IAA Website - Monday, April 24, 2017 4:56 PM

Structure and Functions of the Safety Regulation Division (SRD)

The regulatory and safety oversight functions of the IAA reside only in the Safety Regulation Division. The functions of the division are:

  • To advise the Minster for Transport, Tourism & Sport, as required.
  • To administer Ireland's international aviation safety obligations and agreements (i.e ICAO, EASA, Eurocontrol and others that may arise).
  • To exercise entry control to and exit from the civil aviation system.
  • To monitor and enforce adherence to safety standards within the civil aviation system.
  • To promote safety in the civil aviation system by providing safety information and advice, industry safety performance advice and fostering safety information education programmes.
  • To ensure regular reviews of the civil aviation system to promote the improvement and development of its safety.
  • To maintain and preserve records and documents relating to activities within the civil aviation system, in particular the Irish register of aircraft.
  • To assure the Aeronautical Information Service meets international obligations (Annex 15) in respect of the collection, publication and provision of charts and aeronautical information.
  • To investigate and review accidents and incidents in its capacity as the responsible safety regulator and ensure the resolution of safety concerns.
  • To impose fair and reasonable charges for the provision of safety regulatory services.
  • To ensure that it does not inhibit the development and growth of the aviation industry in Ireland.

The Safety Regulation Division is divided into four departments:

  • Regulatory Performance and Personnel Licensing
  • Airworthiness
  • Flight operations
  • Aeronautical Services

Regulatory Performance & Personnel Licensing Department (RPPLD)

The functions of RPPLD primarily relate to analysis of the total aviation system, licensing of personnel, approval of certain training organisations and management of the technical library.

The Department is responsible for ensuring that its activities are conducted in accordance with ICAO, EU and national requirements, licensing individuals once their competence has been assured; approving certain training organisations; developing the State's Safety Programme; analysing the safety performance of the Irish civil aviation system and managing and making available relevant publications to SRD staff. It is also responsible for continued safety oversight of licensed individuals and training organisations and for taking enforcement action when necessary including suspending or revoking licences or approvals.

RPPLD comprises three distinct sections of Air Safety Analysis, Personnel Licensing and the SRD Technical Library.

The functions of the Air Safety Analysis Section are:

  • to assess the safety performance and risk profile of the Irish civil aviation system,
  • to coordinate safety oversight across all Departments within SRD to ensure that resources are allocated in the most effective and efficient way, and
  • to develop and manage the State's Safety Programme.

The functions of the Personnel Licensing Section are:

  • to licence flight crew and aircraft maintenance engineers;
  • to undertake the administrative aspects of licensing air traffic services personnel;
  • to manage the system of medical assessments for medical certification of flight crew and air traffic services personnel;
  • to develop and manage theoretical knowledge examinations;
  • to manage and conduct flying skills tests, and
  • to approve certain training organisations.

The SRD technical library is responsible for:

  • sourcing, cataloguing, storing and updating specified documentation.
  • cquiring and updating all ICAO documentation;
  • maintaining the contract with Avdata for provision of electronic copies of ICAO and JAA documents;
  • maintaining a register and copies of all legislation relevant to Irish aviation
  • maintaining and updating technical manuals as agreed with each SRD Department.

Airworthiness Department (AWSD)

AWSD is responsible for ensuring that aircraft are accepted into the Irish regulatory system then maintained to appropriate safety standards. The department carries out the certification of aircraft and organisations and conducts the associated functional supervision as part of their continuing operation. It also participates in the development of international safety standards concerning the Chicago Annexes 6, 7, 8 along with EASA rules.

The department drafts and prepares secondary legislation concerning airworthiness as well as various aeronautical notices and circulars that deal with airworthiness.

There are three sections in the AWSD;

  • Aircraft Registration and Design Control,
  • Airline Airworthiness, and
  • Air Operator and General Aviation Airworthiness.

Aircraft Registration and Design Control

This section deals with the entry and exit of aircraft to and from the system, i.e. all matters associated with the design, manufacture, modification and repair of aircraft and the associated operating documents.

