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Brussels, 14 April 2009

Safety assessment of third-country aircraft using Community airports: Commission sends reasoned opinion to Italy and Luxembourg

Today, the European Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion to Italy and Luxembourg for failure to notify the measures implementing the Directive on the safety of third-country aircraft using Community airports. The Commission thus started the second stage of an infringement procedure under Article 226 of the Treaty.

In order to guarantee a high and uniform level of safety in European civil aviation, Directive 2008/49/EC[1] harmonises the rules and procedures for ramp inspections of third-country aircraft landing at airports located in the Member States. It foresees possible measures to be taken by a Member State against aircraft and/or their operators which may result to be unsafe following such inspections. The Directive also provides for harmonised rules on the training and qualification of inspecting personnel.

The Directive gave Member States a window for implementation by 20 October 2008, after which they were each required to inform the Commission of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions enacted at a national level in order to comply with the European rules.

If the Commission does not receive from the Member States concerned a satisfactory response within two months, it may pursue a third stage of the infringement procedure by lodging a formal complaint against the States before the Court of Justice of the European Communities.

[1] Directive 2008/49/EC of 16 April 2008 amending Directive 2004/36 EC on the safety of third-country aircraft using Community airports (OJ nº L 109 of 19.04.2008, p. 17-26.)

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