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Introduction to JAA

The Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) was an associated body of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) representing the civil aviation regulatory authorities of a number of European States who had agreed to co-operate in developing and implementing common safety regulatory standards and procedures.  This co-operation was intended to provide high and consistent standards of safety and a "level playing field" for competition in Europe.  Much emphasis was placed on harmonising the JAA regulations with those of the USA.

The JAA Membership was based on signing the "JAA Arrangements" document originally signed by the then current Member States in Cyprus in 1990. Based on these Arrangements and related commitments, the JAA's objectives and functions may be summarised as follows:

JAA's objectives were:

Aviation Safety:

To ensure, through co-operation amongst Member States, that JAA members achieve a high, consistent level of aviation safety.

Co-operation with EASA

To co-operate with the European Aviation Safety Agency in performing its functions and tasks in accordance with an agreed programme ensuring the involvement of the JAA non-EASA countries with the aim of maintaining the present unity in regulations on a pan-European dimension and the mutual acceptance/recognition of certificates/ approvals and of implementing the FUJA decisions.

Business Effectiveness:

To achieve a cost effective safety system so as to contribute to an efficient civil aviation industry.

Consolidation of Common Standards:

To contribute, through the uniform application of the highest possible common standards and through regular review of the existing regulatory situation, to fair and equal competition within Member States.

International Co-operation:

To co-operate with other regional organisations or national authorities of States playing an important role in Civil Aviation in order to reach at least the JAA safety level, and to foster the world-wide implementation of harmonised safety standards and requirements through the conclusion of international arrangements and through participation in technical assistance programmes without affecting community competence.

JAA's functions were:

The JAA's work began in 1970 (when it was known as the Joint Airworthiness Authorities).  Originally its objectives were only to produce common certification codes for large aeroplanes and for engines.  This was in order to meet the needs of European Industry and particularly for products manufactured by international consortia (e.g. Airbus).  Since 1987 its work has been extended to operations, maintenance, licensing and certification/design standards for all classes of aircraft.  With the adoption of the Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002 by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (EU) and the subsequent set up of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) a new regulatory framework was created in European aviation.

According to this Regulation, for EU Member States national regulation in the airworthiness domain has been replaced by EU Regulation and certification tasks have been transferred from National Authorities to EASA, Non EU States maintain their responsibility in all fields.

Consequently, a "Roadmap" for the establishment of clear milestones for JAA's future was developed and adopted by the JAAB and by ECAC's DGs in August 2005 (FUJA Report) proposing a transformation from JAA into JAA T (T for "transition"), comprising a Liaison Office (LO) in Cologne (Germany) and a Training Office (TO) in Hoofddorp (The Netherlands).

In November 2005 the EU Commission began the legislative process to amend EASA Regulation (EC) 1592/2002 to extend the competences of EASA into the fields of operations and licensing.

In May 2006 minor amendments to the FUJA Report were agreed by the JAAB and ECAC's DGs contemplating practical arrangements to take into account the revised anticipated dates for the extension of EASA competences.

Furthermore EU Regulation 1899/2006, dated 12 December 2006 was published on 27 December 2006.  This Regulation amends Council Regulation 3922/1991.  The amendment contained a new Annex II dealing with commercial flight operations and is referred to as EU OPS.  Following an implementation period of 18 months, EU OPS became directly applicable as of 16 July 2008.

