The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is an agency of the European Union which has been given specific regulatory and executive tasks in the field of aviation safety. The Agency constitutes a key part of the European Union’s strategy to establish and maintain a high uniform level of civil aviation safety in Europe.
The Agency’s mission is twofold.
-It shall provide technical expertise to the European Commission by assisting in the drafting of rules for aviation safety in various areas and providing technical input to the conclusion of the relevant international agreements.
-In addition, the Agency has been given the power to carry out certain executive tasks related to aviation safety, such as the certification of aeronautical products and organisations involved in their design, production and maintenance. These certification activities help to ensure compliance with airworthiness and environmental protection standards.
The EASA certifies products from civil aviation altogether, including general and business aviation. It is important to note that its remit does not cover aviation security (prevention of illegal actions against civil aviation like hijacking, for instance). This comes under the remit of the Community law applied by the Member States.
The Community legislator has already decided that, in the longer term, the Agency's competencies should be progressively enlarged to all other areas of civil aviation safety, notably to air operations and flight crew licensing. A first extension of the Agency’s scope to air operations, flight crew licensing and the authorisation of third-country operators was laid down by Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 February 2008.