At the 30th International Aviation Safety Conference, the regulators of the world discussed the balance between harmonized (global) standards and regional flexibility (lack of harmonization that permits national flexibility).
FAA Aircraft Certification Director Dorenda Baker explained that the optimal regulatory structure balances the rigor applied during a certification exercise. The reason for this is that as rigor increases, cost of certification increases. She explained that as cost of certification increases, safety can decrease to the extent that certification costs have a chilliing effect on safety innovations.
One example of putting this theory into effect can be found in the way that FAA approves avionics software
FAA created a system that divided software into four tiered classes for certification purposes. Baker feels that there is a relation between the avionics that we’re permitted to be certified and the reduction of CFIT (controlled flight into terrain).
Baker explained that “Sometimes you’ve got to get out of the way, for safety.”
With this in mind, the FAA is working on ways to ensure that the airwortness standards reflect performance standards. A part of this effort is removing methods of compliance from the regulations, in order to ensure that the regulations do not limit innovation. Methods of compliance should more properly be published in guidance.
We have written recently on this blog about the important SMS/Part 21 Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) and corresponding Working Groups in which representatives of MARPA are now participating. The result of this ARC promises to affect each and every manufacturer of PMA in some way or another. MARPA will therefore be there every step of the way, working to ensure that the interests of PMA community are protected. But in order to ensure that we guard our members’ interests, we will need your assistance and feedback! We are therefore asking MARPA members to tracks and share with us the cost of regulatory compliance.
The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires agencies to attempt to fit the burdens of a proposed regulation to the scale of businesses. This recognizes the fact that the same regulatory burden that may simply be the cost of doing business to a large multinational corporation may be crippling to a small company. Recognizing the extreme importance of scalability in the promulgation of the new Part 21, one of the four Working Groups is dedicated solely to undertaking a Cost-Benefit Analysis of the proposed regulatory changes.
This is where MARPA member feedback will be of extreme importance. The Cost-Benefit Analysis Working Group needs data to better understand what the current cost of compliance to small business actually is. This will function as a baseline from which to determine the benefits and costs of the proposals generated by the other three Working Groups. As the Working Groups craft the new regulations they will turn to industry to obtain data demonstrating the effects of the proposed changes.
It is vital that MARPA members participate in providing data to the Working Groups as the new proposals are developed and those assumptions tested against hard data. Hidden costs of compliance with regulations, under-estimations of costs, and over-estimations of benefits have the potential to result in an overly burdensome regulation. The participation of MARPA members in providing data to the ARC Working Groups will go a long way toward shaping an effective regulation while minimizing the burden on small businesses.
Input from members helps MARPA to more effectively advocate for policy changes that benefit the PMA community. Responses to requests for information such as this—or for data regarding the Streamlined PMA Process—helps MARPA to focus its resources to optimize benefit to the membership.
MARPA looks forward to the participation of its members in shaping the future of Part 21. Although the Working Groups have not yet begun to approach industry with requests for data, MARPA would like to get started early. If your company tracks the cost of regulatory compliance, whether in dollars, personnel, man-hours, paperwork, or any other metric, we want to hear from you. Your confidentiality is important to us, so MARPA will only report data in the aggregate; no individual data will be released and no company names will be revealed. You can send this data to MARPA Associate Counsel Ryan Aggergaard at email@example.com. Please also send Ryan an email if you have any questions or would like to start tracking compliance costs.
The SMS/Part 21 Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) opened a three day meeting this morning in Rosslyn, Virginia. The meeting expands the scope of the ARC to include four working groups that will develop the new rules for certification and approval of aviation products and articles. MARPA staff attended the live meeting and MARPA members participated by dial-in teleconference. This project will definitely affect every MARPA member and could be the most important rulemaking activity affecting the PMA community in over 60 years!
Dorenda Baker is the Director of the FAA Aircraft Certification Service. Ultimately, the ARC reports to her. Baker explained that the FAA is committed to taking the ARC’s recommendations and moving forward with those recommendations to craft a rule that meets our ICAO SARP obligations (SMS or Safety Management Systems). She stressed that we need to take into consideration how this rule will apply to both large and small companies. It needs to achieve safety goals for everyone.
Some of the points that Baker raised included these:
MARPA has been centrally involved in drafting the working group charters in order to ensure that the ARC recommendations will support the next generation of safety management. Baker’s commitment to protecting the interest of both small companies and large companies is encouraging; but the details will be important to the PMA community and there is plenty of opportunity to see a rule that does not work well. With this in mind, this could be one of the most important projects that MARPA has ever worked-on for the future of the PMA community. MARPA will remain at the heart of this process in order to ensure that the interests of the PMA community are protected.
The FAA has announced that it is assigning two new tasks to the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC).
