European countries currently operate military aviation safety systems independently from each other, with each country being individually responsible for the regulation of its own military and state aircraft.
As a result, military airworthiness activities are being conducted and regulated on a national basis, with European harmonisation only being achieved at an individual programme level and having to be repeated and developed for each new programme. This generates many challenges for multinational aircraft programmes and is one of the primary causes of delays and additional costs.
A significant cost driver for any aircraft programme is the costs associated with the initial airworthiness certification of the aircraft, which requires extensive Test and Evaluation (T&E) by the customer nations. If this activity could be carried out collaboratively, by joint T&E teams working to a set of common, harmonised airworthiness requirements, then significant cost and time savings could be realised. Having a set of common and harmonised airworthiness requirements could also reduce through-life sustainment costs by enabling cross-national aircraft maintenance or training of maintenance personnel, whilst economies of scale when outsourcing aircraft maintenance to industry could also be achieved for nations that have common aircraft types.
It has been recognised, therefore, that there exists a unique opportunity to agree on an EU-wide harmonisation and unification strategy for military airworthiness. This strategy will also be of considerable benefit to European industry and will thus strengthen the European Defence Technology and Industrial Base (EDTIB).
To deliver this strategy, the Military Airworthiness Authorities (MAWA) Forum, created in 2008, strives to harmonise the airworthiness requirements and processes of the EDA pMS.