Hosted by the Hellenic Air Force, the Annual Military Airworthiness Conference was opened in Athens this Wednesday by Roland van Reybroeck, EDA Director Cooperation Planning & Support, followed by a keynote speech from Lieutenant General Christoforos Smyrlis, Inspector General of the Hellenic Air Force.
The two-day event (11th and 12th October) brings together key stakeholders from national aviation and airworthiness authorities, European agencies, international organisations and industry, for presentations and discussions on a variety of topics related to the harmonization of military airworthiness requirements, their implementation and further evolution as a critical enabler for deeper defence cooperation.
In his speech, Mr Van Reybroeck recalled that the excellent work performed in the context of the Military Airworthiness Authorities (MAWA) Forum delivered “a full and mature set of European Military Airworthiness Requirements (EMARs) that is now available to Member States”. Their progressive implementation and the mutual recognition of National Military Airworthiness Authorities “is key in paving the way for more and deeper cooperation”, he said. He emphasized that “The next harmonisation phase should now focus on further evolution of the regulatory and oversight framework”. Referring to the longer term perspective, he stated: “Once a harmonised European Military Airworthiness System will have been fully developed and sufficient confidence is gained from its implementation, steps could be taken towards the formation of a European Military Joint Airworthiness Authorities Organisation (EMJAAO)” as envisaged by Ministers of Defence in 2008, emphasising that this would in no way whatsoever be a supranational authority. Mr Van Reybroeck reiterated that the European Defence Agency remains committed to facilitate the ongoing work and cooperation, and to coordinate the military views of the participating Member States including through the organisation of supporting events such as this Military Airworthiness Conference.
The MAWA community will continue to harmonise views and approaches to overcome fragmentation. Thus, further development and maintenance of harmonized military airworthiness requirements and supporting documents will remain a key objective of the MAWA community. At the same time, harmonization of processes and procedures to support recognition and increase efficiency in oversight will unlock further benefits for industry and national authorities alike. Emerging topics such as RPAS airworthiness requirements and safety management will set the scene for future activities and must be appropriately addressed in a joint and coordinated manner, in close coordination with relevant civil and military stakeholders.