Final approval: Lufthansa Technik provides complete support for A350
Comprehensive maintenance approvals from the German Federal Aviation Office
Lufthansa Technik AG is equipped to perform all work required for the complete maintenance of the new Lufthansa Airbus A350-900, the team is trained and ready to go and the company is licensed by the German Federal Aviation Office (LBA). The handing over of the "Base Maintenance Approval" certificate by the LBA brings to an end an intense period of preparation.
More than 100 employees of Lufthansa Technik spent in excess of 18 months working in eight related sub-projects. Now Lufthansa is to roll out a new aircraft type in Munich for the first time – a special challenge in the framework of the project. 28 employees in aircraft maintenance in the Bavarian capital are already extensively qualified for the new aircraft type. And a good 200 others will complete training in areas such as new methods of damage detection and repair for carbon fiber-reinforced structures among others. Lufthansa Technik will invest just under 10,000 course days in this training.
New tools, equipment, procedures. The engine transport stand represents the most significant resource, on which an engine – split in two – can be transported in Lufthansa Cargo freighter aircraft. There are more than 5,000 new part numbers available in stock in Munich alone.
The maintenance concept was developed in close cooperation between Lufthansa Technik Aircraft Maintenance in Munich and Engineering in Frankfurt. Engineers will relocate their offices from Frankfurt to Munich when the A350 operations commence. And there will also be employees from Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Panasonic on hand to provide support in the first few weeks so that a high level of technical reliability can be ensured from the outset.
A number of different units are preparing the remaining upgrade of the new aircraft. Special fittings requested by Lufthansa, such as self-service racks, for example, are being specified by Engineering in Frankfurt and approved for installation by Engineering in Hamburg in the Aircraft Modifications unit.
An entire class is even being newly installed for the first time in the framework of the remaining upgrade, since the aircraft is being supplied from the OEM without Premium Economy Class.
Because these adaptations are equivalent to a modification, they have to be approved by a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Lufthansa Technik already received an extension of its approval as a design organization for the new Airbus A350 from EASA at the start of the year. According to the EASA Part 21/J provisions (Design Organization Approval), Lufthansa Technik is thus authorized to develop and approve repairs and modifications to a limited extent under its own responsibility.
Aircraft maintenance is usually performed in accordance with the manual. However, if the maintenance company has approval according to the Part 21/J provisions, it can independently approve minor repairs without the involvement of the relevant aviation authority. This privilege accelerates the restoration of airworthiness significantly and can have a major impact on flight operation, supporting its punctuality and regularity.