Path to Global Aviation Partnership
2nd CAA’s certification charges limited
Long term complaint of US Aircraft Manufacturers
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Commission (EC) have signed a decision that will pave the way to lower fees that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) charges U.S. manufacturers to validate their design approvals.
The agreement–called Bilateral Oversight Board Decision 0008 (BOB 0008) (PDF)–was formalized at the 17th Annual FAA-EASA International Safety Conference in Washington, DC.
The FAA and EASA have previously signed revisions to the Technical Implementation Procedures (TIP) to the U.S.-EU Aviation Safety Agreement that reduce the time and effort to validate design approvals. Following verification and confirmation, BOB 0008 allows further recognition of the reduced involvement of the validating authority and opens the door for lower fees charged by EASA. The agencies will also be able to approve basic aircraft type certifications with minimal scrutiny.
BOB8 is a further recognition that both the FAA and EASA fully subscribe to the philosophy that safety in today’s global aviation market depends to a great extent on international partnerships between aviation regulators.
The FAA issued a Press Release on June 22 heralding the signing of a Bilateral Oversight Board Decision 0008 (BOB 0008)with the European Commission which will “pave the way to lower fees” for the two organizations’ certification of aircraft under both jurisdictions. The news was accompanied by a picture of FAA Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety Ali Bahrami shaking hands with a gentleman whose name tag is in a minuscule font.
The US aeronautical manufacturing industry has long complained of the fees assessed by foreign CAAs for work which essentially replicates the work done by the FAA (the rumor that foreign certification teams have incurred per diem well in excess of US allowances is so oft repeated it has attained a level of veracity).
The phrase “pave the way to lower fees” is curious connoting the famous Supreme quote “all deliberate speed.” Is it meant to denote that the EC/EASA will require time to implement an amendment to the travel policy? Or is there something more that a ministerial action involved. Unlike the normal ambiguous diplomatic wording, BOB8 is explicit, i.e.:
- “no associated fees shall be imposed”,
- “shall not exceed 25% of fees that the Technical Agent would have imposed… on an equivalent approval of its own certification
Based on past history of EC’s adherence to an agreement, it is quite possible that the promise of lowered fees may take additional effort to assure implementation.
Another aspect of the BOB8 execution is curious. The executed document bears the signature of Filip Cornelis, the Director, Directorate E, and Head of Unit for Aviation Policy and it indicates he was in Brussels (date unclear). Mr. Cornelis position is within the Commission; yet EASA is responsible for implementation of this Record of Decision.
The vagaries and nuances of international communications require great expertise to parse the words, but the real meaning is never known until intent is translated into action. STAY TUNED!!! As the FAA press release said:
“safety in today’s global aviation market depends to a great extent on international partnerships between aviation regulators”
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