EDA’s Military Airworthiness Conference 2018 (MAC 2018), organised with the support of the Dirección General de Armamento y Material (DGAM) of the Spanish Ministry of Defence, took place on 26th – 27th September in Madrid, Spain. This 10th annual Conference arranged under the auspices of the Military Airworthiness Authorities (MAWA) Forum brought together around 150 delegates from industry and governmental organisations of 36 EU and non-EU nations, representing a broad spectrum of expertise in civil and military aviation. The theme of this year’s Conference was “Preparing for a stronger European Cooperation in Military Airworthiness Oversight by implementing a new Airworthiness Roadmap”.
The Conference was opened by EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq, followed by a keynote speech by the Deputy Director General of INREID (Sub-Directorate General of Inspection, Regulation and Industrial Defence Strategy), Mr. Pedro Andrés Fuster González. Over the 1½ days of the Conference, delegates received 12 presentations covering a wide-variety of topics and challenges currently being faced by the military airworthiness community, not only within Europe but also worldwide.
The presentations were grouped into the four main themes of the Conference, being current achievements, impact and challenges of EMAR implementation on both the regulated community and military airworthiness authorities, further evolution of the cooperation framework between national military airworthiness authorities, the performance-based approach and a view on global developments. Extended Q&A sessions and discussion periods allowed delegates to gain a deeper understanding of challenges faced and approaches taken by various aviation stakeholders in relation to those subjects.
With a view to achieving a fully controlled airworthiness environment, special attention was given to the importance of coordination between Civil Aviation Authorities and National Military Aviation Authorities regarding airworthiness oversight in the growing market of Combat Air Services provided by civil contractors.
While the central role of recognition for developing strong networks of trust among military airworthiness and aviation safety authorities remains key, a standardized implementation of EMAR’s as a basis for a single European Airworthiness System was repeatedly mentioned in presentations and contributions from the audience. This is essential for achieving the anticipated benefits of multinational cooperation on development and in-service support as well as for establishing an efficient communication network aiming to mitigate safety risks that are common for countries operating the same type of aircraft.
Opportunities for improving structured cooperation between Military Airworthiness Authorities and with Civil Airworthiness Authorities, deriving from the EU PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation) initiative and the new EASA Basic Regulation, were outlined.
Specific presentations were delivered to share views on new approaches to predictive System Safety Analysis as well as on the application of performance-based airworthiness requirements and oversight for small and medium drone operations in a civil environment. The successful integration of Military platforms sourced from, and supported by, the US DoD into an EMAR based regulatory framework was also addressed.
The conference provided key opportunities for networking, ensuring that delegates were able to maximise their time with each other, following-up individual presentations with more detailed discussions related to specific national issues.
The European Defence Agency would like to thank all presenters from our participating Member States, as well as Switzerland, Australia, ASD, EASA, EATC and NATO for sharing their views and expertise and for providing valuable insights.