EASA DOA Workshop – Industry report - Baines Simmons
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EASA DOA Workshop – Industry report

Duane Kritzinger (Principal Consultant and Part 21 Subject Matter Expert) and Simon Mahon (HF & EM Consultant) represented Baines Simmons at the recent EASA DOA Workshop in Cologne.

EASA DOA WorkshopThe objective of this annual workshop is to give both industry representatives and authority staff involved in EASA DOA an update on working methods and related product certification issues, procedures and on-going rulemaking activities.

This report summarise some of the key topics discussed.

1. EASA DO Department Updates

  • 306 DOAs presently in the EU, with over 70 each in UK and Germany and over 30 in France
  • 20 new organisations obtained DOA during 2015; another 3 still possible before year end
  • 280 DOAs have asked for significant changes
  • 17 DOAs presently outside the EU (3 in Turkey)
  • 272 organisations currently hold a DOA, with 4 new applications in 2015.

2. Industry/Stakeholder feedback to EASA

EASA received industry feedback and used this presentation as an opportunity to respond with some of their initiatives to improve their performance.   Of particular note:

  • Wording of Part 21 is too complex. Support from DOA TL (for interpretation) is therefore required and appreciated. EASA has published a FAQ page, which should be available during December 2015)
  • CVE Interviews were not as expected and playing field between DOAs is not level. This is an ongoing EASA effort to standardise
  • List of DOA Holders not easily searchable. It is now published as excel file and will in due course contain more clarity on the Terms of Approval.

Trevor Woods encouraged industry to provide feedback and to complete the free form text on the EASA questionnaire for any issues where EASA can improve.

3. Update on Part 21 Rulemaking activities

In this presentation EASA summarised Part 21 status:

  • Note the transitional measures for organisations needing to comply with Amendment 3 of 748/2012
  • CS –STAN (equivalent to AC43-13-2B) was issued to improve safety by encouraging modifications with less bureaucracy (no EASA LOI)
  • 2015/1018 lays down a list of occurrences to be mandatory reported (and aligns with Part21)

EASA then went on to highlight Part 21 changes which are still pending:

  • RMT.0225 (Ageing Aircraft) will impact on large aircraft TC/STC applicants, with changes to CS-26, CS25 and AMC-20 with a “legal hook” in Part 21
  • RMT.0262 (LOI in Part 21) Phase 1: Will align to the Basic Regulation re TC basis (support to deviations, ESF, notification obligations). Changes will be extensive and CRD & Opinion is planned for 1st Q 2016
  • RMT.0262 (LOI in Part 21) Phase 2: See presentation as well as paragraph 12 below.
  • RMT.0550 (Embodiment of SMS): This task has been reset. New TOR is expected in 2016/Q1. Minimum changes expected in Section A of Part 21. AMC/GM is still to be defined and expects much industry/stakeholder participation.
  • RMT.0607 (changes to OSD): NPA for AMC expected 2016/Q1
  • RMT.0018 and RMT.0571 (installing parts without Form 1): To address parts not supplied by a POAH. EASA is considering a risk based approach to this, where:
    • SSL1 parts will always require a Form 1
    • SSL2 and SSL3 parts require a Certificate of Conformance (CofC) and a “Producer Qualification” (e.g. ISO9100)
    • SSL 4 parts require only a CofC.
  • RMT.0681 (Occurrence reporting): AMC/GM is outstanding and NPA is expected in 2016. Note the UK CAA has issued guidance material on this already. See also paragraph 20 below.
  • RMT.0252 (ICA): NPA expected in 2016 and will provide more clarity on definitions, completeness, availability, etc.
  • RMT.0278 (importing aircraft into EU):   NPA impacting ARC and CofA expected 2016/Q1.

4. DOA TERMS OF APPROVAL

A single tool will be used by EASA to create visibility (internally and externally) and to generate a new appendix to DOAH Certificates.   This tool will also be key to the implementation of the LOI concept.   Terms of Approval will be extended to capture:

  • Type of design work
  • List of Products
  • Areas (e.g. cabin, Avionics) and sub-areas (e.g. Navigation System)
  • Disciplines (e.g. fatigue, S/W Assurance)
  • Limitations (based on lack of competence in the disciples)

Although Part 21 will not be impacted, the DOA Handbook will need to provide more detail to show skills and competence against disciplines in the allocated areas and sub-areas.   DOAs will be kept update on this initiative via their DOA Team Leader.

