A seemingly innocent EASA rule could potentially undermine US-EU trade in aircraft engine parts.
EASA has issued a Notice of Proposed Amendment that would make changes to the EASA engine vibration rule for engine certification. At first blush, this appears to inhibit the development of an independent turbine engine approved part industry in Europe. The EASA rule and the FAA rule are currently harmonized, and the proposed change would also de-harmonize the rule from the FAA standards, which might provide a basis for an EASA refusal to accept PMA turbine engine parts from the United States, in the future.
One of the reasons that this could be used to undermine US-EU trade is because the current EASA acceptance of FAA-PMA parts is based upon the finding of substantial similarity between the systems, which in turn is based upon the harmonization of the regulations. If the regulations are no longer harmonized, then EASA might choose to reject PMA parts on the grounds that they are not subject to the same sort of testing required by the EASA regulations. It is likely that such an act would not be taken immediately, but the rule change would lay the ground work for a later decision to exclude FAA-PMA parts.
Such a decision to begin excluding FAA-PMA parts on technical grounds would likely violate international agreements, so it is important to prevent EASA from laying the groundwork for such a decision, The Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft references the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade for purposes of determining the acceptability of technical barriers. That Agreement specifies that:
“Members shall ensure that technical regulations are not prepared, adopted or applied with a view to or with the effect of creating unnecessary obstacles to international trade.”
If the change would have the effect of creating an unnecessary obstacle to international trade in aircraft parts, then it could reflect a violation of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.
So what language are we talking about? Here is an example of existing EASA language that is harmonized with the FAA regulations:
“The Engine surveys and their extent must be based upon an appropriate combination of experience, analysis and component test and must address, as a minimum, blades, vanes, rotor discs, spacers and rotor shafts.”
The correlative language in the proposed replacement text would say:
”It must be established by test or a combination of test and validated analysis that the vibration characteristics of all components that may be subject to mechanically or aerodynamically induced vibratory responses are acceptable throughout the declared flight envelope.”
Some people might look at the term validated analysis and wonder what range of analysis that might permit. The AMC language quoted in the NPA clarifies a definition of the term:
“A validated analysis is one with demonstrated predictive capability within a specified domain of applicability that encompasses one or more complementary baseline tests.”
Our first look at this regulatory change suggests that the change makes it far more difficult to create and approve a replacement engine part under the European system. Replacing the option to use component tests with requirements for “test or test and validated analysis” could enforce the notion that an engine part cannot be developed in the European system without full engine testing of that part – no matter how insignificant the systems effect of the part may be (because of its economic effect, such a rule would be tantamount to banning the development of independent turbine aircraft engine parts).
Recently, we wrote about BAE’s efforts to nurture a true independent aircraft parts production industry in Europe. Such efforts would infuse competition, and all of the price and quality advantages that competition traditionally tends to bring. Certainly this independent aircraft parts production industry is in its infancy but it promises to provide jobs and revenues in Europe, while also moderating prices and stimulating safety and reliability advances. But the proposed change could have the effect of strangling the nascent aircraft parts industry by preventing it from producing aircraft engine parts.
We are really curious to hear what the MARPA community has to say about this.
For years, PMA parts were a uniquely American product. But recent European events may suggest that others will be following our lead. BAE has been focused on obtaining design approval and production approval to create approved independent replacement parts under the European system.
On January 22, Graham Smith and Phil Beard explained how BAE has been obtaining replacement parts approval user EASA standards. They explained that BAE has been able to get European approvals that are very similar to US PMA approvals.
As with FAA PMA, they start with a significant review of a part in order to determine whether it is feasible to reverse engineer and produce the part. They perform a full reverse engineering operation. They develop their own engineering drawings. Like most modern PMA companies, they take special pains to avoid using OEM data to support their analysis in order to make sure tat they are avoiding misuse of someone else’s intellectual property.
Beard feels that the substantiation of these engineering documents is a little different from the U.S. process. He explained that EASA does not allow BAE to use identicality. Instead they must use positive substantiation of compliance with the airworthiness standards. He said that this generally comes from analysis, understanding of the part’s function, and testing.
As with test and computation PMAs in the US, the substantiation process that BAE uses permits them to fully understand the part, which in turn permits them to remedy reliability problems with the original design or make other improvements desired by the customer. Beard offered an example during his discussion; he commented that if service history has shown evidence of unexpected corrosion, then BAE might change the coating in order to better protect against corrosion.
BAE has made good use of its Design Organisation Approval (DOA) system, which allows BAE to operate under a government-controlled system in order to make findings of compliance up which the government can rely (similar to the ODA system in the United States). Smith and Beard affirmed that this system has been invaluable to their parts approval efforts.
