NPA 2015-03

Embodiment of Level of Involvement (LOI) requirements into Part-21

This Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) addresses the risks in the process of certification of aircraft and related products, parts or appliances, as well as changes and repairs thereto.

The Part-21 certification process is based on the principle of assurance of compliance of the certified product, part or appliance with the applicable requirements. The applicant demonstrates compliance and the Agency verifies the applicant’s demonstrations on a non-exhaustive basis. This proposal does not change the principle of compliance assurance but it introduces into the process a risk-based approach to compliance verification to better mitigate the risks linked to the non-exhaustiveness of the process.

The concept of level of involvement (LOI) of the Agency in compliance verification will help to identify, using defined criteria, the certification areas where a possible non-compliance may pose a higher risk to product safety than other areas and, therefore, deserve thorough investigation by the Agency. The LOI concept will help the Agency to determine its level of involvement in each technical discipline of a certification project. Higher involvement in most safety-relevant areas of the compliance verification process has the potential to bring safety benefits.

The design organisation of the applicant may be permitted, if its performance has been assessed to be satisfactory, to ensure compliance in those areas where the safety risks are assessed to be lower. Such design organisations, Design Organisation Approval (DOA) holders, may also be granted new privileges to approve in the future certain major changes to a type-certificate or to issue supplemental type-certificates, when they have shown their capability in the certification process for previous change(s) approved with the involvement of the Agency.

It has to be noted that this proposal is in no case intended to lower the overall level of involvement of the Agency in certification projects but rather to focus its involvement on the areas of certification projects where it brings the most added value for safety.

This task completes the action SYS 1.3a ‘Incorporation of SSP in all domains of aviation’ of the European Aviation Safety plan (EASp).