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AEE: Must-Know Avionics Mandates

What you should know about avionics mandates in Europe ahead of the Aviation Electronics Europe conference in Munich, June 19 to 20.

Aviation Electronics Europe (AEE) is the premier event for aviation professionals involved in the operation, certification, acquisition, maintenance and development of avionics hardware and software in the region. In 2017, the event drew in more than 1,000 attendees from 40 countries, and there were more than 50 exhibitors, all of whom are returning this June in Munich.

Here are progress updates, challenges and new capabilities for avionics equipage in European airspace you should know about.

ADS-B Regulation Under Review

The European Regions Airline Association (ERA), a member of the SPI group, believes the mandate is “not achievable.” The association noted it is supporting its member airlines that have “fleets that are already equipped with enhanced surveillance transponding capabilities and are anticipated to be retired or otherwise withdrawn from service before or during the transition period for ADS-B introduction.”

EASA also updated its policy in 2017 through its plan for aviation safety between 2018 and 2022. The agency first started the process of reviewing its SPI regulation in 2016, with a focus on revising the commission implementing regulation (EU) No. 1207/2011 laying down requirements for the performance and the interoperability of surveillance within Single European Sky ATM Research modernization of the air traffic system in Europe. A decision on the mandate is expected in the second quarter of 2019.

At AEE 2018, Nathalie Dejace, head of EASA’s ATM/ANS and aerodromes department, will speak with experts who discuss the SPI regulation, mandates and other updates impacting those flying within European airspace.

AEE conference in 2017.File photo

EASA Proposes New Flight Recorder Specifications

According to EASA, the proposed amendment is the result of recent investigations into several aircraft accidents where investigators discovered that the aircraft cockpit voice recorders “depowered prematurely.” In other instances, some installations of CVRs and flight data recorders (FDRs) were configured so that the same electrical bus powered both. This type of configuration could result in both recorders to disable in a bus failure.

“The need here is to enable the CVR to continue recording after its main power source is lost, and to prevent the failure of a single power supply from disabling both the FDR and the CVR,” EASA said in its NPA.

Another goal EASA presented in its revision is to reduce the possibility for g-switches to be erroneously activated by high levels of airframe vibrations. EASA defines g-switches as negative acceleration sensors that can stop recording after a crash.

The NPA seeks an update to the certification specifications to provide alternative means to g-switches for detecting crash impact. This would involve shifting the reliance on crash impact detection to the start-stop logic of the recorder, rather than on dedicated sensors.

Finally, the NPA features a proposal to provide provisions that would accommodate the installation of deployable recorders. EASA defines a deployable recorder as a crash-protected flight recorder that separates from the aircraft in the event of an accident, sometimes referred to as the automatic deployable flight recorder (AFDR).

“Compared to a fixed flight recorder, which might be resting on the sea floor at a depth of several thousand meters, a deployable recorder could be collected from the surface of the sea within a few hours after the accident,” EASA said in the NPA.

EASA is proposing the establishment of a new set of requirements that will establish the basis for the certification of deployable recorders.

Marie-Pierre Lehoux, a member of Airbus’ systems and sales engineering team will be speaking at AEE 2018 to provide an update on the avionics roadmap Airbus is using to address these and other pending mandates in European airspace as well as for aircraft flying around the globe encountering upcoming mandates in other flight information regions (FIRs).

Outside of the conference keynotes, presentations and panel discussions being held at AEE 2018, there will also be workshops focusing on automating DO-178C avionics certification led by Filip Verhaeghe of (UN)MANNED and a discussion on how to introduce avionics intrusion detection systems led by Marc Gatti of Thales Avionics. Vance Hilderman, CEO of AFuzion will also be providing one-day courses on DO-178C / ED-12C and DO-254/ED-80 avionics hardware certification. AVS