European Union Aviation Safety Agency

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The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is an agency of the European Commission with responsibility for civil aviation safety in the European Union. It carries out certification, regulation and standardisation and also performs investigation and monitoring.[2]: §4.3  It collects and analyses safety data, drafts and advises on safety legislation and co-ordinates with similar organisations in other parts of the world.[2]: §4.3 

European Union Aviation Safety Agency

The offices of the agency in Cologne, Germany
Agency overview
Formed12 July 2002 (2002-07-12)
JurisdictionEU and EFTA members[1]
HeadquartersCologne, Germany
Agency executive
Key document
European Union Aviation Safety Agency is located in European Union
European Union Aviation Safety Agency (European Union)

The idea of a European-level aviation safety authority goes back to 1996, but the agency was legally established only in 2002; it began its work in 2003.[2]: §4.3 



Based in Cologne, Germany, the agency was created on 15 July 2002 as the "European Aviation Safety Agency",[3] and reached full functionality in 2008,[citation needed] taking over functions of the Joint Aviation Authorities. It was renamed the "European Union Aviation Safety Agency" in 2018.[3] European Free Trade Association countries participate in the agency. The United Kingdom was a member until the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020.[4]

The responsibilities of the agency include the analysis and research of safety parameters, authorizing foreign operators, and advising the European Commission on the drafting of EU legislation. It also implements and monitors safety rules (including inspections in the member states), gives type certification of aircraft and components, and approves organisations involved in the design, manufacture and maintenance of aeronautical products.

As part of Single European Sky II (SES-II), an initiative to standardize and coordinate all air traffic control over the EU, the agency has been given additional tasks,[5] which were implemented before 2013.[6][7] Since 4 December 2012, EASA is able to certify functional airspace blocks if more than three parties are involved.[7]

The EU commission is proposing to further expand EASA mandate to act the European Performance Review Board, with a clear separation of National Supervisory Agencies and Air Navigation Service Providers[8]

In 2012, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) found that the agency did not have an agency-specific conflict of interest policy and procedures. EASA did not obtain or assess the declarations of interest for staff, management board, board of appeal and experts.[9] In its report, ECA declared that:

The worst performer among the four was the EASA, based in Cologne, which failed in all four areas that the report analyzed – on experts, staff, management board, and board of appeals.[10]

It was recommended that the organization adopt its own ethical standards because the then-existing condition exposed the agency to a substantial crisis of credibility as well as the incidence of favoritism and conflict of interest. For member-countries and other stakeholders, fairness is of paramount importance. This is because the European Union has been increasingly strengthening EASA's role, giving the agency independence. A discussion regarding the permission for the agency to impose financial penalties for safety violations is[when?] also underway.[11]



EASA is responsible for new type certificates and other design-related airworthiness approvals for aircraft, engines, propellers and parts. EASA works with the EU member states' civil aviation authorities (CAAs) but has taken over many of their functions in the interest of aviation standardisation across the EU and in the non-EU member Turkey.[12] EASA is also responsible for assisting the European Commission in negotiating international harmonisation agreements with the "rest of the world" on behalf of the EU member states, and it concludes technical agreements at a working level directly with its counterparts around the world such as the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). EASA also sets policy for aeronautical repair stations (Part 145 organisations in Europe and the US, also known as Part 571 organisations in Canada) and issues repair station certificates for repair stations located outside the EU, which permit foreign repair stations to perform work that is acceptable to the EU on its aircraft). EASA has developed regulations for air operations, flight crew licensing and non-EU aircraft used in the EU, which applied since the required European legislation to expand the agency's remit entered into force. The legislation was published on 19 March 2008.[13]

EASA has had its scope enlarged, as part of the new delegation in 2018, to also cover UAVs. The first 2 regulations (EU DR 2019-945 & EU IR 947) for drones were effective by 30 December 2019 in order for them to also cover the UK (Brexit).[citation needed]

Annual safety review


The agency publishes an annual safety review[14] with statistics on European and worldwide civil aviation safety. Some information derives from the International Civil Aviation Organization and the NLR Air Transport Safety Institute.[15]

In June 2020, EASA banned Pakistan International Airlines from flying to Europe[16] after a fatal crash in May caused by pilot error. An investigation discovered that one third of pilot licenses in Pakistan are fraudulent.[17]

States subject to EASA services and oversight


As an EU agency, the EASA is not a membership organization. All states which are a member of the EU also take part in EASA's services and are subject to oversight by EASA. It is not possible to opt out of the arrangement.

