Opinion 04/2016

Additional airworthiness specifications for operations: thermal/acoustic insulation materials

This Opinion addresses a safety and harmonisation issue related to flame propagation and flame penetration resistance characteristics of thermal/acoustic insulation materials.

The specific objective is to improve the protection of occupants of large commercial air transport (CAT) aeroplanes by improving certain characteristics of the insulation materials installed in the fuselage: their capability to resist flame propagation and flame penetration (burnthrough).

This Opinion proposes, within the new framework introduced by Regulation (EU) 2015/640 (Part-26) and the related CS-26, the introduction of additional airworthiness requirements and specifications on flammability standards for thermal/acoustic insulation materials. These requirements will be applicable to certain already type-certified large CAT aeroplanes, and are based on CS 25.856(a) and (b).

The proposed changes are expected to increase the safety of large CAT aeroplanes by preventing or reducing the risk of flame propagation or flame penetration into the aeroplane’s fuselage.

The proposed changes will also allow harmonisation with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on this subject.