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Filler Adds Maintenance to FAA-EASA Conference

ARSA Managing Director and General Counsel Marshall Filler attended the EASA-FAA International Aviation Safety Conference in Brussels, Belgium from June 14-16. He also represented the association in the industry pre-meeting held on June 14 to discuss the agenda and the activities of various government-industry working groups dealing with Aircraft Certification (AIR) and Flight Standards (AFS) issues. According to Patrick Ky, EASA’s Executive Director, approximately 300 people attended the conference representing 51 countries, 22 Civil Aviation Authorities, 26 trade associations and 82 individual companies.

The conference focused on building trust and the need for early communication and collaboration between government and industry, whether it be rulemaking, guidance development or certificating new products. There were panels dealing with performance-based rulemaking (a trend that will undoubtedly continue), such as the new FAA part 23 and EASA CS-23 (which become effective in August of this year), the use of big data in identifying potential operational safety issues at an early stage, recent activities in regulating unmanned aircraft systems, challenges and opportunities in aircraft and engine certification and certificating products with emerging technologies.

Conspicuous by its absence and for the first time in recent memory: There was no panel devoted to maintenance on this year’s agenda, in spite of ARSA having suggested topics for discussion when the agenda was first being developed. Filler commented on that during the industry pre-meeting and again during the audience participation phase of the first plenary session, stating that he hoped this was the last such conference he would attend where maintenance was omitted from the planned discussion. While Filler was assured privately by FAA and EASA officials that it was unintentional, the omission reinforces a longstanding and unfortunate issue with perception of a very important link in the safety chain. Several attendees from the maintenance industry echoed those concerns. Judging by the regrets expressed privately by American and European officials the association is hopeful the omission was an outlier.

For most attendees, networking opportunities with both regulators and industry colleagues are the greatest value in attending this annual safety conference. While that is true, recent budget reductions have reduced the number of agency people that attend from both sides of the Atlantic. Most of the government attendees were high-level people (i.e., FAA service directors and a few others in non-technical, policy making roles). None of the “working-level” AFS or AIR division managers were present, nor were their EASA counterparts. In the association’s view, this diminishes the value of the conference especially considering the costs associated with long-distance travel. Nevertheless, that reality is not likely to change and fortunately, the conference alternates annually between Europe and the United States

As expected, next year’s conference will be held in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, according to FAA Flight Standards Director John Duncan who made the announcement at the close of the June 15th session. Stay tuned to ARSA and the agencies to see when exactly the June, 2018 event will be.

Previously from ARSA...

6/21/16 - ARSA Works: On Stage and Behind the Scenes at FAA-EASA Conference

June 21, 2016

On June 14-16, the international aviation safety community landed In Washington, D.C., for the 2016 International Safety Conference, co-hosted by the FAA and EASA. On stage and behind the scenes, ARSA continued building its global network.

The conference’s plenary sessions began on June 14 with a panel considering a key question for international aviation: “How do we achieve the true benefits of a bilateral?” Marshall S. Filler, ARSA’s managing director and general counsel, participated alongside agency officials and industry executives, including EASA’s Executive Director Patrick Ky.

The association is committed to pursuing bilateral and multilateral agreements; a 2011 ARSA-commissioned study found repair stations enjoy considerable cost savings when working among nations with bilateral agreements. Through reciprocal acceptance, civil aviation authorities maximize the safety benefits of international oversight while minimizing compliance burdens. Such reciprocity is rare, but Filler’s participation in the panel is integral to pursuing better international agreements.

Off stage, ARSA senior staff met with Ky and EASA’s Flight Standards Director Ricardo Génova Galván.  Executive Vice President Christian A. Klein and Vice President of Legislative Affairs Daniel B. Fisher joined Filler to brief the agency’s leadership on the association’s work.

ARSA representatives often join international gatherings as the maintenance community’s sole voice. For the association, this role – in the lead on behalf of the men and women who keep the world in flight – is natural. While it cultivates a growing web of allies, advocates and contacts around the world, ARSA encourages its members to seek out such events, build their own connections and add more voices to the maintenance “chorus.”

