On October 30, 2009, news came that the European Commission would issue rules for the prevention and investigation of aviation accidents and incidents in member countries.
The rule-making powers of the EU Commission will be expanded from its present focus on aircraft certification to include the power to set new rules governing aviation accidents and incidents across the EU, and to administer the new rules.
So far, the investigation of aviation safety breaches is performed by the civil aviation authorities of member countries. By consolidating and regulating the investigation and prevention of such breaches, the EU Commission will ensure that this important task is performed in a standardized manner in order to achieve enhanced independence and efficiency of the investigation and prevention processes.
The purpose of this proposed major change in the civil aviation regulatory framework in EU countries is well explained in this press release. Suffice it to say that economies of scale are expected from the new centralized process together with the need to maintain an arm’s length relationship between investigative authorities and other civil aviation interests in EU countries.
According to the press release linked above,
The proposed regulation aims to create a modern regulatory framework for air accident investigation. The centrepiece of this proposal is the establishment of a European Network of Civil Aviation Safety Investigation Authorities. It will coordinate and strengthen cooperation between the Member States, the Commission and EASA, and implement a number of central functions, such as coordinating training activities or sharing investigation resources available in the EU.