Aviation safety is a priority for the European Union (EU), its Member States and States, participating to the unique SAFA program. Considering this objective, the EU program for safety assessment of foreign Aircraft (SAFA) constitutes the key instrument. This program requires that participating States to perform ramp inspections of third country aircraft in order to check whether aircraft, crew and operations comply with international safety requirements. However, since its inception, in 1996, under the auspices of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), SAFA program has proven to be, more and more, at the forefront of strengthening European and international aviation safety.
In the framework of its global strategy to establish and maintain a high and unitary level of civil aviation safety in Europe, the Community has adopted, on the 21st of April 2004, the Directive 2004/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council regarding third-country aircraft safety, using Community airports (also called 'SAFA Directive'). This Directive established a legal liability of EU Member States and participants to SAFA program to perform ramp inspections of third country aircraft, landing at their airports.
The unique EU SAFA program currently includes 42 participating States. The Republic of Moldova takes part in this program under the Work Arrangement, carrying out ramp inspections of third-country aircraft, landing and departing from airports of the Republic of Moldova which are open for international traffic.