David Learmount/LONDON

A process allowing the European Joint Aviation Authorities' to move from standards setter to executive authority is proposed in a document to be published next week.

JAA secretary general Klaus Koplin says the Agenda for Change report will take the JAA as far as it can go towards a fully executive European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA), acknowledging that politicians have to make the final moves.

The present system's weakness is the ultra-slow framing and implementation of Joint Aviation Requirements (JARs), says Koplin. The aim is to speed up agreement by replacing the need for Europe-wide consensus with a system requiring majority approval followed by the publication of proposals for ratification.

As well as speeding up rulemaking, Koplin says the objective is to agree timeframes within which JARs must be implemented. At the moment, says Koplin, only about 50% of the JAA member states have implemented JAR (Operations), because at present they have to be enacted in national law and many states have not done this.

The requirement for nation-by-nation implementation will only be superseded when the politicians agree to create a supra-national EASA which they have said, in principle, they wish to do.

Meanwhile, the Agenda for Change proposes that the JAA's central organisation is given the status of an executive, rather than being the administrative headquarters of a forum, with the secretary general becoming chief executive. Industry interests would be safeguarded by a permanent Interested Parties Advisory Panel nominated by operators and manufacturers.

The new JAA structure "mirrors closely the organisation developed for the future EASA", says the report. If approved by the JAA Committee, the new structure will be implemented by April 2001.

European Commission Transport Commissioner Loyola de Palacio has suggested that slow political progress might be overcome by a staged implementation of the EASA, with European Union JAA member states moving first.

Source: Flight International