Safety is always the number one priority for the aviation industry. In December 2018 this was reinforced when the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Sharing of Safety Information. A revision of an existing MoU, the agreement will strengthen the cooperation between the two organizations in the field of flight safety.
Dragos Munteanu, an Assistant Director in IATA’s Safety and Flight Operations team, explains that, “In today’s very safe aviation environment, the sharing of safety information can potentially provide a clearer perspective on existing and emerging areas of risk, and the opportunity for timely safety improvement interventions. Of course, it is important that the information is shared under specific conditions committed to improving the safety of civil aviation. And the MoU contains very clear confidentiality clauses – the information can only be used to improve aviation safety.”
The objective of the MoU is to provide a framework for cooperation on the sharing and effective use of safety information between the Parties for the enhancement of risk reduction activities in aviation safety, and to promote therefore a more proactive and evidence-based approach to safety management at global level.
The two organizations have agreed to enhance their partnership and cooperation in sharing of safety intelligence and safety information for enabling activities and for ramp inspections, safety assessment of third country operators, and IATA Operational Safety Audits (IOSA). IATA and EASA have been working closely to further strengthen the IOSA program and the MoU confirms that this program may be used to complement the regulatory oversight activities of EU competent authorities.
For Gilberto Lopez Meyer, IATA’s Senior Vice President Safety and Flight Operations, the cooperation with EASA, “Serves as an example for mutually partnering for aviation safety. EASA has assessed the robustness of the IOSA Program and is using the IOSA results in the context of its continuous monitoring activities. More authorities are following these steps.” And it is clear that this MOU – which has already been strengthened since it was originally signed – has not reached full maturity yet. “We are pleased to work with EASA and look forward to deepening our cooperation with more diverse initiatives in the area of sharing safety intelligence and safety information,” he said. It seems that even with an industry as safe as aviation, there are still new safety areas to work on – and it’s reassuring that IATA is seeking out the strongest partners to ensure that work is successful.