EASA IPA 3 – Programme on aviation safety in the Western Balkans and Turkey

Through this project, EASA supports the partner countries’ integration into the EU system, by fulfilling their international obligations in the area of air safety and by fostering their knowledge of the EU’s aviation safety system.

The project is funded by the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), with which the EU supports reforms in ‘enlargement countries’ through financial and technical help. The project focuses on the following aviation safety areas:

  • specific operating regulations
  • Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) structure and oversight
  • qualification and training of technical personnel
  • technical guidance material
  • licencing and certification
  • continued surveillance

Latest developments

  • 1 June 2017: EASA-IPA 3 Closure event – more info
  • 21 February 2017: Competency development workshop: State Safety Programme (SSP) – more info
  • 14 - 15 November 2016: Seventh EASA Pan-European Partner Countries Workshop - more info
  • 25 - 27 October 2016: Competency Development Workshop: “From Safety Data to Safety Risk Management” - more info
  • 04 - 05 October 2016: Workshop on Aerodrome Certification and Conversion of Certificates (Sarajevo) - more info
  • 28- 29 June 2016: Workshop on runway safety (Belgrade) – more info
  • 07 - 10 June 2016: Course for Middle and Line Management of Civil Aviation Authorities (Podgorica) – more info
  • 23 - 26 May 2016: Course for Senior Managers of Civil Aviation Authorities (Skopje) – more info
  • 10 - 11 February 2016: Inception phase mission to Tirana
  • 03 - 04 February 2016: Inception phase evaluation mission to Podgorica
  • 26 - 29 January 2016: fact finding mission to Pristina with regard to the European Common Aviation Area Agreement. This mission was combined with Inception phase evaluation. 
  • 15 - 16 December 2015: Inception phase evaluation mission to Banja Luka
  • 02 - 03 December 2015: on-site support mission to Belgrade with regard to the civil aviation organisational structure, core processes, documentation and procedures, staffing, rulemaking, Human Resources management and training policy. This mission was combined with Inception phase evaluation.
  • 18 - 19 November 2015: Inception phase evaluation mission to Skopje
  • 13 October 2015: EASA - IPA 3 Steering Committee meeting in CAA Montenegro, Podgorica

Main objectives and activities

The project’s actions are structured around three areas which are key for a well-functioning and sustainable civil aviation system: Organisation, Management Initiative and Competency Development.  


The focus here is on the countries’ current administration: structure, core processes, documentation and procedures, staffing, rulemaking, Human Resources management and training policy.

Gap analysis against remaining obstacles is conducted, followed by recommendations for improved effectiveness and efficiency. This includes implementation plans and training programmes for new and modified functions.

Furthermore, processes are developed to ensure follow-up and monitoring of the functional organisational structure (milestones and objectively verifiable indicators). If necessary, further training is delivered for the different levels of management.


This includes support to the different management levels of the CAAs (Senior Management, Team Leaders and Base-line Management), to advance individual management skills based on experience and good practices.


Knowledge increase:

The main focus is the competency development of the heads of units and inspectors in the different technical aviation areas. This is achieved through various methodologies, including training sessions, workshops, focus groups, transfer of best practice, and discussion fora.

Knowledge transfer:

For non-EASA European countries, EASA has created the Pan-European Partners platform (EASA-PANEP) which fosters the cooperation in safety related matters. This platform has been proven useful in terms of exchange of best practices in the implementation of EASA rules and will continue in the EASA-IPA 3 project.

The project also supports the participation of partner countries to EASA’s International Cooperation Forum (ICF), bringing together experts from national and regional aviation authorities to exchange on how to apply or work with the European aviation safety requirements. Newcomers, or CAA staff not already familiar with EASA, will also be supported  to participate to this activity, as an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the functioning and organisation of the Agency.

Furthermore, the project aims at supporting the participation of experts from the partner countries in EASA rulemaking activities, standardisation meetings and inspections, as well as workshops.

Finally, peer-to-peer activities will be organised for the exchange of know-how between the partner countries, as well as with EU NAAs having similar experience.

Background – the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA) Agreement

The ECAA Agreement was signed in 2006 between the EU and its Member States, as well as Norway and Iceland, and the following Western Balkan (WB) states: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo. With this Agreement, the WB states will become part of the EU single aviation market, through gradual market opening and implementation of the entire EU aviation law (acquis).

To this aim, Convergence Plans, containing all the key elements needed for the CAAs of these countries to be part of the EASA system, were defined and their implementation was started in a series of previous projects (starting in 2007 with the EASA-CARDS project, followed by the EASA-IPA I in 2009 and the EASA-IPA II in 2012). The EASA IPA 3 project builds on this work, starting with an assessment of the countries’ progress with regards to the Convergence Plans.