Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft


Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft (SAFA) programme was established by the European Commission (EC) in 1996 as a voluntary programme. Since January 2007 the SAFA programme has moved under the control of the European Commission that is assisted in its management by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). In October 2012 the EU Ramp Inspection Programme has replaced the EU SAFA Programme.


The EU Ramp Inspection Programme has two major components:

  • SAFA ramp inspections (for third country operators); and
  • SACA ramp inspections (for community operators – checked against EU standards).


These inspections follow a procedure common to all EU Member States and ECAA Associated Parties and are then reported on using a common format. If an inspection identifies significant irregularities, these will be taken up with the airline and the oversight authority. Where irregularities have an immediate impact on safety, inspectors can demand corrective action before they allow the aircraft to leave.


Regulation No. 04/2015 Laying down technical requirements and administrative procedures related to air operations, introduces a harmonised approach to the effective enforcement of international safety standards within the Republic of Kosovo for ramp inspections of third-country operators or used by operators under the regulatory oversight of another State, landing at airports located in the Republic of Kosovo.


The CAAK also carries out ramp inspections, on a spot check basis in the absence of any particular suspicion. These inspections are done in accordance with National and International Standards. They are done in a non-discriminatory way. Usually the aircraft are selected in random bases on the aircraft operations into and out of the airport on the day the SAFA inspections are conducted, provided the turnaround allows enough time for the ramp inspection to be completed. This does not exclude a part inspection being done if only a limited amount of time is available, the items to be inspected will be selected accordingly. This is done by the senior inspector identifying himself to the aircraft commander or a representative of the operator prior to commencing the on-board part of the ramp inspection. A ramp inspection shall not cause an unreasonable delay in the departure of the inspected aircraft unless doubt regarding the correctness of the flight preparation, the airworthiness of the aircraft or any matters directly related to the safety of the aircraft and its occupants.


Technical Publications