Aviation Authorities Cooperating On Regulatory Harmonization

FAA, EASA seeking even tighter ties to build on previous bilateral agreement.

Certification officials from the U.S., Europe, Canada and Brazil continue to strengthen ties and develop plans to harmonize and streamline regulatory systems. In the latest moves, a four-country Certification Management Team (CMT) has published a strategy for streamlining certification, while the FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have agreed to a “validation improvement road map” (VIR) that expands reciprocal agreements.

The CMT grew out of an idea shared in 2014 during the annual meeting of certification officials from the FAA, EASA, Agencia Nacional de Aviacao Civil of Brazil and Transport Canada. Last year, the parties agreed to the CMT’s framework, giving the team the authority to “manage technical, policy and bilateral agreement certification, manufacturing, export and continued airworthiness issues common among the four authorities.”

The CMT’s goal is simple: Work out differences between each authority’s regulations and legal framework so that products and other certifications can be mutually accepted with little or no extra work by the approval body, or “validating authority. The CMT collaboration strategy is to develop bilateral processes which apply a risk-based approach to reduce and further eliminate validating authority level of involvement. In practical terms, a three-tiered approach is envisioned based on mutual confidence and the continued maintenance and expansion of such confidence.”

Tier 1 is reciprocal acceptance of certificates and approvals. Tier 2 streamlines validation of certificates and approvals. Tier 3 is a common work plan to minimize the validating authority’s involvement.

“As leaders in the global aviation community, the CMT members are pioneering a strategy that focuses on confidence-building initiatives and risk-based validation principles to accept partner certification activities with limited or no technical involvement,” the FAA explains. “This is a significant expansion of previous initiatives, which allows the authorities to maximize their reliance on the certificating authority as much as possible.”

Meanwhile, the FAA and EASA are ramping up efforts to capitalize on their bilateral agreement and minimize duplication of effort. The VIR’s primary objective is to reduce validation effort—measured in time and costs—to 20% of what was required under the first bilateral in 2011, by 2022.

“The CMT Strategy and the FAA-EASA VIR support the FAA’s Global Leadership Initiative, which is transforming how the FAA prioritizes and targets resources to engage with the international aviation community to improve safety, efficiency, and environmental sustainability through regulatory harmonization and partnerships,” the FAA said. 

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