EASA

In 1978, a number of European States concluded the Cyprus Agreement subsequently amending this in 1987 and finally in 1990, in which they agreed, voluntarily, to adopt common codes except where national safety considerations required special actions. Initially, the Joint Aviation Requirements (JARs) contained many national variants, but these have been removed except for a few remaining in the field of Operations and the whole issue of Flight Time Limitations (See section on EU OPS 1 - Subpart Q - FTL).

EASA has implemented its own technical requirements (specifications), based largely on JARs, through the European Commission with Regulations also being approved by the European Parliament. Whilst we can see the advantages of having a central organisation to maintain flight safety across the European Union, as mentioned previously, we do have some concerns, especially as noted above in relation to Cabin Safety. At present the UK maintains a high standard in the management of pilot fatigue in commercial aviation and we wish to see this standard at least maintained at its present level. It is feared, especially with the recent expansion of the EU that many of the agreed standards for fatigue management may be compromised to a lower than satisfactory standard. Compilation of JARs was a long and tortuous negotiation between the various Joint Aviation Authorities. EASA legislation is being developed in much the same way, but the difference is that the decisions are binding on all member States. The Group reluctantly concedes that the final decision may represent a dilution of current UK standards. Most issues will be resolved to the satisfaction of the majority, but there will undoubtedly be situations where a transition period will be required, during which some States may wish to apply different rules, but these should never be less stringent than those promulgated by EASA. This will, of course, have an economic consequence and impact. It took the JAA 10 years to remove all national variants from their Large Aeroplane Airworthiness requirements. It will almost certainly take EASA a similar time to resolve the most contentious issues.