BAE’s initial efforts appear to be largely focused on parts for Regional Jet Aircraft; but they are approved and willing to undertake work on all fixed-wing aircraft types. This an exciting development for international trade in civil aircraft parts.
Are you concerned about how a foreign nation is treating your intellectual property? Are your trade secrets being stolen? Patents being infringed? Copyrights violated? Trademarks being used in a confusing or deceitful manner? If you feel that a foreign government has failed to enforce their intellectual property protection laws, or if you think that their laws are inadequate, then now is time to stand up and let the US government know your concerns.
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) is responsible for identifying countries that fail to adequately protect intellectual property rights. This annual list of nations is known as the Special 301 Report. The 2013 Special 301 Report details which countries are considered to be intellectual property problems: it identified a wide range of concerns, such as:
Countries that are identified in the Special 301 Report are the focus of increased U.S. attention concerning the problem areas, with the aim of helping the foreign trading partner to improve their laws, or the enforcement of their laws.
Written submissions from the public are an important source of information for the Special 301 review process, so the USTR has asked for public comments about intellectual property rights issues arising in other countries.
To facilitate the review, written comments should be as detailed as possible and provide all necessary information for identifying and assessing the effect of the foreign acts, policies, and practices. It helps if you are specific about what foreign laws or policies apply, how they affect you, what the dollar value of that effect is, and how you calculated the dollar value.
The deadline for submitting written comments is February 7, 2014. All written comments,must be submitted electronically to http://www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR–2013–0040. Please specify ‘‘2014 Special 301 Review’’ in the ‘‘Type Comment’’ field on http://www.regulations.gov.
If you need help with this process, please feel free to call us!
Will we see you at the PMA Summit in London next month?
The AVM Summit Europe will be held on January 21-22 2014 at the London Olympia Conference & Exhibition Centre [note - it has moved since last year]
The event sponsor, Aviation Maintenance Magazine is offering a special (additional) discount as we reach the end of their early registration period. The early registration deadline December 21 and you can register online here. Until we reach that date, Aviation Maintenance Magazine is offering an additional extra 15% discount – simply use the Promo Code ”AVMXMAS’ at the checkout!
Still need a place to stay? MARPA staff is staying at the Hilton Olympia, which is about a block from the conference center.
The Conference has three aerospace tracks: Avionics, MRO and PMA Parts. MARPA has assisted Aviation Maintenance Magazine in developing their program and we are excited about this opportunity to update European and Middle Eastern air carriers abouyt the latest developments in the PMA world. The Conference Areas for each of three events are located adjacent to one another and they share a common exhibition hall (so it is a nice opportunity to get exposure to the European and Middle Eastern aerospace community).
For questions about the conference, you can call Adrian Broadbent or anyone from his team. The European number is +44 (0) 20 3289 2577 and the US number is (321) 800-5817.
Will we see you in London this January?
The agenda for the January 22-23, 2014 London PMA Summit is set and is available on-line.
This Conference is managed by Aviation Maintenance Magazine and is a wonderful opportunity to meet with companies from the European and Middle-Eastern sectors of the aerospace industry. MARPA supports the Conference because it is a chance to continue to educate people about PMA in a positive and business-friendly setting.
Both Jason Dickstein and Ryan Aggergaard from MARPA plan to be there. We hope to see you too!
Congress has endorsed the concept of Part 23 aircraft relying on consensus standards as the basis for updates to airworthiness standards.
This was a key part of the Pat 23 ARC (an Industry-FAA rulemaking committee) recommendations, in which the reliance on consensus standards was meant to permit the FAA to update airworthiness standards more rapidly to reflect changing technical standards. It is hoped that this will permit companies to more readily develop safety improvements for the general aviation fleet.
For companies manufacturing Part 23 aircraft or parts for such aircraft, it will be important for them to identify the consensus-standards-setting bodies and to track or participate in their efforts to the extent that they affect the company’s projects.
Yesterday, the House agreed to the Senate version of the bill (H.R. 1848), which clears the bill for the President’s signature. The bill recognizes that the FAA shall issue new regulations by December 15, 2015 that will permit the establishment of broad, outcome-driven safety objectives in the hopes that they will spur innovation and technology adoption.
Chairman John Hunter, Dennis Piotrowski, Treasurer Kent Whitmer, Monty Montgomery, Andy Sheilds, Rod Sands, and President Jason Dickstein have a Board of Directors meeting at the 13th Annual MARPA Conference in Las Vegas.
As of October 15, a significant change to the export regulations removed many articles from the ITARs and move them to the Commerce Department’s export jurisdiction.This movement reflects the fact that lower-risk parts do not need to have the same export controls as high-risk parts.
