[Avionics Magazine 01-11-2017] The FAA has announced plans to start transforming its Aircraft Certification Service structure in an effort to improve the agency’s ability to certify new products while maintaining consistency and standardization.
An infographic depicting the proposed FAA Aircraft Certification Service realignment’s ‘Interim State.’ Photo: FAA.
The Service’s current organization is structured to support local office engagement with the industry through four product-based directorates with geographical certification responsibilities. In 2017, the Service is using an incremental approach to implement a new, functionally aligned structure to institutionalize the process improvements that are currently in progress.
Realignment, the first visible phase of this approach, groups similar organizations together to create the functional divisions while maintaining existing subdivision organizational structures. For example, existing local offices, such as Aircraft Certification Offices (ACOs), Standards Staffs, Technical and Administrative Support Offices, Manufacturing Inspection Offices (MIOs) and Manufacturing Inspection District Offices (MIDOs) will be moved to align with the functional divisions.
The future organization is structured into five functionally aligned divisions.
Three of these divisions perform essential regulatory functions:
• Policy and Innovation improves the Service’s standards and policy with a particular focus on enabling new technology and innovative business models; Compliance and Airworthiness maintains and improves the FAA’s gold-standard track record for certifying and assuring continued airworthiness of specific products;
• System Oversight coordinates and integrates safety oversight for the aircraft design and manufacturing community.
The other two divisions provide the internal infrastructure needed to assure exceptional performance:
• Organizational Performance monitors the Service’s performance relative to internal metrics and leads in planning and implementing strategic changes to improve performance;
• Enterprise Operations provides core services including human resources, finance, information management, and workforce development support to assure effective management of resources needed to accomplish the Service’s mission.