Commercial Aviation

REACH legislation: Aviation safety concerns need to be taken into account

6902b0b743c1ff224c2052d7f4aa9746The European airline maintenance industry will be heavily affected unless the European Council for Competiveness, on its meeting today and tomorrow, instructs the European Commission to alter its approach on the registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals (REACH). The Association of European Airlines (AEA) regrets the fact that the Commission’s general report underestimates the negative impact of REACH on downstream users of chemicals such as the airline industry.

AEA supports the general objectives of REACH with regard to the safe use of chemicals. However, the aviation  maintenance  industry  makes substantial use of chemicals, including  so-called Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC), to fulfil stringent aviation safety requirements specified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Despite many years of research, no viable alternatives are on the horizon which would substitute them.

The recent proposals would result in administrative burden, huge bureaucratic costs and potential supply chain disruptions for the airline industry.  Moreover,  regarding environment and worker protection the proposals would provide no added value since the industry already has introduced the necessary measures in these areas. The proposals would also jeopardise the competitiveness of the European industry: since the  legislation would only refer to the  EU,  aircraft operators will be incentivised to move their activities to non-EU countries.

“REACH is another unfortunate example of EU legislation that undermines the competitiveness of the European  airline industry”, said Mr Athar Husain Khan, acting Secretary General of AEA. “We therefore call the European policy-makers together with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to formally involve the European Aviation Safety Agency in REACH-related consultations in order to find a viable solution for this problem”.

Source/Photo: The Association of European Airlines

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