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Aviation Regulations Updates

Continuing Airworthiness

06/08/2020   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1159

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1159 of 5 August 2020 amending Regulations (EU) No 1321/2014 and (EU) No 2015/640 as regards the introduction of new additional airworthiness requirements

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32020R1159&from=EN


18/06/2020   Easy Access Rules Updated

The ‘Easy Access Rules for Continuing Airworthiness has been updated and incorporates amendments from a number of Commission Implementing Regulations and ED decisions. Below a summary of the updates and changes. 

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1383, introducing in particular: 

  • Part-ML (Annex Vb) 
  • Part-CAMO (Annex Vc) 
  • Part-CAO (Annex Vd). 

ED Decision 2020/002/R: 

  • Amending AMC/GM to Part-M, Part-145, Part-66, Part-147, Part-T and to the cover regulation  
  • Introducing AMC/GM to Part-ML, Part-CAMO and Part-CAO. 

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1384 

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/270 

ED Decision 2019/024/R amending Appendix I to AMC to Part-66 ‘Aircraft type ratings for Part-66 aircraft maintenance licences’ 


27/02/2020   Transitional measures for GA

EASA has published additional information in the guise of Regulation (EU) 2020/270 which amends the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation, (EU) 1321/2014.  This regulation introduces corrections to recently published regulations (EU) 2019/1383 and (EU) 2019/1384, specifically around the flexibility for maintenance and management of continuing airworthiness of light aircraft.  It amends:-

Part-M

  • Article 4 – CAMO approvals
  • M1 – authority responsibilities
  • Organisational responsibilities
  • Maintenance Programme management
  • Tech Log System
  • Management of Components
  • Maintenance Organisation approval
  • CAME
  • Personnel
  • CAM Organisation requirements
  • Documentation
  • Privileges
  • Certification of Maintenance
  • Airworthiness Review Requirements
  • Authority Requirements.

Part-145

  • Personnel
  • Performance of Maintenance
  • Certification of Maintenance
  • Maintenance and AR Records
  • MOE

There are other minor changes to Parts CAMO, 66, T, ML and CAO.

We recommend all those involved in the Continuing Airworthiness Management and Maintenance of aircraft to fully review these legislation changes to ensure that they are able to transition to the new requirements with minimal interruption to business.


18/12/2019   EASA Form 1 or equivalent

EASA has published the Comment Response Document (CRD2017-19) and Opinion 07/2019 relating to NPA 2017-19 (CRD 2018-01 / NPA 2018-01 also refers) which aims to mitigate the risks linked to the uncertainty of the status of the instructions for the ICA’s and, therefore, to avoid leaving room for interpretation in the rules, leading to differences in the use of ICA and causing possible safety risks.

There are some key points noted in the CRD relating to the classification of critical parts along with the DO-PO relationship, reporting to EASA and other topics covered on the NPA.

This Opinion proposes changes to Part-21, Part-M, Part-ML and Part-145.  The full details around the sections relating to material can be found in the Draft Annex of the Opinion.  We therefore recommend all DO’s, PO’s, CAMO’s and AMO’s to familiarise themselves with the proposed new regulation.


18/11/2019   Update of soft law for type ratings

EASA has published Decision, ED 2019/024/R and CRD 2018-13 in relation to type ratings for Part-66 licences.

This Decision amends the AMC and GM to Appendix I to Part-66. It includes the new types that have been certified since the last update as well as the types related to the new categories of maintenance licenses introduced by Regulation (EU) 2019/1142. For a full list of the affected groups, please refer to the Decision

The specific objective is to ensure a common standard throughout the Member States.


04/09/2019   Maintenance Check Flights

EASA has published Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1384 that looks at the establishment of operational requirements for the conduct of maintenance check flights. A number of air accidents or incidents have occurred in flights conducted with aircraft that had just undergone incomplete or inadequate maintenance or to flights conducted to verify whether the maintenance of the aircraft was adequate - ‘maintenance check flights’. In view of the Airbus A320-232 accident on 27 November 2008 off the coast of Canet-Plage (France), the Air Ops regulation is amended in order to define accurately that category of flights and to set, where needed, the minimum requirements for flight crews and the procedures to be observed in the preparation and conduct of those flights.  It also amends Part-M responsibilities, specifically M.A.201(k).   It draws on Opinions 01/2017

All CAMO’s should ensure that they are clear on their responsibilities and that their procedures around managing and coordinating these maintenance check flights are integrated into their organisations to ensure continued compliance and the required levels of safety.


