The aircraft certification process explained at the CCAA

Published: Friday, 01 October 2021 13:33
This was during a virtual session of the "Aerial Tuesdays" concept which took place on September 28, 2021 under the theme "Type and Individual Aircraft Certification".  
In order to guarantee a maximum level of aircraft safety, the CCAA is called upon to certify organisations and aircrafts. The purpose of individual certification is to ensure that each aircraft conforms to its approved type design, environmental requirements and is in condition for safe operations.
In addition, the CCAA approves the certificates issued by design or production organisations attesting to the airworthiness of aircraft types, engines, propellers, or aeronautical products by assessing their compliance with applicable airworthiness and environmental requirements (type certification approval). 
To carry out these two activities of ultimate importance, the presenters reported that the CCAA complies with international standards such as Articles 29, 31 and 33 of the Chicago Convention, the ICAO Airworthiness Manual (Document 9760) and Annexes 6, 8 and 16 on Standards and Recommended Practices for Civil Aircraft Airworthiness, Technical Operation of Aircraft and Environmental Protection respectively. 
In terms of national regulations, individual aircraft certification is governed by a law, two decrees and three circulars. In particular, Chapter 1 of Title II of Law 2013/010 of 24 July 2013 on the civil aviation regime in Cameroon; Decree 221/MINT of 4 June 2013 on the airworthiness of civil aircraft; Decree 1540/MINT of 15 November 2006 on the acoustic and gas emission certification of aircraft. Without forgetting circulars 98 and 99 relating to the individual certification of aircraft and the type certification of aircraft.
The processing of applications for individual aircraft certification at the CCAA is done in five stages. These include application, type certificate validation, documentary inspection, operational inspection of the aircraft and issuance and maintenance of the certificate. 
It is important to note that the CCAA does not process applications for type certification but approves them. And these approvals are made on the basis of the airworthiness code applicable at the time of application, special conditions defined by the CCAA, equivalent safety findings, exemptions, choice to comply, environmental and operational requirements and operational capability data requirements among others.
 
During this process which can take up to five years, countries directly involved in the type certification process (designer and producer countries) proceed in 5 stages. They  include: application, technical familiarisation and certification basis, implementation of the certification programme, demonstration of compliance, and technical closure and issuance of the approval. 
Furthermore, given the proliferation of the use of drones and the increasing applications for the CCAA to issue approval certificates, it was also a question of letting the public know that the CCAA supervises the punctual use of drones but continues to work towards the establishment of a complete and more general regulatory framework for its use and to permit the validation of its type certificates. 
The question and answer session that followed this presentation, served as a self-assessment barometer of the methods and processes currently in place at the CCAA.