The PESO in the European context

    The State Operational Safety Program (PESO) for Civil Aviation aims to strengthen aviation safety by adopting a more proactive approach that complements the prescriptive (compliant) approach in this area.

    This responds to the request of ICAO and the European Union to follow prevention-oriented safety management models through the active participation of the main actors in the sector.

    What is the PESO?

    The PESO is an integrated set of regulations and activities aimed at improving the management of operational safety in the State. In other words, it is a management system for the administration of operational security by the State. This programme facilitates decision-making in the field of aviation safety by continuously analysing the information provided by the main actors in the Spanish aviation sector through an integrated management system.

    The Programme provides the framework within which suppliers of aeronautical services and products linked to it must establish their Operational Safety Management Systems. (known as SMS).

    This system provides a joint vision of the entire Spanish civil aviation sector that will allow the identification and assessment of safety risks and decisions to keep them under control.

    The establishment of State safety objectives together with the agreement on safety performance with aeronautical service and product providers complement the current approach to prescription-based safety management (i.e. compliance with regulations such as administrative controls) with a performance-based approach to safety beyond mere compliance (i.e., compliance with regulations as safety risk controls).

    Who participates and what functions do they have?

    The highest body responsible for promoting the Programme is the Secretary of State for Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda

    The State Aviation Safety Agency, the Undersecretariat for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge and the Air Army General Staff are the public oversight bodies responsible for the implementation of the Programme in relation to suppliers subject to their control or supervision.

    The Directorate-General for Civil Aviation and the Commission for the Investigation of Civil Aviation Accidents and Incidents, by virtue of their respective competences in civil aviation policy and regulation and in the technical investigation of civil aviation accidents and incidents, are also integrated into the Programme.

    Suppliers of aeronautical products and services required to establish a Safety Management System (SMS) or an equivalent mechanism according to the applicable regulations are also linked to the Program.

    The Unified Document of the State Program for Operational Safety for Civil Aviation describes the regulations and activities that are currently implemented and functioning and which are part of the Program.


    European context

    In Europe, the European Union has articulated the safety of civil aviation in three axes:

    • Strategy:

    The European Safety Strategy is the set of policies and objectives set by the European Commission. It was published as: “Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament. Setting up an Aviation Safety Management System for Europe”.

    • Programme:

    The European Aviation Safety Programme (EASP) is the integrated set of regulations and activities aimed at managing safety in Europe within the framework of the EASA Basic Regulation.

    The European Safety Programme has been developed by the European Commission in collaboration with EASA and has been structured in accordance with the framework established by ICAO in Annex 19.

    • Plan:

    The European Plan for Aviation Safety 2020-2024* identifies priority areas for safety in Europe together with the necessary mitigation or control measures. This plan is drawn up by EASA and, although it has a 5-year scope, is reviewed annually.

    * Currently the version in force is the 9th

    For more information, please consult the EASA website.

    As of July 2018, with the entry into force of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Union Aviation Safety Agency, it requires:

    • the European Commission: the adoption and updating of a European Aviation Safety Programme
    • EASA: the development and annual update of a European Aviation Safety Plan
    • Member States shall: the establishment of a State Operational Safety Programme and an Operational Safety Action Plan consistent with international norms and standards and with the European Aviation Safety Programme and Plan.

    On the other hand, under the Single European Sky legislation, there are defined objectives to improve and strengthen operational safety. In particular, Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 317/2019 of 11 February 2019 establishing a performance scheme for air navigation services and charging in the single European sky together with the Commission Implementing Decision of 29 May 2019 laying down Union-wide air traffic management network performance targets and alert thresholds for the third reference period 2020-2024 for Member States.

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