ASN logo
Safety Assessment
Last updated: 4 August 2009
ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme
EU Blacklist
EU Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft - SAFA

ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme
In 1998 the International Civial Aviation Organisation (ICAO) established a universal safety oversight audit programme, comprised of regular, mandatory, systematic and harmonized safety audits to be carried out by ICAO on all Contracting States. Since 1 January 1999, the Safety Oversight Audit (SOA) Section of the Air Navigation Bureau of ICAO has been conducting safety oversight audits of the civil aviation authorities of member countries in relation to personnel licensing, operation of aircraft, and airworthiness. The audits are designed to determine the status of States' implementation of the critical elements of a safety oversight system and the implementation of relevant ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices, associated procedures, guidance material and safety-related practices.

Related information

FAA International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA)
The FAA’s IASA program focuses on a country's ability, not the individual air carrier, to adhere to international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance established by the United Nation's technical agency for aviation, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). These audits are limited to civil aviation authorities of countries with existing air carrier service to the U.S., or authorities of foreign air carriers wanting to start services to the U.S.

Related information

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) Programme is an internationally recognised and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline.
IOSA uses internationally recognised quality audit principles, and is designed so that audits are conducted in a standardised and consistent manner.
By 2007, all IATA Members will need to have successfully undergone the IOSA audit in order to achieve or maintain IATA Membership. A list of IOSA registered airlines is available on the IATA website.

EU Blacklist
In March 2006 the EU published a Community
list of air carriers subject to an operating ban within the European Community. Bans and operational restrictions are only imposed based on evidence of violation of objective and transparent criteria. These criteria focus on the results of checks carried out in European airports; the use of poorly maintained, antiquated or obsolete aircraft; the inability of the airlines to rectify shortcomings identified during inspections; and the inability of the authority responsible for overseeing an airline to perform its task properly. Member States reported that five countries have an inadequate system for regulatory oversight. One important consequence of the black list will be to root out the practice of flags of convenience whereby some countries issue Air Operation Certificates to dubious airline companies.

ECAC Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft - SAFA
The SAFA (Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft) programme is an international programme established in the countries that are members of the ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference) or the JAA (Joint Aviation Authorities). The programme provides for inspections of foreign aircraft by the participating countries for the purpose of promoting the safety of international civil aviation.

Year Inspected aircraft Participating ECAC states
2003 3411 27
2002 3234 25
2001 2706 25
2000 2394 22
1999 2801 20
1998 2752 22
1997 ca. 1713 19
1996 ca 110 9

ECAC states that did not take part in the program in 2002 were: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cypus, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Portugal, Serbia Montenegro,Turkey and the Ukraine.

ECAC/JAA programme for safety assessment of foreign aircraft - SAFA -reports.

Related information