Who Does What at EASA

John Franklin • 18 April 2023
in community Air Operations

How much do you know about EASA? Some people see us just as the bureaucrats who write rules. Others are often surprised that the Agency is full of aviation professionals like you who have a passion for aviation. This article will help you learn more about who we are and what we do. 

How EASA is organised

Although we might like to think EASA is the centre of the European aviation universe, we realise that the Agency is a long way from the operational reality that many of you work in.

We thought it might be useful to provide a quick and simple overview of who does what at EASA; how the Agency is organised and the different tasks it performs.

Cologne - the centre of the European aviation universe

EASA is headed by its Executive Director, Patrick Ky. The Agency is split into 5 different Directorates.

  1. Executive Directorate
  2. Certification.
  3. Flight Standards.
  4. Resources and Support.
  5. Strategy and Safety Management.

Across the organisation there are more than 800 people, the majority of whom are based in Cologne, Germany. The vast majority of the EASA team are aviation experts. There are engineers, flight crew, air traffic controllers, cabin crew, safety experts and many more. The experts are supported by many other professionals in IT, administration and HR etc – just like any other organisation.

Your safety is our mission: 

Here is a little more about the main roles of the different Directorates of EASA. The diversity of the aviation industry makes it impossible to cover everything we do but this should give you a better understanding of who does what.

Everyone at EASA works towards one single goal - "Your safety is our mission". This drives everything we do.

Executive Directorate:

This Directorate carries out many important functions. It contains our Communications and Legal Departments. From an operational perspective it is also the home of the Air Traffic Dept and also the EASA Drones Team.

Certification Directorate:

The team here look after the airworthiness of aircraft and products. A key part of their role is to support the safe integration of new technology into future designs. The Directorate is split into departments covering Design Organisations; Environment and Propulsion Systems; General Aviation and VTOL; Large Aeroplanes and Policy; Innovation and Knowledge.

Flight Standards:

These are the people who make the operational rules that you will know and love so well! They also deal with the oversight and standardisation of the National Aviation Authorities (NAAs). Another of their functions you will likely be aware of is the Third Country Operators programme and Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft (SAFA). This directorate is made up of departments covering Aircrew and Medical; Air Operations and Aerodromes; Maintenance and Production.

Resource and Support:

This is the part of EASA are the people who keep the organisation running and make sure the experts have everything they need to support the industry. This team includes IT; Human Resources; Finance and Corporate Services. 

Strategy and Safety Management:

This directorate is perhaps the most diverse in the Agency. It includes the Safety Intelligence and Performance department which does work like safety analysis, accident investigation and safety promotion. The Strategy and Programmes department designs the EASA strategy building on research and innovation initiatives and on regular exchanges with stakeholders, who are instrumental to drive the European Aviation Safety Plan (EPAS). Finally, the International Cooperation department collaborates and supports improving safety across the world. The directorate also has the lead for the environmental aspects of aviation including the ECO-Label and Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and also Cyber Security.

A microcosm of Europe in one place

One of the amazing things about EASA is that it brings together people from across all disciplines of the industry and from across all the countries of the EASA system. We have staff from almost every single country in the 31 EASA Member States. It certainly makes things interesting when the European Championship, World Cup or Olympics comes around. 

Are you interested to join us? Check out our recruitment page

Maybe you are interested to come and join the team here at EASA? The majority of EASA's technical positions require at least 10 years practical industry experience. Plus you will need to be a national of one of the EASA Member States (the 27 EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.  

At EASA you will find like-minded professionals with a huge passion and enthusiasm for aviation. You can learn more about what its like to work at EASA and what vacancies we have on the EASA Careers page


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