Brussels, 5 May 2010
The European Commission today sent a reasoned opinion to Austria for failure to transpose EU rules on safety checks of aircraft using EU airports. The rules establish European safety standards covering aircraft inspections, possible measures for unsafe aircraft (including grounding) and standards for the training and qualification of inspectors. Austria has 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 EU airports. It sets standards for conducting ramp inspections (i.e. safety inspections of aircraft, generally conducted between flights and covering, for example, the 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 aircrafts and their operators, including the grounding of an aircraft if safety conditions are not fulfilled. Finally, the directive establishes harmonised rules on the training and qualification of inspectors.
The reason for today's action
Austria has not yet communicated to the Commission any national measures transposing the EU rules.
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 practical effect of non-transposition
Failure to transpose the directive implies a possible risk that important safety checks are not fully complying with EU standards.
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.)