Region VII: Middle East/Asia

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First-Time Operators to Asia May Face Unexpected Challenges

Nov. 22, 2017

A new bilateral agreement between the U.S. and China promises to benefit aircraft manufacturers and operators alike.

The FAA recently announced the signing of a new Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness (IPA) agreement, under the existing Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) between the U.S. aviation regulatory authority and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). The IPA serves as formal recognition of each other’s regulatory systems, in regard to the airworthiness of aviation products. IPAs allow each authority to leverage approvals completed by the other agency with respect to design, production and airworthiness, as well as continued airworthiness.

These agreements leverage compatibilities between the two regulatory authorities’ certification systems.

“When BASAs have been put in place with other regulatory authorities, such as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), we’ve seen the agreements can be very effective tools for safety regulators to leverage shared competencies to reduce workload, not only for regulators, but also for operators under their jurisdiction,” said Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president of regulatory and international affairs. “For example, the BASA between the FAA and EASA has helped address duplicative certification standards for manufacturers looking to sell products in those respective regions.

“Hopefully, this arrangement can bring the same type of benefits for Chinese and U.S. operators and manufacturers as we’ve seen between FAA and EASA-regulated entities,” said Carr. “Ideally, this agreement will set the stage for greater cooperation between China and the U.S. in operational areas, as well as in the certification and recognition of aviation products.”

In addition to the European Union, the U.S. has similar airworthiness agreements with Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico and several other countries. The BASA between the FAA and CAAC was originally signed in 2005.

Review the FAA’s announcement about the agreement.