Guidelines: The role of operators’ management systems in the COVID-19 recovery phase

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is working closely with Member State regulators and industry partners to identify the new or emerging safety issues arising from COVID-19. 

In order to support the safe return to normal operations (RNO), a document on "The role of air operators' management systems in the COVID-19 recovery phase” has been developed as part of the basket of measures the Agency is assembling as a response to the crisis. 

These guidelines address the air operators to identify and consider safety threats associated with RNO. They have been developed by a team of subject matter experts from EASA, industry and national competent authorities, appointed by the RNO Taskforce. 

More specifically, the document enhances the needed robustness and resilience of the air operator’s management system in order to identify and mitigate COVID-19 generated risks, by outlining the importance of:

  • The safety risk management process;
  • The compliance monitoring function;
  • The safety performance monitoring and measurement;
  • The management of changes.
  • The guidelines further focus on operational and airworthiness aspects, taking into consideration organisational and human factor elements.

These guidelines are the core document and are complemented by a number of practical safety scenarios with hazards, consequences and possible mitigations.

These scenarios take into account relevant safety issues outlined in the Agency COVID-19 Risk Portfolio; more will be published individually as they become available.

The proposed mitigation measures are in no case binding because the situation may significantly vary from one airline to another; it is the ultimate responsibility of the air operator to assess whether the suggested measures are relevant, appropriate or effective.