EADS believes that safety is not a matter of competition. Cooperation with air safety organisations around the world to find new ways to improve standards for everyone is essential. Across EADS’ aviation businesses, ensuring that our aircraft are safe and comply with airworthiness regulations is our absolute priority. When applying new technologies, or even certifying a new product, EADS applies the most stringent standards. The Group always meets, and often exceeds, the requirements of the two leading certification authorities, the European Aviation Safety Agency and the American Federal Aviation Authority. EADS expects the same stringent quality and safety standards from its suppliers, and these are important criteria in the supplier selection process.
In 2009, several new initiatives were launched to improve quality and customer satisfaction, particularly the management of complex programmes following delays and cost overruns with the Airbus A380 and A400M. Led by the Corporate Quality and Business Improvement (CQBI) function, successful programme management techniques that are working in some Divisions will be made compulsory across the Group. These 'basic practices' are divided into three areas: people, programme management techniques and supply chain management. When it comes to the managers of complex programmes, it is essential to ensure that they have the skills they need. Working with Human Resources, CQBI is developing training programmes and designing career paths (see Developing Our People section). Programme management techniques are being distilled from across all Divisions. These include fundamental techniques such as how to plan and how to manage a contract, as well as more advanced subjects such as multi-project planning.