European Union Headquarters - Brussels, Belgium
European Union Headquarters – Brussels, Belgium (Photo credit: Sailing “Footprints: Real to Reel” (Ronn ashore))

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) today published a proposal to establish a single system for the safety approval of Third Country Operators (TCO) operating into, within or out of the European Union (EU). Released in a document known as an Opinion, the proposed rules have been subject to two rounds public consultation in 2011 and 2012 fully involving all concerned stakeholders.

Opinion 05/2012 aims to enhance safety of third country operators by ensuring continuous compliance with standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Replacing the various national systems existing today, the authorisation process is to be harmonised and streamlined through a single, proportionate and risk-based assessment process. The Opinion will lessen the administrative burden currently faced by both operators from outside Europe and National Aviation Authorities in the EU.

The EASA Opinion will now enter the legislative process. It will be finalised by European Commission assisted by National Authorities under Parliamentary scrutiny. The new rules are expected to be adopted into EU law after mid-2013 and fully implemented by the end of 2015
More information can be found here.