Final event of the EU-funded Twinning Light project “Support for Participation in the ECAA – European Common Aviation Area” held in North Macedonia

The successful completion of the EU funded Twinning Light project \”Support for participation in the ECAA – European Common Aviation Area\”, implemented by the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency and the Civil Aviation Agency of the Republic of North Macedonia as a twinning partner was marked by a closing ceremony held on 25th October. The final event, organised in an online format, aimed to sum up the results of the project and inform the public about the outcomes of the project. The ceremony was attended by high representatives of the EU and representatives of the Croatian and North Macedonian public administrations and aviation industry.

The project was aimed to support the sustainable development of civil aviation in the Republic of North Macedonia in accordance with the international standards and EU acquis in the field of aviation. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemics, both partners showed great dedication and flexibility in adapting to the “new reality”. This resulted in successful implementation of the project and achievement of all mandatory results and outputs.

In his address to the attendees Mr Steffen Hudolin, Head of Cooperation in the EU Delegation to the Republic of North Macedonia highlighted the importance of mutual cooperation of the EU and North Macedonia with regard to deepening the integration processes and facilitating the approximation of the regulatory and operational frameworks in the field of aviation.

H.E. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Croatia Ms Nives Tiganj, stated that this successfully implemented project is an affirmation of the professional capacity of Croatia for unwavering support of the endeavours of the Beneficiary Country on the European path.

In his welcoming speech Mr Tomislav Tuntev, Director General of the Civil Aviation Agency of Republic of North Macedonia expressed his profound gratitude to the European Union and the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency for being the drivers of progress and sustainability of the Macedonian civil aviation.

The Member State Project Leader Mr Zlatko Širac and the Beneficiary Country Project Leader Ms Maja Vaskova presented the achieved results in all three components:

• The regulatory framework for the application of the applicable standards in the area of flight operations, airworthiness, personnel licencing and aerodromes was harmonized with International Civil Aviation Organization and EU acquis;

• The operational capacity of the CAA for implementation of EU Regulations in the field of airworthiness, personnel licencing, flight operations and aerodromes was strengthened by developing relevant working procedures and guidance materials;

• The technical capacity of managers, inspectors and administrative staff was strengthened to meet the ICAO and EU safety requirements.

They both stated the importance of safeguarding the sustainability of the project, by reaffirming the organisational responsibility of both partners to ensure that the achieved outputs, outcomes and benefits remain embedded in the Macedonian civil aviation system.

Twinning is a European Union instrument for institutional cooperation between Public Administrations of EU Member States and of beneficiary or partner countries. The project started on November 1, 2019 and it lasted 8+3 months. The project was funded by the European Union. The Croatian Civil Aviation Agency (CAA) was awarded 250 000 EUR from the EU funds for implementation of the Twinning Light project in the Republic of North Macedonia.

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