Thursday, 29 May 2014

EASA contemplates revision of its Basic Regulation

The European Aviation Safety Agency has issued an Advanced Notice or Proposed Amendment (A-NPA) concerning the EASA Basic Regulation (Regulation Nr. 216/2008), which means it has initiated preliminary consultation thereon with all actors involved. The consultation regards the Regulation’s modernization in view of the future mid-term and long-term developments in aviation. The changes proposed relate to:
A performance-based and integrated approach to safety,
• Modernising and updating the EASA’s safety remit,
• Extending the EASA’s remit beyond safety,
• Optimising the use of available resources
• Ensure an adequate and stable Agency funding,
• Further integration of aviation aspects, and
• Aviation regulation beyond the EASA’s facets.

The deadline for comments and responses is 15 August 2014.

You can find EASA’s A-NPA here.

Monday, 26 May 2014

EU Commission releases report on the implementation of the Airport-Charges-Directive

The EU Commission has released a report on the implementation of Directive 2009/12/EC on airport charges. The report evaluates the Directive as to its impact on consultation of airport users by airport managers, transparency and non-discrimination of the charges imposed, the role of the established Independent Supervisory Authorities (ISAs) in each Member State, and the flexibility to impose differentiated services on airport users. The report concludes that the Directive has brought about improvements, yet further steps should be taken, for its implementation varies not only among Member States but also among different airports of the same Member State.

Friday, 23 May 2014

European Commission releases report on complaint handling and enforcement of the Air Passenger Rights Regulations

The European Commission released a report on the application and enforcement of the EU Regulations on the rights of air passengers, i.e. Regulation 261/2004, which lays down passenger rights in case of long delay, flight cancellation and denied boarding, and Regulation 1107/2006, which provides for the rights of persons with reduced mobility. The report contains statistics for the period 2010-2012, based on data reported by the National Enforcement Bodies (NEBs) and Eurocontrol. The statistics provide very interesting information.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Retaliation or Negotiation? Rogozin bans RD-180 exports to the US, while creating uncertainty about GPS and ISS

Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, has been reported to have ordered a ban of exports of RD-180 engines to the US, as long as the engines are used for military purposes. At the same time, he indicated that GPS stations in Russian may not be allowed after June 1, while Russia is not interested in prolonging ISS operations after 2020. However, all these developments could be seen as parts of a large geopolitical negotiation between the US and Russia.

ICAO takes action on tracking of airline flights

ICAO concluded a Special Meeting on Global Flight Tracking of Aircraft on 14 May and set priorities with Member States and the airline industry. The priorities regard short-term, mid-term and long-term actions.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Preliminary injunction against ULA dissolved

The US Court of Federal Claims dissolved the injunction issued against United Launch Alliance (ULA). The injunction had been ordered based on claims of the Space Exploration Systems Corp. (SpaceX) that ULA’s transactions with NPO Energomash, the manufacturer of the RD-180 engines used in ULA’s Atlas V rocket were in violation of Executive Order Nr. 13,661, which has imposed economic sanctions to Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister. It had been found that NPO Energomash served Rogozin’s financial interests. The order could only be dissolved after the US Departments of State, Commerce and the Treasury had sent the court an opinion that commercial transactions with NPO Energomash do not violate the Executive Order Nr. 13,661, which took place on 6 May.
Click here for the text of the dissolving order and here for ULA’s sharp criticism against SpaceX’s judicial actions.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

SpaceX's lawsuit against US Air Force sparks developments

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) has filed a lawsuit against the US Air Force for awarding a series of launch contracts to the United Launch Alliance (ULA) without a competition. At the same time, SpaceX had requested a preliminary injunction to block any commercial or financial transactions with NPO Energomash, a Russian company that manufactures the RD-180 engines of the vehicles used by the ULA, which was granted by the Court. This move has caused a series of reactions in the US and the Russian Federation. However, at present things may not be as tense as they seem.

Monday, 5 May 2014

One-stop shop for safety authorization of TCOs in the EU

The European Commission announced the adoption of new Regulation (Part-TCO) that enables Third Country Operators (TCO) to obtain a single safety authorization for operations in the EU. TCOs will no longer be required to make a separate application for a safety authorization to each EU Member State they want to fly to, as is the case now.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Aviation safety: Statistics and developments

2013 is one of the safest years in aviation, according to IATA and ICAO statistics. However, challenges remain in runway excursions, Loss Of Control in Flight (LOC-I) and Control Flight into Terrain (CFIT). Meanwhile, EASA and IATA have signed an agreement on safety information sharing.