This change means that most dual use items (article used on both civil and defense aircraft) are transferred to the export jurisdiction of the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) where they will be regulated under the Export Administration Regulations (EARs).
Note that the rule change was largely aimed at aircraft parts, and non-aviation items may not be affected by this change.
So after the change, which aircraft parts remain subject to Directorate of Defense Trade Control (DDTC) export jurisdiction? Here is a partial list:
These above-referenced parts remain on the United States Munition List (USML), which is part of the International Trade in Arms Regulations (ITARs). So their exports will continue to be subject to ITAR control. But what is important is what is no longer on this list!
Parts that were previously described on the USML and were thus subject to DDTC/ITAR export jurisdiction but that are now moved to BIS/EAR jurisdiction have mostly been moved to the 600 series Export Commodity Classification Numbers (ECCNs). These are ECCNs with the number “6″ in the middle spot of the five-character ECCN. The 600-series is designated for Wassenaar Arrangement Munitions List (WAML) articles and for former USML articles.
As of today, the Commerce Control List (CCLs) on the Commerce Department website did not include the 600-series ECCNs, and the fact that the government was shut down suggests that they might not be updated soon. But you can still see the new ECCNs by looking at the Federal Register publication of the final rule.
Many aircraft parts that are no longer regulated under the DDTC ITARs are moved to ECCN 9A610. If an article remains on the USML, like an Attitude and Heading Reference Systems (AHRS), then its unclassified software may have moved to a BIS/EAR 600 series ECCN; the unclassified software and technology indirectly related to such USML articles move to new ECCNs 9D610/9E610 (aircraft software/technology) or 9D619/9E619 (engine software/technology). There is also a new ECCN for military commodities outside the US that are derived from “600 series” controlled content (ECCN 0A919 – Category 0 includes miscellaneous items).
In some cases, the precise placement of an article may depend on whether it is “specially designed” for 600-series articles or for non-600 series articles. BIS has provided an online decision tree-based tool to help with the “specially designed” determination and it is available at http://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/specially-designed-tool.
Licenses from BIS will still be required to export and reexport most 600 series items worldwide (except to Canada), unless an EAR license exception is available. If you have an article that was subject to the DDTC/ITAR jurisdiction and has been moved to BIS/EAR jurisdiction, then your existing ITAR licenses may remain valid. Details on how this works and when your license may remain valid are available in last week’s post about grandfathering existing export licenses.
Got questions? We will be talking about export at the MARPA Conference. The Washington Aviation Group continues to provide export legal advice. So if you need to get really creative, please give the Washington Aviation Group a call and let them work with you to find a solution.
MARPA is pleased to announce that two more speakers have been confirmed for the 2013 agenda at the Annual Conference.
Peter Requa, the Director of Supply Chain Operations for Southwest Airlines will discuss How PMA Affects the Air Carrier. Eduardo J. Iglesias is the Executive Director of ALTA (Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association) and he will join us to discuss Latin America and The Caribbean: Growth and PMA Opportunities.
You can see the latest version of the Conference Agenda on our website at http://pmaparts.org/annualconference/2013ConferenceAgenda.shtml
Also, we have just returned from a very successful trip to Japan, and we are looking forward to welcoming several Japanese Conference attendees who will be looking for US business partners; so the Conference should be full of new business opportunities!
I am very excited to see all of you at the 2013 MARPA Conference on October 23-25 in Las Vegas.
This year the Conference will feature a lobbying meeting workshop conducted by new Air Carrier Committee Chairman Ed Pozzi of United Airlines. This will be a brainstorming session attended by both suppliers and carriers, with a goal to explore a lobbying effort aimed at producing an air carrier PMA approval checklist that can be presented to the FAA for potential publication as an FAA Advisory Circular. For Air Carriers, it will be a great opportunity to work with a diverse group who are involved with the efforts of preparing a PMA technical package for the different variations of submittals. For manufacturers, it is an opportunity to gain understanding in the needs of your customers.
From the number of registrations we have received, this year is assured to be a great chance to network with the best of the industry. And as always, we have A LOT of customers registered for the conference so there are tremendous sales opportunities waiting for PMA company attendees as well!
We’re continuing to add more information about speakers and Conference events, so be sure to check out the online Conference Agenda.
Not yet registered? The Conference Registration form is available online. Just fill it out and email or fax it. Questions? Call Katt Brigham at (202) 628-6777 for answers!
Make sure your registration reaches MARPA before the next deadline to get the current registration discount! The next deadline is Sept 21, 2013 and meeting that deadline will save MARPA members $200 (for the first-registrant from a company) to $300 (for each additional registrant from a company) over the cost of on-site registration.
You don’t have to be a member to come – non-members are also welcome to attend the Conference for the non-member rate.