The Story of the Joint Airworthiness Authority (JAA)

The Airbus A300B given the go-ahead by France and Germany in 1969 smaller and lighter than its three-engine American rivals, it was 20% more fuel efficient. Hawker Siddeley (later to become part of British Aerospace designed a new wing for this aeroplane which delivered both greater lift and improved the A300’s performance.

The JAA was established in 1970. Originally its objectives were to produce common certification codes for large aeroplanes and for engines in order to meet the needs of European industry (e.g. Airbus). Partly driven by the need for a more efficient certification process particularly for the Airbus Aircraft. The JAA was founded with the objective of a cooperative safety regulatory system to achieve uniform high standards of aviation safety. The decision to harmonize with the FAA regulatory environment was a good one and persists to this day.

Airbus A300B type certificates were granted during March 1974, by both German and French authorities, clearing the way for its entry into revenue service.

The JAA, was an associated body of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) (itself a counterpoint to ICAO) representing the civil aviation regulatory authorities (CAA’s) of several European States. The JAA was not a regulatory body, regulation being achieved through the member authorities. After 1987 its work was extended to Flight Operations, Maintenance, Licensing and Certification / Design standards for all classes of aircraft.

JAR-145 was issued on 30 July 1991 and became effective on 1 January 1992. JAR -145 introduced new requirements for maintenance organisations involved in maintenance of aircraft operated for commercial air. The initial issue of JAR OPS 1 was on 1st March 1998- with the goal – to minimize Type Certification problems on joint ventures, to facilitate the export and import of aviation products, and to regulate commercial air transport operations.

EASA – The beginning

The adoption of the Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002 by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (EU) and the subsequent establishment of The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) created a Europe-wide regulatory authority which has absorbed most functions of the JAA (in the EASA Members states). With the introduction of the EASA some non-EU members of the JAA became non-voting members of the EASA, while others were completely excluded from the legislative and executive process. Among the functions transferred is safety and environmental type-certification of aircraft, engines and parts and approval. Additional responsibilities have been subsequently added over time. In 2009, JAA was disbanded.

What does EASA Do?

In a few words it is the job of EASA on behalf of the European Member States (and a few others) to interpret the ICAO SARP’s in a practical way which both shows compliance and at the same time delivers a set of workable regulations which Industry may use to deliver a complaint and safe product and service.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is an agency of the European Union (EU) with regulatory and executive tasks in the field of civilian aviation safety. Based in Cologne, Germany, EASA started to assume legal responsibility from 28 September 2003. You may visit EASA by going to their website here 

What are the formal responsibilities of EASA?

To analysis and research of safety, authorizing foreign operators, giving advice for the drafting of EU legislation, implementing and monitoring safety rules (including inspections in the member states), giving type-certification of aircraft and components as well as the approval of organisations involved in the design, manufacture and maintenance of aeronautical products.

EASA Certifies New Aircraft

In fact without approval from EASA no aircraft is allowed to carry passengers within the European Union for profit (Commercial Air Transport)

EASA has jurisdiction over new type certificates and other design-related airworthiness approvals for aircraft, engines, propellers and parts. EASA works with the National Aviation Authorities (NAAs) of the EU members but has taken over many of their functions in the interest of aviation standardization across the EU.

EASA has developed regulations for air operations, flight crew licensing and non-EU aircraft used in the EU.

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