Drone Course

Airworthiness Certification

Scope

This chapter offers guidance to industry on what aircraft certification is and how the activities associated with aircraft certification interrelate with the activities associated with continuing and continued airworthiness.

Lead Agency

• Within Europe the regulatory framework is defined by the European Commission (EC) and enacted by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and National Airworthiness Authorities (NAA). The regulatory framework responsibilities are therefore shared between EASA and NAAs and address:

⁃ Initial Airworthiness (certification and production)

⁃ Continued and Continuing Airwothiness

⁃ Operations

⁃ Air Traffic Management

• The regulatory framework and sharing of roles and responsibilities is described within the EASA Basic Regulation (Commission Regulations 216/2008). In very simple terms EASA is the primary agency for all rulemaking activities and conducting initial and continued airworthiness aspects.

• It must be noted that within the Basic Regulation certain aircraft categories are currently defined to be outside of scope and hence these aircraft remain subject to national regulation. This applies to aircraft carrying out military, customs, police, search and rescue, firefighting, coastguard or similar activities or services (State aircraft).

• A number be noted that within the Basic Regulation certain aircraft categories are currently defined to be outside of scope and hence these aircraft remain subject to national regulation. This applies to aircraft carrying out military, customs, police, search and rescue, firefighting, coastguard or similar activities or services (State aircraft).

• A number of exceptions to this are also defined – these are commonly referred to as Annex II aircraft. With respect to UAS these are:

⁃ Aircraft specifically designed or modified for research, experimental or scientific purposes and likely to be produced in very limited numbers;

⁃ Ex-military aircraft;

⁃ Unmanned aircraft with an operating mass of 150kg or less.

Police

• The following text provides an overview of the objectives of the airworthiness and certification processes and is intended to give a general understanding of the various aspects of civil certification and the related organizational oversight activities. It is not a complete or detailed explanation of this complex subject.

• Whilst USA of 150 kg and below are not normally required to undergo formal airworthiness certification, the principles outlined in this Chapter apply to all UAS operations.

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