Legal and regulatory framework

Regulation (EU) No 996/2010 of the European Parliament and the Council of 20 October 2010 on the investigation and prevention of accidents and incidents in civil aviation, repealing Directive 94/56/EC, takes into account the Convention on International Civil Aviation signed in Chicago on 7 December 1944 and implements the latest provisions set in ICAO Annex 13 laying down international standards and recommended practices for aircraft accident and incident investigation.

It defines common principles governing the safety investigation of civil aviation accidents and incidents in EU Member States and requires the State of Occurrence or the State of Registry, to investigate accidents and incidents.

The safety investigation of accidents and incidents aims solely at the promotion of aviation safety, through accident prevention. It shall not abortion blame or liability. Following the safety investigation, the published reports enable to share the lessons learned and may contain safety recommendations for consideration.

Since the entering into force of the Basic Regulation, EASA is the competent Community Aviation Authority for the safety of aviation. Results of air accident investigations should be acted upon as a matter of urgency, in particular when they relate to defective aircraft design and/or operational matters, in order to ensure consumer confidence in air transport without prejudice to Community law; thus, EASA is the recipient of safety recommendations within its remit. Under international and community law, all safety recommendations must be taken into full consideration by the entity to which they are addressed.

Furthermore, ICAO Annex 13 provides that the State of Registry, the State of Design and the State of Manufacture shall each be entitled to appoint an accredited representative because of the function that have been attributed to each of those States with respect to the airworthiness of aircraft under ICAO Annex 8. Therefore, as the EASA is now carrying out on behalf of the Member States the functions and tasks of the State of Design, Manufacture and Registry whenever it related to Design approval, Regulation (EU) No 996/2010 entitles EASA to participate to investigations.

Whenever the investigation takes place in an EU Member State, EASA acts as advisor to the Investigator in charge. Outside an EU Member State, EASA advise the European Accredited Representative appointed by the State where the principal place of business of the manufacturer is.