The immense importance of international cooperation for the high standard of safety in aviation was the message of representatives of politics, aviation authorities and business from the USA and Europe.
They came together for an exchange of opinions and ideas on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Lufthansa Technik's recognition as a maintenance operation by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Philip D. Murphy, said: "Because the aviation industry is so important in so many aspects of our society and our economy, we need to keep the network running. The shared challenge for governments and industry is to protect our connections. Creating a common safety culture is important."
"We should all be proud of the immense growth and change that aviation has experienced in the last several decades, especially on the safety front. But we must also keep striving for more. Our international partnerships, private and public, are the key to sustaining these gains," the Acting FAA Administrator, Michael Huerta, said in a video message.
With one serious accident for every 2.7 million flights, the current generation of aircraft has reached 2011 a historically high level of safety. An important foundation for this achievement is the worldwide exchange of know-how and the international standardization of regulations and procedures for the approval and technical care of commercial aircraft. This view was shared by Stephen Creamer, FAA Director, Europe, Africa and Middle East Office, Dr. Norbert Lohl, Certification Director of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and August Wilhelm Henningsen, CEO of Lufthansa Technik AG.
Henningsen particularly emphasized the success of the intensive worldwide cooperation between aviation authorities, manufacturers, airlines and MRO-providers. "With this open cooperation, all parties involved have made sustainable contributions to safety and reliability, cost-effective aviation and the preservation of the environment."
Germany and Lufthansa have supported the development of international cooperation in aviation safety since the mid 1950s. After Lufthansa Technik was recognized by the FAA in 1962 as an aircraft maintenance organization, Lufthansa provided intensive support for the development of the Boeing 737 and 747 aircraft. In 1974, a bilateral agreement governing closer cooperation was concluded between the United States and Germany.
In May 2011, seven years after the European aviation authority EASA took up its work in 2003, the Aviation Safety Agreement between the EASA and the FAA for the certification and maintenance of commercial aircraft finally came into force. The two most modern aircraft types, the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A380, received the joint approval of both authorities in 2006 and 2011.
The Lufthansa Technik Group, with more than 30 subsidiaries and about
26,000 employees worldwide, is one of the leading manufacturer-independent providers of services for the aviation industry. Lufthansa Technik is licensed internationally as a repair, production and development enterprise. The Group's portfolio encompasses the entire spectrum of services in the areas of maintenance, repair, overhaul, modification and conversion, engines and components.