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05. April 2016

First User Forum for the A400M Programme

An inaugural A400M User Forum was held from the 5th to 7th of April 2016 in Seville, Spain and was attended by a wide range of attendees (around 150 people in total) from the end user community, including representatives from each Participating State, Malaysia, AMSL (Airbus Military Sociedad Limitada) and OCCAR-EA.

Participants of the first A400M User Forum

The User Forum was organised by AMSL under an AMSL/OCCAR-EA platform established to build links among A400M community including the Export Customers and to exchange feedback on operational and in-service activities of the A400M aircraft (AC) and associated systems. The objective is to help achieve effective and efficient ownership of the A400M by End Users.
It is aimed at exchanging information gained during operations (training, test, real operations) in order to improve AC operations, training, interoperability, flight safety, reliability, availability and maintainability at minimum cost and to seek common solutions for identified problems.

AMSL took the opportunity to outline their vision for the programme going forward, ahead of some specific presentations to inform the user community of the current status regarding Capability development, Retrofit and Customer Services and ahead of static displays that were set up to demonstrate specific capabilities.

Representatives from OCCAR user states and Malaysia provided their perspectives on the aircraft based on experienced gained to date with in-service fleet operations. The presentations provided a positive message about the aircraft and all users recognised that as part of an ongoing development programme the aircraft’s capabilities would continue to improve in the coming years to provide the tactical capability required for future operations. 

Static Displays

The final presentation of the event was provided by the OCCAR-EA A400M Programme Manager, Nicolas Hue. The presentation covered the benefits of the common change management process that can capture both development recovery commitments and future requirements coming from operational lessons learned. The importance to the end users of Global Support Strategy co-operation for in-service support was also emphasized. The In Service Event Reporting (ISER) process was finally presented in detail to demonstrate how this could be of direct benefit to the user community.

The event was a successful first step for continued dialogue between the User Community, Industry and OCCAR-EA providing an environment where contacts could be made and experiences and ideas could be shared between all parties. It is essential to take benefit of the feedback provided from users now that the A400M is in-service and it is proposed to hold the User Forum on an annual basis with the next in early 2017.

OCCAR-EA A400M Programme Manager, Nicolas Hué, closing the event