The first ARAC task is to update the regulations to better reflect fly-by-wire technology. The Flight Test Harmonization Working Group will evaluate issues like takeoff and landing performance and flying qualities that may not be adequately addressed by the existing airworthiness requirements and guidance material. This effort is meant to improve the regulatins and also harmonize them with those of our major trading partners. It is possible that the recommendation(s) could address either engine certification requirements, aircraft operational requirements, or both.
The second ARAC is to “Review and assess the standards and advisory material for bird ingestion requirements.” The Bird Ingestion Working Group will evaluate the threat posed by bird ingestion and develop new standards for addressing this concern. It is possible that the recommendation(s) could address either engine certification requirements, aircraft operational requirements, or both.
The FAA staffs these working groups with technical experts drawn from the industry. It is important to make sure that there is a balanced representation of industry interests on each working group to help ensure that the rules proposed are fair to the entire industry. Because the recommendations could affect certification regulations, they could have a direct affect on the PMA community.
If you are interested in being a technical expert on either of these work groups, please contact MARPA and we can proffer your application as a representative of the PMA industry, or feel free to contact the FAA directly (contact information is listed in the Federal Register notices). The deadline for applying to the FAA for working group membership is April 5, 2013.
MARPA has added video to our website!
Now if you look at the “What is a PMA” page on the MARPA website, you will see that we have added a video presentation that explains what PMA parts are all about. This is our first video on our new Youtube page that will become the home to videos about PMA issues.
Please let us know if you have any ideas for video presentations that you’d like to see on MARPA’s Youtube account or on MARPA’s website!
Have you ever wanted to influence the regulations that affect your business? Well, NOW is your best opportunity to do so!
In January, we provided early notice to the PMA community that the FAA would be seeking industry experts to volunteer for working groups that will be rewriting the manufacturing regulations. Now, we are collecting names and submitting them! This is a tremendous opportunity to make sure that the regulations reflect the current state of the art for certification and approval processes.
The Part 21/SMS Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) is undertaking a major project to review Part 21 and (1) to make it consistent with ICAO Standards for Safety Management Systems, (2) add regulations to create a design organization and (3) update the regulation as necessary.
The Part 21/SMS ARC has recently completed charters for four (4) working groups that will be helping to craft the Part 21 language as well as developing a new paradigm for FAA oversight of systems. These worknig groups will report to the ARC, and will be where the real ground work occurs in changing the manufacturing regulations. We are seeking MARPA members who would like to volunteer to be on these committees. The first working group meetings will likely be April 3-5 and working group members will need to support the working group efforts through 2013 (final Reports are due December 10, 2013).
The four working groups are:
(1) Design Organization: This working group will develop regulations for design organizations, similar to the DOA regulation in Europe. Design organizations will have more safety responsibility and accountability, and in turn would receive greater privileges. The goal of this group will be to help the FAA create design organizations that can serve as the backbone for safety management.
(2) Safety Management Systems (SMS): This working group will help to integrate requirements for safety management systems in to the FAA manufacturing regulations. The goal of this group will be to better align the FAA’s regulations with the requirements of SMS.
(3) Oversight: This working group will develop a new model for FAA oversight that will better reflect risk management in an era with shrinking government budgets and expanding industry need for government approval and/or certification. The goal of this group will be to help the FAA create a program to ensure a consistently high level of safety with a dwindling resource pool.
(4) Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA): This working group will examine the work of the first three working groups and will help develop the data and other tools that the FAA will need to perform a cost-benefit analysis. The work of this group will be critically important to ensuring that the product from the entire ARC makes good safety sense and good economic sense.
This effort could reflect the most significant change in the U.S. aviation manufacturing regulations in over 50 years. The results of this effort will touch all of us. If you think you would like to serve on one of these working groups then please contact us immediately so we can send you more information. We need to submit our recommendations to the ARC by the end of next week, so we need to hear from you by not later than Thursday, March 7.
Last month, we asked members and readers to respond to a series of questions designed to help guide MARPA as to how the regulations are working, how they are not working, and what we can do to make the aviation manufacturing regulations work better to protect safety. Thank you to those of you who sent in emails in response!
The questions and answers were meant to support MARPA’s work as part of the FAA Safety Management Systems (SMS)/Part 21 Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC). Jason Dickstein of MARPA and Dennis Piotrowski of BELAC are both representing the PMA community on that ARC.
The ARC is undertaking a major project to review Part 21 to make it consistent with ICAO Standards for Safety Management Systems. The ARC also plans to recommend a number of clean-up and house-keeping changes to Part 21 – some of which have been waiting many years for an opportunity for implementation.
There is still time to answer last issue’s questions and let MARPA know what you think needs to be changed in the regulations; but this month we are giving you early notice of an opportunity to participate more directly in the rulemaking process.
In mid-February, the FAA ARC will publish Terms of Reference describing the work of each of several working groups that will be helping to craft the Part 21 language as well as developing a new paradigm for FAA oversight of systems. At that time, we will be seeking MARPA members who would like to volunteer to be on these committees. The first working group meetings will likely be in early April.
