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European Strategic Safety Initiative
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The European Strategic Safety Initiative (ESSI)
EASA launched the European Strategic Safety Initiative (ESSI) in April 2006 as the successor to the JAA Safety Strategy Initiative JSSI. The ESSI foundation meeting took place on 27 April 2006, and the JSSI-ESSI handover was performed on 28 June 2006.
The ESSI is an aviation safety partnership in Europe. Its objective is to further enhance safety in Europe and for the European citizen worldwide in 2007-2017, through analysis of safety data, coordination with safety initiatives worldwide, and the implementation of cost effective action plans.
Participation in ESSI
The ESSI participants are drawn from the EASA States (27 European Union Member States plus Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Iceland and Norway) and the JAA States, from manufacturers, operators and professional unions, research organisations, the FAA and international organisations such as EUROCONTROL and ICAO. More than seventy civil and military organisations are participating to date.
ESSI is a partnership between EASA, other European regulators and the industry. Like the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) in the US, the ESSI is based on the principle that industry can complement regulatory action by voluntarily committing to cost-effective safety enhancement. The partnership is sealed by signing a pledge, by which organisations commit to be equal partners within the ESSI, provide reasonable resources to ensure that the ESSI will be effective, and take reasonable actions as a result of ESSI recommendations, guidance and solutions.
Work of ESSI
The ESSI is a data-driven and goal-oriented, risk assessment and management initiative. It will analyse safety data to determine factors causing or contributing to accidents or incidents and identify safety risks. It will take advantage of other safety initiatives in order to avoid duplication of resources and maximise synergy. It will also conduct prognostic studies to determine potential future hazards. The ESSI will define safety baselines, set up and publish safety objectives and balance potential for risk reduction with costs. It will develop actions plans and allocate resources to achieve these goals, and freely provide results to the aviation industry.
The ESSI applies and promotes safety management principles, applies a “just culture” approach, treats all safety data and the sources of safety data in a confidential manner, and protects proprietary information and data.
ESSI Safety Teams
The ESSI has three pillars: the European Commercial Aviation Safety Team (ECAST), the European Helicopter Safety Team (EHEST), and the European General Aviation Safety Team (EGAST). The helicopter activity includes commercial and general helicopter operations. The ESSI terms of reference state that each ESSI team shall be co-chaired by a regulator and an industry member.
Cooperation with other Safety Initiatives
The ESSI has redefined and revitalised cooperative safety efforts in Europe with a new objective, a new regulator-industry partnership approach, and a new process. In line with its JSSI heritage, the ESSI will maintain and further develop cooperation with CAST and with other major safety initiatives worldwide, in particular under the Cooperative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Programme (COSCAP) of the ICAO Technical Cooperation Programme.
The ESSI fits naturally within the Global Aviation Safety Road Map developed in 2006 for ICAO by the Industry Safety Strategy Group led by IATA. As encouraged by the Road Map, ESSI provides a mechanism for coordinating safety initiatives within Europe and between Europe and the rest of the world, seeking for global alignment and minimising duplication of efforts across stakeholders.
For further information refer to the ESSI website.