Kevin Lewis our Chief of the Office of Airworthiness gives a brief overview of the importance of our DOA status to our valued customers.
What is a DOA?
DOA stands for Design Organisation Approval in aerospace. It is the formal recognition by EASA that a Design Organisation complies with the requirements of Part 21 Subpart J. It’s not just about product design, but full responsibility for that design on an aircraft.
STG Aerospace has been DOA accredited since 2016, which complements our UK CAA Production Organisation Approval UK.21G.2540. The previously approved EASA 21J.588 DOA was based in Cwmbran, South Wales but has subsequently been superseded by our EASA DOA based in Hamburg, Germany EASA.21J.727. Post Brexit, UK customers will continue to be able to access our EASA STC’s due to the bi-lateral arrangement between the UK and the EU that came into effect on the 1st January 2021.
STG Aerospace has chosen to continue to operate our certification activities under the oversight of EASA. This approach provides a seamless path to obtaining validations around the world. This enables STG to support our customers whether they are in the US, Europe, China, Russia and all of the other nations that can use EASA and FAA approvals globally.
Headquartered in Germany, EASA is an agency of the European Union (EU) with regulatory and executive responsibilities covering civilian aviation safety. Specifically, EASA conducts safety research and undertakes analyses, authorises foreign operators, provides advice on the drafting of EU legislation, implements and monitors safety rules and issues type-certifications for aircraft and components as well as approving organisations involved in the design, manufacture and maintenance of aeronautical products.
What does being a DOA mean for STG Aerospace?
Our DOA status means we are able to design, develop, produce and certify all new products within the company with the benefit of full oversight, control and reduced timescales. So we can customise our liTeMood® electrical lighting solution, design a new saf-Tglo® emergency floor path marking system or a custom saf-Tsign® photoluminescent sign, specifically for a customer’s unique requirements, and then certify the design in-house.
The DOA extends our capability and simplifies the route for certification approval. Prior to our DOA approval, historically we used external DOA’s to complete the certification process on our behalf. Having DOA status in-house significantly reduces timescales and streamlines our product development process.
What does it mean for our customers?
Having in-house certification capability means we can turn around and certify new designs of our existing approvals very quickly. Typically, a new design variant takes around 7 working days to produce.
For new approvals (STC’s), from initial contact with EASA, to producing the design and certification package, we currently look to have the Change certified in approximately 70 days; this process took at least double that time when we used external support.
So for example, when ACC COLUMBIA (aircraft repair and maintenance provider) came to us with a very tight deadline, requesting a new custom designed emergency floor path marking system to upgrade the interior of their VIP aircraft, we were able to deliver a custom design EASA certified product within 70 days.
In addition to reduced timescales, the other benefit our customers mention they value about our internal DOA status, is that we have all this knowledge and experience in-house. Often customers come to us with design/certification questions and queries, as they know and trust that we can help them. Our novel certification approach also benefits our customers with simplified continued airworthiness for mixed fleets.
Our ‘one stop shop’ of lighting expertise (from design to certification) and our proactive customer support, where we hold our customers hand throughout the whole process, really demonstrates our service excellence approach. We are often described as our customers’ trusted lighting partner.
For more details about our certification expertise, please contact us as firstname.lastname@example.org.