On this page we provide an overview of the various activities that are being carried out towards the regulation and implementation of safety management at various levels in the EU aviation system. Information on this website is organised in three dimensions to facilitate access and comprehension. The site describes safety management activities at the Member State level, at the European Union (EU) level and at the global level.
For further information or to provide feedback on any safety management related issue, you may use the following form.
Modern safety management approaches lead to more proactive safety risk management by regulators and aviation service providers. With air traffic projected to double in the next 15 years, safety risks must be better addressed to ensure that this significant capacity expansion is carefully managed and supported through strategic regulatory and infrastructure developments.
With the recent development of its updated version of the Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP), a new Annex 19 - Safety Management, updated guidance material (including Doc 9859, 3rd edition - Safety Management Manual) and a dedicated website (ICAO - Safety Management), ICAO aims to enhance its strategic regulatory and infrastructure developments, stress the importance of overall safety performance in all aspects of air transport operations and mark a new era where States and organisations are requested to respectively develop and maintain State Safety Programmes (SSP) and Safety Management Systems (SMS).
The Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP), which sets up targeted safety objectives over the next 15 years, was endorsed in October 2013 and fosters an advanced safety oversight system including predictive risk management.
Annex 19 became applicable on 14 November 2013 and re-enforces the role played by the State in managing safety at the State level in coordination with service providers. The first edition focuses on transferring the overarching safety management provisions from Annexes 1, 6, 8, 11, 13 and 14, with some limited novelties (see the ICAO website for further explanations).
GASP and Annex 19 will be amended, as soon as experience and knowledge are collected, with the help of several experts groups and considering feedback from the States and International organisations, including the EU and EASA.
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).
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.
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 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 .point. europa .point. eu
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.
The following summits have been organised:
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:
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:
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 have not yet been amended to transpose the generally applicable ARs and ORs developed for aircrew and air operations. This transposition is currently being processed through on-going rulemaking projects:
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:
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. The Agency will use the additional time to work with a focussed consultation group of NAA and industry representatives to review the issues highlighted in NPA comments and to prepare the CRD.
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:
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).
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:
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.
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:
The EU rules on "Authority, Organisation and Operations Requirements for Aerodromes" have been published with Commission Regulation (EU) 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.