04/09/2019   Introduction of Safety Management requirements into the CAMO

EASA has published Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1383 that changes the structure of Part-M and introduces 3 new Parts, namely Part-CAMO (New Annex Vc), Part-CAO (New Annex Vd) and Part-ML (New Annex Vb).  This amendment to the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation introduces safety management in continuing airworthiness management organisations through Part-CAMO and offers alleviations for general aviation aircraft concerning maintenance and continuing airworthiness management through Part-ML and Part-CAO. 

 

This is a significant and long awaited change to Continuing Airworthiness Management regulation structure and will need to be fully understood by all approved CAMO’s and maintenance organisations and to provide assistance, Baines Simmons will be running a Webinar on Friday 22nd November 2019 to offer more in-depth insight into the changes. 

The bulk of the requirements do not apply until the 20th February 2021. 


03/06/2019   Decision for Applicability of AD’s

ED Decision 2019/018/ED - Implementation of airworthiness directives for products, parts and appliances designed in third countries and repealing decision of the executive director n° 2/2003. 

The scope of the decision, has been expanded to include previous design changes that have beenvalidated by EASA prior to 28th September 2003.  We recommend a close read to understand the subtle changes to wording and possible consequences on your fleets compliance requirements. 


17/04/2019   Embodiment of safety management system (SMS) requirements into Part-145

With reference to Rulemaking Task (RMT).0251 Phase, NPA 2019-05 proposes amendments to Part-21 and Part-145, in order to:

  • introduce safety management principles that implement ICAO Annex 19; and
  • foster an organisational culture for effective safety management and effective occurrence reporting in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) No 376/2014.

Note 1: Phase I of RMT.0251 was limited to the introduction of safety management requirements into Part-CAMO (see our previous articles relating to Opinion No 06/2016).

Note 2: The review of the occurrence reporting system was governed by RMT.0681, but certain additional changes are proposed through this RMT, in light of the principles of ICAO Annex 19, Chapter 5.

This NPA proposes to consider the applicability of safety management systems to Part-145 approved maintenance organisations, as well as to production and design organisations that are approved in accordance with Subparts G and J of Part 21.

By doing so, safety will be enhanced through:

  • the establishment of safety policies and objectives that are associated with sufficient resources;
  • the systematic identification of hazards, and a risk management system;
  • the safety assurance system, including giving consideration to safety performance; and
  • safety promotion.

The RMT also aims to streamline the procedures for oversight, and introduce a set of new, common management system requirements for competent authorities to increase their efficiency.

NPA 2019-05 is divided into three parts.

NPA 2019-05 (A) includes:

  • the procedural information pertaining to the regulatory proposal;
  • the explanatory note to the proposed amendments;
  • the regulatory impact assessment; and
  • a detailed summary of the proposed amendments (see Chapter 7 ‘Appendices’).

NPA 2019-05 (B) proposes:

  • the draft implementing acts (IAs) as well as the draft AMC and GM for Part 21.

NPA 2019-05 (C) proposes:

  • the draft implementing acts (IAs) as well as the draft AMC and GM for Part-145.

This significant rulemaking is aligning thinking around the management of safety and integrating it into the normal business of Design, Production and Maintenance organisations.  It will align regulatory requirements with CAMO’s and Operators, driving towards the Integrated Management System.  It is strongly recommended that all DO,PO and MO’s review this NPA and submit comments through the Comment Response Tool prior to the deadline of 17th July 2019.


28/03/2019   Soft law in relation to (EU) 2018/1142

EASA has published it’s decision, ED Decision 2019/009/R amending the soft law (AMC/GM) to the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation.  The present amendments to the AMC and GM introduce the following:

·         Adaptation of the current B2 licensing requirements for the maintenance of avionics and electrical systems to the lower complexity of light aircraft, and establishing a simple and proportionate system for the licensing of certifying staff involved in the maintenance of aircraft other than aeroplanes and helicopters as well as for the maintenance of ELA1 aeroplanes.

·         Control of suppliers of components and materials used in maintenance.

