EASA Moving to Digital Certificates

EASA is going digital!

As the entire world seeks to move to digital communications in order to reduce unnecessary use of paper, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is once again in a leadership role.  EASA has committed to move all of its paper certificates and approvals to a digital format.

EASA will begin this process with a stage one effort that is limited to certain product approvals.  In stage one, EASA will issue some product approvals and will gather data about the program. They will use this data to improve their processes before entering stage two. In stage two, EASA will begin issuing all other product and organization approvals in digital format.

The first stage of this program take effect tomorrow (June 22). Stage 1 of this transition is explained here, in this EASA table:

Stage 1
  • EASA will issue some product approvals only as PDFs and will no longer systematically print and dispatch wet signed versions.
  • The applicant receives a high resolution, printable version of the certificate with the look and feel of the paper version.
  • EASA publishes selected approval data on its website to allow third parties to verify the data if necessary.
    The list of approvals included in stage 1 can be consulted here: https://www.easa.europa.eu/document-library/approvals
  • The initial scope is limited to some product approvals. The remaining product and organisation approvals will follow in stage 2, taking into consideration feedback from this first stage.
  • The long-term goal remains a fully digital approval process.
  • As a transition measure, until the end of August 2020, EASA will provide a printed version of the approval free of charge upon request.
  • You should address any queries relating to this initiative to applicant.services@easa.europa.eu

The primary purpose of this effort is to streamline procedures and reduce cost.  As a security measure, data can be cross checked against valid approvals on the EASA website.

As an example, if you are asking a dual-certificated repair station to perform maintenance, the repair station will no longer get a paper certificate (in stage two).  Instead, the repair station will get a digital certificate that can be verified on the EASA website.

About Jason Dickstein
Mr. Dickstein is the President of the Washington Aviation Group, a Washington, DC-based aviation law firm. Since 1992, he has represented aviation trade associations and businesses that include aircraft and aircraft parts manufacturers, distributors, and repair stations, as well as both commercial and private operators. Blog content published by Mr. Dickstein is not legal advice; and may not reflect all possible fact patterns. Readers should exercise care when applying information from blog articles to their own fact patterns.

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