EMB-195-E2 achieves First Triple Certification-the JATR may determine if it’s the last multilateral action  

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Embraer E195-E2 gets triple type certification

ANAC, EASA and FAA all certificate the aircraft

Issuance based on Brazilian authority

Recognized based on bilateral airworthiness agreements

March 11 actions put that system at risk; JATR may restore it

 

It’s official!!!

The Embraer E195-E2 made history this year as the first commercial aircraft to receive three simultaneous certifications. Members of the FAA, the European Aviation Safety Association (EASA) and the Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil, ANAC) celebrated this honor in a ceremony in São José dos Campos[1].

The certification project was hailed as a success by all three authorities. Embraer CEO Paulo Cesar Silva said the design of the new medium-range passenger jet was certified “on schedule and on budget.”

 

Victor Wicklund of AIR’s Policy and Innovation Division, Transport Standards Branch, presented the US Type Certificate and spoke at the ceremony. Wicklund touted AIR’s Transformation, which encourages early engagement, in contributing to the project’s success.

Embraer embraced the opportunities which the FAA’s AIR laid out to engage in very early stages of product development, even before submitting a formal application, Wicklund said. This is when challenges can be identified and resolved while minimizing project risks, he said.  The International Section of AIR’s Transport Standards Branch led the effort to validate the EMB195-E2, collaborating with ANAC and Embraer.

The team adhered to the FAA’s bilateral agreement with Brazil, focused on critical areas identified up front, closed issue papers in a timely manner and relied on ANAC’s findings and oversight of Embraer.  Despite a number of challenges, including the position of the flaps and the design of the openings in the leading edge of the wing, the certification was completed in just 56 months.

 

The highlighted text signals a future system of multilateral certifications. Aerospace manufacturing has become increasingly global with existing aeronautical commerce centers in Brazil, Canada, Europe and the US.

Major capital investments in China, Japan, Russia and other countries portend future application for aircraft certifications there, too. That geographic challenge all of the governmental agencies assigned to determining the airworthiness of these nascent aircraft.

Additionally, the leading OEMs have identified and qualified overseas sources for structural components, systems and equipment. The selection of these suppliers involve strategic sales/trade decisions.

To provide coverage of this regulatory span, the CAAs have cautiously approached a network of shared surveillance. The FAA has entered into bilateral agreements with 45 countries and the European Union (EASA). They vary in significance from mere technical assistance to full acceptance of the other CAA’s issuance of a Type Certificate.

The three CAAs involved in the E195-E2 have spent years and years reviewing the technical competence of each other. They have scrutinized the standards and methodology of their respective certification. Their individual levels of confidence has grown as their knowledge increased.

The results of this prolonged exercise are shown in the trilateral certification of this Brazilian aircraft. As the FAA statement made clear, the precedent airworthiness agreement led to:

“The team adhered to the FAA’s bilateral agreement with Brazil, focused on critical areas identified up front, closed issue papers in a timely manner and relied on ANAC’s findings and oversight of Embraer. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[ANAC’s office in São José dos Campos.]

A search for parallel statements by ANAC and EASA did not find similar recognition of reliance on the system; the FAA’s release was dated in February.

So why the headline suggesting that this triple certification may be the last?

 

With the exception of the Canadian Minister of Transportation, none of these official notices met the technical requirements of the Chicago Convention of 1944 or the respective BASA. The absence of any stated basis for their action was a diplomatic and personal insult to the FAA and Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety  Ali Bahrami (an aeronautical engineer). Basically, these CAAs denigrated the technical airworthiness competence of the US.

In an effort to consolidate the reauthorization of the B-737 MAX 8, the Joint Authorities Review Team, recognizing that coming to one group decision would be a smoother process than having each CAA, one-by-one, performing its independent reviews before approving the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).

The backstory, or perhaps even a major rationale, to JART is to put the primary players in a room and work on technical tasks together. The team, led by former NTSB Chair, Chris Hart, will work through all of the software permutations to ensure that it works in all phases of take-off. The conversations will be in the jargon of regulatory criteria, the language (actually heavily numbered) of engineers and other remedial actions.

By so doing, JART may restore some of the professional confidences and personal relations which were assaulted on March 11-13. The group exercises may reestablish the global airworthiness network which was still in its infancy until the two tragic crashes resulted in abrupt cessation of the B-737 Max 8 operations.

Those, however, are assumptions of possible outcomes for which there is no direct knowledge of the interpersonal skills underlying the triple certification of the E195-E2 and so necessary for the future development of aircrafts.

 



 

 

[1] The actual Type Certificates were issued on February 28; the announcement issued on April 16, 2019.

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