Those European countries which are not members of the EU but members of EFTA, namely Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland, have been granted participation to the arrangement under Article 129 of the Basic Regulation (Regulation 2018/1139). These states are members of the management board, but do not have voting rights. While the legal basis is different for states which are members of the EU and those who are not, the EASA has the same power for all states who participate in the arrangement. [18]

There are also working relationships with other regional and international authorities.[19] For example, EASA cooperates with most of the EU's Eastern Partnership member states through EASA's Pan-European Partners (PANEP) initiative in which countries such as Armenia,[20] Azerbaijan,[21] Georgia,[22] Moldova[23] and Ukraine[24] co-operate on the implementation of EU aviation safety rules and comprehensive aviation agreements.

List of Current EASA Member-States



Former EASA Member-States


Prior to the UK's withdrawal from the EU, the UK Civil Aviation Authority was an EASA member-state.



On 28 September 2003, the agency took over responsibility for the airworthiness and environmental certification of all aeronautical products, parts, and appliances designed, manufactured, maintained or used by persons under the regulatory oversight of EU Member States.[3]

Certain categories of aeroplanes are however deliberately left outside EASA responsibility, thus remaining under control of the national CAAs: ultralights, experimentals, and balloons are a few examples. They are referred to as "Annex I" aeroplanes (formerly known as "Annex II" aeroplanes), and are listed on the EASA website.[26]

In July 2017, EASA and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore entered into a working arrangement to recognize each other's certifications.[27]

Aircraft classification


The agency defines several classes of aircraft, each with their own ruleset for certification and maintenance and repair.[28] EASA established safety levels according to a risk hierarchy. For non-commercial operations, a set of rules were developed to achieve safety goals. EASA difference non-commercial operations between non-commercial operations other than complex aircraft (NCO) and non-commercial operations with complex motor-powered aircraft.

EASA has started to introduce basic regulations for unmanned aircraft (drones) which are divided between open category (no operational approval is required), specific category (requires risk-based operational authorization), and certified category, where pilots needs a license and operators receive a certificate.[29]

See also



  1. ^ "EASA By Country". EASA.
  2. ^ a b c Florin Coman-Kund (2018). [ European Union Agencies as Global Actors: A Legal Study of the European Aviation Safety Agency, Frontex and Europol]. Abingdon, Oxfordshire; New York, New York: Routledge. ISBN 9781138293045.
  3. ^ a b c "Our Mission: Your Safety". EASA. 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
  4. ^ "UK will leave EU aviation safety regulator". BBC News. 7 March 2020. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Regulation of the European Parliament and of The Council". Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Single European Sky II". European Commission website. 13 June 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Functional airspace blocks (FABs)". European Commission website. 13 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Single European Sky: for a more sustainable and resilient air traffic management". European Commission website. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 September 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "The European Aviation Safety Agency" (PDF). The European Parliament. July 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 August 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Arabian Aerospace – Hurkus achieves design certification for TAI". 21 July 2012. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of The Council". Eur-lex.europa.uu. Archived from the original on 7 May 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  14. ^ "EASA Annual safety review". Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  15. ^ "NLR-ATSI Homepage". Archived from the original on 8 March 2007. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  16. ^ Wert, Jakob (30 June 2020). "EASA bans Pakistan International Airlines". International Flight Network. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  17. ^ Fiedler, Jan-Hendrik (22 May 2020). "Pakistan International Airlines flight PK8303 crashes in Karachi". International Flight Network. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  18. ^ "Links to National Authorities". EASA. Archived from the original on 16 May 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  19. ^ "Working Relationships". EASA. Archived from the original on 27 October 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  20. ^ "Armenia". EASA. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  21. ^ "Azerbaijan". EASA. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  22. ^ "Georgia". EASA. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  23. ^ "Moldova". EASA. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  24. ^ "Ukraine". EASA. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  25. ^ "EASA Member States". EASA. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  26. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 August 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ "EASA and Singapore partner on airworthiness certification | Regulation content from ATWOnline". Archived from the original on 10 March 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2017. "Air Transport World Online article, 18 July 2017
  28. ^ "Operations in General Aviation | EASA". Archived from the original on 22 June 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  29. ^ Zoldi, Dawn M.K (12 May 2021). "European Drone Regulations: EASA Basic Regulation, and What's Next". DRONELIFE. Retrieved 27 November 2021.