The implementation of the Basic Regulation and its implementing regulations by Member States is subject to the European Union oversight.
According to Article 54 of the Basic Regulation - Inspections of Member States - the Agency shall assist the Commission in monitoring such implementation by conducting standardisation inspections. Upon the standardisation inspection the Agency establishes an inspection report where it addresses findings identified during the inspection and which will be sent to the Member State concerned and to the Commission. In cases of non-compliance, the Commission may initiate an infringement procedure.
Additionally, in accordance with Article 11 (2), the Commission, on its own initiative or at the request of a Member State or the Agency, may initiate a comitology procedure to decide whether a certificate issued in accordance with the Basic Regulation and its implementing regulations effectively complies with them. In case of non-compliance, the Commission shall require the issuer of a certificate to take appropriate corrective action, such as limitation or suspension of that certificate. Moreover, once the Commission issues such a decision, the obligation of mutual recognition of certificates ceases to apply to the other Member States. Once the Commission has sufficient evidence that appropriate corrective action has been taken, it will decide that mutual recognition shall be restored.Until now no such measure has been undertaken.
Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002 of 15 July 2002 gave responsibility to the Agency for the airworthiness and environmental certification of all aeronautical products, parts, and appliances designed, manufactured, maintained or used by persons under the regulatory oversight of EU Member States. This includes all post-certification activities, such as the approval of changes to, and repairs of, aeronautical products and their components, as well as the issuing of airworthiness directives to correct any potentially unsafe situation. Furthermore, the Agency is in charge of the oversight of EU organisations involved in the design of aeronautical products, parts and appliances as well as of non-EU organisations involved in the manufacture or maintenance of such products. In these domains the Agency has taken over the certification tasks that were under the responsibility of Member States.
Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 February 2008 that extended the scope of Community competence to air operations, flight crew licences and aircraft used by third country operators into, within or out of the Community gave the Agency additional operational responsibilities. In the field of flight crew licensing, the Agency is responsible for the approval and oversight of pilot training organisations and aero-medical centres located outside the territory of the Community; the certification of flight simulation training devices used by the training organisations it certifies, or located outside the territory of the Community, or located in the Community territory, if the member State concerned so requests. In the field of operations, the Agency was given the power to determine corrective actions and disseminate information to react without undue delay to a problem affecting the safety of air operations. Regarding third country operators, the Agency is competent for the authorisation and oversight of commercial operators; for the oversight of non-commercial operators, when they need to declare their activities; and for the authorisation of third country aircraft when they or their crews do not comply with ICAO Standards.
The Agency’ responsibilities were further extended by Regulation (EC) No 1108/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009. The provisions of the Regulation ensure precise, uniform and binding rules for aerodrome operations and operators, air traffic management and air navigation service provision. Moreover, based on the new ATM/ANS rules the Agency will commence its standardisation inspections in ATM/ANS from 2012 onwards aiming at ensuring a uniform implementation of the common rules but also at reinforcing the national competent authorities in their important oversight role.. With the extension to ATM/ANS, the Agency is empowered to take the necessary measures related to certification and oversight of Pan-European and third country ATM/ANS organisations, as well as for the air traffic controllers’ training organisations located outside the territory of the Community.These new competences taken on by the EASA system allow a more comprehensive and uniform approach to safety regulation across all fields of aviation and ensure that common safety rules are applied in all phases of flight, starting from the tarmac.
Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 February 2008 that extended the scope of Community competence to air operations, flight crew licences and aircraft used by third country operators into, within or out of the Community gave the Agency additional operational responsibilities. Regarding third country operators, the Agency is competent for the authorisation and oversight of commercial operators; for the oversight of non-commercial operators, when they need to declare their activities; and for the authorisation of third country aircraft when they or their crews do not comply with ICAO Standards.
With regard to third country operators the Basic Regulation specifically requires that:
The detailed provisions on how to meet the above requirements of the Basic Regulation will be contained in Implementing Rules and relevant Operations Specifications and guidance material. These provisions will address the conditions, privileges and responsibilities associated with the relevant provisions of the Basic Regulation (of articles 9(1), 9(2) and 9(3)) as outlined in the above bullet points above; as well as aircraft or crew which do not hold a standard ICAO certificate of airworthiness or licence. These provisions will make use of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs); will not exceed any requirements for Community operators; and will contain a simple, proportionate, cost-effective and efficient process for authorizations of commercial operations. The authorization process will take account of results of the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP), information from ramp inspections and other recognised information on safety aspects with regard to the operator concerned (article 9(4)). The Implementing Rules will address the process for the authorization of a commercial operator, including any conditions that would necessitate an audit.
Third country aircraft operating within the EU are subject to oversight by the Member States in accordance with Directive 2004/36/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on the safety of third-country aircraft using Community airports, the so-called SAFA Directive. This Directive establishes a harmonised approach for the exchange of information, the execution of ramp inspections and the grounding of third-country aircraft landing at airports located in the Member States. The new Implementing Rules will incorporate the SAFA Directive while maintaining the same principles and competencies of oversight by Member States.
The Implementing Rules and supplemental material associated to third country operators are currently being developed by the Agency. These will be published for consultation in due course and will subsequently be transmitted to the European Commission as an Opinion for consideration when adopting these Implementing Rules.
The provisions for third country operators as outlined above will then become applicable from the date specified in the relevant Implementing Rules during their adoption, but not later than 8 April 2012 (article 70). Until then, the SAFA Directive and national rules of Member States continue to apply.