A group of aviation engineering companies are teaming up to form a new alliance devoted to solving the challenges of Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) faced by aircraft owners and operators looking to modify and modernize their fleets. EAD Aerospace, Envoy Aerospace, Etihad Airways Engineering and Lufthansa Technik have signed a memorandum of understanding to form the Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance (IAMA).
“The aftermarket modifier ecosystem needed a ‘home’ to discuss our challenges, best practices and to improve our services by delivering a common message to the market,” explains Patrick Gindre, sales director, EAD Aerospace. “Together, we have the objective to shape the future of the STC in the aviation world.”
Although STCs provide a fast, cost efficient option for modifications, IAMA says retrofit modifications on aircraft have unique challenges in regard to dealing with regulators, documentation and data exchange. “IAMA will offer its members mentorship and counselling to deal with these challenges, especially when dealing with regulatory agencies and the industry at large,” explains Marilyn Feigl, partner and ODA administrator, Envoy Aerospace. “This will help raise the certification standards to ensure the highest quality STC products.”
The alliance seeks to develop common standards for the documentation and quality of STCs while establishing an open, secure documentation platform for airline customers and aircraft owners using STCs. In addition, the alliance’s objectives include informing stakeholders about the advantage of STC approved solutions.
“IAMA will be a collaborative and knowledgeable reference and voice to regulators and standardization committees regarding how STCs efficiently fulfill these obligations,” says Romain Mbwang Seppoh, head of airworthiness at EAD Aerospace. Seppoh says the companies within IAMA tackle these challenges regularly, adding, “The alliance will foster proportionate and adapted regulations, and jointly develop and provide the optimal tools to its members.”
The members of IAMA emphasize that their aim is to “encourage aircraft owners to modify and modernize their fleets through high quality equipment and rigorous inspections,” regardless of which provider a customer chooses.
According to Aviation Week’s 2019 Fleet and MRO Forecast, the modifications market is the fastest-growing MRO segment. Market demand for modifications in 2019 is expected to be $7.4 billion and will grow to $10.9 billion by 2028.
IAMA’s first launch meeting is scheduled for spring 2019 and the alliance is open to all market participants, including modification providers, airlines, aircraft manufacturers, lessors and suppliers.