At HAV we work very closely with the regulators and authorities to ensure Airlander and its operations will comply with regulations and policies around the world.
Our Office of Airworthiness oversees the Type Certification of Airlander. The team is led by Andrew Barber, HAV’s Head of the Office of Airworthiness. The knowledge and experience of his team of engineers allows regulators to trust the decisions we make on the pathway to Type Certification.
Type Certifying Airlander
A Type Certificate states that an aircraft design meets the airworthiness design requirements and can be expected to fly safely. The certification is received at the end of the design and testing process. Airlander’s certification process is already well underway.
There are two important organisational steps before a manufacturer can design and build a new aircraft type. A Design Organisation Approval (DOA) from the regulators is required to show that an organisation is approved to design aircraft. A Production Organisation Approval (POA) means the organisation is approved to manufacture the aircraft. HAV has held DOA and POA since 2018.
HAV’s DOA and POA were first achieved under the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) but since 1st January 2021 they have transferred to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
A Type Certification Basis defines an aircraft’s airworthiness. For a new and innovative aircraft like Airlander there is not a pre-defined set of regulations to follow. Instead, we are working closely with our regulator to agree a new set of rules. Our close working relationship with the key regulators (CAA, Federal Aviation Authority, and EASA) was forged through the flight of our prototype over many months. This close relationship will make the journey to Type Certification as smooth as possible.
Once Type Certification is awarded HAV will be issued an individual Certificate of Airworthiness for each aircraft. To be eligible for a Certificate of Airworthiness, each aircraft must have been built by an organisation which holds a Production Organisation Approval (POA) and in compliance with the design standard set by the Type Certificate.
It typically takes between three and five years to certify an aircraft, depending on size and role. We anticipate Airlander will be in service from 2025 due to our close relationship with the regulators and because much of the flight test programme has already been completed.
UK CAA is our domestic authority so we must apply for our Type Certification with them. There are also many other regulatory bodies around the world such as the FAA (USA), EASA (European Union plus some other European nations), Transport Canada (Canada) and Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (Brazil), amongst others.
To register Airlander in other countries, we will apply to the national aviation authority in each country to validate the CAA Type Certificate. We will do this concurrently with the CAA Type Certificate programme to ensure there is no delay in approval around the world.
Operating Airlander commercially
Along with the safety of the aircraft, regulators also oversee the safety of aircraft operations that provide air transport of people or goods. Anyone wishing to operate Airlander must hold an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC). To obtain an AOC, an operator must demonstrate capability to the regulator in several important areas:
- Pilot licensing
- Cabin crew licensing (cabin crew are very important; they are trained and annually reapproved in important safety practices such as first aid, fire suppression, cabin evacuation, sea survival, etc.)
- Maintenance organisation approval
- Maintenance staff licensing
- Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation (CAMO) to ensure there is accountability for continual monitoring and maintenance of the different elements of the aircraft, as each element has different maintenance schedules
In addition to partnering with organisations like 2Excel Aviation, HAV’s team is working on all areas needed for an AOC to ensure no delay to Airlander entering service from 2025.