EASA merges its GA and UAS certification offices
FAA has a separate Drone Office
Organizational designs– which might be better for their sectors
EASA has placed the UAS certification within its General Certification Office, while the FAA (after different initial placements of the functions) has given them equality in organizational design (see these charts):
Organization theories profess enough postulates and principles with no uniform answer that it is fair to say that it is an art rather than a science. There is no reason why a scalar relationship, like EASA’s, should be other than successful.
Here are some possible pro’s and con’s:
+ As the cover graphic demonstrated a GA and an UAS aircraft may be technically quite similar—designs, wings, structure, materials…
– The quintessential distinction is that a GA plane will always have a pilot (there will come a time where GA aircraft will be manned). For certification of drones EASA/FAA will have to be able to determine the safety of the autonomous controls, navigation, avoidance, communications, etc.
+ The EASA organization will have consolidated expertise,
+ while FAA may require matrix like organization assets or may involve redundancies.
– The UAS industry is still developing, perhaps the EASA’s combined office will strain to advocate for both its GA and UAS missions?
+ FAA’s AUS having a single mission should provide an adequate platform to be heard internally and when dealing with the public.
+ The most significant factor in ORGANIZATION PERFORMANCE may be the interpersonal skills and histories. Thus, whether Ms. Daeschler and Mr. Solar and whether Messrs. Merkle and Lawrence plus Bahrami work well together may have the greatest impact on their respective missions.
– January 4, 2021, 11:28 AM
EASA has reorganized its certification directorate, merging the departments handling general aviation fixed-wing and vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, including drones. The new department opened on January 1 and is being led by David Solar, who reports to EASA certification director Rachel Daeschler. Solar previously was in charge of the VTOL department, which includes helicopters.
“This will deal with all general aviation products [including business jets] and all VTOL, as well as the certification of eVTOL [aircraft] and of drones,” explained a spokesman. However, the directorate does not cover the regulation of operations and flight crew licensing for these categories of aircraft.
The European aviation safety agency said it now expects to publish the final version of its means of compliance for its new Special Condition VTOL type certification rules in early 2021. The spokesman confirmed to AIN that it deferred planned publication in December because it needed more time to take account of the large volume of industry comments it received to draft proposals published on May 25, 2020.
EASA also said that the final version of the means of compliance for a special condition for certifying hybrid and electric propulsion systems will be published in the early part of this year.
 Not a perfect match of the certification functions. The FAA’s AIR has been undergoing a substantial reorganization so the larger number of functions under the EASA organization appears to be larger than the FAA.Share this article: