EASA - Air Traffic Standards

EASA as it affects the regulation of Air Traffic Standards

EASA - Air Traffic Standards

The following EASA ATM Implementing Rule (IRs), published on 11 August 2011 in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEC), entered into force on 31 August 2011:

The following ‘fast-track’ EASA ATM Implementing Rules (IRs), published on 18 October 2011 in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEC), entered into force on 7 November 2011:

These are, in the main, transpositions of existing European Legislation and will therefore have very little impact on currently certified organisations or currently licensed ATCOs. Work which is also underway in EASA to develop further Implementing Rules dealing with ATCO Licensing, the certification and oversight of Approved (ATCO) Training Organisations and a broad spectrum of other ATM/ANS legislation will, however, be more wide-ranging and will be the subject of formal consultation in due course. The CAA's Aerodrome and Air Traffic Standards Division (AATSD) intends to alert UK industry to the dates of publication of associated EASA Notices of Proposed Amendment (NPA) in due course in order that ANSPs and individuals will be able to provide comment to EASA on what is being proposed.


This page summarises the main steps of the EASA Rulemaking process with an emphasis on:

  • The opportunities for interested individuals and organisations to influence the development and amendment of rules;
  • The engagement of the CAA and the opinions offered by ATSD.


‘Rulemaking’ is defined as the development and issuance of rules for the implementation of the Basic Regulation.

‘Rules’ comprise the following:

  • Opinions concerning the scope and content of the Basic Regulation and its implementing rules, consisting of a draft regulation and an explanatory memorandum.
  • Certification specifications.
  • Guidance material.

The Rulemaking Programme

The rulemaking programme is set by the EASA Executive Director in consultation with the Safety Standards Consultative Committee (SSCC) and the Advisory Group of National Authorities (AGNA). The CAA is represented at AGNA.

Any persons or organisation may propose the development of a new rule or an amendment.

The adopted rulemaking programme is published in the Agency’s official publication.

Initiation of Rulemaking Task

At initiation the EASA  Executive Director draw up the terms of reference for each rulemaking task to include:

  • A clear definition of the task
  • A timetable for completion of the task 
  • The format of the deliverable.

The terms of reference are published in the Agency’s official publication.

The EASA Executive Director chooses between the use of a drafting group or Agency resources for the fulfilment of each rulemaking task. This decision is taken after consulting the SSCC and AGNA.

The CAA is represented at the following Air Traffic Management drafting groups:

  • ATM.001 Extension of the EASA system to safety regulation of Air Traffic Management (ATM) and Air Navigation Services (ANS) - development of rules on Requirements for Air Navigation Service Providers  
  • ATM.004 Extension of the EASA system to safety regulation of Air Traffic Management (ATM) and Air Navigation Services (ANS) - development of rules on competent authorities.

In addition the CAA is represented at following expert/sub groups:

  • ATM.001/WG03 Total Systems Approach (TSA) 
  • Safety Assessment Task Force (SATF) 
  • ATM.001/WG01 Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA)
  • ATM.001/WG04 Air Traffic Safety Electronic Personnel 

The Drafting of Rules or Amendments

New rules or amendments are drafted in accordance with the published terms of reference. Upon completion of drafting the EASA Executive Director  publishes a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA).


Any person or organisation with an interest in the rule under development is entitled to comment on the basis of the published NPA. A Comment Response Tool  has been developed for this purpose.

The CAA responses to NPAs are made available to the general public.

The consultation period is given in the Terms of Reference, typically three months.

Review of Comments

The EASA Executive Director reviews the comments received from the consultees and publishes details in the Agency’s official publication in the form of a Common Response Document (CRD), typically within three months of the expiry of the consultation period.

If the result of the review of comments is such that the revised text differs significantly from that circulated at the start of the consultation process, the EASA Executive Director shall consider a further consultation round in accordance with this decision.

Adoption and Publication

The EASA Executive Director issues his/her decision in respect of the rule in question no earlier than two months following the date of publication of the Common Response Document (CRD) in order to allow sufficient time for consultees to respond to its contents.

The CAA responses to CRDs are made available to the general public.