Israel and the EU – more than just Open Skies

It’s not just about Open Skies.

A few days before the Israeli cabinet ratified the Open Skies agreement with the EU, another joint effort offered up its first results.

The European Aviation Safety Agency – the EU body responsible for the safety of civil aviation – is in the process of designing its own rules for airport safety.

It has also been assisting the Israeli civil aviation authority (CAAI) to prepare the safety certification for all Israeli airports – Ben Gurion, Herzlia, Rosh Pina, Haifa and Eilat.

The CAAI is in the process of producing its own version of the 1,150 standards and recommendations found in the international rules – namely Annex 14 to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, commonly known as ICAO Annex 14.

According to EASA it was able to assist the CAAI in this task by sharing its own rules and expertise.

As part of its assistance EASA reviewed the CAAI’s certification procedure, and in a recent visit to Israel a small team of technical experts from EASA and the UK Civil Aviation Authority participated in the later stages of the CAAI airport certification project, including visits to Ben Gurion and Eilat airports.

“The exchange was extremely fruitful as both sides shared their know-how and experience,” said Sarah Poralla, airports rulemaking officer at EASA.

On 13 April the CAAI’s work culminated in its decision to grant the five airports interim certificates, based on the rules, certification procedure and audit results.

There are plans to convert these interim certificates into full certificates by the end of 2013, when the Israeli Airport Authority (IAA) will have demonstrated the airports’ compliance with all remaining items.

Both the CAAI and the IAA say they are committed to concluding the process on time.

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