Brussels, 1 May 2011
Ground breaking agreement on civil aviation safety between the EU and the US enters into force
Today the agreement on Cooperation in the Regulation of Civil Aviation Safety between the European Union and the United States enters into force, which will boost safety and create opportunities for businesses. This agreement means less cumbersome technical and administrative procedures for the recognition of certificates and approvals on both sides of the Atlantic and opens the way to progressively reaching the same level of mutual trust in other areas of safety.
Commission Vice-president Siim Kallas, in charge of transport, said "This day has been long awaited by the entire aeronautical industry in Europe and the United States. Finally, what we negotiated three years ago can be put into place. It will cut red tape and save time and money. Most importantly, it will give a boost to all businesses in the sector both in the US and in Europe. Thanks to this agreement we can progress even further in our continuous efforts to ensure the highest level of safety for our citizens, and to strengthen EU-US cooperation in aviation."
This agreement will be the cornerstone of cooperation between the two sides in all matters of aviation safety. Despite difficult economic times, trade in the aeronautical sector has continued to grow. Already in 2009 and 2010 the total transatlantic trade in aeronautical products and services was more than €17 billion. The agreement is designed to boost trade in aeronautical products and services even further. But the agreement goes well beyond mutual recognition of certification findings in the area of design, production and maintenance as it sets the framework for a continuous, transparent and timely exchange of solid and verifiable information affecting all areas of aviation safety law and policy.
This agreement is designed to help the aeronautical industry grow further in a sustainable way. The Commission is ready to explore with the US how to expand the scope of the agreement rapidly into new areas such as flight crew licensing and aircraft operations. Finally, this agreement gives the two sides a firm basis for tackling safety problems when and where they arise through joint actions on a timely and effective basis.