European Parliament votes to replace Regulation 216/2008 with updated safety rules
On 12 June, the European Parliament voted to repeal Regulation 216/2008 and replace it with an updated set of safety rules designed to align with the 2015 ‘Aviation Strategy to Enhance the Competitiveness of the EU Aviation Sector’. In addition to embracing a risk-based approach through proportionality in the application of the rules, the new Basic Regulation will also extend EASA’s mandate in safety related aspects of security and protection of the environment. Notably and not unexpectedly, drones will now be regulated by EU rules.
For organisations already on their safety performance journeys, this new regulation should be a welcome development, as it reflects the benefits of a performance based approach to safety regulation which, through an improved understanding of risk, focuses on achieving the desired level of safety performance whilst enabling better targeting of resources. This is in line with EASA’s recognition that intelligently written regulations that consider new business models should provide business benefits at the same time as increasing safety margins. The new regulation also seeks to minimise overly prescriptive requirements.
Importantly, there is a recognition that both EASA and Member States competent authority staff will need to develop new skills and competences to be able to provide effective oversight in an industry where increasingly sophisticated safety management systems and fast moving technologies are emerging.