At this workshop, industry expressed concern that there is no competence framework against which to assess these disciplines. EASA clarified that it is up to the DOAH to put in place an adequate system to assess competence and that EASA will evaluate its performance (see LOI presentation)

5. FLIGHT TEST ORGANISATION MANUAL AND FLIGHT TEST CATEGORISATION

Recent Part 21 changes were very similar to the original NPA, however EASA are receiving many questions on how to implement. This presentation endeared to clarify some of the issues:

  • Note that App XII does not apply to many smaller aircraft. It is up the DOAH to define their own FT criteria
  • Categorisation:   Examples were provided of CAT1 and CAT2 flight tests. CAT 2 tests are generally those tests after the flight envelope has been proven. CAT4 tests can easily be confused with CAT 4, so close liaison with EASA Team Leader is encouraged.
  • LFTE Definition: Was created to create a higher competence and responsibility level than a normal Flight Test Engineer (FTE). LFTE competence requirements are defined in the AMC/GM and specific authorisation is required by the DOAH.
  • Flight Test Operations Manual (FTOM): Timeframe to establish the FTOM has been reduced from 12 months to less than 2 months, and impacts on any FT after 31Dec2015. This is not helped by the fact that the supporting AMC/GM was only made available in Nov2015.   EASA made the point that not all organisations need to apply for this change as a significant change (refer 21.A.247). In the absence of any other guidance material , this presentation clarified the following FAQs:
    • Purpose of the FTOM.
    • The FTOM Template is meant to provide some structure, but industry is encouraged not to follow it blindly. Each DOAH needs to make it work for their unique circumstances.
    • Need for LFTE and role of any CVE.
    • Sub-contracting of Flight Testing.

6. WORKSHOP INPUT BY AIRLINES COMMUNITY (Group 1)

The following concerns were brought to the attention of EASA:

  • 21.A.345 (classification of repairs) is ambiguous and EASA are requested to provide further clarification to facilitate this classification
  • Noise Certificates, and EASA agreed to add change bars during any updates of the TCDSN,
  • Alternative Means of Compliance (AMOC), and EASA has agreed to add this topic their list of FAQs on the website
  • Most airlines will not have a CAT1 FT capability, so would have to sub-contract this to a DOA or a CVE with FTE competence.#
  • Cert Memo CS-007 relates to CS25.815. This is going to be updates soon and will differ significantly from the current version of CM-CS-007
  • RMT.0023 (PMA replacement parts): This group asks that EASA stops procrastinating on this rulemaking activity as the EU industry needs Part 21 Subpart K to be updated to include PMA options.

7. WORKSHOP INPUT BY GENERAL AVIATION COMMUNITY (Group 2a)

The following concerns were brought to the attention of EASA:

  • Standardisation: Project Certification Managers and DOA Team Leaders often spend a lot of time interpreting requirements, which causes industry delays and costs especially when differences need to be escalated to their superiors.
  • Ongoing updates to CS:   EASA needs to provide visibility on further developments for CS impacting Airships and Hybrid Air vehicles
  • ETSO: Design/Technology progresses quicker than ETSO specifications can keep up.

8. WORKSHOP INPUT BY OUT OF PRODUCTION TC HOLDERS (Group 2b)

The following concerns were brought to the attention of EASA:

  • Annual TCH Fees: This is causing a financial burden for TCH of out-of-production aircraft types. EASA requested to reclassify weight and number of aircraft criteria.
  • OSD: Why is a separate application (Form 128) required for MMEL? Should this not be part of the TC/STC application? MMEL catch-up for non JAA MMEL has meant unforeseen costs
  • Occurrence Reporting:   Project Certification Managers (PCM) approach is not consistent in evaluating compliance to 376/2014 and needs to be standardised
  • DOA & PCM arrangement: Frequent PCM changes are hurting industry and EASA to provide a service level agreement.
  • Major stand- alone changes to Aircraft Flight Manuals (AFM): PCMs need to standardise their approach
  • Pending aging requirements: EASA needs to be careful that getting this regulation wrong could ground (due to extra costs) many older aircraft

9. WORKSHOP INPUT BY SMALL ORGANISATION COMMUNITY (Group 3)

The following topics were brought to the attention of EASA:

  • STC coordination with EASA: EASA response time is often not what industry expects. Certification Programme Plan needs to be more robust (industry responsibility) and needs to be used as a Project Management tool (including by EASA). Fluent communication between EASA and industry (both directions) is paramount.
  • Avionics and CSxx.1309: Importance was highlighted to not only do the SSA at component level, but also at aircraft level. This may require OEM input.   Not there is on the EASA website a “FAQ table of Design Classification” for CS23 aircraft.
  • Cabin Safety Classification: EASA is requested to reconvene the working group to finalise this task to provide guidance on this topic.
  • Design Engineer/CVE Competence: This group could not finalise this discussion but are suggesting these roles be link to the tool discussed in para 4 above. EASA clarified that they will never get involved in the appointment of your DE or CVE, but will check that your DE/CVE appointment process is robust
  • LOI: EASA DOA performance tool should be reviewed by industry before its actual implementation.
  • STC validation by FAA:   EASA webpage is wrong – correct email address is support@easa.europe.eu. Furthermore, this process is taking too long and needs to be streamlined.
  • OSD: Not all STC applicants have the competence to assess whether OSD is effected or not. EASA needs to provide more guidance/clarity.

