EASA promotes the future of Safety Oversight

On 10 and 11 October 2012, EASA hosts its 4th annual safety conference, which this year focusses on Performance Based Oversight. More than 300 aviation specialists are gathered in Cologne, Germany to consider the future of oversight by regulatory authorities, when Safety Management Systems (SMS) will be fully implemented by organisations in all aviation domains including Airworthiness, Operations, Licensing, Aerodromes, and Air Navigation Services.
The objective of Performance Based Oversight is to achieve the highest possible level of safety in the aviation system with a series of defined, organisation-wide processes that enable effective day-to-day risk-based decision-making. Experiences and initiatives by industry and regulators to develop different practical approaches for inspection, assessment and oversight will be presented and discussed at the conference.

Opening the conference, Patrick Goudou, EASA Executive Director said: "I am very pleased to see so many aviation specialists from all over the world at this conference. Effective safety management is the recognised way forward in performing safety oversight. However, this is a significant challenge for all of us in aviation, particularly due to the increasing complexity of the industry and the difficult financial times we are in. We therefore need to focus on safety performance in addition to complying with the relevant regulatory frameworks".

There are many benefits to be gained from a performance based approach: organisations can better understand the potential risks they face and be better informed about the implications of those risks in their daily activities. Similarly, authorities benefit from more effective targeting of their oversight, as well as improvements in efficiency and productivity.

This EASA safety conference is the fourth of its kind, after conferences on pilot training in 2009, the impact of climate change on aviation safety in 2010, and loss of control in 2011.

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