So be on the look-out for a mid February announcement about those working groups—we would like to get PMA representatives on every one of the working groups to make sure that the industry’s interest are protected—and we will be looking for statements of interest so that we can nominate some members.
Don’t forget that the 2013 MARPA Winter Meeting will be held in Washington, DC on February 12, 2013.
Expected speakers include:
Our topics for discussion will likely include PMA developments, streamlined PMA for non-safety-sensitive (NSS) parts, Instructions for continued airworthiness, air carrier needs, and tax laws and regulations with a particular affect on PMA parts manufacturers. In addition to our speakers, we will be discussing our government affairs program and strategic planning for the Association.
The Winter meeting is an intimate opportunity to work closely with the Association and the Board on topics of special interest to MARPA members.
If you would like to attend the meeting, please RSVP to MARPA at (202) 628-6777. There is no charge for registering for this meeting; and the meeting is open to all MARPA members.
The FAA is has amended the airworthiness standards for airplane propellers to require TC applicants to identify critical parts.
The FAA claims that this new requirement will increase the margin of safety and also harmonize the U.S. rules with those of Europe.
The rule change affects subsections (c) and (d) of section 35.15 of the FAA regulations by revising them to the following language:
c) The primary failures of certain single propeller elements (for example, blades) cannot be sensibly estimated in numerical terms. If the failure of such elements is likely to result in hazardous propeller effects, those elements must be identified as propeller critical parts.
(d) For propeller critical parts, applicants must meet the prescribed integrity specifications of Sec. 35.16. These instances must be stated in the safety analysis.
The change in subsection (c) is that the prior language merely said that in such cases compliance may
be shown by reliance on the prescribed integrity requirements of part 35 – now these parts will have to be defined as “critical.” In particular, single failure elements of a propeller whose failure is likely to result in a hazardous propeller effect would be described as “critical.”
The prior subsection (d) says that if the propeller relies on a safety system to prevent failure, then the failure analysis must assess the possibility of a failure in the safety system. Under the new language, The new language will defer the analysis of critical parts to the new language of 35.16.
The rule change added a new section 35.16 that reads as follows:
Sec. 35.16 Propeller Critical Parts.
The integrity of each propeller critical part identified by the safety analysis required by Sec. 35.15 must be established by:
(a) A defined engineering process for ensuring the integrity of the propeller critical part throughout its service life,
(b) A defined manufacturing process that identifies the requirements to consistently produce the propeller critical part as required by the engineering process, and
(c) A defined service management process that identifies the continued airworthiness requirements of the propeller critical part as required by the engineering process.
PMA manufacturers that produce propeller parts will want to look carefully at the effect this could have on future designs, and on their ability to get the FAA to approved those parts if they are deemed to be critical parts. It is also worth noting that EASA applies different standards to the import of PMAed critical parts (they are not automatically accepted and the exporter needs to obtain an EASA STC for the parts) so it will important to consider what affect this might have on your exports.
This final rule becomes effective as of March 19, 2013.
The particular focus of the proposed guidance is chemical oxygen generator and this will be particularly important to manufacturers producing chemical oxygen generators, or their parts, under PMA. It is important to to recognize that although the rule says that it only applies to future type certificated aircraft, the changed product rule applies new airworthiness standards to supplemental type certificates (STCs) and other subsequent changes by default.
On March 8, 2011, the FAA published AD 2011-04-09. This AD required that chemical oxygen generators installed inside of lavatories on certain transport category airplanes be rendered inoperative in order to address a security concern. Compliance with this AD resulted in a noncompliance with other regulations, so the AD contained a provision to permit operation notwithstanding those other requirements.
AD 2011-04-09 has since been been superseded by AD 2012-11-09. The new AD required a terminating action to reinstall a supplemental oxygen system in the lavatories that were modified per AD 2011-04-09.
For manufacturers, this focus on the security issues surrounding lavatory chemical oxygen generators has altered the landscape for design approval. Under the new standards, applications for design approval for chemical oxygen generators must demonstrate compliance with the chemical oxygen generator security concerns of 14 C.F.R. § 25.795(d).
The new rule would amend 14 C.F.R. § 25.795, by adding a new subsection that would read as follows:
(d) Each chemical oxygen generator or its installation must be designed to be secure from deliberate manipulation by one of the following:
(1) By providing effective resistance to tampering,
(2) By providing an effective combination of resistance to tampering and active tamper-evident features,
(3) By installation in a location or manner whereby any attempt to access the generator would be immediately obvious, or
(4) By a combination of approaches specified in paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(2) and (d)(3) of this section that the Administrator finds provides a secure installation.
Section 25.795(d) would requires each chemical oxygen generator or its installation to be designed so it meets one of the above-described criteria.
The proposed advisory circular provides means of compliance. It will be important for manufacturers working with chemical oxygen generator systems to ensure that their compliance process for their articles are consistent with the new guidance, or can reasonably be made consistent with the new guidance.