WASHINGTON, DC, March 15, 2011 – The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) welcomes the completion of the final step required for implementation of the landmark U.S. - EU Aviation Safety Agreement. Following an exchange of diplomatic notes earlier today in Brussels between the U.S. and the European Commission, the agreement will enter into force on May 1, 2011.
GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce stated, “It has been a long and sometimes challenging road toward implementation, but today is a very good day for the U.S. and European aviation industries. It would be difficult to overstate the importance of this agreement for the continued health and vitality of general aviation and for international aviation safety cooperation between the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency.”
Implementation is vitally important to the entire aviation industry. Specifically for manufacturers, it will streamline transatlantic regulatory cooperation on certification, continued airworthiness and maintenance. The agreement creates the ultimate “one-stop shop” by reducing redundant certification activities through validation and acceptance of design approvals and repairs between all 27 European Union (EU) member states and the U.S.
Moreover, as the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) authority is extended to areas not currently covered under the agreement, the two sides will be able to negotiate new annexes to the bilateral agreement that will cover important areas such as pilot licensing and training. In addition, implementation will provide a mechanism to resolve the long-running dispute over unfair certification fees assessed by EASA on U.S. manufacturers.
With this major step completed, GAMA strongly urges the FAA and the European Commission to move promptly on the vital next steps. First and foremost is the establishment of the institutional mechanisms and implementation procedures called for in the agreement, but also a list of priority items for follow-on action, such as a new annex on licensing and training and another on operations.
“GAMA congratulates the many dedicated aviation safety professionals from both sides of the Atlantic who worked hard to bring this important agreement to fruition,” added Bunce.
GAMA is an international trade association representing 70 of the world's leading manufacturers of general aviation aircraft, engines, avionics and related equipment. GAMA's members also manage fleets of aircraft, fixed based operations, and pilot training and maintenance training facilities. GAMA is headquarted in Washington, DC, with a European office in Brussels, Belgium. For additional information, visit GAMA’s website at www.GAMA.aero