EASA issues guidance for carriers testing Koito seats

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Airlines operating aircraft with seats made by Koito Industries can test designated clusters of seats when seeking to meet the conditions of an airworthiness directive (AD) issued by EASA, according to guidance released by the agency.

EASA in June issued an AD requiring airlines to determine if Koito seats and seating systems are compliant with certain regulations and remove seats shown to be unsafe, after the Japanese manufacturer admitted it fabricated test data on some 150,000 seats in the world fleet.

The AD permitted a so-called "similarity concept" to show that the results obtained from a chosen test article are valid for other seat part numbers.

In a new safety information bulletin (SIB), EASA outlines acceptable methods to use the similarity concept, saying: "In order to facilitate AD compliance the concept of 'seat clusters' has been developed based on similarity of design/construction."

Operators can now access a list of the various seat clusters to be tested. And EASA has identified the most critical seat part number for each cluster.

"Successfully testing such part number will be sufficient to show that all seat part numbers in that cluster are in compliance with the relevant structural requirement of the AD," says EASA.

EASA has also provided further guidance to ease the process of submitting compliance plans to the agency, in addition to making other recommendations in the SIB, which is not mandatory.