The U.S. formally entered into a new bilateral aviation safety agreement (BASA) with the European Union (EU) on Sunday.
“The agreement is great news for the U.S. and European civil aviation industry serving customers on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Sarah MacLeod, executive director of the Aeronautical Repair Station Association. “The BASA will enhance efficiencies for government and industry, reduce regulatory duplication and lower compliance costs, all while ensuring effective oversight and allowing our members to build on their outstanding safety record.”
According to MacLeod, bilateral agreements allow countries to use internal resources for domestic companies rather than expend those limited resources on foreign certifications.
“The way it works in practice is FAA inspectors will conduct EASA audits instead of EASA inspectors coming over here and charging our companies for the travel expenses and time to receive an EU Part 145 certificate,” MacLeod told AIN. The same holds true for EU repairs stations and FAA certification.
She estimates it costs about $30,000 to have the EASA issue a Part 145 certificate for even a small company with limited ratings.
“The FAA has to audit only for the additional or different EASA requirements, which takes a lot less time and energy than having EASA come over here and duplicate most of the requirements,” she said.
A common concern has been that the agreement would cost American workers jobs. “No, that’s not correct,” MacLeod explained. “The ability to perform maintenance for bilateral countries without having to pay for the certification allows companies to add jobs. If the issue is really about U.S. jobs then bilateral agreements [provide] the best method of adding workers in this country.”