Airbus Defence and Space not only is committed to developing and delivering products that are safe to operate – going beyond the requirements – this business unit also considers it a priority to support customers to ensure that products are operated safely. Airbus maintains a close cooperation with the customers to understand and provide them solutions to operational issues they report, being proactive in proposing safety enhancement solutions that will facilitate the operations.
Airbus Defence and Space supports a fleet of over 1,200 in-service military aircraft, utilised by some 110 military and institutional operators worldwide. The company is committed to achieving the highest levels of safety performance, as well as being recognised worldwide as a reference in military aviation safety through its accident and incident prevention activities and operations.
The “No aircraft accident is ever acceptable” principle – established in commercial operations – is extended to the military aviation sector. Military aircraft safety must be at the highest levels for all operations, beginning with regular transport duties to such specific military missions as air-to-air refuelling, aerial delivery, surveillance, low-level and formation flights, along with research and development.
Airbus exchanges information with customers on operational experience, with the purpose to continually increase safety standards. Capturing information about in-service events is one of the key contributions enabling Airbus to enhance the safety of the company’s products and services.
Technical visits also are made to operators, with maintenance technicians and pilots visiting squadron bases and other locations to directly answer questions from the crews that fly and maintain Airbus aircraft.
Safety in training
Airbus provides military aircraft and mission-focussed training to flight crews and maintenance personnel, making significant investments in full-motion simulators, procedural training devices, computer-aided training, and e-learning systems.
Initial Operative Experience (IOE) training is available to customers in their respective countries, updating them on the operation of their aircraft.
The company issues Flight Operations Briefing Notes (FOBN) aimed at providing background information, operational recommendations, and training guidelines to enable the implementation of conclusions from the company’s diverse military aircraft working groups. As a result, experience gained during development, certification, and in-service support programmes is offered for the benefit of the complete Airbus military aircraft community.
Safety in maintenance
Airbus Defence and Space is aware of the importance of proper maintenance in the safety of its products. The company works closely with customers to support their maintenance teams, covering the scope from ensuring adherence to existing maintenance procedures and inspection schedules, applying service bulletins and airworthiness directives, as well as developing new services that simplify and optimise customers’ maintenance organisations.
Airbus also promotes advanced maintenance techniques, such as the Life-Time Monitoring System (LTMS), which is a structural health tool providing tailored maintenance based on in-service aircraft behaviour data, contributing to the anticipation of maintenance operations and the reduction of aircraft immobilisation.
Safety cooperation and participation in safety workshops
Airbus organises workshops with its customers, per programme, within the annual operators’ conference. These workshops are mainly focussed on listening to the main safety concerns of the military aircraft operators and providing the required support for all safety issues and areas of concerns.
All of these international exchanges with relevant stakeholders are essential for Airbus to enhance the safety of its products and thus, be recognised worldwide as a leader in aviation safety.
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