Safety of Foreign Aircraft

Your safety is the number one priority of the whole aviation industry. Learn about what measures make flying as safe as it is.

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The responsibilities of the UK Civil Aviation Authority only relate to UK registered aircraft and operators. Although it has no direct regulatory responsibility of foreign operators or foreign-registered aircraft in the UK, it does have the power to inspect and ground foreign-registered aircraft under specific safety-related circumstances.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations agency operating from Montreal, sets Standards and Recommended Practices for the conduct of international civil aviation and each Member State is required to ensure that the aircraft it operates internationally meet these standards and comply with its own national regulations.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has been set up to promote the highest common standards of safety and environmental protection in civil aviation across Europe, and be a reliable partner for equivalent authorities throughout the world.

The CAA takes part in the Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft programme, which is under Department for Transport (DfT) control. In 2008 it will conduct approximately 600 ramp inspections, which will increase to 1000 from 2009.

Whilst the European Union and its Member States are working with safety authorities in other countries to raise safety standards across the world, there are still some airlines operating in conditions below essential safety levels. To improve safety in Europe further, the European Commission – in consultation with Member States’ aviation safety authorities – has decided to ban airlines found to be unsafe from operating in European airspace. The current list can be found on the European Commission web site.