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Transport Airship Requirements

In 1999 the German Certification authorities at the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt began to prepare the regulatory framework for the Cargolifter project jointly with the Dutch CAA.  A consultative committee was formed of several European and American CAA/FAA representatives and included delegates from the Airship Association Council. They produced and circulated a document callled the Transport Airship Airworthiness Requirements, intended to be the legal requirements for any fully buoyant airship over a certain size, the purpose of which was transport of goods or passengers.

The finished draft - the Transport Airship Airworthiness Requirements (TAR) were issued in March 2000.  Any further work to finalise the regulations was suspended after the collapse of Cargolifter.

With the formation of the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA), responsibility for the airworthiness requirements of airships designed or built in Europe was assumed by the new authority.  Work to complete the TARs will continue when a sufficiently well funded project is in a position to need the regulations.  EASA may delegate the implementation of TAR to the national aviation authority of the nation in which the final assembly of any LTAV project takes place.  The Federal Aviation Administration already has some framework in place, based very much upon the original draft TAR.

It is very important that any further work on the regulatory side is open to all, as regulation developed around a 'first entrant' commercial airship may well be written in such a manner as to preclude other innovation in the arena of LTA.


TAR Issue 1.pdf421.08 KB

A far more in-depth paper addressing the issue of coherent international regulations, or lack of them, has been written by Professor Barry Prentice of the University of Manitoba, and Ron Hochstetler, Senior Systems Engineer, SAIC (and Council Member of the Airship Association).

The paper clearly identifies the extant regulations, and some of the issues raised by the Airship Working Group under the auspicies of the Federal Aviation Authority between 2003 and 2005.

The paper can be found at

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