January 22, 2019


The Role of EASA

EASA commenced operations on September 28, 2003. Under the regulation, EASA initially has responsibility for:

a) All design approvals

b) Continued airworthiness

c) Design organization approvals

d) Environmental certification

e) Approving production

f) Maintenance (repair station), and

g) Maintenance training organizations

EASA also has a standardization and oversight function for all aviation safety certification activities of Member States. EASA also has responsibilities in the areas of operations, personnel licensing, aerodromes, air traffic management and air navigation services.

The Role of Competent Authorities – National Aviation Authority (NAA)

Under the EU regulation, NAAs remain responsible for approving production, maintenance, and maintenance training organizations within their country as well as airworthiness certification of individual products coming into their registry.

NAAs are required to use EASA procedures and EU implementing rules.

EASA has assumed responsibility on behalf of the EU for certification and oversight of all civil aviation products of Member States, including non-EU EASA associated countries (except for those products excluded by Annex II of the Regulation.

The products excluded from EASA’s responsibility by Annex II remain the responsibility of each NAA of the respective State of Design to manage on behalf of the EU.

Annex II generally covers small fleets of historically relevant aircraft, as well as other aircraft such as ultra-lights and amateur-built. Products that have significant usage in the aviation system generally fall under EASA’s responsibility.

Airworthiness Certification Responsibilities – EASA

Issues –

  • Type Certificates (TC)
  • Supplemental Type Certificates (STC)
  • Single Serial Number STCs
  • Amendments and other Design Approvals
  • Repair
  • European Technical Standard Order (ETSO) – Replacement parts, Design Changes and Certificate Transfers


Type Certificate Determinations

Determines the type certification basis, including special conditions and equivalent safety findings.

Accepts or rejects proposed deviations from certification specifications.

Product Determinations

  • Determines if a product complies with the type certification basis and issues relevant type certificates and other appropriate approvals.
  • Issues revocations.
  • Grants environmental certifications.
  • Oversees continued airworthiness of approved products, which includes issuing airworthiness directives (AD) related to design.

PART 21 Subpart J

Issues design organisation approvals (DOA) – Worldwide

Part 21 Subpart G

Issues production organisation approvals (POA) and repair station certifications outside the EU.

(EASA may issue repair station or production approvals for European organizations at the request of an NAA.

Cooperates with foreign authorities and international institutions, such as ICAO, to assist the EU Member States in fulfilling their State of Design obligations.

Note: EASA may conduct certain tasks through “qualified entities” for which EASA would be responsible

National Airworthiness Authority (NAA) – Competent Authority (CA)

  • Issues POAs and repair station certifications in their national boundaries. (An NAA may request EASA to issue a repair station or production approval for an organization in the EU.)
  • Issues airworthiness certificates for individual aircraft registered in their country.
  • Issues mandatory corrective actions when unsafe condition relates to production or maintenance.
  • Issues noise certificates for individual aircraft registered in their country.
  • Approves and oversees all Annex II aircraft and related parts and appliances not under EASA’s authority.

Non-EU Countries Representation

Non-EU European countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland are identified as “EASA associated countries.”

EASA is the single approval authority for design related activity within the associated countries.

Responsibility (In EASA Associated Countries) for production related activity still rests with the individual national aviation authority.

Note – While not an EU member, the associated countries retain their sovereignty to conclude international agreements/bilateral agreements with third countries.

However, they may not conclude agreements which would contradict the interests of EASA. (Since these countries are not in the EU, they are not eligible for the full range of EASA membership entitlements.)

US – Bi Lateral “EASA associated countries.”

The U.S. government has bilateral aviation agreements (BAA) in place addressing airworthiness certification with Norway and Switzerland.

For validation projects involving these countries, EASA will act as the technical agent for those BAAs

Note for “EASA associated countries.” the U.S./EU Agreement is not applicable.


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EASA Regulatory Introduction