UAE-based Etihad Airways Engineering has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with EAD Aerospace, Lufthansa Technik and Envoy Aerospace to establish a new alliance to modify and upgrade aircraft.
The planned Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance (IAMA) is expected to serve the aircraft owners and operators by helping them to upgrade their fleet.
IAMA will use quality equipment and inspections to provide its services. The alliance is expected to hold a launch meeting within this year.
Alliance members will also provide supplemental type certificate (STC) for aircraft modifications, which includes the installation of new cabins, connectivity solutions or avionics systems.
“IAMA is a promising approach to address the critical points of documentation simplicity and continued after-sales support.”
IAMA aims to address a number of issues such as documentation and data availability, as well as offer global customer support network across different regulatory systems followed by different countries.
Etihad Airways Engineering design, engineering and innovation vice-president Bernhard Randerath said: “This alliance is a positive step towards addressing the challenges that customers face with STC solutions today.
“As the Middle East’s largest MRO, we use OEM solutions, however, Etihad is renowned for innovation and applying our own STC modifications. We believe that OEMs will also benefit from becoming members of IAMA, which is open to all modification providers.
“Our customers need seamless solutions and efficient support during implementation and most importantly in service afterwards. STCs are a fast, cost-efficient way to provide modifications, and IAMA is a promising approach to address the critical points of documentation simplicity and continued after-sales support.”
Once launched, IAMA will primarily serve the aircraft manufacturers, airlines, suppliers and lessors by offering a transparent and independent market for aircraft retrofits.
The alliance is also set to provide additional choice for operators and added value for the aviation industry.