Four major aviation engineering companies are forming an alliance in the field of aircraft modifications, having signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to form the Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance (IAMA). The four partners are EAD Aerospace, Envoy Aerospace, Etihad Airways Engineering and Lufthansa Technik.
The aim of IAMA is to encourage aircraft owners and operators to modify and modernize their fleets with high-quality equipment and rigorous inspections, irrespective of which IAMA member provides the engineering services, enabling them to decide objectively and independently on the best possible modification solution for their fleet, regardless of a specific provider.
The alliance members will also establish common standards for the documentation and quality of Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) to establish an open, secure documentation platform for airline customers and aircraft owners using STCs. This platform is intended to address customer concerns with regard to documentation, data availability and worldwide customer support across different regulatory systems with various national aviation authorities.
IAMA will offer its members mentorship and counselling to deal with the challenges of retrofit modifications, especially when dealing with regulatory agencies and the industry at large, with the aim of raising certification standards to ensure the highest quality STC products.
Executives from IAMA partner EAD Aerospace were of the view that the aftermarket modifications market needed a “home” to discuss challenges and best practices, and to improve services by delivering a common message to the market.
As Romain Mbwang Seppoh, head of airworthiness at EAD Aerospace stated, “The retrofit market has specific challenges to be handled with customers and operators in terms of organization and mandatory exchange of data. IAMA will be a collaborative and knowledgeable reference and voice to regulators and standardization committees regarding how STCs efficiently fulfil these obligations. The alliance will foster proportionate and adapted regulations, and jointly develop and provide the optimal tools to its members.”
Bernhard Randerath, VP of design, engineering and innovation at Etihad Airways Engineering explained, ” We believe that OEMs will also benefit from becoming members of IAMA, which is open to all modification providers. STCs are a fast, cost-efficient way to provide modifications, and IAMA is a promising approach to address the critical points of documentation simplicity and continued after-sales support.”
The launch meeting of IAMA is scheduled for spring 2019.