10. WORKSHOP INPUT BY ROTORCRAFT COMMUNITY (Group 4)

Amongst various topics discussed by this group (see presentation), the following two concerns were raised for EASA attention:

  • RMT.0018 (i.e. parts without Form 1) will need to provide more clarification to which standards and certification bodies will be acceptable for “Producer Qualification” (see para 3 above).
  • Flight Testing (see para 5 above): There is a concern that military pilot ratings will not be transferred to a civil rating in time to meet the 1 Jan 2016 deadline, and that EASA will not have the bandwidth to deal with those companies who may need to incorporate significant changes into their DOH at such short notice.

11. WORKSHOP INPUT BY ASD EUROPE (Group 5)

The following Part 21 topics were brought to the attention of the workshop and EASA:

  • AMC No 1 to 21.A263(c)(1):   Para 2.1 (classification and justification of classification) and para 2.2 (other minor.. or minor repairs requiring no further demonstration of compliance).   AMC needs to provide more clarity on how to substantiate a so-called “Minor-Minor” change and a detailed proposal is contained in the presentation.
  • Parts Marking: Further clarification is needed on what is not considered to be a part or appliance, what is meant by a manufacturer and the reason for the manufacturer’s name on the part.
  • Concessions: None of the following provide guidance on how to classify and approve concessions/deviations: AMC No1 to 21.A.243(a)4c and GM No 2 to 21.A.165(c) and EASA Form 52. This results in industry and EASA not interpreting the requirements consistently and three options to achieve standardisation are proposed in the presentation.
    • A valid concern from the workshop audience was that many DOAs already have acceptable procedures dealing with this type of issue and we need to be careful not to make Part 21 so prescriptive so that everyone is forced to update their DOH and/or procedures.
    • EASA warns that industry must not confuse EASA Minor changes with FAA Minor alterations. The concepts and process are totally different.
  • SMS: ADS Task Force 1 recommends that the need for an SMS needs to be captured in a single prescriptive requirement in Part 21. Accordingly, a new 21.A.5 is proposed by ADS with a self contained supporting AMC/GM on SMS. A concept paper is also in progress to define an internationally acceptable approach.
  • DOA Think Tank: ADS Task Force 2 is trying lead the way to less regulations supported by more guidance material and much more industry standards. The standards which the Think Tank are working on and will be issued in 2016 under PR EN reference numbers. A conference will be held on 10 Dec2015 to invite wider participation in the formulation of these standards.
  • Part 21 Simplification:   ADS Task Force 3 is working on proposals to simplify and reduce the Hard Law in Section A by moving more data into AMC/GM as well as into PR EN Standards. There are currently 70 proposals which were provided to the EASA DOM on 8 Oct 2015 for consideration.

12. EASA LEVEL OF INVOLVEMENT (LOI)

LOI will be based on safety risk criteria and needs to include feedback loops between certification and DOA oversight. The applicant’s Certification Programme is key to the LOI concept and Agency and Applicants responsibilities need to be defined. Criteria for LOI will be based on:

  • Novel or unusual features
  • Criticality of design
  • Performance of the DO (most important criteria, see paragraph 13 below)

LOI could in future lead to performing organisations self approve non-significant major changes, issue non significant STC and approve major repair.

NPA2015-03 was issued in March 2015, with 345 comments from 38 commentators. Opinion should be issued 1st Q 2016.

Yet to be developed are proposed Certification Memos (e.g. for determining novelty and criticality) and the generation of internal EASA procedures.

A DOA dashboard (an IT tool, see para 13 below) will be used to score DOA and determine the LOI.

13. RISK BASED OVERSIGHT – EVALUATION OF DOA PERFORMANCE

Objective is to assist EASA to make best use of limited resources. EASA will collect and analyse data on DOA scope, level of activity, staffing levels and subcontracting. EASA will also “collect” performance data (e.g. certification feedback, findings, staff turn-over and “other intelligence”). All of this will be fed into a DOA “Dashboard”, which will dynamically determined the level of EASA oversight required (i.e. LOI will fluctuate as needed).

