Wichita-based BCX Software, a recently established electronic data management firm, is developing Airworthiness Management System. AMS is an electronic data-sharing product designed to streamline and standardize the process of complying with FAA requirements for obtaining airworthiness certification.
David Bernstorf, the company’s founder and president, spent more than 35 years with Beech Aircraft, working in various capacities before becoming vice president of safety and certification. In 2010 he left Beech to start BCX Consulting, which specializes in helping companies improve financial performance, regulatory compliance and safety. The development of AMS is a collaborative effort between BCX and Larry Van Dyke of ICX Consulting.
“Larry and I were both involved in the certification and airworthiness areas of aircraft new-product development for the past several years. We recognized there are a lot of different ways companies interact with FAA. Some were doing a better job of it than others, but most were very conventional in their approach, using Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. We felt there had to be a better way of doing it,” Bernstorf told AIN.
According to Bernstorf, the two noticed that “different companies used different processes, forcing the FAA to learn different systems. The idea was to develop a single, standardized system. Our background, our comfort zone, was from the OEM’s perspective, so we set out looking at the development of supplemental type certificates, type certificates and production certificates. However, the FAA’s delegation procedures also include repair stations, and TSO and PMA shops,” he said.
Bernstorf said the companies are designing AMS to be an all-encompassing system: One tool that addresses all areas, and can be used by everyone to simplify the process.
“We’re also targeting international authorities because Transport Canada, EASA and the Brazilian regulatory agency account for the majority of all international certifications. When you look at their respective regulations you find that better than 95 percent are the same,” he said.
Bernstorf points out that AMS won’t replace existing regulations but rather would be a tool to help comply with them.
“From a practical perspective AMS will let you get through the certification process in less time. We’re conservatively estimating it will yield as much as a five-percent reduction in the time required. It will let you get the job done in less time, for less money and it won’t impact the safety of the overall job. It makes you a collaborative partner with the FAA and will help eliminate the ‘oh nos’ that all too often show up at the end of the program.”