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Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft (SAFA)


5th SAFA Forum Report.pdf

Latest update 17/02/2017: please see below for more details.


EU States are legally obliged under community legislation to establish a programme with procedures for the surveillance of operations in their territory by a foreign operator and for taking appropriate action when necessary to preserve safety. This led to the Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft (SAFA) programme being established by the European Commission with EASA overseeing its management. Under the SAFA programme, a third country aircraft may be inspected within EU Member States. If an inspection finds irregularities these are followed up with the airline and appropriate national aviation authority. If these irregularities are deemed significant enough to impact safety, the aircraft may be grounded until it is rectified. The two main objectives of the SAFA programme are:

  1. to inspect third-country aircraft landing at EU airports involved in commercial operations, from other EU Member States, over 5700 KG involved in non-commercial operations and helicopter operations;
  2. to participate in the collection and exchange of information on the ramp inspections results.

ERA's Current Position

Based on regular feedback from members there are notably different interpretations by inspectors as to the nature and seriousness of inspections in different states. This has led to unduly severe reports and even grounding of aircraft. ERA collects examples of unreasonable reports to send to EASA. Captain Peter Damberg, Danish Air Transport, represented ERA members at the recent EASA annual forum to discuss SAFA issues.


Latest update 17/02/2017: The last SAFA Regulators and Industry Forum was hosted in Cologne on 29-30 September 2016, and a summary of the meeting can be viewed via the downloads section on this page.

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