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FAA and EASA Ratify New Agreement on TSOs

On September 15, the FAA signed agreements with two international regulatory partners, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Transport Canada (TCCA). The agreement with EASA is formally titled “Technical Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness and Environmental Certification.”

A Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA), which is what these are, governs product airworthiness approvals between two or more countries. The FAA now has about 50 of these agreements in place with governments around the world, including EASA. These agreements vary greatly in their scope and authority, but essentially they mean that one country recognizes the airworthiness authority of the other. It takes a long time to define the specifics spelled out in the agreement, but once they are in place they are well worth the effort.

The agreements allow the countries’ respective regulatory authorities to have confidence in each other’s regulatory agencies. They eliminate duplicate applications for approval, get state-of-the-art equipment installed on aircraft more quickly, and save time and money for both industry and the regulatory authorities involved. They cover bilateral cooperation in a number of key areas including aircraft maintenance, flight operations and environmental certification. Most importantly, this most recent amendment allows products approved under each authority’s Technical Standard Order (TSO) to be accepted by the other party. The agreement will also help in getting the necessary approval for Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs).

The FAA-EASA Agreement

The actual FAA-EASA document reads as follows:

“The purpose of these technical implementation procedures entered into pursuant to Article 5 and Annex I of the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the European Union on Cooperation in the Regulation of Civil Aviation Safety, is to define the interface requirements and activities between FAA, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Union (EU) Member State Aviation Authorities (AAs) for the import, export, and continued support of civil aeronautical products.”

So what does this mean for the typical aircraft owner and operator in the US? The short answer is everyone saves time and money—manufacturers, aircraft owners and operators—even the FAA and the other regulatory authorities. Operators, specifically, gain from being able to get new equipment in their aircraft without having to wait months for approval. And ultimately, we all benefit from the application of consistent aviation safety standards throughout the world.

For more information on the agreement, here’s the actual document

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