The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) today published Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) 2011-20 containing draft rules for the certification, management, operation and design, of aerodromes. Only airports open for commercial air transport with at least one paved runway of 800 metres or more are addressed in these proposals.
At present, the safety regulation of airports is underpinned by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rules to which all EASA Member States already by and large adhere. Since there are no pre-existing EU-rules in this area, the NPA is closely based on the ICAO rules already in place.
Developed by working groups consisting of the full spectrum of concerned stakeholders including airport operators, authorities and aviation industry representatives, EASA has been particularly attentive to the flexibility needed for implementation of the proposed rules. Instead of applying a one-size-fits-all approach, the Agency has devised means to allow Member States and airport operators to propose alternative compliance methods.
Commenting on the release of the NPA, EASA’s Executive Director, Patrick Goudou, said, “One of the goals of more harmonised regulation of airport operations is the prevention of ground collisions and runway incursions which are still the cause of a disproportionate number of aviation accidents.”
The publication of this NPA is the first step of a fully transparent public consultation process. All concerned parties are invited to submit their comments to EASA until 31 March 2012 using theComment Response Tool. The consultation process is longer than the statutory three-month period so as to take into account the December holiday season. All comments will be reviewed and a response document will be made available for public consultation. At the end of 2012, EASA will present a final Opinion to the European Commission which will launch the final process for adoption of the rules.