Ukraine has taken a step closer to adopting European Union air transport safety standards. The State Aviation Administration of Ukraine (SAAU) has entered into a three-year project with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to assist Ukraine’s aviation sector in matching European regulatory standards.
This move follows a certification arrangement between the European Commission and SAAU set up on 16 January this year.
The new project – which will be managed by EASA – focuses primarily on developing and implementing the alignment of all technical activities for the initial and continuing airworthiness of aircraft, aeronautical products, parts and appliances.
Ukraine, which is already linked through bilateral air services agreements with all the EU member states, is a rapidly growing aviation market which enjoyed an annual average growth of 8.8 per cent between 2007-2011.
In 2011, 3.7 million passengers travelled between the EU and Ukraine, up from 2.1 million in 2006.
In December 2005, Ukraine and the European Community signed a horizontal aviation agreement, which removed the nationality restrictions in the bilateral air services agreements between EU member states and Ukraine, thereby allowing any EU airline to operate flights between any EU member state and Ukraine.
Commenting on the launch of the aviation standards programme, Luc Tytgat, director for strategy and safety management at EASA, says: “The EASA-SAAU airworthiness convergence project will further enhance the partnership and cooperation between the EU and Ukraine in aviation.”
Alexandr Bilchuk, chairman of the SAAU, underscores the importance of receiving EASA’s backing. “This support from EASA is a significant factor in the development of competencies and capabilities of the SAAU in the field of airworthiness, especially in the framework of the implementation of EU standards in the aviation domain,” he explains.
“We are very grateful to our European colleagues for the proposed intensive plan of work and we aim to finalise the convergence document by the end of the third quarter of 2017.”
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