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Oversight of organisations during COVID-19 crisis

only affecting organisations where EASA is the competent authority

In the context of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, many organisations in aviation are ceasing their activity or only operating at a very low level. Many may even stop doing business or lose a large share of their staff/competences. 

EASA is applying two fundamental principles in this extreme situation:

  1. EASA is supporting the organisations wherever we can – with guidance, advice and flexibility in our approach. 
     
  2. The difficulty in performing on-site visits will not in itself trigger any suspension or limitation on certificates. The Agency will use adapted procedures to maintain the oversight level necessary for safe operations during these unprecedented conditions. 

In practical terms, EASA is currently performing a review of all planned audit events, using a risk-based approach and taking account of all tools available to maximise flexibility in the ways it conducts the oversight activities, so as to minimise the burden on the organisations.

One key risk parameter is the level of activity of the individual organisations during this crisis. This implies that the oversight of a dormant organisation will be naturally very limited. On the other hand, an organisation running its operations at close to normal levels will require an adapted approach to oversight, making use of the flexibility tools at EASA’s disposal. 

Organisations are invited to inform EASA if they have significantly lower activity through their usual channels. This will allow the Agency to determine the appropriate level of oversight to support the continuation and re-start of their activities in these exceptional circumstances. 

This approach ensures that an adequate oversight level will be maintained while at the same time adapting the standard process to the needs of industry at this difficult time. This will also help approved organisations to return to normal operations, once the situation allows. After the crisis has passed, the results of the adjusted oversight activity carried out during this period will be fully integrated into the risk-based analysis that will be performed for the resumption of regular oversight activities.