Opinion 01/2015

European Commission policy initiative on aviation safety and a possible revision of Regulation (EC) No 216/2008

This Opinion supports a European Commission policy initiative whose aim is to improve the performance of the European Union (EU) aviation system. To this end, this Opinion identifies the most appropriate ways to update Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 (the EASA Basic Regulation) in order to make it best respond to changes in the aviation environment and subsequent challenges to its safety. The Opinion is based on a variety of established, high-level policies and technical deliberations that took place over the last years and identified current issues and possible areas for improvement. Recent accidents underline the need to further strengthen the EU aviation safety system.

To this end, the aviation community was invited to contribute both to a European Commission public consultation and the parallel EASA public consultation via the Advance Notice of Proposed Amendment (A-NPA) 2014-12. Inputs to this A-NPA are reflected in this Opinion.

In line with the approach presented in the A-NPA, this Opinion remains at high, generic policy level and, therefore, does not contain any draft legal text. It addresses the areas of potential change, which were presented in the said A-NPA.

The Opinion concludes in suggesting a variety of changes to the respective technical fields. However, many of those technical fields, while being significant and important — like the performance-based approach, safety training, and environmental protection —, will lie mainly outside the scope of the Basic Regulation.

In the narrow sense of the revision of the Basic Regulation, the Opinion suggests proceeding with the most significant changes with the aim to further streamline and ‘defragment’ the existing framework, where necessary, in the following domains:

  • General Aviation changes according to the General Aviation Road Map results,
  • optional and partial inclusion of State services,
  • Annex II adjustments,
  • security aspects subject to existing EU competency,
  • provisions to be addressed to Ground Handling Service Providers,
  • consolidation of role in Single European Sky matters,
  • role in research coordination,
  • efficient use of available resources and sustainable funding solutions.