Etihad Airways Engineering recently received the first EASA certification for Part 21G production granted to a Middle Eastern airline MRO.
Jeff Wilkinson, chief executive officer of Etihad Engineering, says the approval means his MRO will now be able to provide parts with an EASA Form 1 Airworthiness Release Certificate. “Customers can install our kits in their base or anywhere in the world where EASA certificates are accepted. Etihad Airways Engineering is becoming a global parts supplier to the aviation industry.”
Previously, Etihad could only provide replacement parts for repairs while aircraft were in its hangars, undergoing a maintenance event. This was fabrication under Part 145 repair approval, and no spare parts were allowed to be made. “Now we can make unlimited quantities and sell them to our customers around the world,” Wilkinson stresses. “We expect additional revenue out of this opportunity.” In addition, Etihad customers will benefit from its retrofit engineering services, combined with parts at competitive prices, which they can install where convenient for their operation.
The current EASA approval covers interior soft furnishings such as dress covers, curtains and carpets, composite parts such as floor panels, cargo linings and decompression panels, metallic structure parts such as brackets and other secondary structures and decals for interior and exterior markings. The EASA approval is for all commercial aircraft types in the CS25 category, including Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and Bombardier models.
Wilkinson says he has plans to extend the range of part production. “Our roadmap includes expanding our capabilities into further cabin interiors, such as stowage compartments, partitions, seat surroundings and later also galleys and VIP interiors. We continue to work with our strategic partners to develop these capabilities jointly.”
And the MRO, like other advanced MROs, is focusing on 3D printing and will leverage this new technology under its Production Approval. “Etihad Airways Engineering is the only airline MRO with EASA approval to design, certify and fly 3D-printed cabin parts.”