Avionics News July 2017 - 11
The FAA has embraced the safety continuum beyond
simply the design and certification of small aircraft, but also
applying a risk-based view in the certification of products
and the issuance of production approvals. Increasing safety
and decreasing cost are fundamental philosophies of the
future of aviation.
Throughout 2016 and again in 2017, industry is seeing
these new philosophies, beginning with the agency's
2016 approval of the Experimental Aircraft Association
supplemental type certificate for the Dynon D10
replacement for vacuum-driven attitude indicators. This STC
was a watershed moment in the risk-appropriate certification
of products for general aviation. Later in 2016, industry
saw new products introduced by established manufacturers
that leveraged this revised risk-based understanding. I
completely expect to see more new products introduced at
this month's EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
Earlier this year, the association began hosting a quarterly
manufacturer's forum to facilitate a timely conversation
between the FAA and the established manufacturing
community to assure current and timely discussions about
the agency's advancements in its risk-based approaches to
the design, certification and production of aviation articles.
To help foster communication between industry and the
agency, the AEA also plays host to various industry forums
throughout the year. To keep up with the schedule of AEA
industry forums, you may find the list and registration links
on the industry forums pull-down menu under the events tab
at the AEA website: aea.net.
This brings me back to the newest forum - the AEA
Entrepreneur magazine defined business incubators as
organizations geared toward speeding up the growth and
success of startup and early stage companies. For 60 years,
the association has provided incubator services for new
certified repair stations. For the past decade, the AEA has
helped manufacturers navigate the complex regulations on
production. With the introduction of the AEA Technology
Incubator, the AEA is adding startups and early-stage
technology companies to promote general aviation and the
great opportunities this industry offers.
For years, the association has helped startup
manufacturers navigate the complex world of aviation
regulations through on-demand, one-off requests. As these
requests have grown in frequency, the AEA has strategically
developed a structured forum to offer greater assistance
to these startup companies. To achieve the goals of the
AEA Technology Incubator, the association has organized
a one-day event scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 16, at its
international headquarters in Lees Summit, Missouri.
The AEA is restricting attendance to startups. To attend
this forum, the manufacturer must not hold an FAA
production approval; however, it may hold a NORSEE
approval. This is a forum for startup companies or new
entrants into the certified aircraft industry. This is not a
forum for established manufacturers; that is the quarterly
The AEA Technology Incubator is designed to demystify
the path forward to producing parts for certified aircraft with
a focus on producing these parts under the FAA oversight.
The best and most successful way to demystify anything
in aviation is to open the path for communication. The
AEA Technology Incubator will include presentations and
discussions focused on understanding the FAA regulatory
structure, as well as the Part 23 and production regulations,
guidance and policies. In addition, the AEA Technology
Incubator will offer ample opportunity to interact with the
association staff, FAA personnel and other attendees.
The goal of the AEA Technology
Incubator is simple and straightforward:
* Encourage new technologies.
* Encourage the promotion of safetyenhancing technologies.
* Facilitate and encourage the
communications between new
aviation entrants and the FAA.
So, what does the association ask of its membership? Please
help spread the word; help the association communicate. As an
AEA member, you know the inventor on your airport who is
always coming up with something new; the vendor marketing
the next great invention; the customer who designed a solution
but doesn't know the next step. Like the guidance you were
given to seek the AEA's help when you first opened your
doors, the association is asking you to pay it forward. The
AEA is here to help these new startups today, just as it was
here to help you when you were that startup.
As exciting as it is to announce the newest AEA member
benefit - the annual AEA Technology Incubator - I must
ask the following question: Are you taking advantage of
your AEA member benefits? If not, why not? Sixty years
ago, the AEA began by fostering communication. Today,
those communications foster understanding in a constantly
changing environment. Those communications also foster
education; your association offers more than 1,000 hours
of education and training each year. Are you taking full
advantage of your AEA membership? q