The future of commercial air transport safety regulation and oversight should be based on carrier operational performance, not on documentary compliance with regulatory minutiae, according to IATA’s regional director safety and operations for Europe, Giancarlo Buono.

Speaking at the 16-17 September Flightglobal Flight Safety 2014 conference at London Heathrow, Buono said: “It’s the outcome that matters. The means of achieving a good safety performance is a matter of risk assessment using a safety management system.”

He predicts the days of a “Tom and Jerry” relationship between regulator and regulated airlines will be consigned to history, and a system built on co-operation and performance will replace the old “compliance-based” oversight system based on minimum legal standards.

Speaking at the same conference, the performance-based regulation manager at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, John Clark, says the CAA began changing its safety oversight system from a compliance-based system to one based on measurable safety performance in April this year, and the evolution to the new system will be complete by April 2016. This transformation, Clark says, is not necessary only because it will produce better safety performance at airline level, but because national aviation authorities will face a resources crisis, and regulator/airline co-operation is the only way to meet regulatory needs in a growing industry.

Buono confirms that both the US Federal Aviation Administration and Europe’s EASA are committed to moving to performance-based regulation, backed by ICAO.

Source: Cirium Dashboard