5/13/16 - ARSA’s Filler to Join FAA, EASA at International Safety Conference

May 13, 2016

From June 14-16, the international aviation safety community will converge on Washington, D.C.’s Mayflower Hotel for the 2016 Aviation Safety Conference. This event, co-chaired by the FAA and EASA, will focus on the theme of “Global Partnerships: The Keystone for Safety.”

The conference will provide attendees an open forum to discuss international cooperation while considering emerging safety challenges. In addition to guest speakers and plenary sessions addressing aviation’s most critical needs, participants may use the venue to create and strengthen professional partnerships.

The plenary sessions begin on June 14 with an investigation of bilateral agreements. Marshall S. Filler, ARSA’s managing director and general counsel, will join EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky and representatives from Textron and Airbus for the panel discussion on international cooperation, moderated by officials from the FAA:

Plenary Session A – Panel Information

How Do We Achieve the True Benefits of the Bilateral?

This discussion will address the public/private aspects of bilateral agreements.  The public (government) aspect will focus on mutual recognition of authority competency, risk-based application of international resources, harmonization of efforts between civil aviation authorities.  The private (industry) aspect will focus on the multilateral concept, reduction of redundant activities from bilateral agreements resulting in industry burden (certification & oversight) and the financial impact of changes to the bilateral.

Filler’s participation in the conference has become an annual tradition (see below); it is part of the association’s commitment to international regulatory cooperation.

The conference registration deadline is June 3 (individuals from outside of the Washington area should reserve hotel accommodations before May 22). For more information, visit

6/15/15 - Filler Moderates at FAA-EASA Conference

June 15, 2015

On June 11, ARSA’s Managing Director and General Counsel Marshall S. Filler moderated the maintenance panel at the 2015 FAA-EASA Conference in Brussels, Belgium. Joined by regulators and industry representatives, the discussion addressed interim and long-range mechanisms to reduce redundant requirements and surveillance activities for Approved Maintenance Organizations (AMOs).

In addition to Filler, the panelists were:

  • Juan Anton, Maintenance Regulations Section Manager, EASA
  • Steve Douglas, Manager Aircraft Maintenance Division, FAA
  • Flavio Izzo, EAQG MRO Relationship Growth Str. Leader, International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG)
  • Todd Duncan, Chairman, Duncan Aviation
  • Rainer Lindau, VP Quality Management, Lufthansa Technik

Though the group’s suggestions covered a broad range of strategies, many focused on involvement by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) or some other body that could play the role as single oversight authority. Specific proposals included development of guidance, creation of oversight networks and establishment of more international agreements for joint certification and surveillance.

6/19/14 - ARSA’s Filler Speaks on International Compliance

June 19, 2014

Marshall Filler, ARSA managing director and general counsel, joined with other international aviation representatives this past Wednesday, June 18, at the 2014 FAA-EASA International Aviation Safety Conference. Filler and fellow stakeholders focused on various aspects of the U.S. and EU Safety Agreement along with its Technical Implementation Procedures (TIP) and Maintenance Annex Guidance (MAG).

Filler spoke on a panel entitled “Annex 2 of the US/EU Safety Agreement: Updates to the Maintenance Annex Guidance and What to Expect in Sampling Inspections.” The panel also included representatives from the FAA, EASA and MTU Maintenance Hannover.

FAA and EASA representatives updated participants on the changes that have been made to the MAG based on lessons learned since its implementation. They also briefed attendees on the Sampling Inspection System (SIS). The SIS is an effort by the two agencies to consult and share information on quality assurance and standardization activities. Its objective is to ensure that each authority can be confident in the surveillance conducted by the other. Consistent implementation of this system, combined with dependable education addressing MAG procedures and changes, are essential if we are to move forward in today’s international landscape.

ARSA focused on issues and compliance challenges that have not yet been resolved—specifically part tagging requirements, acceptance of a common release certificate and the need to heighten the awareness of the U.S. air carrier industry about the mutual acceptance of most repair data. MTU, while citing its own frustrations with U.S. operators on the repair data issue, echoed a common theme among industry representatives attending the conference: inconsistent regulatory standards and their application do not promote safety and efficiency in the aerospace industry.

ARSA’s leaders work tirelessly to engage with government and industry representatives through public events and engagement. For more information, please visit our industry events page.


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