Following the invitation of the European Union Council’s Presidency, more than 60 representatives from Military Airworthiness Authorities across Europe (EDA MAWA forum), institutional stakeholders as well as numerous aircraft industry delegates attended the Military Airworthiness Harmonisation Workshop, at Olomouc, the 5 and 6 June.
This event was organised jointly by the Czech Ministry of Defence and by the European Defence Agency aimed at focusing on the way forward to harmonize the military air safety issues between the different European Union countries.
“EDA’s Steering Board in Minister of Defence Formation has given to the EDA MAWA Airworthiness Forum a strong mandate to develop European Harmonised Airworthiness Requirements (EMARs). By developing and setting up common regulations and thus improving the air safety we will reduce the cost and decrease the time required for developing future air systems and as result strengthen the competitiveness of the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base”, said Jukka Juusti, EDA’s Armaments Director.
Why Military Airworthiness Harmonisation?
Today, each European Union Member State operates an aviation safety system independently from each other; in addition, each country is responsible for the regulation of own aircraft. As a result, all military airworthiness activities are conducted and regulated on a national basis, and any harmonisation is only achieved at individual project level.
This national approach generates many shortcomings and is the primary cause for delay and additional costs in multinational programmes. There is a unique opportunity to agree on an EU wide harmonisation and unification strategy on military airworthiness to be the benefit of governments and industry, and the overall strength of the European Defence Technology and Industrial Base (EDTIB).
Stakeholder’s requirements expressed during the Workshop demonstrated that the EU wide Harmonisation of Military Airworthiness is the main interest of national Airworthiness Authorities. It is expected that a common approach will improve European military aviation safety and reduce the necessary investments and lead time for future multinational air system programmes; being thus the key enabler for cost-effective maintenance services.
Focusing further on the development of a common set of European Airworthiness Requirements, the participants were able to gain valuable insights regarding the civil safety approach:
EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) policy towards civil Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and its relations to military developments in this field - presented by David Haddon;
EUROCAE WG 73 (European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment) and their airworthiness approach to civil UAS presented by Michael Allouche;
EUROCONTROL (European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation) Air Traffic Management (ATM) and SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) activities presented by Jorge Pereira;
NATOs views on Airworthiness presented by Timothy E. Gowen;
EDA’s Harmonised European Military approach to Airworthiness as tasked by the Defence Ministers in November 2008, presented by Jan Plevka, Chairman of the MAWA Forum.
The workshop concluded with a final panel session compiling all participants, presenting the collected findings derived in the different work streams.
The attendees received valuable feedback and views particularly from the aircraft industry, authorities and international organisations outside the MAWA Forum on the MAWA proposed approach.
Some of the summarized key findings are:
To determine how best to promote European Military Airworthiness Requirements (EMARs) concept;
To seek quick wins based on lessons learned for promotion & collaboration;
To determine when and how to engage with industry & other 3rd parties;
To determine what level of trust for mutual recognition taking safety into account;
Industry organisational approvals to account for civil organisational approvals where appropriate;
Initiating a feasibility study associated with the formation of a European Military Joint Airworthiness Authority;
Developing an equivalent MIL-HDB-516b document that points to the existing military/civil standards;
Evaluate the feasibility to link MAWA procedures with the US military;
Wider Engagement by EASA & EDA with NATO is seen as necessary regarding civil and Military Airworthiness harmonisation;
Sense and Avoid - may become a critical issue with respect to certification and airworthiness; exchange of accident databases: Exchange of accident databases between civil and military users. (UAS only); to consider the feasibility of the exchange of information on accidents/occurrences amongst military authorities within pMS (all aircraft types).
OS Plevka EDA Airworthiness;
EASA Presentation to EU2009;
NATO NSA Airworthiness;
Eurocae WG73 Airworthiness;
Panel 1 Essential Requirements;
Panel 1 Feedback Slides;
Panel 2 Military Airworthiness Harmonisation Workshop;
Panel 2 Feedback Slides;
Panel 3 Military Airworthiness Harmonisation Workshop;
Panel 3 Feedback Slides;
Airworthiness PCY WS Recomendations;
IAI AW Briefing;