The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) recently expanded its library of international cooperative agreements, signing a Working Arrangement on Airworthiness Certification in cooperation with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and Maintenance Agreement Guidance (MAG) with the FAA.
The CAAS-EASA Working Arrangement stems from a memorandum of understanding signed in February 2012 and sets forth procedures for each authority to validate and accept the other’s design and production approvals. In a joint statement, the two authorities maintain that “design organization approval holders will no longer need to hold duplicate CAAS and EASA approvals to operate in both Singapore and Europe.” The arrangement specifies the process by which design approvals (type certificates, supplemental type certificates, major and minor repairs and technical standard order approvals) issued by one party to the arrangement will be “accepted” by the other party.
The CAAS-FAA MAG supports the previously established Maintenance Implementation Procedures (MIP), a byproduct of the U.S.-Singapore Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement, signed in 2004. Similar in structure to the FAA-EASA MAG, it outlines each authority’s responsibilities, procedures and special conditions that a foreign repair station must comply with to receive a reciprocal certificate. For example, U.S.-based repair stations must have—in addition to their FAA certificate—a letter of intent demonstrating need, human factors training and a Singapore supplement that details, among several other things, how the repair station will ensure compliance with applicable airworthiness directives. Additionally, return-to-service personnel at U.S.-based repair stations must hold a mechanic’s license, have exercised the privileges for at least two years and be appropriately type-trained.
Singapore is enjoying a fast-growing market share in the global aviation MRO industry. A 2017 Market Economic Assessment prepared by Oliver Wyman predicted that the Asia-Pacific region will enjoy the bulk of anticipated growth over the next 10 years, limited only by its ability to “build the infrastructure and new facilities, as well as train a workforce to keep up with the rapidly rising demand.” The report estimates an MRO growth rate of 4.4% in the Asia-Pacific area, compared to 1% growth in North America and 0.7% and 1.6% in Eastern and Western Europe, respectively.