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Helitech Speaker: Certification Inconsistency Slows Helicopter OEMs

By Staff Writer | October 6, 2015
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A lack of consistency among international aviation regulators' application of certification standards slows rotorcraft manufacturers in bringing new products to market, AgustaWestland's senior VP of Strategy and Business Development told attendees at Helitech International in London Tuesday. Answering questions during a panel discussion at the show called "New Technology: CTO Discussion," Roberto Garavaglia said, "A problem we have as OEMs today is the lack of coordination in the certification activities." When a manufacturer like AW or Airbus Helicopters (which was also represented on the panel) certifies a new aircraft with the European Aviation Safety Agency, it can take a year to gain comparable certification from the FAA. "This is not a value for the market, not a value for us, not a value for the industry," said Garavaglia. "It takes a long time, too long." In the fixed-wing market, he added, the primary certification authority will deliver a type certificate on the day after it is received from EASA or vice versa. "We should move to a situation where also helicopters can benefit from this type of coordination." R&WI's day-long Rotorcraft Certification Summit, scheduled for Oct. 27 in Irving, Texas, will examine certification issues that impede the time to bring new or improved products to market.

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