Baines Simmons will release an updated Consolidated Guide to European Aviation Rules incorporating these changes shortly.  In the meantime, we recommend certifying staff, approved training organisations, CAMO’s and maintenance organisations to familiarise themselves with the new regulation and soft law to ensure they remain in compliance.


05/12/2018   Type ratings for Part-66 maintenance licences

EASA has opened for consultation NPA 2018-13 with the objective of addressing a regulatory coordination issue related to aircraft type ratings. According to the AMC to Part-66, type ratings should be endorsed on an aircraft maintenance licence (AML) in accordance with Appendix I to AMC to Part-66 ‘List of type ratings’. EASA regularly issues an NPA to amend this list, after assessing feedback received from the industry, and to add new aircraft types or to remove aircraft types whose type certificate (TC) has been revoked or surrendered.  This NPA adds also the tables of the new Group as a consequence of the introduction of the ‘L’ licence subcategories by Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/1142.

Other changes include:-

  • updates of the type rating lists due to the addition of new models (up to end of October 2018) or deletion of old models that review the current EASA Products type certificate / supplemental type certificate (TC/STC) lists;
  • a new table for Group 1 Gas Airships other than ELA2;
  • new tables for Group 4 aircraft;
  • corrections of type certificate holder/supplemental type certificate holder (TCH/STCH) names, models, commercial designations and type ratings according to the content of the related type certificate data sheet/supplemental type certificate data sheet (TCDS/STCDS);
  • changes in the content of ‘Notes’ (e.g. insertion of the operational suitability data (OSD) approval dates, STC references, ELA1/ELA2 info for aeroplanes and Group 4 aircraft);
  • corrections of typos or other minor errors.

This NPA is open for comment until March 5th 2019.  We recommend all those maintenance organisations, maintenance training organisations, competent authorities and licence holders to review this NPA and comment as required through the EASA Comment Response Tool.


12/09/2018   Soft Law for certifying staff type rating training

EASA has published NPA 2018-11 relating to the Certification Specifications (CS) and Guidance Material (GM) for maintenance certifying staff type rating training with the objective of improving the level of safety related to the minimum syllabus of maintenance certifying staff (MCS) type rating training (TRT), enabling design approval holders (DAHs) that comply with Part 21 to identify the technical elements necessary to be addressed for the purpose of training of maintenance certifying staff involved in the maintenance of their products.

In addition, EASA state the intent is to ensure an adequate minimum syllabus standard at organisations that comply with Part-147.

This NPA proposes:

  • the first issue of Certification Specification on MCS data (CS-MCSD) and the associated Guidance Material (GM);
  • the amending text for the GM to Part 21 applicable to Operational Suitability DATA (OSD)-MCSD that establishes guidance for the classification of changes to OSD-MCSD in accordance with Part 21.A.

EASA expects that these proposals will enhance safety and mitigate risk related to maintenance errors due to inadequate training and to establish a TRT minimum standard.

We recommend TCH’s, Restricted TCH’s, STCH’s, Part-147 Organisations, regulators and Part-66 licence holders to review this NPA and comment through the Comment Response Tool prior to the deadline of  18th December 2018.


16/08/2018   Aircraft Maintenance Licences for ELA1 aircraft and other changes to the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation

Regulation (EU) 2018/1142 has been published which amends the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation with the

  • introduction of certain categories of aircraft maintenance licences,
  • modification of the acceptance procedure of components from external suppliers, and
  • modification of the maintenance training organisations' privileges (Text with EEA relevance.)

One driver for this new regulation, which amends (EU)1321/2014, is a need for a system for the licencing of certifying staff involved in the maintenance of ELA1 aeroplanes and for aircraft other than aeroplanes and helicopters. That system should be simple and proportionate.

The existing requirements related to a licence for certifying staff involved in the maintenance of avionics and electrical systems of aircraft other than those in the group of complex aircraft are not proportionate to the lower complexity of those aircraft, in particular because a significant amount of basic knowledge requirements are only relevant in relation to complex aircraft. A new licence for such staff should there be introduced. The requirements for that new licence should ensure that the level of safety is not reduced compared to the one achieved with the existing licence. The introduction of that new licence should reduce potential safety risks which could occur as a consequence of insufficient adequately qualified and licensed staff being available for the maintenance tasks concerned.

