Last year, the growth in air travel far exceeded predictions, with flights up by a significant 280 million. And with the trend showing no signs of abating Airbus recently predicted that the number of commercial aircraft in operation will more than double in the next 20 years to 48,000 planes worldwide.
At the same time, this growth is likely to see greater transition to emerging technologies in cleaner aircraft, digitalisation, expanding production capacity.
With this in mind, leading compliance authority Bureau Veritas is reminding the industry to ensure it is keeping apace of quality and best practice, particularly in light of upcoming changes to AS9104/1 – Requirements for Aviation Space and Defence Quality Management System Certification Programs.
Trevor Douce, International Aerospace Business Director at Bureau Veritas, said: “It’s no surprise that with more and more of us taking multiple overseas holidays each year, our collective wanderlust is driving unprecedented growth in the aerospace sector. Although this is an exciting time for the sector, with an abundance of emerging technologies coming through, a greater onus on quality means that, for many OEMs and suppliers, compliance to best practice is a distinct advantage over competitors and key to unlocking this thriving market.
“We’re already seeing upcoming changes to key regulations to reflect how businesses are having to adapt, including update to AS9104/1 which will overhaul audit planning procedures. In addition, given the complex web of compliance in the aerospace industry - where many regulations are integrated with other standards - it’s important to work with a certification body that not only understands the multiple levels of certification required but also the broader industry landscape. Ultimately, a well-thought out strategy, with robust auditing procedures will be a key component in helping firms to fly into the future of aviation.”
The revision of AS9104/1 is likely to include a number of changes that will have a significant impact on current auditing processes. For instance, the move to introduce two certification structures as per IAF MD5 – consisting of a single site and multiple site structure, could drive up auditing durations for current campus organisations by up to 20%. What’s more, when it comes to the new risk assessment and recalculating the audit man days, this will have to be done prior to each audit to account for any changes to the certificated organisation.
As the global aerospace industry’s largest certification body, Bureau Veritas says it offers a wealth of support and services to all players along the value chain, from parts design, development, manufacturers, aircraft and engines manufacturers, through to MRO operators, distributors and consumers.