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GCAA collaborate with stakeholders on manufactured aircraft interior part with 3D technology

Posted 4 April 2017 · Add Comment

The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority reaffirms its commitment to innovation by working with Strata, Etihad Airways Engineering and Siemens on regulations, airworthiness requirements and guidance material for the stakeholders' designed, certified and manufactured aircraft interior part with 3D printing technology, which is the first one in the Middle East.

Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of the GCAA, said: “The GCAA will remain focused on ensuring safety while discovering new avenues to innovate. 3-D printing is just the beginning. The UAE aviation industry is in need to provide an environment that nurtures and cultivates innovation. The process of 3D innovation is essential to provide the best practice and quality at present and for the future."

In an era where technology rules, innovation is the only key to open new doors of progress and prosperity, by creating new products and processes and by improving the existing ones. The UAE government had a foresight to rank innovation on the top of its policies and the concept was adopted nationwide. Aviation is a world of conservatives, of tried and tested products, people, processes and procedures but when it comes to innovation, aviation is as active as one can think of. The GCAA is a big proponent of innovation in the field of aviation. The GCAA involvement in the induction and approval of “3-D printing” technology and production of the first aircraft part using that technology is a clear evidence of the GCAA commitment to innovation. 

Ismaeil Al Blooshi, GCAA Assistant Director General of Safety Affairs, said: GCAA’s main objective is to ensure safety and security. GCAA has ensured that the end product is safer than the part manufactured using conventiona methods. During trial production, the GCAA was part of the laboratory tests and conformity checks as well. Our ultimate goal is aviation safety and by approving the very first part produced by 3-D printing we have added the wings of innovations to it.”

The very first part for aircraft use produced by 3-D printing by Etihad Airways Engineering is a Monitor Frame for media screens in aircraft cabin. 3-D printing is another name for “Additive Manufacturing or 3D Manufacturing technology where the design details are all fed via complex programmes into a machine which simply brings those designs into life by building the real part one layer at a time. It simply means that the days to mass produce a batch of parts are gone and the days to produce on-demand any part have dawned.

Producing individual parts using 3-D printing will bring considerable savings to the operators. Any modification in the part design would require a few strokes on the computer keyboard rather than changing the modules and tooling used in conventional manufacturing. 

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