EASA, FAA Further Reduce Certification Duplication

The Airbus A330neo, which recently completed its maiden flight, is an example of a new airframe that could benefit from the updated EASA-FAA safety agreement. Photo courtesy of Airbus

An updated safety agreement between the FAA and EASA is the latest effort by the world’s two largest aviation certification regulators to reduce unnecessary duplication of each other’s certification of aircraft products. The FAA published Friday the sixth revision of its existing Technical Implementation Procedures (TIP) process with EASA.

The TIP process includes the agencies' agreement on procedures for issuing approvals of the design of civil aviation products and articles eligible for import into the U.S. and the European Union (EU). Both aviation regulators use the TIP as a process for ensuring that the airworthiness and environmental requirements for new or modified airframe design, avionics, engines and other aircraft components are in compliance with their existing certification systems.

The sixth revision of the TIP is the latest step that the FAA and EASA have taken in their efforts to streamline the certification and regulatory processes among their agencies. Aviation industry companies and associations in recent years have been working with both authorities to reduce the need for new products to go through the same certification tests to achieve issuance of new type certificates and supplementary type certificates. In September 2016, for example, EASA and the FAA published a joint validation improvement roadmap to establish more of a risk-based approach to approving new parts and technologies for entry into service on aircraft.

One of the most significant elements of the newly revised TIP is that it will permit “increased acceptance of approvals without technical involvement by the authority conducting the validation,” according to 99-page sixth revision of TIP published by the FAA.

“In certain cases, the revised TIP also will allow a streamlined validation process to expedite issuance of a type certificate without technical review,” the FAA said in a note announcing the publication of the revised TIP on its website.

The two authorities have also agreed to a new process for producing a work plan to define the extent of the validating authority’s involvement when each deems technical involvement to be necessary. There is also a sampling system that has been implemented by both authorities to ensure that their updated safety agreement is being implemented by both parties.

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