RSOOs are a means through which a group of States collaborate, share best practices, safety oversight tasks and resources, with the aim to establish and maintain an effective aviation safety oversight system.
In Europe, 27 EU Member States and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland have agreed to cooperate in the area of aviation safety and environmental protection. EASA, as an Agency of the European Union, is the RSOO of the Member States as provided in the Basic Regulation. EASA carries out tasks that have been transferred from States to the EU and assists States in the implementation of the safety regulatory framework and in the fulfilment of their tasks stemming from the Chicago Convention.
RSOOs and ICAO
EASA is an active member of the RSOO Cooperative Platform facilitated by ICAO, a forum where RSOOs can discuss common issues and ways to support each other.
The idea of establishing RSOOs is not new. Some RSOOs were already established in the 90’s, e.g. The Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA).
At ICAO, it was discussed at several high-level meetings since 2008. During the 39th ICAO Assembly in September/October 2016, Europe tabled a Working Paper explaining which benefits regional cooperation mechanisms could have for aviation safety. The deliberations at the Assembly resulted in the adoption of Resolution A 39-14 with the objective to strengthen RSOOs and make use of them wherever this can be advantageous for the States.
In 2017, ICAO and EASA organised the RSOO Forum. The Forum endorsed a Global Strategy and Action Plan for the Improvement of RSOOs and the Establishment of a Global System for the Provision of Safety Oversight.
The 13th Air Navigation Conference of ICAO (October 2018) recommended, following the proposal of the RSOO Cooperative Platform members, that States further support the strengthening of RSOOs by engaging actively in the development of their RSOOs and by securing adequate and sustainable RSOO funding mechanisms. ICAO was asked to further support the strengthening of RSOOs and their recognition within the ICAO safety system by facilitating access to technical support, facilitating the sharing of experience and knowledge between RSOOs through the RSOO Cooperative Platform, establishing the proposed Global Aviation Safety Oversight System (GASOS) and by reinforcing direct cooperation between ICAO and RSOOs in the framework of the GASP. RSOOs were requested to support the GASOS implementation and take steps towards recognition, and in strengthening their safety oversight capabilities.
The RSOO CP also presented an information paper on their achievements and developments.
The 40th ICAO Assembly 2019 adopted Resolution A40-6 on Regional cooperation and assistance to resolve safety deficiencies, establishing priorities and setting measurable targets. This Resolution recognises RSOOs and the establishment of regional aviation systems, such as EASA in the EU, and acknowledges the recognition of RSOOs in Annex 19. It also directs the Council to support the implementation and further development of the Global Aviation Safety Oversight System (GASOS). Since then, ICAO has launched the GASOS Programme for RSOOs and the first RSOOs are undergoing the assessment process.
EASA’s work with RSOOs
Beyond working with RSOOs through the ICAO RSOO Cooperative Platform, RSOOs, within their area of responsibility, are an important partner for EASA with the implementation of technical cooperation projects.