Patrick Goudou, Executive Director of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Claude-France Arnould, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA) on 18 June signed an arrangement for enhanced cooperation between the two agencies. The arrangement specifically covers the harmonisation of military aviation safety requirements with a primary focus on airworthiness.
“The EDA-EASA Cooperation Arrangement will improve European civil-military cooperation in aviation safety. EDA and its Member States will profit from EASA’s experience in the field of harmonised airworthiness requirements. EDA on the other hand brings in its experience from the military side”, said Claude-France Arnould during the signature ceremony at the International Paris Airshow “Le Bourget”. Patrick Goudou added, “I am delighted to sign this agreement with EDA. The combined expertise of our two agencies is a great asset that will enable to pave the way for an effective partnership. Our common objective is to promote the highest possible aviation safety standards, in the civil and military domains.”
Both agencies expect to achieve considerable benefits from this increased cooperation, especially in areas of ‘dual use’ aircraft. One such example will be the A400M which had recently been certified by EASA in its civil aircraft configuration. This civil certification can serve as a baseline for the subsequent military certification by the respective national Military Airworthiness Authorities. Some Member States have already agreed to use EDA’s harmonised European Military Airworthiness Requirements (EMARs) for the in-service support phase of this aircraft programme.
In the field of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) close cooperation and harmonisation of civil and military rules and regulations to enable safe operations in Europe will be essential. EDA projects on air traffic insertion (DeSIRE) and mid-air collision avoidance (MIDCAS) can be preliminary enablers towards joint civil and military certification.
In European civil aviation, EASA ensures that all civil aircraft operating within Europe are airworthy and safe. The relevant legal framework is detailed in EU regulations. This means that EASA issues aviation safety rules which are implemented the same way in all Member States following the agency’s mission of achieving a “high uniform level of civil aviation safety in Europe”.
On the military side, Member States currently have their national aviation safety systems in place. These systems are independent from each other, as each Member State is responsible for the regulation of its military and state aircraft. The results of an EDA initiated study underlined that the use of harmonised certification procedures for the development phase of multinational military aircraft programmes could generate at least 10% cost savings on industry as well as on the governments’ side, and up to 50% reduction in the programme duration. The EDA Military Airworthiness Authorities (MAWA) Forum was established by Defence Ministers in 2008 with the main objective to harmonise the European military airworthiness regulations of Member States. The MAWA Forum has already developed and approved harmonised European Military Airworthiness Requirements (EMARs) on type certification, maintenance and training as well as other supporting documents.
On invitation of EASA, EDA experts already participate as observers in EASA rulemaking groups on air traffic management, airworthiness and flight operations (RPAS).