  • Aircraft registration (including IDERA and insurance registrations, issue of transponder codes and registration of ELTs);
  • Article 83 bis agreements and schedules;
  • Type acceptance (non EASA);
  • Technical assessments for STCs, major modifications and repairs, AMCs, Ads (EASA contract), Approval of modifications and repairs (non-EASA);
  • Assessment/ audit of design organisations (EASA contract);
  • Approval / audit of production organisations;
  • Exemptions;
  • Initial issue of Airworthiness Certificates;
  • Issue of Noise Certificates;
  • Approval and amendment of Aircraft Flight Manuals and MELs;
  • Specific Operational Approvals - Airworthiness aspects (eg RNAV, ADS-B, MNPS, Datalink etc);
  • Issue of Export Airworthiness Certificates;
  • Issue of Permits to Fly (except those for sport and vintage aircraft operation);
  • Reliability and ETOPS monitoring (Certification aspects).
  • Issue of Airworthiness Directives where not covered by the EASA responsibility
  • Development of regulations policies and procedures within the scope of the Division.

Airline Airworthiness

The section looks after matters associated with aircraft maintenance and continuing airworthiness, including the oversight of maintenance organisations and airline operator management of continuing airworthiness. It is responsible for Irish airlines and for the surveillance of the Irish registered aircraft leased to foreign operators pursuant to Article 83 bis agreements.

The section is responsible for the inspection and surveillance of aircraft including:

  • Approval and amendment of maintenance programs;
  • Approval/ audit of maintenance organisations;
  • Approval/ audit of continuing airworthiness organisations
  • Issue and sampling of ARCs;
  • Operator line station audits;
  • Survey program for fleet continuing airworthiness;
  • Investigation of incidents and defects;
  • Dangerous goods,
  • Inspections abroad and remote surveillance and approvals for the foreign operated fleet.
  • CAT II/III, ETOPS, RVSM Approvals (Airworthiness aspects)

Note that the functions associated with aircraft engineer licensing (training course approvals, examinations, licensing, approval and monitoring of Part 147 organisations including the scheduling of inspections) is the responsibility of the Personnel Licensing Division in RPPLD but technical expertise and audit manpower is supplied from the Airworthiness Standards Department.

Air Operator and General Aviation Airworthiness

This section is responsible for the non-scheduled AOC holders, aerial work operators, and private, sport and vintage aircraft.  The inspection of aerodrome fuel installations is carried out on behalf of the Aerodromes Division of the Aeronautical Services Department.

The main responsibilities of the section include:

  • Approval and amendment of maintenance programs and Aerial Work maintenance manuals;
  • Approval/ audit of maintenance organisations;
  • Approval/ audit of continuing airworthiness organisations;
  • Issue and sampling of ARCs;
  • Fleet continuing airworthiness survey program;
  • Investigation of incidents and defects;
  • Audit/ monitoring of national sport and recreation aviation organisations;
  • Issue/ renewal of Flight Permits (amateur-built, microlight and vintage aircraft);
  • Validation of foreign permits;
  • SAFA inspections;
  • Sector education.

Flight Operations Department (FOD)

The function of the FOD is to set and apply safety standards and provide oversight and surveillance in respect of commercial air transport operations, aerial work, general aviation, air displays, sporting and recreational activities, special events and airspace standards within the State.

Flight Operations Department comprises two sections;

  • Airline Standards Division and
  • General Aviation Division.

Airline Standards Division has responsibility for all fixed wing AOCs and General Aviation Standards Division has responsibility for rotary wing AOCs and general, sport and recreational aviation activities.

