The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)’s Engineering & Maintenance Stakeholder Technical Body (E&M STeB) meeting recently discussed anticipated changes to EASA Part 66 and Part 147, the continued need for a solution to parts-tagging requirements and an anticipated Safety Management System (SMS) Part 145 rulemaking.
The E&M STeB is one of several focus groups reporting to the recently established Stakeholder Advisory Body—a group made up of interested parties providing strategic guidance and feedback to the EASA Management Board.
Earlier this year, EASA asked E&M STeB members for feedback on licensing and training requirements provided for in Part 147 and Part 66. The purpose of the survey was “to evaluate the future needs of maintenance licensing and maintenance training organizations,” in anticipation of future amendments to associated regulations and guidance. The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) and the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC) submitted a joint response to the questionnaire in February. A summary of survey results was presented at the May 9 meeting and is expected to be published on the EASA website this summer.
Leading up to the gathering, ARSA asked the FAA to use the meeting and subsequent EASA-FAA International Safety Conference as an opportunity to address tagging requirements for commercial parts under the U.S.-EU bilateral agreement’s Maintenance Annex Guidance (MAG). An industry coalition previously asked the authorities to reconsider the inclusion of commercial parts—which are often produced and sold for nonaviation use in the U.S.—in the documentation requirement. The parts must be accompanied by an FAA Form 8130-3 or EASA Form 1 when used in work subject to the MAG, despite there being no such requirement under 14 Code of Federal Regulations.
EASA administrators briefly discussed the commercial parts issue, stating that a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) to address parts without an EASA Form 1 is expected this year. Officials have indicated support for eliminating the Form 1 condition for most parts, while retaining the need to establish traceability to the Production Approval Holder. While a cumbersome and lengthy process, the anticipated rulemaking would certainly provide more flexibility than exists today.
EASA also used the event to request feedback on a planned rulemaking that would introduce Safety Management Systems requirements for Part 145 organizations. That NPA is planned for the first quarter of 2018.