EU regulatory developments

posted on 15th June 2022
EU regulatory developments

Since 2018, EASA (the European Union Aviation Safety Agency) has been working towards the establishment of a set of ground handling objectives designed to ensure that ground service providers follow only safe procedures in their handling on the ramp. Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 will mean that, instead of having to comply with 27 different requirements at EU aerodromes, handlers will have only one set of rules to follow.
While the pandemic has delayed progress, EASA and a group of experts representing all affected stakeholders are now working on the draft rules and it is expected that the regulation will be published in 2024. Thereafter EASA will publish an associated decision containing Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material to support the implementation of the requirements included in the regulation.
“As far as we can tell from the current drafting phase and the feedback from the experts with whom we are working, the regulation will not provide detailed requirements on ground handling operational procedures, because these are the first and fastest ones to change and update, to include lessons learned from daily operations, new technologies, etc, and a regulation cannot keep pace with this rhythm of change,” an EASA spokesperson said.
“It will instead establish the high-level safety objectives that a provider of ground handling services must comply with in order to ensure safety of its operation.”
In late April, the EASA spokesperson said: “In the coming weeks and months EASA will have several focused consultation sessions with the EASA Advisory Bodies [composed of representatives of the EASA member states and the European Commission, among other entities] on the first draft of the Opinion. We will also organise a webinar on 30 June, open to the public (https://www.easa.europa.eu/newsroom-and-events/events/webinar-eu-ground-handling-regulation).
“The purpose of the webinar and the focused consultation is to provide some clarification on the draft rules, obtain the first feedback from industry and member states, to see if we are heading in the right direction to address the needs already identified in 2019, and to collect their suggestions and recommendations.”