Airline Standards

This division deals with the entry and exit of commercial air transport (fixed wing) operators to and from the system in matters related to air operator certification. The section functions include:

  • Oversight of the activities of AOC holders (fixed wing)
  • Completion of the FOD surveillance programme
  • Oversight for the foreign based EI registered lease fleet
  • Ensuring an AOC holder demonstrates competence in maintaining a safe operation,
  • Flight Crew training
  • Cabin Crew training
  • Ground Operations
  • Airline TRTOs
  • Technical assessment/evaluation and issue of Approvals and Exemptions
  • FSTD (simulators and training devices) qualification and user approvals
  • Acceptance/Approval of Operations Manuals
  • Safety Management Systems
  • Quality Management Systems
  • All Weather Operations (AWOP)
  • Dangerous Goods
  • RVSM
  • MNPS
  • PRNAV, RNP
  • ETOPS
  • To undertake on behalf of Regulatory Performance and Personnel Licensing Department, tests and examinations for instructors and examiners.
  • Manage the Safety Occurrence Tracking System enabling the collection and analysis of accidents and incidents to aircraft engaged in commercial air transportation and general aviation, and the upkeep of a database from which causal trends can be identified;
  • To review details of all notified accidents and incidents that affect aircraft involved in commercial air transport operations so as to determine what changes to the regulations and procedures, if any, would enhance safety, and to respond to safety recommendations made by or on behalf of the Minister


General Aviation Safety Regulation

This section deals with the entry and exit to the system of commercial air transport operations (rotary wing), aerial work operations, general and corporate aviation, sport and recreational aviation air displays and special events. The section functions include:

  • Oversight of the activities of AOC holders (fixed wing), aerial work operations, general and corporate aviation, sport and recreational aviation air displays and special events
  • Complete the FOD surveillance programme
  • Ensuring AOC holders and aircraft owner/operators demonstrate competence in maintaining a safe operation, and if they fail repeatedly to comply with requirements, regulations or directions, to recommend enforcement action to the Assistant Director. This may take the form of variation, suspension or revocation of an AOC or an authorisation, permission, approval, qualification and/or prosecution.
  • Assess submissions for and issue Aerial Work Permissions
  • Technical assessment/evaluation and issue of Approvals and Exemptions
  • To participate in the development of legislation and guidance material for general and corporate aviation.
  • Oversight personnel for training organisations (in conjunction RPPL)
  • Assess and issue Approval for Special Events and provide surveillance
  • Review proposals/requests for TRAs
  • Provide guidance to general and sport aviation community
  • To assess, for the purpose of delegating authority, the competence of associations to manage specific functions of a general aviation nature.
  • Investigate accidents/serious incidents involving general aviation
  • To review details of all notified accidents and incidents that affect aircraft involved in general aviation operations so as to determine what changes to the regulations and procedures, if any, would enhance safety, and to respond to safety recommendations made by or on behalf of the Minister.

Consultation with Industry

Consultation with Industry is carried out through the Flight Operations Consultation Group and the Commercial Helicopter Operators Group.


Aeronautical Services Department (ASD)

ASD is responsible for ensuring the provision of safe and secure aerodromes and air traffic services in Ireland.  To carry out these responsibilities the Department consists of two sections: 

  • Aerodromes; and
  • Air Navigation Services (ANS)

The functions of the Aerodrome Division are to:

  • contributes to the development of standards for aerodromes and associated facilities,
  • conduct the certification and functional supervision of aerodromes.
  • coordinate and approve the publication of relevant information in the Irish Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP)
  • provide advice to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport on issues relating to international airports or matters relating to aerodrome design.

The section also covers rescue and fire fighting and engineering as specialist functions associated with aerodrome operations

The functions of the ANS Division are to;

  • contribute to the development of standards for air traffic services and associated facilities
  • conduct the certification and functional supervision of air traffic services and associated facilities.
  • Coordinate, validate and approve information published in the Irish Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP)
  • provide advice to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport on issues relating to air traffic services and specialist technical matters
  • cover all aspects of ATS, CNS, AIS, flight procedure design and charting, MET, the ARCC element of SAR and airspace designation..

The ANS division has been given the responsibilities associated with the National Supervisory Authority (NSA) under Single European Sky legislation.


Important information regarding cookies and the IAA.ie

By using this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with the IAA Cookie Policy. For more information on cookies, see our cookie policy.