DUBAI- The U.A.E. has become the first non-European state to be granted full membership in European Union’s Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft, known as SAFA.
The deal was finalised during the visit of European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) Executive Director, Patrick Kym, to the U.A.E. last week, where he announced the qualification of the U.A.E. as a full member of the SAFA programme.
The announcement sets an unprecedented achievement for the region as the UAE became the first member in the region and only the second non EU member.
Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the General Civil Aviation Authority, said, “Over the past years, several far-reaching co-operations and initiatives were taken which helped in the transformation of the U.A.E. aviation sector and in the establishment of a robust and coherent safety oversight system in a very short time span.
“The GCAA, in cooperation with its strategic partners, and in particular EASA, has built an efficient and safe air transport system to support the economic growth of the U.A.E. and improving the quality of life and safety of U.A.E. citizens,” Al Suwaidi added.
Ismail Al Blooshi, Assistant Director-General, Aviation Safety Affairs said that the GCAA is determined to continue to be a key player and active partner of EU and EASA with the irrevocable objective of improving and promoting safety in the U.A.E.. He confirmed that the adoption of the EU SAFA programme will facilitate the ability of the U.A.E. to address some of its future aviation challenges.
U.A.E. membership in the EU-SAFA programme will enhance GCAA’s safety inspection procedures. Under this membership, the civil aviation authority will increase the number of inspections to 300 a year. It will also share inspection findings with EU states and have access to the their inspection results as well.
Sultan Mohamed Al Zara, Director of Foreign Operators Department, said, “We are committed to maintaining a high quality of safety standards in the U.A.E. by keeping tight collaboration with EU, in addition to future plans to promote the high coherence of the surveillance system with the aim of having more cost-effective, proportionate, consistent, and easy-to-implement requirements for the U.A.E. civil aviation system.”-WAM