Replacing the European Joint Aviation Authorities with its planned successor, the single European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA), over the next five years is going to be fraught with difficulties, according to JAA director-general Klaus Koplin. The JAA has completed its basic task, Koplin says, and its remaining job is to help its member nations implement the existing Joint Aviation Requirements.

The difficulty with the EASA is that there is no legal or constitutional precedent for it, says Koplin. Effectively it will be the first European federal executive body devolved from the European Commission. Many JAA nations are still finding it difficult to implement JARs through their own legal systems, so they will find it harder still to absorb legally, politically and constitutionally the loss of sovereignty which the creation of the EASA implies, he says.

All the national aviation authorities are in favour of the EASA concept, "but some have not clearly made up their mind about how this will tie in with the current legal and political system, especially where regulations are concerned." There is no precedent for separating regulation from oversight, adds Koplin. The EASA would provide the regulation, the national aviation authorities the oversight, he says.

Working towards the EASA, the JAA is going to have to "streamline itself", Koplin predicts, reducing itself from a three-layer executive to two layers. This will not be easy because a closer definition of the new agency's structure will be necessary before demolishing anything of the existing one, he adds.

Source: Flight International