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Optimising Onboard Wheelchair Storage for Airlines: An alternative to Form 1 approval

March 14, 2024
Regulations

When choosing an onboard wheelchair solution for your aircraft, it’s important to consider how the chair will be stored onboard and whether you will need approval to carry it, or choose a product that fits seamlessly within your existing storage space and doesn’t require additional approval processes.

What is Form 1 approval?

To carry a new aircraft component or product on a European aircraft, it is generally necessary to receive Form 1 approval. This is a certificate issued by the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) that confirms a product, part or component was manufactured in accordance with approved or unapproved design data by a Power of Attorney holder.

Following the UK’s exit from the EU, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has confirmed that from April 2022, UK owners and operators can only accept an EASA Form 1 from an EU/EASA-approved maintenance organisation that has applied for UK approval by 31 March 2022. To address this, the CAA has introduced a new and alternative form that is identical in layout to the EASA Form 1.

The new form is recognised under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which states that “The importing Party shall recognise the production certification and production oversight system of the exporting Party since the system is considered sufficiently equivalent to the system of the importing Party” (Article 21; Annex 30).

A Simpler Onboard Wheelchair Solution

The Airchair was created to provide a practical solution. It is designed to fold up easily for convenient storage in a dog box or overhead locker and, therefore, can be classified as ‘carry-on’ equipment and thus doesn’t require Form 1 approval. It meets all the necessary requirements set out by the CAA and can be employed on all aircraft in the UK and globally.

Thanks to its lightweight structure, the chair is easy to transport, making it simple to move from storage to the passenger and back again. It has an excellent ratio of weight vs carrying capacity – it can support individuals weighing up to 250 kg/550 lb, despite only weighing 6kg/13lb.

The Airchair is an excellent solution for airlines wanting to make their aircraft more accessible to individuals with reduced mobility and compliant with global regulations. It is also a great option for navigating frequently changing regulations surrounding onboard devices with ease.

To learn more about the Airchair airline wheelchair and how it can support your airline’s needs, get in touch with us here.

Sources:

What is an EASA form 1? (2015), European Union Aviation Safety Agency. Available at: https://www.easa.europa.eu/en/faq/19466#:~:text=Answer,approved%2Fnot%20approved%20design%20data.

CAA Briefing – Changes to recognition of EASA Form 1 (2021), Civil Aviation Authority via The National Archives. Available at: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20220220064937/http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/modalapplication.aspx?catid=1&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=10968.

CAA Presentation – Changes to recognition of EASA Form 1 (2021), Civil Aviation Authority via The National Archives. Available at: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20221201230925/http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/modalapplication.aspx?catid=33&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=10967.

Review Concerning the use of EASA Form 1 and UK CAA Form 1 (2023), SOFEMA. Available at: https://sassofia.com/blog/review-concerning-the-use-of-easa-form-1-and-uk-caa-form-1/