Also, during the performance of maintenance, it is common that persons or organisations use components, parts or material provided by third parties. It is necessary to mitigate the risks associated to the acceptance of such components, parts or material and, in particular, to ensure that the persons and organisations concerned take the necessary measures to ensure proper acceptance, classification and segregation thereof.

Looking into the Part-147 requirements, a significant number of fraud cases, showing a deliberate violation of the examination, have been reported to EASA. Those cases related to basic knowledge examinations performed by approved maintenance training organisations for students who did not attend the basic training course. This situation has led to important safety concerns, in particular in light of the risk of licence holders releasing to service aircraft after maintenance without having the basic knowledge required. Measures should now be taken to address those safety concerns.

In accordance with the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation, operators of CMPA, in commercial or non-commercial operations, are to ensure that the tasks associated with continuing airworthiness are performed by an approved continuing airworthiness management organisation and that the maintenance of the aircraft and components for installation thereon is performed by an approved maintenance organisation. However, in certain cases, such as in the non-commercial operation of lighter twin-turboprop aeroplanes, the compliance effort that is required from such operators is disproportionate to the benefits that implementing those requirements bring to the safety of their operations. The requirements applicable in those cases should therefore be adapted. Considering those disproportionate compliance efforts, the time needed to adapt those requirements and that not applying them in those cases until they have been adapted is not assessed to pose any significant risks to aviation safety, those requirements should cease to apply for the time being and apply only from an appropriate later date.

Finally, detailed rules regarding the use of Appendix VI of Annex III were deleted by mistake when the Regulation was amended by Regulation (EU) 2015/1536. That mistake should be corrected.

The various elements of the regulation take effect on a range of dates for example, Article 1 changes from September 2018, through to the main date of 5th March 2019 and others out to October 2019 and October 2020.

For a detailed understanding of the changes, refer to the published regulation.  The Baines Simmons Consolidated Guide to European aviation rules will be updated imminently as the requirements come into force.


09/03/2018   NPA 2017-19 Deadline for comments Extension

EASA has extended the deadline for submitting comments for NPA 2017-19 which relates to the Installation of parts and appliances that are released without an EASA Form 1 or equivalent, originally published in December 2017.  The deadline for submitting comments has been extended until March 30th 2018.

If you are a manufacturer, Design Approval Holder, Operator or those involved in continuing airworthiness, and haven’t yet reviewed this NPA, we highly recommend that you make use of the extra few days to submit your comments.


14/12/2017   EASA Form 1 or equivalent

EASA has published NPA 2017-19 with the aims to introduce more proportionate and efficient requirements in the airworthiness field, in particular to introduce commensurate manufacturing requirements for new spare parts and appliances. The requirement mandates that parts and appliances to be installed during maintenance need to be accompanied by a EASA Form 1 to attest manufacturing in accordance with Part 21, which is considered, in certain cases, disproportionate.

The so-called commercial parts are an example of that. Since these parts are often not designed exclusively for aviation use, parts manufacturers are not necessarily interested in achieving manufacturing recognition in accordance with Part 21 manufacturing standards (e.g. POA). Not only for commercial parts, but also for other parts and appliances a release certificate other than an EASA Form 1 may also be sufficient to guarantee adequate manufacturing quality.

In order to ease the manufacturing requirements for some of the parts, this NPA proposes to assign a criticality level (CL) for each part based on the safety consequences should the part fail to meet its design standards.

It proposes that only the design holder (for instance, the type certificate holder) can establish the CL for each part, with the default option of assigning the most stringent CL to all parts. In certain cases, the possibility to assign CLs is also given to EASA. It also establishes minimum manufacturing and release certificate requirements based on industry standards depending on the CL assigned to each part. Different marking requirements also apply for each part depending on its assigned CL.

Once the implementing rule and related AMC/GM are in place, by alleviating the effective requirements for the manufacture of parts not being critical, the manufacturing costs would decrease without affecting the safety of the air operations. The requirements proposed may very positively impact on general aviation (GA), since often certain parts of the aircraft have not been designed with an aviation intent and not manufactured by a POA.

The NPA is open for consultation and will close for comments on 14th March 2018.  We highly recommend those involved in operations, manufacture, design, maintenance and airworthiness management to review the NPA and comment using the EASA CRT prior to the 14th March 2018.