JAA T functions were:

The JAA T existed of and functioned with two offices - the Liaison Office and the Training Office:
  • The Liaison Office "JAA LO" liaised between EASA and the Civil Aviation Authorities of the non EASA JAA Member States to integrate the activities of these States with those of EASA.  In addition, JAA LO ensured the general management of the rulemaking, including that in the fields of operations and licensing. The technical work was undertaken by EASA for all JAA members;
  • The Training Office "JAA TO" provided relevant training to the aviation community to ensure that it is sufficiently familiar with the European aviation safety rules and regulations, and to assist the non EASA JAA Member States in their efforts to obtain EASA membership.  As of 1 July 2009 JAA-TO continued to provide training courses as a Dutch Foundation and associated body of ECAC.
JAA LO in general maintained the relationship between EASA and non EASA JAA Member Sates in the following fields:
  • Ensuring the dissemination of information regarding the European evolutions in the field of air safety;
  • Ensuring a forum to express the views of the non EASA JAA Member States with the possibility to contribute with these views to EASA;
  • Assist the non EASA JAA Member States in their efforts to become EASA members;
  • Further ensuring the role of JAA as a technically specialised body;
  • Standardisation;
  • ESSI; and
  • International function (ECAC, ICAO & other regional bodies).
In the fields of operations and licensing the LO would:
  • Provide general management of the JAA's rulemaking activities;
  • Provide the secretariat of the Sectorial Teams in the fields of rulemaking for operations and licensing;
  • Complete the NPA publication process;
  • Assist in the coordination of standardisation activities.
  • The technical work will be done by EASA, based upon a commonly agreed Rulemaking Process.
In the field of airworthiness the LO would:
  • Establish the necessary regulatory framework for the non EASA JAA Member States by transposing EASA regulatory measures to non-EASA JAA membership through the agreed consultation/transposition process to ensuring the continuing pan-European system.  In particular it will:
  • Keep the JARs "in the new form" up to date in line with EASA texts;
  • Ensure the necessary support in implementing the JARs "in the new form" in these countries through consultancy as required;
  • Co-ordinate with EASA the further steps necessary to ensure the involvement of EASA and the non EASA JAA Member States in certification and maintenance processes and mutual acceptance of findings;
  • Ensure the necessary technical support through initiation of either safety bilateral agreements in order to preserve the mutual recognition of certificates issued by the national aviation authorities of these countries or full association agreements with the EC.
The JAA TO continued to provide training for authorities and stakeholders in the field of the European aviation safety rules.  It also introduced all necessary steps to ensure that it would be able to stand on its own feet after disbanding of JAA T.


a) Membership was open to members of the European Civil Aviation.
Conference (ECAC), which currently consists of 44 member countries.  Membership took effect when the 1990 "Arrangements" were signed.  There were 43 member countries in the JAA T - see separate chapter "Membership".

b) "Three-Phase" membership of the JAA.
The JAA T had a three-phase membership system.  The procedure, consistent with the Arrangements, started with a familiarisation visit by a "candidate" Authority to JAA T (Transition), leading to a report to the Chairman of the JAA Committee (JAAC) after a satisfactory conclusion.  The Authority coud then formally apply to the Chairman of the JAA Board (JAAB) for membership, expressing its willingness to commit itself to the terms and commitments in the Arrangements.

The JAAC submitted its report to the JAAB and subject to a two-third majority positive vote, the applicant Authority could sign the Arrangements.  At this stage the Authority would become a "candidate member" and would have access to meetings, documentation etc., but would not have:
  • Voting rights, and
  • The right or obligation to automatic recognition of the approvals issued by its own authority or those of other states.
In phase 2, subsequent to the signing of the JAA Arrangements, JAA T would arrange a visit by a fact-finding team to the Authority.  This team consisted of representatives from the JAAC and JAA T.  A report was prepared and sent to the JAAC Chairman and when considered satisfactory, the JAAC recommended to the JAAB to grant full membership.  At this stage JAA standardisation team visits were arranged.  This process could for some countries, be very prolonged.  It was felt however, that such a process was essential to safeguard the high standards and credibility of the JAA T.  The third phase was the one leading to full recognition for Member States.

The JAA T comprised 37 full Members and 6 candidate Members.


Based upon a decision of ECACs DGs in adopting the FUJA II Report it was decided to disband the JAA system per 30 June 2009 and to keep the JAA Training Organisation running.  See also FUJA II.
Updated:  7 July 2009