Officials with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), attending the Singapore Airshow this week, signed a revised Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement that will enhance the two countries long-standing cooperation in airworthiness.
The enhanced Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness (BASA-IPA) provides for the mutual recognition of airworthiness of civil aeronautical products, and includes an expanded scope of modifications and repairs allowed beyond cabin interiors. These enhancements will reduce duplicate certification activities for design approvals issued to air operators and aeronautical design industries from both the U.S. and Singapore, resulting in significant time and cost savings.
The BASA-IPA, originally signed in 2004 and enhanced in 2007, was expanded with the BASA – Maintenance Implementation Procedures (MIP) at the Singapore Airshow in 2016. Then in July 2017, both parties signed the BASA-MIP Maintenance Agreement Guidance. The BASA-MIP allows for the reciprocal acceptance of safety oversight requirements, as well as mutual recognition of procedures for the approval and monitoring of aircraft maintenance organizations. Similar to the BASA-IPA, the BASA-MIP eliminates duplication of inspections and audits on aircraft maintenance organizations in Singapore and the U.S, thereby significantly reducing regulatory burdens and compliance costs for the aviation industry.
The collaboration between the FAA and CAAS was further strengthened through a Declaration of Intent on the initiation of a U.S. – Singapore Joint Aviation Steering Committee (JASC) in December 2017. The JASC aims to develop a framework to manage and strategically guide the robust technical cooperation under the bilateral agreements between the FAA and CAAS.
“The FAA values our strong U.S. – Singapore bilateral relationship and we look forward to continued collaboration as we enhance our efforts this year through the development of the FAA-CAAS Joint Aviation Steering Committee,” said FAA Acting Deputy Administrator, Carl Burleson.
The FAA Administrator and the CAAS Director-General of Civil Aviation will co-lead the JASC with support from technical sub-groups who will undertake projects including, but not limited to the areas of International Safety Standards and Recommendations, Regional Cooperation and Development, Air Traffic Management, Environment, and Cybersecurity.
Tay Tiang Guan, Deputy Director-General of CAAS, added, “The long-standing FAA-CAAS bilateral relationship is a testament to the high degree of mutual trust and confidence in the technical competence and regulatory capabilities of both parties. It is also a testament to the high safety standards we uphold, even as we support aviation industry growth.”
“The removal of the limitations will now allow airlines to undertake a comprehensive supplemental type certificate package of modifications for cabin, mechanical and electrical systems, as well as the in-flight entertainment system. This will certainly help airlines reduce lead times and costs of cabin retrofit programs,” said Singapore Airlines Senior Vice President of Engineering, Lau Hwa Peng.
Dr Yip Yuen Cheong, Executive Vice President of Aerospace Engineering & Manufacturing, ST Aerospace, said, “We welcome the new revision that simplifies the process in getting the necessary certifications and approval from both the CAAS and FAA. Apart from lowering administrative costs, the revised agreement also helps in bringing to market new modification and repair solutions faster, which ST Aerospace will benefit from as we grow our engineering, design and manufacturing business in passenger-to-freighter conversions, cabin interiors and seats.”