Since the 37th Session of the ICAO Assembly (Montreal, 28 September to 8 October 2010) that adopted the Assembly Resolution A37-4, a high level State meeting held in the EUR/NAT Office on 16 May 2011 agreed to establish the European Regional Aviation Safety Group (RASG-EUR) and adopted its objectives, working methods, scope and structure.

The coordination with, and support from the various regional organizations was viewed as an important element and the means to achieve a harmonized and consistent approach to safety, safety management and to the implementation of the ICAO Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP) and the Global Aviation Safety Roadmap (GASR) in the ICAO European Region. The RASG-EUR terms of reference highlight the need for avoidance of duplication of work and consider the sharing of information and experience between all stakeholders a key element of success for the RASG-EUR. The RASG-EUR spends a continuous effort to gather and capitalize on the knowledge and experience available within States and Industry to improve safety. Thus the participation is open to a broader community.

The ICAO EUR Regional Expert Safety Team (IE-REST) established by decision of the RASG-EUR/02 in February 2013 supports the development and implementation of safety enhancement initiatives (SEIs) and activities in the part of the ICAO EUR Region not covered by the regulatory framework of the EU/EASA regulatory framework.

In order to monitor the progress of safety improvement in the Region, RASG-EUR agreed in 2014 on six safety targets and associated metrics. It is reassuring to see that one of the key safety performance indicators (accident rate) shows a declining trend over the last 5-year moving average and States are continuing to improve their effective implementation (EI) of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs). However, the improvement is not as significant as desired. We still have one State with a Significant Safety Concern (SSC) and the current level of State Safety Programme (SSP) implementation in the Region questions the regional capacity to meet the 2017 deadline. Unfortunately, we still have a limited number of States with an average EI below 60%. So there is no time for rest and the work of RASG-EUR has to be further enhanced and improved.

In order to improve the level of safety in the Region, the RASG-EUR working mechanisms propose safety enhancement initiatives addressing general precursors for all categories of accidents and specifically targeting the top killers in aviation:

  • Runway Safety
  • Loss of control in-flight (LOC-I)
  • Controlled flight into terrain (CFIT)

The RASG-EUR annual safety reports are made available to the public, highlighting important areas for the safety improvement in the Region.

The next meetings of the European Air Navigation Planning Group and the Regional Aviation Safety Group Europe will be organised as the first combined back to back EANPG/59 and RASG EUR/06 meeting (30 October to 3 November 2017, Paris, France).

Gerold Reichle is the Chairman and DGCA of Germany.

This article was originally written for the ICAO EUR/NAT Office’s Newsletter (Issue 1) on May 2017. A full list of their newsletters can be found here