Qualitaetsmanagement Luft und Raumfahrt


Compliance with quality management standards as a decisive competitive factor in the aerospace industry

Jan. 6 2020

Never before has the demand for air travel been as high as it is today: the worldwide tourism boom is causing the production of aircraft to grow exponentially. The order backlog for commercial aircraft is currently at an international record high with more than 14,000 aircraft. This is prompting manufacturers, operators and suppliers to rethink - especially when it comes to remaining competitive. Proof of the highest quality, health and safety standards is essential.

Last year, the growth in air traffic far exceeded forecasts, with a significant increase of 280 million flights. Since the trend is not slowing down, the aviation giant Airbus recently predicted that the number of commercial aircraft in use would double to 48,000 worldwide in the next 20 years. At the same time, this growth will most likely involve a more rapid transition to new technologies in the field of cleaner aircraft, digitalization and the expansion of production capacities.

Against this background, Bureau Veritas, as a leading compliance partner, reminds the industry to keep its quality management and best practices up to date, especially in view of the forthcoming changes in AS9104/1 - Requirements for certification programmes for quality management systems in the aerospace and defence sector.

"It's no surprise that our collective wanderlust is leading to more and more holidays abroad and at the same time to unprecedented growth in the aviation industry" says Trevor Douce, International Aerospace Business Director at Bureau Veritas. "While this is an exciting time for the industry, with a wealth of new technologies emerging, a greater commitment to quality also means that for many OEMs and suppliers, adherence to best practices is a clear advantage over the competition and the key to participating in this thriving market".

"We are already looking at upcoming changes to key regulations to help companies implement them," Douce added. "These include the upgrade to AS9104/1, including revised audit planning procedures. Especially in the aerospace industry - where many regulations are integrated with other standards - it is important to work with a certification body that understands not only the required certification levels but also the wider industry landscape. Ultimately, a well thought-out strategy with robust audit procedures will be a key component in guiding companies efficiently into the future of aviation".

The new release of AS9104/1 is expected to include a number of changes with a significant impact on the current auditing processes. For example, the introduction of two new certification structures according to IAF MD5 - consisting of one structure each for multiple and single sites - could increase the audit duration for campus organizations by up to 20%. In addition, the new risk assessment and recalculation of audit man-days will in future have to be carried out before each audit in order to take account of changes in the certified organization.

As the world's largest certification body in the aerospace industry, Bureau Veritas offers comprehensive services to all players along the value chain: from component design and development, aircraft and engine manufacturers (OEMs) to maintenance and repair operators, distributors and end users.

You can find further information on this topic on our page for Certifications for the aerospace industry