Opinion 03/2014

Requirements for service providers and the oversight thereof

This Opinion addresses safety, economic and regulatory coordination issues related to the provision of ATM/ANS services and ATM network functions for the purpose of air navigation as well as their oversight. It is also linked to the European Aviation Safety Plan (EASp) safety actions SYS 1.4, SYS 2.4 and AER 2.6.

This Opinion includes the final outcome of the rulemaking tasks RMT.0148 (ATM.001(A)), RMT.0157(ATM.004(A)), RMT.0473 and RMT.0469. These rule development activities resulted, as intermediate steps, in the publication of Commission Implementing Regulations (EU) Nos 1034/2011 on safety oversight in air traffic management and air navigation services, and 1035/2011 laying down common requirements for the provision of air navigation services, as well as in the Notices of Proposed Amendment (NPAs) 2013-08, 2014-07 and 2014-13.

The objectives of these rulemaking tasks are to ensure and maintain a high and uniform level of safety and to fill the gaps between the Essential Requirements of the EASA Basic Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 216/2008) and the currently existing Implementing Rules. Following the EC principle of ‘smart regulation’ (and ‘less rules’), it is proposed to repeal three existing Regulations and to amend another one, while aligning the requirements for service providers and the oversight thereof into a single regulation. This draft rule aims also at enabling the free movement of services and facilitating the establishment of Functional Airspace Blocks (FAB) by enhancing the common standards for the provision of services for the purpose of air navigation. It provides as well the regulatory framework for the recognition of certificates at EU level. The Opinion proposes the necessary unification of the authority and organisation requirements (fully compliant with ICAO Annex 19) and enhances a risk-based ‘change management’ approach, in particular with regard to the ‘assessment of changes to functional system’. In addition, it would facilitate the uniform implementation of ICAO Annex 3 by transposing the subject Standards and Recommended Practices into the EU framework, including the latest ICAO amendments. The proposed rule is further complemented by a set of AMC and GM. After a transition period of 2 years, this truly harmonised regulatory system throughout the EU will provide for cost-effectiveness, contribute to the reduction of regulatory tasks at national level and ensure ICAO compliance.

The measures proposed in this Opinion and the related AMC and GM were subject to public consultation via three separate NPAs. Moreover, they were discussed with stakeholders in a number of workshops and focussed consultation meetings. The Agency trusts that the final proposal contained in this Opinion meets the expectations of the regulated and affected organisations and that the Explanatory Note provides the necessary clarification on the issues raised.

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