the draft ICAO Annex 19 and as applicable with the management system requirements developed for air crew and air operations.
- Regulation (EU) No 1034/2011 "Safety oversight in air traffic management and air navigation services" defines the corresponding requirements for competent authorities in the field of ATM/ANS. This Regulation sets out specific requirements for annual safety oversight reporting and monitoring and assessment of the levels of safety achieved.
- Regulation (EC) 691/2010 "Performance Scheme for Air Navigation Services and Network functions", which is closely linked with the Single European Sky (SES) project. This Regulation defines four Key Performance areas and corresponding indicators: Environment, Capacity, Cost-efficiency and Safety. It further creates an EU Performance Review Board (PRB) to implement and monitor the performance scheme. The EU Commission and the PRB shall coordinate with EASA on the definition and monitoring of the safety Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and on all safety aspects of the performance scheme. The first reference period covers 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2014.
The EU rules on "Authority, Organisation and Operations Requirements for Aerodromes" have been published with Regulation (EC) No 139/2014. The rules foresee that aerodrome operators of such aerodromes that will require certification shall implement and maintain a management system that integrates a safety management system. These provisions are closely based on the organisation requirements developed for aircrew and air operations. Transition measures foresee full compliance with the provisions established until end of year 2017.