EASA’s certificate action in Hyderabad, India raises global policy issues

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European Aviation Safety Agency suspends certification of GMR Aero Technic

Finds something sufficiently wrong to suspend Hyderabad P145 certificate

Facility holds 13 other authorizations

Should redundant audits be consolidated?

Should Global Auditors share Findings with CAAs

A fairly innocuous, if not inconsequential, announcement by the European Safety Administration that it was suspending the Foreign Repair Station authority of an Indian company, actually serves to highlight a more important and substantial policy issue-

What is the value of an uncoordinated system of independent inspections by EASA, FAA and indirectly ICAO[i] when they do not share their technical judgments?

Or stated more politically, is the sovereign right to examine the compliance of airlines, airports and repair stations around the globe exceed the worth of safety to the countries’ passengers who are directly or indirectly relying on the compliance of these regulated entities to safety standards?

Is there something sacred about the regulations of the individual standards of EASA, FAA and ICAO?

WHAT ACTION EASA IS PURPORTED TO HAVE DONE:

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The European Aviation Safety Agency has suspended its certification for Hyderabad-based GMR Aero Technic, which provides maintenance and overhaul services for aircraft, and the re-approval would depend on the progress made by the organisation, according to the regulator.

With the suspension of certification effective November 12, the facility would not be able to service planes that are registered in a European Union member state.

GMR Aero Technic provides extensive airframe maintenance, repair, overhaul (MRO) and line maintenance services on the commercial and general aviation aircraft, as per its website.

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When contacted, the regulator told PTI that the suspension of its certification “only affects the ability of this organisation to maintain and release to service aircraft that are registered in an European Union member state or components to be fitted on such aircraft“.

The GHIAL spokesperson said that as part of a recent routine compliance audit, EASA had raised certain observations leading to a temporary suspension of approval.

“We are working expeditiously to address the same to the satisfaction of the EASA authorities, post which we expect the certification to be reinstated,” he said in a statement issued on Sunday evening. In the meantime, MRO business of GAT continues to operate, he noted.

Without providing specific details about the reasons for suspension, the watchdog said the move does affect other approvals held by this organisation, such as from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the privileges obtained under such approvals.

“The process for getting EASA certification again depends on the progress made by the organisation,” the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said in an e-mailed response on Friday.

A query sent to domestic aviation regulator DGCA on whether it would be initiating any action in the wake of EASA certification suspension did not elicit any response.

The GHIAL also said that as a business imperative, GMR Aero Technic holds approvals and certifications from a number of international civil aviation authorities including the DGCA (India) and the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA)[1].

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According to its website, GMR Aero Technic also provides line maintenance services for A320 aircraft of Gulf Air and Air Asia, for B787 and B767 planes of British Airways and at Kathmandu airport.

The article makes it clear that the judgment of EASA that GMR Aero Technic’s compliance with the EU standards was not adequate and that none of the other Civil Aviation Authorities had YET acted. The GMR website lists the following thirteen certifications:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If what the EASA audit found was significant enough to take the significant action of suspending GMR Aero’s authority, is SAFETY well served by not sharing that information?

Consider that the EASA inspectors traveled to Hyderabad, Telangana, India and found a matter of concern.

The substantive standards of EASA, FAA and ICAO are substantially the same. Auditors of these safety agencies visit the CAAs and airlines/airports/repair stations (except ICAO) and review their competences. One significant policy consideration of this redundancy is that it imposes burdens on the organizations being reviewed. That observation suggests there is a reason to consolidate those inspections- three separate reviews become on, with consistent standards.

How to expedite the path back to full International Acceptance of CAAs

Two recent International Aviation Safety Judgments should cause Rethinking of the current Sovereign to Sovereign Audits

Quadrilateral Aviation Certification Agreement holds Great Promise—A Few Questions

Global Aviation Airworthiness Communication is not as well connected as it might be

How Many International Audits are Enough

International Aviation Standards: government-to-government and government to non-governmental organization

Recognizing that consolidation of these redundant intrusive investigations may represent too much accession of sovereign powers, might not the three authorities share their findings among each other? Such recognition of the validity of the determination of another authority is comparable to the existing bilaterals between nations; why not execute such agreements?

As in this case, there are other CAAs which also issue foreign repair station. Might not they be made privy to this information?

The benefit-SAFETY!!!

 

[1] The FAA Part 145 authority was recently granted.

[i] ICAO’s inspections do not reach down to specific certificate holders such as the instant case, but the organization is quite active in auditing states, like the India DGCA (which it is reexamining contemporaneously with this EASA action). The competence of the IDGCA to surveil organizations like this repair facility is being determined.



 

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