14. CHANGES TO OPERATIONAL SUITABILITY DATA (OSD)

OSD is an integral part of the Type Certificate, so any changes to OSD need a formal approval process (refer Part 21 Subparts D and E where wording has changed from “changes to design” to “changes to TC”, so the Change Product Rule in 21.A.101 is also applicable to OSD).

This presentation explores some of the issues around how to classify, manage and approve changes to OSD. There have been some challenges with resolving these issues, so implementation of the OSD rule has now been postponed by a year to 19 Dec 2016 by which time AMC/GM will be made available.

15. OSD FOR STC HOLDERS

Currently EASA is updating all TCDS’ to include OSD. This is important as this will drive the approach to OSD requirements applicable for STC applications. All changes to TC need to be evaluated of consequences on OSD. STC applicants will thus need to extend their scope of DOA approval to include OSD by 19Dec2016.

At this workshop various industry representatives expressed dissatisfaction in the manner in which EASA is handling the OSD rulemaking activities and its potential impact on industry. EASA offered to help industry as much as possible and encourages industry to start to update their DOH early and discuss the details with your DOATL as soon as possible.

16. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Progress has been made in many territories regarding Working Arrangements and Bilateral Agreements. Of particular note is progress made in Japan (for acceptance of EASA Form 1); the plans for cooperation with China; and the advances in reciprocal acceptance made FAA/EASA TIP Issue 5.

17. CS-STAN

There were 6 key objectives to the introduction of CS-STAN. CS-STAN does not apply to CS-25 aircraft. The installer is responsible to comply with the conditions of the relevant CS-STAN. Note that a Permit to Fly is not needed to flight test CS-STAN changes. The EASA Form 123 is used to document the preparation and embodiment of the Standard Change or Standard Repair.

18. MAINTENANCE REVIEW BOARD (MRB) PROCESS UNDER EASA

Phase 1 of the EASA project concluded that it is possible to include MRB process under DOA without any change to Part21 or its AMC/GM.   Phase 2 is now investigating how the DOA framework will be used; EASA LOI and Operator LOP (Level of Participation) in the MRB; bilateral acceptance of MRB reports; etc. Phase 2 has drafted a DOA Procedure and this will be exercised on a pilot project before the approach is shared with the wider community.

19. SHARED ELECTRONIC PLATFORM FOR INITIAL AIRWORTHINESS CERTIFICATION (SEPIAC)

This presentation provides advanced visibility of a tool EASA will be creating to manage certification more efficiently and with better traceability of status (especially of compliance documents submitted for EASA approval). The tool will be modular and building blocks will be added as the tool matures. The Requirements Specification will be finalised in Jan 2016.

20. OCCURENCE REPORTING (376/2014) IMPACT ON DOA

This rule became applicable to all EASA Member states (and their approved facilities) on 15Nov2015. It does not apply to non EU Member States.

376/2014 is very similar to the principles in the occurrence reporting requirements in the Basic Regulation (216/2008), but adds the following additional requirements applicable to Part 21:

  • Individual responsibility in the DOH and POE
  • Formulation of Mandatory and Voluntary Occurrence Reporting (MOR and VOR)
  • Timescales for follow up reports to the Authority
  • Reports required
  • Analysis of occurrences (including trends)
  • Just Culture (i.e. adding this policy to the DOH and POE)

Guidance Material for 376/2014 is still outstanding.

AMC20-8 remains in place and EASA do not see the need to update 21.A.3A.

21. SERVICE BULLETINS (SB) RELATING TO AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES (AD)

This relates to Certification Memorandum CM-21.A-J-001.   In Part 21, DOAH can issue SB under 21.A.263(c)(3), but these SBs cannot be mandatory unless EASA makes it so via an AD. The content of the SB is thus important to support the AD and CM-21.A-J-001 provides guidance as to the desired format of such an SB.

Note: The second European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Airworthiness Directives (AD) Workshop is planned to be held on 2-3Dec2014 in Cologne

22. THE EASA GATEWAY PROJECT

This is a new EASA project to be initiated in 2016 to provide more visibility on the progress of all applications submitted to EASA, including costs and contact points.

23. REMOTELY PILOTED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

A proposal for a change to the Basic Regulation will made to the Commission by end of 2015. If acceptable, it might only be published in 2017. The 3 pillars of the proposed approach are:

  • Risk Based
  • Commercial/Non-commercial
  • Operation Centric, where the CERTIFIED category will fall under a regulatory regime similar to manned aviation

For more information, see https://easa.europa.eu/unmanned-aircraft-systems-uas-and-remotely-piloted-aircraft-systems-rpas

 

Further information

If you have any queries relating to this report, or are looking for advice on Part 21 issues, please contact: Duane.kritzinger@bainessimmons.com