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2018 Military Airworthiness Conference opens in Madrid

EDA’s 2018 Military Airworthiness Conference, organised in Madrid with the support of the Dirección General de Armamento y Material (DGAM) of the Spanish Ministry of Defence, was opened on 26 September by EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq.

The two-day event brings together key stakeholders from national authorities, industry, European agencies and international organisations, to exchange views and best practices related to the harmonisation of European military airworthiness rules and standards. Common airworthiness approaches and standards are viewed as critical enablers for enhanced European defence cooperation. 

In his opening speech, EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq thanked the Spanish authorities for hosting the event and for their strong support and involvement in the MAWA Forum. He recalled the creation of the Forum 10 years ago and stressed that since then, a comprehensive set of European Military Airworthiness Requirements (EMARs) was developed and implemented by Member States. 

“Although the levels of EMAR-implementation vary from country to country, based on this harmonised approach a total of 40 recognitions between military airworthiness authorities have been signed in the last five years and are now viewed as cornerstones for the structural cooperation between authorities. I would call this a remarkable result”, Mr Domecq stated.

In addition, the MAWA initiative is getting stronger attention outside Europe, on a global level. “Several non-EDA participating nations (e.g Norway, Denmark, Switzerland and Australia) have embraced the same approach, are in the process of implementing EMAR’s in their national systems and are engaged in mutual recognitions with National Military Airworthiness Authorities”, he said.

Furthermore, Member States are now acknowledging that harmonised safety requirements are beneficial for everyone, even beyond the airworthiness domain. “As a result, Member States have tasked EDA to develop a proposal for the progressive introduction of a Total System Approach to Military Aviation on the basis of two pilot projects, notably RPAS and military transport aircraft. This proposal, that should give a new impetus to the harmonisation of safety requirements in military aviation, will be presented to Member States at the end of this year”, the EDA Chief Executive announced. 

He also stressed the “outstanding cooperative relationship with NATO” in the area of military aviation. 


The Military Airworthiness Authorities (MAWA) Forum oversees the development and maintenance of the European Military Airworthiness Requirements (EMARs) and promotes ways and means to harmonise the military airworthiness oversight across Europe. 

A central theme of this year’s conference is the implementation of a new airworthiness roadmap as a next step in the progressive alignment of airworthiness approaches in Europe. In this context, participants exchange views on the impact the EMARs have had so far, both on the regulated community and the military airworthiness authorities. The conference also addresses the challenges of transitioning towards EMAR-based regulations in the coming years. Other topics on the agenda are the evolution of the cooperation framework between national military airworthiness authorities, as well as global developments.