International Operations | New European Inspection Rules

International Operations

New Ramp Inspection Rules for International Operations in Europe 

If you are planning an international operations flight in Europe, be aware that major changes to European inspection rules are on the horizon and being proactive can save you time and hassle. Safety Assessments of Foreign Aircraft (SAFA) now come with new requirements that may affect flight crews’ daily operations. 

Ramp Inspections 

While the SAFA ramp inspections primarily target international operations for commercial aircraft, it’s wise to be prepared even if you’re flying a general aviation plane. A recent RAMP Industry Forum organized by EASA discussed key focus areas for future inspections. 

  • Fasteners: When it comes to missing fasteners on exterior panels, regulators have defined safe limits that, if exceeded, can lead to flight cancellations. While the MEL should determine the specific number, it’s essential to conduct a thorough preflight check for any loose or missing screws, rivets, and fasteners on exterior panels before your transatlantic journey. 
  • Electronic Devices: As for electronic devices utilizing lithium-ion batteries, both the devices and batteries themselves should be carried in the cabin as part of your carry-on luggage. Additionally, reviewing your dangerous goods storage program will ensure all crew members are well-informed on handling these potentially hazardous materials. 
  • Alcohol Testing: Regarding alcohol testing, most tests are performed during SAFA inspections, while approximately 10% are conducted separately. Fortunately, inspectors take privacy seriously and relocate the crew to a private area away from passengers’ view. 

Excitingly, EASA recognizes the distinction between commercial airlines and private jet operators, bringing good news for the latter. However, it’s crucial to follow the advice of the NBAA and conduct a thorough walk-around inspection before filing your international operations flight plan to Europe. Ensure all your fasteners are securely tightened for optimum safety. 

Stay ahead of the game and make your journey to Europe a breeze by staying informed and prepared. 

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