Case study


Assessing regulatory compliance for UK military airworthiness assurance
Since the early 2010s, the UK Military Aviation Authority (MAA) has been refining a new set of Air Safety regulations. As requirements and technologies continue to evolve, the regulations undergo regular updates that presents a challenge for 32 Air Domain Delivery Teams within Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), some of which manage multiple aircraft in different
stages of development. Additionally, aircraft procured or developed with international partners are often designed to overseas standards, requiring comparisons at the regulatory or standardisation framework level, to assess alignment with the UK airworthiness argument.

The DE&S Airworthiness Team (DAT), which oversees airworthiness activities and supports teams with compliance with the MAA's Regulatory Publications, commissioned Frazer-Nash to develop a solution. The required toolset would support teams in recording and maintaining compliance records and managing changes to the regulations, as well as providing a consistent
format for the audit and aggregation of data for the oversight functions within DE&S.

Our approach: the Hermes Toolset

Our solution, which we continue to support and develop for DE&S, is Hermes: an Information Knowledge Management architecture for airworthiness assurance. Whilst initially supporting regulatory compliance only, the Hermes framework has been developed for extension to cover wider use cases, such as competence tracking, managing contracts let against the regulations and other applications of business process management and reporting.

As part of the DAT's wider strategic programme to develop Air Safety management, which Frazer-Nash is also supporting, we employed Systems Engineering and Agile Software Development approaches to:

  • Engage with users and other stakeholders (including the regulator) on an ongoing basis;
  • Capture requirements for the immediate solution, whilst ensuring understanding of the wider extendibility of our design, and its context in DE&S' ongoing strategy; and
  • Minimise overall risk by incrementally prioritising, piloting and releasing functionality.

Our airworthiness and air safety assurance experts worked closely with those in our modelling and software department to deliver a solution that would offer the best value to our customer, maximum utility to the end users in DE&S, and support the DAT's strategic goals.

Benefits to our customer

Our solution meets the needs of our customer today and tomorrow. As a direct result, DE&S has achieved substantial efficiency savings for itself and its customers, removing considerable manual effort, inconsistencies in record formats, and reducing administrative burden. 

Hermes provides an essential step towards standardisation of process and coherence across teams, key strategic objectives for our customer. The increased self-awareness resulting from its roll-out has also been endorsed by the Regulator, enabling them to observe a truly 3rd party perspective, easing the audit burden on our client and teams, and improving relations.

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