New simplified EASA rules enable easier cockpit upgrades

EASA has now issued a new set of standard changes and repairs which will reduce maintenance and operating costs and open the door to easily upgrading an aircraft.

Engine monitoring systems, ELTs, antennas, avionics and instruments, as well as lighting upgrades from traditional heavy strobes or fragile sealed-beam lamps to the lightweight, low-draw, brighter, robust LEDs are all covered by this simplification.

The Certification Specifications for Standard Changes and Standard Repairs (or CS-STAN) eliminates the need for approval for light aircraft in general aviation and will simplify the process of making standard changes and repairs to the vast number of GA aircraft in Europe. This is a great result for EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky, whose mission since taking the post fewer than two years ago, was to consolidate its role and responsibilities and to make the European aviation regulatory system a fully consistent, efficient and reliable framework. His commitment to proportionality - the idea that GA rules should be less cumbersome than those for volume commercial air traffic - has managed to break through the bureaucracy.

The changes are being welcomed across the industry. Ric Peri, vice president of government and industry affairs at the Aircraft Electronics Association, says: “While the CS-STAN addresses both standard repairs and changes, the AEA is most impressed with the extensive list of standard changes that can be made to aeroplanes up to 5,700 kg without additional administrative burden. The AEA has had numerous discussions with EASA over the past two years on this topic and is exceptionally pleased and surprised with the overall scope of the final document; well done!”

For certain aircraft (aeroplanes up to 5,700kg MTOM, rotorcraft up to 3,175kg MTOM, most sailplanes, balloons and airships) this will lift the regulatory burden for implementing simple changes and repairs when fulfilling the acceptable methods, techniques and practices included in CS-STAN.

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