Opinion 08/2016

Halon - Update of Part-26 to comply with ICAO Standards

This Opinion addresses an environmental issue related to the replacement of halon in lavatory waste receptacles and handheld (portable) fire extinguishers for use in cabins and crew compartments. It applies to large aeroplanes (CS-25) and large rotorcraft (CS-29).

This Opinion is linked with amendments to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 6, applicable as from 15 December 2011, but not yet transposed into common European Union (EU) rules:

  • Amendment 35 to Part I (International Commercial Air Transport — Aeroplanes);
  • Amendment 30 to Part II (International General Aviation — Aeroplanes); and
  • Amendment 16 to Part III (International Operations — Helicopters).

The specific objective of this Opinion is to gradually mitigate the environmental impact that halon extinguishing agents in firefighting equipment have on the atmosphere and climate change, and to progressively achieve a ‘halon-free’ aviation, which balances the environmental concerns with safety-enhancing and cost-efficient rules.

This Opinion proposes an amendment to Annex I (Part-26) to Regulation (EU) 2015/640 — Additional airworthiness specifications, laying out the framework for the replacement of halon in lavatories and in handheld fire extinguishers on newly produced aircraft (i.e. ‘forward fit’) based on existing type certificates (TCs).

Although the dates for halon replacement proposed in this Opinion are later than those of ICAO Annex 6, the proposed changes are expected to ensure compliance therewith in the long term.