EASA’s problems with Russia’s aircraft certification – should others share them?

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Incongruent Rules Threaten EASA Certification of Russian Jets

Issue : transfer of certification authority within government

Could require repeat of 2/3 of flight tests! 

Should other CAAs worry?

Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft plans to deliver 28 of its SuperJet 100 (SSJ-100) aircraft to customers in 2019 outside of the mother country. Similarly, Yakovlev Design Bureau and produced by its parent Irkut, a branch of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) expect to consider many of its MC-21 to international airlines. Maybe not!!!

The EUROCRATS in Brussels are not yet willing to accept the certification determination by Federal Air Transportation Agency (Rosaviatsiya) [FATA]. This pronouncement does not, yet, involve a determination by the European Aviation Safety Administration (EASA) that the aircraft is airworthy or not; there has been no judgment that the certification is flawed.

The bad news requires a paragraph to explain, as reported by AINonline:

The discrepancies result largely from the Kremlin’s 2015 decision to strip civil aircraft certification functions performed by the Commonwealth of Independent States’ Air Register of International Aviation Committee (ARMAK) and hand them over to the Federal Air Transportation Agency (Rosaviatsiya), an arm of the Russian government. The Russian government-issued Order 1283 dated November 28, 2015, and other actions that followed have widened differences between the European and Russian legislation bases to such an extent that a number of interstate agreements signed before 2015 lost their value and no longer apply. As a result, new and modified Russian jetliners will need to repeat some two-thirds of the flight-test program already flown in the home country to meet EASA airworthiness requirements.

That’s a BIG DEAL– repeating over 60% of the flight tests will require considerable delay, but it appears that ARMAKà FATA should have seen this coming.

EASA has a page devoted to deficiencies that Brussels sees as to their Russian counterparts. Further in 2005, the two countries entered into an agreement entitled A Framework for Developing Relations with the Russian Federation in the Field of Air Transport [COM(2005). Less than a year ago, another iteration of EASA-FATA negotiations resulted in a Working Agreement on Airworthiness (executed in Moscow on December20, 2017 and in Brussels on January 29, 2018):

 

¶ 7.3 allows the airplanes preciously certificated by ARMAK to be recognized by EASA as airworthy, but

¶ 7.4 makes it clear that the FATA’s determinations require further EASA requirements.

 

Even within Russia the Interstate Aviation Committee reveals that the safety level of aircraft transport in the CIS demonstrated “stable negative dynamics during 2017.

The article suggests that revising the location of FATA within the Government will somehow assuage EASA. That may be true, but if the concerns stated by Brussels are valid, the mere waving of a legislative magic wand over the past certification actions should not meet the European requirements.

This bilateral dysfunction SHOULD cause other certification authorities to question the FATA’s competence.

 

 

 



 

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