Ukraine to harmonize aircraft certification system with EU standards

Head of Ukraine’s State Aviation Service Olexander Bilchuk (right) and EC Director-General for Mobility and Transport Henrik Hololei signed a rapprochement agreement Head of Ukraine’s State Aviation Service Olexander Bilchuk (right) and EC Director-General for Mobility and Transport Henrik Hololei signed a rapprochement agreement (Photo by Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure)

Ukrainian aircraft certification system will be harmonized with the European Union standards, according to an agreement signed by Ukraine’s State Aviation Service and the European Commission. The move will lead to validation of Ukrainian certificates in Europe, the country’s Infrastructure ministry said in a statement.

The agreement will primarily facilitate European certification of aircraft designed by Ukraine’s famous Antonov planemaker, but will also be instrumental to other Ukrainian manufacturers. The harmonization procedures are expected to take up to five years. The European Commission agreed to allocate 3 million euro as financial support of the project, Interfax-Ukraine newswire reports.

The harmonization will cover initial and continued airworthiness, as well as MRO procedures for airframe and components. The Ukrainian authorities agreed to make a list of discrepancies between the Ukrainian and European standard and elaborate a plan to eliminate them.

The current rapprochement in terms of certification procedures will facilitate further negotiations concerning bilateral aviation safety agreements (BASA). Commenting on this milestone Ukraine’s minister for infrastructure Vladimir Omelyan emphasized that the document is crucially important for “certification of Antonov aircraft in Europe and elsewhere in the world.” A State Aviation Service’s official added that the agreement will enable Ukraine and Europe to “play by the same rules, which means that Ukrainian aircraft will be recognized by European operators.”

Notably, state-owned Antonov has recently launched a reorganization procedure to align it with the national and international requirements to design organization. In particular, the company eliminated the general designer position. “This reorganization is aimed at assuring that Antonov meets the standards adopted by the international aviation community. These requirements are specified by Ukraine’s Aviation Regulations, part 21J, which have been designed to implement the EASA Part 21 standards in Ukraine,” the company’s statement reads.

Initially the certification agreement was expected to be signed simultaneously with the Common Aviation Area agreement between Ukraine and Europe. But last year the CAA agreement was postponed once again.

The State Aviation Service emphasized that the CAA agreement won’t cover all of the country’s manufacturers. Still, revision of the certification will be practical for these companies as well.

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