The European Aviation Safety Agency has named the first members of its EASA Virtual Academy, which aims to sustain competency among national aviation regulatory staffs across Europe and promote harmonized regulatory and certification practices among European nations. The members are CAA International (an aviation consultancy wholly owned by the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority), the Joint Aviation Authorities Training Organisation (which is associated with the European Civil Aviation Conference, which in turn includes 44 European nations), the Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile, or ENAC (France’s only aviation-oriented university) and Servicios y Estudios para la Navigacion Aerea y la Seguridad Aeronautica, or SENASA (a training, consultancy and technical assistance company headquartered in Madrid). “The effectiveness of the EASA system is based on thorough cooperation between EASA and the member states,” said EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky. (EASA's members include the 28 nations of the European Union and the four nations of the European Free Trade Assn.) “Training of staff is a key element of this cooperation.” He added that “the EASA Virtual Academy will expand beyond Europe in the future to promote the EASA system as the leading aviation safety global system.” Consistency among international aviation authorities is the focus of a session at next week’s Rotorcraft Certification Summit in Irving, Texas. The session, “Certification Barriers and Reforms: The International Arena,” will feature presentations by the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s assistant director of Civil Aviation Issues, Vashun Cole, and Jonathan Archer, director of Engineering and Airworthiness for the General Aviation Manufacturers Assn. Limited space is still available for the event; you can find more about it at www.rotorcraftsummit.com.