30/08/2017   ICA’s – CMR’s

Further to our article in November last year on NPA 2016-15, EASA has concluded the consultation period and published the Comment Response Document. Overall, 159 comments were submitted by 19 stakeholders. The stakeholders commenting on this NPA included European national aviation authorities, the FAA, TCCA, type certificate holders (EU and non-EU), and others.  The nature of the comments received ranges from specific technical aspects, to comments aiming to improve the wording of the proposed amendments.  Several comments were accepted or partially accepted, thus leading to substantial amendments of the proposed text which, in certain elements, has been significantly improved.

For those that were involved please take a look at the CRD.  We will advise further the next stage of this rulemaking when more information is available.


24/08/2017   Suspected Unapproved Parts

EASA has issued a Safety Information Bulletin 2017-13 relating to Suspected Unapproved Parts.  Integral to the Mandatory Reporting Regulation (EU) 376/2014, the Implementing regulation specifies that one of the occurrences which are subject to reporting is ‘the use of products, components or materials, from unknown, suspect origin, or unserviceable critical components’ – SUP.

Reported SUP cases cannot always be resolved by EASA and the National Aviation Authorities, mainly due to the lack of required information, e.g. when:

  • An SUP with an allegedly forged EASA Form 1 comes from a non-EU maintenance organisation, supplier or distributor and it is difficult to obtain feedback from the local aviation safety authority;
  • The origin of the SUP is impossible to determine;
  • An allegedly forged EASA Form 1 has been sent to a potential buyer of a part (not in the supply chain yet) for pre-assessment, indicating that an SUP case might exist for the concerned part;
  • A part was unlawfully removed, e.g. from a maintenance facility, and it can be expected that it will appear on the market with forged documentation or untraceable history.

This SIB aims to raise awareness among European aviation industry of SUP that they might encounter. To this end, the Agency has published a list of unresolved SUP cases on the EASA website. This list is being maintained and updated based on information available, including responses received from the European aviation industry. It is expected that the webpage will be updated every 3 months.

EASA recommends that when in doubt about the origin of a part, maintenance organisations, aircraft owners, operators, independent certifying staff, manufacturers, and parts suppliers are invited to consult, in addition to the content of the Safety Publications Tool, the information reflected in this SIB and in the SUP list (see link below) before accepting such a part into their organisations or before fitting it to an aircraft.  If any part listed in the SUP list is found in stock, it is recommended that the part is quarantined to prevent installation until a determination can be made regarding its eligibility for installation.


02/08/2017   Part-145 Lost Capability

The UK CAA has published Information Notice IN-2017/033 raising awareness of the organisations responsibilities when they are temporarily not able to hold all the necessary tools, equipment etc.  They have decided to clarify the EASA requirements by stating that they will not immediately revoke any rating or aircraft from an approval when they can be satisfied that the capability has been lost temporarily and when suitable procedures exist in their MOE to reflect these temporary changes.

For full details on the Information Notice, please click here


29/07/2017   Further update on the rules on air operations

Further to the article published on the 21st July this year, EASA has published CRD 2015-18(B) detailing the responses to the associated NPA.  The recommendations were widely accepted with only a small proportion being rejected.


12/07/2017   SMS requirements for Maintenance Organisations

EASA has published the Terms of Reference (ToR) to RMT.0251(b) Issue 1 relating to the embodiment of safety management systems requirements into EASA Part-145 maintenance organisations.  ICAO Annex 19 introduced standards for ‘Safety Management’ based on a framework for the implementation and maintenance of a State Safety Programme (SSP) by States and of SMS by service providers. The specific objective of this proposal is to further increase aviation safety by introducing safety management in the scope of Part-145 maintenance.  This will be achieved through the publication of and NPA with draft implementing rules, AMC and GM.


08/06/2017   EASA Part-145 Organisations located in Brazil

The Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) and Maintenance Annex Guide (MAG) are now applicable to EASA Part-145 organisations located in Brazil.  For full details we have added this link to ensure the affected organisations are fully aware of the requirements.


01/06/2017   Part-66 AMC/GM Issue 2 Amendment 2

EASA has published their decision related to aircraft type ratings for Part-66 aircraft maintenance licences.  ED Decision 2017/016/R publishes Part-66 AMC and GM which updates Appendix 1 ‘Aircraft type ratings for Part-66…

We recommend that all EASA Part-66 aircraft maintenance licence holders review the new type ratings.


