Our Mission: Your Safety
Your safety is our mission. EASA is the centrepiece of the European Union's strategy for aviation safety. Its objectives are:
- to promote and achieve the highest common standards of safety and environmental protection in civil aviation
- to ensure you have the safest possible flight
We ensure that your flight is safe in all phases: beginning with the the rules the airlines and crew need to follow through to the certification of the aircraft you are sitting in.
We regularly revise the risks and improve the common regulations applied among EU countries and airlines so they are always of the highest standard. We work hand in hand with the National Aviation Authorities and aviation manufacturers across Europe to achieve these goals.
In addition, the Agency’s experts apply strict certification and inspection standards to provide European citizens with the safest and most environmentally friendly aviation system in the world.
We also join forces with other international organisations to make the experience of flying safer in all parts of the world.
Who we are
We are EASA: the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
*The United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union on 31/01/2020 at midnight (Brussels time) and has become a Third Country. However, under the terms of its withdrawal agreement, the UK will be treated as an EU Member State until 31/12/2020. For details see news item.
EASA is responsible for setting the rules, guidelines and standards for all safety and environmental aspects of civil aviation, offering the safety that you, your family and all business partners need.
The Agency was founded in 2002 and was initially known as the European Aviation Safety Agency. The name was changed to European Union Aviation Safety Agency in 2018, when its responsibilities were also widened. It has its headquarters in Cologne, Germany, a Branch office in Brussels and representation offices in Beijing, China; Montreal, Canada; Singapore and Washington D.C. in the United States.
Our staff comprises more than 800 aviation experts & administrative staff from all over Europe.
In Europe, before a new model of aircraft can go into mass production or operation in Europe, it must have been certified by EASA. One of the Agency’s most prominent tasks is the approval and certification of aeronautical products such aircraft, engines and equipment.
Before an aircraft takes off for the first time: it requires an approval from an aviation safety authority. An aircraft can only fly if an independent assessment confirms that all the safety standards have been met. This assessment is usually the work of the individual countries’ National Aviation Authority, working closely with EASA.
The skies over Europe are full of different types of aircraft: large passenger aircraft, cargo and sport planes, airships, helicopters and hot air balloons. It is EASA’s responsibility to ensure that this wide range of products operate safely in the air.
Once approved, all aircraft must be monitored regularly. We accompany each product right through from its design to its dismantling, checking that the correct level of safety is applied at every step.
All players in the field of aviation need to follow a common set of rules and also report any safety concerns they may uncover. EASA analyses continuously the safety data received from airlines, maintenance organisations, manufacturers and other aviation related entities. We take the necessary actions to ensure the highest safety standards.
We also monitor how our member states apply the rules at national scale, through inspections, advice and training.
…and we are monitored too
EASA’s activities are supervised by its Management Board, composed of representatives from the each Member State and the European Commission. The Board defines our priorities, determines EASA´s annual budget and checks that we are working to the highest standards.
Our safety priorities are recorded in the European Plan for Aviation Safety (EPAS) and are aligned with other international air transport organisations.
We research & innovate
EASA adapts constantly to the demands of new technologies and the latest trends. Innovations and developments such as cyber-security, green technologies or sustainable fuels are often not aligned with existing rules, so we need to update these and adapt them.
We encourage research and innovation related to our mission of safety and environmental protection to ensure that we remain at the forefront of new technologies. This includes launching and funding research projects.
Environmental regulations compiled by EASA make an important contribution to minimising the impact of aviation on the environment.
The Agency sets the minimum environmental standards with which an aircraft needs to comply and supports efforts to reduce environmental impact in our skies, with initiatives such as CO2 emissions offsetting, sustainable aviation fuel and noise reduction.
We strive for constant improvement
Most of aircraft crossing the European Skies every day take off or land at one of the continent’s 450 airports. EASA provides common rules in all EU member states to ensure that aviation safety is always a priority and regularly analyses and optimises European Safety regulations.
EASA carries out inspections, runs specialised training and harmonisation programmes, and advises the National Aviation Authorities on implementing the European regulations. It also works with other international authorities to make flying safer all over the world.
If a safety problem arises, we review the current data and regulations together with representatives from the aviation industry or associations and propose changes. These draft rules are submitted to the European Commission for confirmation and afterwards applied as official regulations by each EU member state.
Flying is already the safest form of travel and is becoming even safer. This is not only due to technical improvements to aircraft, airport infrastructure and air traffic control. The application of international safety standards for flight operations and crews also ensures greater safety in the air. The aircrew regulations refer, for instance, to pilot and cabin crew training and qualification.
EASA ensures that flying is safe, both in Europe and worldwide. Foreign airlines operating flights in the European Union are subject to the same safety regulations as their European counterparts to guarantee that they meet the same high safety standards. EASA checks the safety of non-European airlines flying into the EU and carries out inspections in all EU member states. Aircraft operators that do not met the required level of safety are prohibited from flying and landing in the EU.
Why are common aviation safety rules so important, and how are they kept up-to-date?
European Aviation Safety rules are established following a complex system of consultations, with the involvement of:
- The Public
- The Member States’ National Aviation Authorities
- The European Commission
Only rules that have been scrutinised by all are ready for adoption and implementation.
What about rules that ‘don’t work’?
Feedback on the implementation of rules is continuously monitored, and if need be, amended. Again, nothing is done without the consultation by all players.
What lessons can be learned from incidents and accidents?
All accidents in civil aviation are registered, analysed and taken into consideration to improve rules, work with Member States, industry and, where relevant, with the public.
Within our accident investigation and safety analysis, EASA also conducts studies and provides risk management reports concerning the safety of European and world-wide aviation. Data on the aviation system, including occurrences (accidents and incidents), is collected and categorised in different safety risk portfolios. Analysis and results are published on an annual basis in EASA’s Annual Safety Review.
Who looks after aviation rules in the rest of the world?
As one of the world leading regulatory authorities in aviation, EASA and its member states work closely with leading aviation authorities worldwide. Take a look at our International Cooperation activities.