With the publication of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/373 on 1st March 2017, the practice on issuing voluntary Letters of Acceptance (LOA) has been replaced by the introduction of certification by EASA as competent authority for the providers of data services (DAT).
This requirement for certification of organisations processing aeronautical data for use on aircraft (DAT providers) applies from 1st January 2019.
Two types of DAT providers are identified:
- Type 1 DAT providers that process aeronautical data for use on aircraft and provide an aeronautical database meeting the Data Quality Requirements (DQRs), under controlled conditions, for which no corresponding airborne application/equipment compatibility has been determined; and
- Type 2 DAT providers that process aeronautical data and provide an aeronautical database for use on certified aircraft application/equipment meeting the Data Quality Requirements (DQRs), for which compatibility with that application/equipment has been determined.
A Type 2 DAT provider’s certificate confirms that the processes for producing aeronautical databases comply with the referenced applicable requirements and the documented DQRs for the avionics systems specified, i.e. certified aircraft application/equipment. The DQRs must be provided by or agreed with the relevant equipment design organisation in a formal arrangement. A Type 2 DAT provider is authorised to supply aeronautical databases to the end users directly (e.g. aircraft operators) for the airborne application/equipment, for which compatibility has been demonstrated.
DAT provision falls under the category of ATM/ANS services (air traffic management/air navigation services). Therefore, the certification of DAT providers follows the provisions of the referenced Regulation (EU) 2017/373 and the associated Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM). The certification process is technically managed by the ATM/ANS Standards, Implementation and Oversight section in the Agency.
The certification of DAT providers is a mandatory requirement since it is attesting compliance with a binding act, i.e. Regulation (EU) 2017/373. In this context, when the aeronautical databases are used on certified aircraft applications/equipment (that support the flight operation, excluding those databases approved as part of the type design of the aircraft), they should be produced and released by certified DAT providers.
The obligations of the aircraft operators on the management of aeronautical databases laid down in CAT.IDE.A.355 for commercial air transport operations, and other equivalent provisions for other types of operation, in Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 (AirOPS rule) have evolved accordingly. As a result, as of 1st January 2019 the aircraft operators using an aeronautical database on certified aircraft system application, should ensure that the database provider is a Type 2 DAT provider certified by EASA or equivalent to a certified ‘Type 2 DAT provider’, which is defined in any Aviation Safety Agreement between European Union (EU) and a third country, including any Technical Implementation Procedures (TIP), or any Working Arrangements (WA) between EASA and the competent authority of the third country*).
Up to date information regarding the status of such agreements can be found on our website 'International Cooperation Overview'.
Accordingly, the operators can use the DAT certificate as an evidence that the aeronautical databases used on certified aircraft systems applications meet the DQRs. This results in a significant decrease of audits of the affected parties. On the other hand, the certification of DAT providers facilitates a more seamless oversight of the full aeronautical information chain and, thus, it is seen as a key step towards the highest aeronautical data quality, which will further increase the safety and efficiency of European aviation.
For an overview of ATM/ANS organisations, including DAT providers, approved by EASA, please find consult our 'LIst of approved ATM/ANS organisations under the oversight of EASA'.
Contact for DAT providers/Aeronautical Database Suppliers
Inquiries relating to the Agency's DAT certification should be addressed to: AtmAnsOrg [at] easa [dot] europa [dot] eu