20/04/2017   Part-145 employment status

The UK CAA has published an Information Notice, IN-2017/015 relating to Zero-hour contracts and the employment status of the affected staff when relating this to EASA Part-145 regulation 145.A.30(d).

The CAA states that the use of zero hour contracts in the UK has grown substantially over the last few years. The Authority see it as a useful employment method by Part-145 organisations to fill shortfalls in manning levels and thus reduce the need for full-time employees. However, they continue to say that the Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) material for Part-145 does not consider the status of workers engaged on zero hours contracts. AMC to 145.A.30 (d) explains the need for an organisation to directly employ at least half of its staff to ensure organisational stability. It uses the terms employed and contracted to distinguish between staff directly employed by the organisation and staff who are engaged through other means, possibly on a temporary basis.

This notice provides guidance on the status of zero hours contracts and is intended to enable Part-145 organisations to establish the employment status of staff engaged on a zero hours contract. The staff members’ employment status is then used to determine if they are employed or contracted for Part-145.A30 (d) manpower planning purposes.

We recommend all UK based Part-145 approved organisations to review their staff employment status in line with the information supplied by the UK CAA.


03/04/2017   Multi Turboprop Aeroplanes Continuing Airworthiness

The UK CAA has issued Official Record Series 4 (ORS4) No 1219 relating to multi-engine turboprop aircraft of 5,700kg MTOM or less.  Pursuant to Article 14 of the Basic Regulation, the UK CAA exempts these aircraft from complying with the latest change to the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation (EU) 2015/1536 whereby these aircraft are classified as Complex Motor Powered Aircraft (CMPA).  Instead, these aircraft shall comply with the requirements applicable to ‘other than CMPA’

This exemption supersedes the previous ORS4 No 1213 and shall remain in effect until 31 Dec 2019.

For those owners and CAMO’s involved in the continuing airworthiness management of these aircraft, we recommend that you familiarise yourselves with the full content of this ORS4 to ensure compliance.


27/03/2017   Part-145 Occasional and Temporary Line Stations

The UK CAA has published an Information Notice, IN-2017/011 placing more prescriptive requirements around the EASA regulations for occasional and temporary line stations.  We recommend that UK EASA Part-145 maintenance organisations fully engage with the CAA to understand how this would affect your individual processes.


06/03/2017   EASA validation of FAA STC’s

EASA has recently implemented an administrative process for validation of FAA STCs classified as Basic for single serial number aircraft, applied for by the CAMO or the aircraft owner/operator.

This administrative validation process accounts for the cases where the US STC Holder of a FAA Basic STC is unwilling or unable (orphaned STC) to apply for EASA validation.

The scope is limited to second-hand aircraft and installed engines, if applicable, in the following categories:

  • 2 000 kg ≤ 5 700 kg MTOW
  • ≤ 2 000 kg MTOW
  • Very Light Aeroplane
  • Light Sport Aeroplane
  • Powered Sailplanes
  • Sailplanes

For those involved with this market, we advise you to see how these changes could affect you.  If you have any questions, then please contact GAD Admin on GADadmin@easa.europa.eu


26/01/2017   Hellenic Part-147 – Alleged examination fraud

The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) informed EASA and the aviation community of the revocation of the Part-147 maintenance training organisation approval for HATA - EL.147.0007 owing to allegations of examination fraud at this organisation. This is as a result of a response to EASA SIB No.2014-32R1.

After an investigation into these allegations, the Commission concluded that the situation showed a systemic failure in the HCAA safety oversight tasks and responsibilities, which supports the lack of sufficient guarantees attached to the Certificates of Recognition (CoR’s) issued by HATA. The Commission, therefore, decided that it is necessary for the Competent Authorities concerned to take corrective action ensuring the required level of safety under the circumstances.

EASA requests that all Part-145 and Part-M organisations to immediately conduct a review to ensure that their Part-66 licensed authorising personnel are not affected by the content of this IN.

EASA continue to recommend that if in the event an organisation identifies such individuals, that organisation is to contact their local CAA surveyor or to email eldweb@caa.co.uk.


19/01/2017   EASA eRules

EASA has launched a new initiative aimed at making regulations accessible to stakeholders.

