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The bilateral aviation safety agreement between the United States and the European Union went into effect one year ago and is an accomplishment that was several years in the making. The United States and EU governments, along with their respective aviation authorities, quickly established the Bilateral Oversight Board to manage ongoing improvements and additions to the agreement. Similarly, the authorities set up the Certification Oversight Board and Joint Maintenance Coordination Board to focus on Annexes 1 and 2 of the agreement.
Although a number of boards have been created to manage the bilateral safety agreement, one of the most important groups implemented is the Validation Implementation Team. This team focuses on streamlining the validation process used by both the United States and the EU to eliminate redundant certifications of products already certified by one of the authorities. Reducing redundant certification is a fundamental purpose of the agreement and in light of shrinking government budgets, critical for the FAA and U.S. industry as a whole.
The Validation Implementation Team has met several times in the past year and both the United States and the EU have reported notable progress made by the group. The aviation industry is expecting a group effort directed at removing redundant certification and the establishment of meaningful metrics to measure the effectiveness of the agreement in the future. The metrics will ensure future changes and additions to the agreement maintain the established goal of improving efficiency and effectiveness of both authorities by building on their mutual desire for safe regulatory systems.
The annual U.S./EU International Aviation Safety conference is right around the corner on June 12-14 in Cleveland, Ohio. This conference began almost 30 years ago with an intense focus on harmonization between FAA and Europe’s Joint Aviation Authority, the predecessor of EASA. In recent years, the harmonization focus has waned, but in light of the safety agreement, industry hopes the authorities will use the conference to discuss accomplishments, challenges and opportunities to further align regulatory systems. The importance of this work will remain front and center as the agreement expands to include activities such as pilot training and licensing. AIA encourages FAA and EASA to remain focused on their commitment to work together for the safety of the flying public and the benefit of the ever-expanding global aviation industry.