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Regional Aviation Safety Organisations: Enhancing Air Transport Safety through Regional Cooperation

Aviation safety is of global concern. Yet 43% of countries worldwide lack the expertise and administrative capacity to ensure effective safety oversight of the aviation activities for which they are responsible under international law.

Dhr. M.A. Ratajczyk
20 November 2014

With air traffic predicted to double in the next 15 years and increasing pressure on public administration budgets, countries are increasingly pooling their resources to improve aviation safety. One of the ways States can achieve regulatory efficiencies and increase the safety of air transport is by establishing Regional Aviation Safety Organisations (RASOs). RASOs develop proposals for safety legislation, train safety inspectors, certify aircraft and airlines and even investigate aviation accidents.

Despite the rapid development of RASOs over the last twelve years, there has been surprisingly little legal research on this new phenomenon. In his doctoral dissertation MikoĊ‚aj Ratajczyk conducts comparative case studies of RASOs and analyses their place in the international legal framework for aviation safety. He concludes that while the majority of current RASOs only have advisory and support functions, there is a clear trend for such organisations to evolve into bodies with regulatory powers which in the future could collaborate with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to form a Global Aviation Safety Oversight Network (GASON). Such a development, the author concludes, would enable a more uniform and effective implementation of the international regulatory framework for aviation safety.

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