Europe‘s aviation safety regulator and IATA have struck a deal to share to share their airline safety audit results.

The relevant European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) data consists of information obtained during spot checks on aircraft and crews under the Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft (SAFA) programme when they visit EU airports.

The IATA information, meanwhile, is gathered when airlines undergo a biennial IATA operational safety audit (IOSA). This is a requirement for association member carriers but also voluntarily embraced by about 150 non-IATA airlines.

By pooling this information, the organisations say, they can complement each other‘s audit programmes and improve their ability to recognise industry-wide safety issues or trends.

IATA says a confidentiality agreement is built into the system, and only the data of those who approve the sharing will be exchanged, explaining: “Each airline is responsible for authorising the sharing of its own information. The airline has to give IATA the authorisation to share their IOSA results with EASA, and vice versa with regard to the SAFA audit. We have established a formal process for this authorisation.

EASA says the arrangement will help the parties avoid duplication of effort, adding:We expect that the ability to compare and analyse both the IOSA and SAFA audits will help us to improve the overall auditing processes for both systems.About 11,000 safety inspections are carried out under SAFA each year, says the agency.

SAFA results will also contribute to IATA‘s newly launched e-IOSA (enhanced IOSA), which involves exposure to a continuous monitoring process rather than depending on a full audit carried out once every two years. EASA says the initiative dovetails well with its new Third Country Operators (TCO) system, under which an airline wishing to serve EU destinations can now apply centrally for European safety approval, rather than having to apply individually to each EU state it wishes to serve.

“Partnering with IATA on data sharing is a major stepping stone towards our common goal to promote the highest possible level of safety in aviation,” says EASA executive director Patrick Ky. “This close and pragmatic relationship with industry will in particular facilitate the demonstration of compliance to the new rules affecting non-European Union airlines”.

Source: Cirium Dashboard