FAA Realigns Product Certification Organization

 - July 27, 2017, 12:17 PM

Effective this week, the FAA’s aircraft product type certification organization has been realigned to replace the geographical-based directorates with functional divisions. Previously, this service’s organization was structured to support local office engagement with industry via four product-based directorates with geographical certification responsibilities (helicopters, engines and propellers, light aircraft and transport aircraft).

Under the new system, there are five divisions, three of which perform essential regulatory functions: policy and innovation, aimed at improving the service’s standards with a particular focus on enabling new technology and innovative business models; compliance and airworthiness, to maintain and improve the agency’s track record for certifying and ensuring continued airworthiness of specific products; and system oversight, to coordinate and integrate safety oversight for the aircraft design and manufacturing community.

The FAA expects this realignment to improve consistency and standardization by: establishing single functional lines for certification, standards and system oversight; fostering innovation by engaging applicants and industry early to understand new concepts and ensure a viable path to compliance; shifting focus from transactional compliance activities to system oversight and early involvement in standards development; facilitating early industry engagement and risk-based monitoring to eliminate unnecessary FAA involvement in the “critical path” during certification; and providing agility and adaptability to meet the challenges of the dynamic global aviation industry.