The EU Ramp Inspection Programme is a European Programme regarding the performance of ramp inspections on aircraft used by third country operators (SAFA) or used by operators under the regulatory oversight of another EU Member State (SACA). The Programme is regulated by Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 and it provides for the inspection of aircraft suspected (based on e.g. safety relevant information collected by the Participating States or on regular analysis of the centralized database performed by EASA) of non-compliance with the applicable requirements (either international safety standards or EU standards). Ramp inspections may also be carried out in the absence of any suspicion, in this case a spot-check procedure is being used.
The applicable legal framework of the Programme contains the following:
- Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 of 5 October 2012;
- Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM) to Part-ARO, consolidated version, issue 3, 28 July 2014; and
- Inspection Instructions on the Categorization of Ramp Inspection (SAFA/SACA) Findings – INST.RI.01/002 approved on 18 November 2015.
The EU Ramp Inspection Programme has replaced the EU SAFA Programme and has two major components:
- SAFA ramp inspections (for third country operators); and
- SACA ramp inspections (for community operators – checked against EU standards).
In each Participating State, aircraft of operators under the safety oversight of another Member State or of a third country can be subject to a ramp inspection, chiefly concerned with the aircraft documents and manuals, flight crew licenses, the apparent condition of the aircraft and the presence and condition of mandatory cabin safety equipment.
The applicable requirements for these inspections are:
- The ICAO international standards for aircraft used by third country operators;
- The relevant EU requirements for aircraft used by operators under the regulatory oversight of another Member State;
- Manufacturers’ standards when checking the technical condition of the aircraft; and
- Published national standards (e.g. Aeronautical Information Publications (AIPs)) that are declared applicable to all operators flying to that State.
These checks are carried out in accordance with a procedure which is common to all the Participating States. Their outcome is then subject to reports which also follow a common format.
In case of significant irregularities, the operator and the appropriate Aviation Authority (State of Operator or State of Registry) are contacted in order to arrive at corrective measures to be taken not only with regard to the aircraft inspected, but also with regard to other aircraft which could be concerned in the case of an irregularity which is of a generic nature. All data from the reports as well as supplementary information are shared and centralized in a computerized database set up and managed by EASA.
The main features of the EU Ramp Inspection Programme can be summarized as follows:
- its application by all Participating States – notably all ECAC States (EU Member States, non-EU ECAC States as well as non-EU States that have signed the EASA Working Arrangements);
- the broad dissemination of inspection results through a centralized database;
- its bottom-up approach: the programme is built around ramp inspections of aircraft;
- non-discriminatory approach: obligation for the participating EU Member States, that in addition to third country aircraft, to inspect EU aircraft as well, on the basis of the EU requirements
The 48 Participating States engaged in the EU Ramp Inspections Programme are: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom.
The ramp inspections are performed by qualified ramp inspectors, according to an approved Ramp Inspector’s Hand-book.
DG CAA - SAFA DEPARTMENT
Contacts List for SAFA:
Orlin Ignatov - Acting SAFA National Co-ordinator
Tel.: +359 2 948 8073
E-mail: [email protected]
Air Safety Report (ASR) Forms are used as a data collection tool for tracking and trending within the Safety database. ASRs serve a Group effort to collect data resulting from any discovery, delay, event or mishap, in order to share and analyze information.
Air Safety Reports must be completed to report any occurrence which has a bearing upon the safety of company flight operations. ASRs must be submitted to SAFA Dpt. ; Operations Dpt. and Airwortwiness Dpt.
The information provided is confidential and will be used by the SAFA Dpt. at the Bulgarian DG CAA for the purpose of enhancing the level of flight safety of third-country operators.