The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is set for approval as an active, centralised aviation safety executive with full legal powers. This should happen within a year providing that the remaining political process goes smoothly, says European Commission (EC) safety chief Claude Probst.

With agreement last week at the European Union (EU) Council of Transport Ministers, the shape of EASA is now defined. Hurdles remaining are legal and procedural, including two readings at the European Parliament. Unless major dissent is voiced in Parliament, the EU could have approved its own Civil Aviation Act by about June 2002, Probst believes.

As settled over two years ago, the EASA will be a devolved agency of the EC. The key new advance is that individual states have agreed how to devolve safety regulatory power to an EU body.

Source: Flight International