European regulatory agency moves closer
European civil aviation officials have begun the year-long final process to establish the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is set to replace the JAA next September. The key difference between EASA and JAA is that its regulations will be automatically binding for European Union and JAA member nations. This should prevent the sometimes costly and contradictory variations in rules that currently result from national governments changing JAA requirements when they put them on their own statute books. EASA, which is intended to have full authority over aircraft certification, was originally scheduled to be in place in 1999.