Notice Of Proposed Amendment (NPA) Would Lower Requirements For Mechanics Working On Light Aircraft
In October, EASA published a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) that would adapt the current B2 licensing requirements for maintenance of avionics and electrical systems to the lower complexity of light aircraft. It also proposes a simple and proportionate system for the licensing of certifying staff involved in the maintenance of aircraft other than airplanes and helicopters, and in the maintenance of ELA1 airplanes. The issue has been on the radar of the AEA for some time. Five years ago, the association's membership raised concerns that general aviation needed an alternative B2 licensing process to support the career paths for engineers. This alternative process was developed and is now open for comment as a B2L license.
Feedback received by the European Aviation Safety Agency has shown the difficulties faced by maintenance personnel intending to obtain a Part 66 avionics license (B2) in order to maintain general aviation aircraft, due to the inclusion in the knowledge requirements of systems and technologies that are typical of large aircraft. This has created a decrease in the number of certifying staff available to maintain this category of aircraft, with the future risk of less staff being available to maintain light aircraft.
The AEA has been working with EASA for the past five years in order to bring this new alternative licensing process to reality. The B2L alternative licensing process originated at three industry-wide public meetings hosted by the AEA in 2008 and 2009. In addition, this proposal has been discussed at each AEA Europe Regional Meeting for the past four years. Ric Peri, AEA vice president of government and industry affairs, and Garry Joyce, a member of the AEA’s board of directors, participated in the EASA regulatory working group 66.027 that developed the B2L license proposal.
The NPA is an important step in the future recruitment of young people into the aircraft avionics industry. The AEA urges all of its member companies in Europe to submit comments to the NPA in support of this action.