EASA worried about Estonian aviation authority’s ability to ensure safety
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has expressed concern that the civil aviation administrations of a number of smaller European states may be underfinanced and understaffed, and as a result could face difficulties in enforcing safety standards, reported aviation news site AINonline.
EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky cited the Estonian Civil Aviation Administration (ECAA) as an example: “Estonia employs only 34 people for air transport oversight,” said Ky, despite the country having a total of eight operators, 100 pilots, and three airports. This did not even count general aviation and air traffic control needs, he noted.
Ky had met with Estonia’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kristen Michal, but the latter reportedly did not see any imminent danger in his country’s aviation field, citing the fact that not a single aviation-related accident had occurred in Estonia in the last 20 years.
The agency director also pointed out that Estonia had a number of other concurrent “pressing development priorities,” including education and public health.
The EASA has issued safety warnings for Asia and Europe, citing concerns that certain southeast Asian countries may be compromising the safety of their airlines due to local civil aviation authorities’ lack of skills necessary for proper oversight of their own rapidly expanding fleets, and concerns that Europe could soon be facing similar problems as some countries cut back on staffing with their own civil aviation authorities in cost-cutting measures.