Mr Simpson went on call for continued improvement in Europe’s already-excellent safety record and reiterated his call for change to be made only where it is necessary. M Goudou, saying EASA’s motto is ‘Your safety is our mission’, said EASA does not want to over-regulate, but that there needs to be clarification of industry’s role and responsibilities. He went onto talk about moving from a prescriptive form of regulating to a performance-based one, with more risk-based oversight founded on good safety data, which must be shared across Europe. While M Goudou clearly shares IAOPA’s concern that the lack of data makes for bad regulation, that hasn’t stopped the European regulatory express hurtling onwards to meet its arbitrary and artificial deadlines.
Patrick Gandil of the French DGAC said that the average number of aviation fatalities in France over the last five years had been about 60, which illustrates one of the major dilemmas of European harmonisation. The comparable number in the United Kingdom is 20 to 25; harmonisation leading to a ‘split the difference’ death figure would be difficult for the UK to stomach, while harmonisation on the French figure would be catastrophic.
IAOPA Senior Vice President Martin Robinson asked M Goudou and M Gandil how they made sure that new safety regulations did not themselves become safety risks? The second part of the question was how to achieve proportionality between safety and business growth in GA? Daniel Calleja answered by saying the question was “very interesting, but very difficult.” Neither of the two Patricks gave very good answers, saying it was difficult because of the diversity of general aviation. M Goudou said they recognised that one size does not fit all, and that GA is different to CAT, therefore they tried and introduce flexibility in the rules.
The conference concentrated largely on CAT; when Martin Robinson asked why speakers from general aviation had not been invited, there was no answer.