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Brussels, 18 March 2010

Air Transport: Commission requires the Czech Republic and Greece to ensure implementation of safety checks of aircraft using their airports

The European Commission has today sent a reasoned opinion to the Czech Republic and Greece for failing to transpose EU legislation setting procedures for safety checks for EU and third country aircraft using their airports. Directive 2008/49/EC establishes EU wide safety standards covering: aircraft inspections, possible measures for unsafe aircraft (including grounding of aircraft) and standards for the training and qualification of inspectors. Both Greece and the Czech Republic have two months to comply with the request.

The EU rules

Directive 2008/49/EC1 establishes EU wide standards and procedures to ensure the effective enforcement of international safety standards by both EU and third country aircraft using Community airports. It sets standards for conducting ramp inspections (safety inspections of aircraft – generally conducted between flights, covering for example presence of necessary documents for operating, flight crew composition and qualification, acceptable aircraft and equipment conditions, etc). It also foresees possible measures which can be taken by a Member State against unsafe aircraft and/or their operators, including grounding an aircraft if safety conditions are not fulfilled. The Directive also establishes harmonised rules on the training and qualification of inspecting personnel.

Member States were required to implement Directive 2008/49 by 20 October 2008, after which they had to inform the Commission of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions enacted at a national level in order to comply with the European rules.

The reason for formal request (reasoned opinion)

Greece has not yet communicated to the European Commission any national measures to transpose the directive. The Czech Republic has communicated only partial transposition measures.

The practical effect of non transposition

Failure to transpose the EU Directive means a possible risk that important safety checks are not fully complying with EU standards.

The next steps

The sending of a reasoned opinion is the second stage of the infringement procedure If the Commission does not receive from the Member States concerned a satisfactory response, usually within two months, it may pursue a third stage of the infringement procedure by lodging a formal complaint before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

For more information see

MEMO/07/343 on infringement procedures

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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