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The European Community Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft (SAFA) ramp inspection programme was established by the European Commission (EC) in 1996 as a voluntary programme. Subsequently Directive 2004/36/EC introduced a harmonised approach to the effective enforcement of international safety standards within the Community by harmonising the rules and procedures for the inspection of third country aircraft landing at airports located in member states.
In 2014, Directive 2004/36/EC was superseded by Commission Regulation 965/2012, Part-ARO.RAMP and the programme was extended to include the Safety Assessment of Community Aircraft (SACA) ramp inspections.
The programme requires the IAA to have a team of trained and authorised inspectors to perform the ramp inspections on aircraft for compliance with Community and International safety standards. Aircraft are selected for inspection in a non-discriminatory manner and the inspection should not cause undue delay to the departure of the aircraft. However, where doubt exists regarding the correctness of the flight preparation, the airworthiness of the aircraft, or any matter directly related to the safety of the aircraft and its occupants, such a delay may be justified.
Further information can be found at EASA (EC SAFA Programme)