SAVANNAH, Ga., JUNE 12, 2009 — Gulfstream Aerospace, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), recently received an expansion of its Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) to include final-phase manufacturing and service-center work at its headquarters in Savannah as well as its facilities in Appleton, Wis.; Brunswick, Ga.; Dallas; and Long Beach, CA.
Gulfstream received ODA authorization for Savannah initial-phase design, manufacturing and airworthiness in March 2008. Gulfstream was the first aircraft manufacturer to achieve that authorization level.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) started the ODA initiative to more effectively manage critical resources in response to the growing needs of the aviation industry. It also allows the FAA to concentrate its resources on the most safety-critical matters. The designation allows Gulfstream to act on behalf of the FAA to examine Gulfstream aircraft designs, production quality, parts approvals, repairs/alterations and airworthiness.
“We are pleased that our positive relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration continues to grow,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. “This designation clearly indicates the FAA’s trust in our internal procedures. We take this responsibility very seriously.”
The Gulfstream ODA organization, under the direction of Bill Whitton, consists of approximately 25 full-time employees as well as more than 200 engineering personnel and inspectors with the authority to approve new Type Certification (TC) designs; Supplemental Type Certification (STC) designs; Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA); Production Certification (PC); or Major Repair and Alterations (MRA) and airworthiness for Gulfstream aircraft. The STC, MRA and airworthiness authorities also include other manufacturers’ aircraft.
The STC and PMA are new authorities granted as part of the enterprise expansion. The MRA authority, previously limited to initial phase in Savannah, is now authorized for final-phase and service-center sites.
An STC is traditionally issued when a manufacturer receives FAA approval to modify an aircraft design from the TC. An MRA ensures the aircraft’s clearance for flight following major repairs or alterations. A PMA is a combined design and production approval for modification and production of parts. PMA allows a manufacturer to sell and manufacture these parts for installation on type certificated aircraft.
“We have enjoyed a successful certification process with our Final Phase Designated Alteration Stations and Organization Designated Airworthiness Representatives,” said Dennis Stuligross, senior vice president, Operations, Gulfstream. “Now, we look forward to these activities being managed under our ODA.”
Gulfstream has worked progressively closer with the FAA on certifications since 2000, when the organizations completed a Partnership for Safety Plan that identifies the operating norms and key FAA and Gulfstream roles and responsibilities in the aircraft certification process.
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