Agency Certifies Bell 429 Helicopter and New Maintenance Requirement Procedure

In a handover ceremony today at its Cologne headquarters, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a type-certificate to the Bell 429 helicopter. Certification for this twin-engine, multipurpose rotorcraft (Category A) began in November 2005 and was completed on schedule, following certification by Transport Canada (TCCA) and the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) in June this year. The helicopter meets the latest EASA/FAA/TCCA regulatory requirements and has been designed specifically to facilitate maintenance.

The Agency today also approved the Bell 429 Initial Maintenance Requirement Report (IMRR). This document is based on the Maintenance Review Board (MRB) process and helps operators to develop continued airworthiness maintenance programmes for their aircraft. The Bell 429 IMRR is the first time the MRB process has been approved for a helicopter, resulting in safety and efficiency benefits for operators and maintenance organisations.

“The successful application of the MRB procedure to the Bell 429 programme shows how industry can benefit from EASA’s certification services” said Dr. Norbert Lohl, EASA’s Certification Director at the handover. “This is a first for a rotorcraft, we are sure others will follow.”