Maintenance Licenses: Achieving a Level Playing Field Across Europe

New maintenance licenses for large aircraft are to be issued across Europe solely in accordance with Annex III of the Regulation 2042/2003 (Part 66, issuance of aircraft maintenance licenses). Existing national licenses will have to be converted within a year. The transition period in which Member States could derogate from this rule ended on Sept. 28, 2005.

Member States and their competent authorities are responsible for the enforcement of this Regulation to the standard legally required. The role of the European Aviation Safety Agency is to make sure that the Regulation is implemented in a harmonized way throughout Europe.

The Agency is closely monitoring the implementation of Part 66 (issuance of aircraft maintenance licences) and Part 147 (maintenance training and examination organizations). The purpose is to avoid differences in interpretation and to achieve a level playing field across Europe (25 EU Members plus Iceland and Norway).

Improvement is measured through standardisation inspections, review with National Aviation Authorities and feedback from stakeholders. The Agency will also launch dedicated investigations in countries where difficulties appear in the implementation of rules.

The outcome of these initiatives will be presented at regular intervals in ad-hoc meetings and on the EASA website.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) was set up by the EU in 2003 to promote the highest common standards of safety and environmental protection in civil aviation. The Agency's main tasks include the certification of aircraft and equipment as well as the approval of design, production and maintenance organisations. EASA drafts common rules and procedures in the area of aviation safety and provides technical expertise to the EU and its partners. Based in Cologne, the Agency currently employs 150 staff, a figure set to rise to over 300 in the coming years.