EDA and EATC work on a new Mutual Logistic Support (MLS) project
One of the objectives of the EATC is to contribute to a more efficient use of air transport (AT) and air-to-air refuelling (AAR) capacities and also to progressively ensure the highest level of standardization in training, employment of asset, logistic domains and flight safety.
In order to identify the studies within the technical and logistic domain which EATC is able to conduct in order to improve interoperability, increase availability of assets and enhance cost effectiveness, EATC organizes on 12 December 2013 a Technical and Logistics Study Conference.
The aim of this conference is to discuss ongoing studies and to decide on new study proposals. At the end of the meeting it is expected to have common understanding on the Technical and Logistic Study Plan for 2014 with agreed time lines.
For the time being, roughly a dozen different technical and logistic studies are conducted by the Functional Division of the EATC. These studies cover a broad range of subjects and range from ULD (Unit Loading Devices) management to aircraft recovery.
Management of spare parts
Amongst the ongoing studies, the study concerning the exchange of spare parts and services is certainly one of the most challenging.
What sounds simple in theory is in fact very complicated in practice.
Due to the present airworthiness requirements, one nation is not necessarily allowed to use a spare part from another nation. This is due to the fact that every single spare part has to be certified as original by a qualified maintenance authority.
The aim of this study is to improve the existing exchange systems in the EATC environment and to enable the exchange of spare parts and services between all EATC Participating Nations (PN).
Amongst the EATC nations, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany already exchange parts together with eight other nations through the Mutual Emergency Supply Support (MESS) procedure based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) initiated by the former NATO EUROLOG Air Sub Group, signed in 1984. But because of the NATO reorganizations, there was no longer an organization feeling overall responsible to keep this Mutual Emergency Supply Support up to date.
Together with the European Defence Agency (EDA), EATC identified possibilities to exchange spare parts of aircrafts and - in order to develop an agreement based on MESS - EATC drafted a document for the new Mutual Logistic Support (MLS) project, which will be discussed by the PN during the Technical and Logistics Study Conference.
The possibility to exchange spare parts between EATC Partner Nations and other countries will improve the availability of spare parts - and overcome the risk for an aircraft being stuck on the ground.
The achievement will also improve the availability of the EATC fleet and its operational readiness.