EASA expects that the “eRules” will be a comprehensive, single system for the drafting, sharing and storing of rules. It states that it will offer easy (online) access to all rules and regulations as well as new and innovative applications such as rulemaking process automation, stakeholder consultation, cross-referencing, and comparison with ICAO and third countries’ standards. EASA has broken down the project into 10 modules.

The first module to be launched is the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation, and the ‘Easy Access Rules for Continuing Airworthiness... ’, containing all 5 Annexes, Part-M, Part-145, Part-66, Part-147 and Part-T is now available.

It is expected that Module 2 will include Initial Airworthiness and Aerodromes rules later this year, which will include new database functionalities. Online access to the database is planned for 2018.


22/12/2016   Part-66 type ratings

EASA has published NPA 2016-20 which it expects to address a regulatory coordination issue related to the aircraft type ratings.

According to the AMC to Part-66, type ratings should be endorsed on an aircraft maintenance licence (AML) in accordance with AMC to Part-66 ‘List of type ratings’.

This NPA is issued regularly to amend this list with changes coming from industry and to add new aircraft types or to remove aircraft types whose the TC has been revoked or surrended.

The main objective is to ensure a common standard throughout the Member States.

We recommend all type rated maintenance personnel and certifying staff to read and digest the information contained within this NPA and submit your comments using EASA’s automated Comment Response Tool prior to the deadline of February 10th.


17/11/2016   Assessing the airworthiness of aircraft with Technical Records

EASA has published its Opinion (13/2016) related to Comment Response Document (CRD 2014-04) and NPA (NPA 2014-04) on Technical Records.

Technical records are the means to assess the airworthiness status of an aircraft and its components. EASA is confident that this rulemaking addresses a safety issue linked with a wrong airworthiness assessment of the aircraft status due to incomplete technical records and is additionally related to a safety recommendation (SR) from the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which recommends that the maintenance and overhaul records must be part of the logbook and retained until the aircraft/engine/propeller/component has been destroyed or permanently removed from service.

EASA expects that Opinion 13/2016 will amend the existing requirements on technical records for assessing the airworthiness status of an aircraft, namely through:

  • a reorganisation of the related requirements;
  • the provision of clearer requirements on components;
  • the establishment of a consistent record-keeping period; and
  • the introduction of various forms of record-keeping (e.g. digital) and commonly used information technology (IT) systems.

The Agency expects that the proposed changes will make the requirements on technical records clearer, thus facilitating the understanding and implementation thereof; consequently, they are confident that it will raise the current level of safety and enable a level playing field.

Furthermore, this is expected to be beneficial to both industry and competent authorities (CA), promoting the cross-border transferability of aircraft between different regulatory systems.

EASA are keen to point out that the general aviation (GA) community opposed the amendments initially proposed by the related NPA 2014-04. As a result, this Opinion does not propose any amendments to the forthcoming Part-ML.

It is not expected that the Commission will adopt this Opinion before Q3 of 2018 allowing industry time to familiarise themselves with the proposed rulemaking.

We strongly urge all stakeholders affected, Air Operators, aircraft owners, CAMO’s, maintenance organisations and competent authorities to fully understand the proposed changes.


26/09/2016   Single point of entry for Maintenance Programmes

The UK CAA has published IN-2016/087 which explains how they will utilise a single point of entry for a maintenance programme application (initial and amendments). They also say that the use of form SRG1753 will enable the required information to be standardised. The UK CAA carries on to say that this will provide a more efficient service. Further details can be found on the CAA Website.

All CAMO’s involved in the management of UK Maintenance Programmes are recommended to familiarise themselves with this new process.


12/09/2016   Airworthiness Check Flights

Information Notice IN-2016/081 supercedes IN-2014/052 and highlights changes to the eligibility of pilots to conduct check flights. The UK CAA will no longer brief pilots conducting airworthiness check flights and therefore requires that arrangements are in place to ensure that check flights are carried out safely and in accordance with industry best practice.

We recommend that all those involved in managing and performing airworthiness check flights fully understand the changes affecting them. Queries on this can be emailed direct to the UK CAA Safety and Airspace Regulation Group.


25/08/2016   Exemption for certain aircraft from some new parts of (EU) 2015/1536

Through ORS4 1194, the UK CAA has agreed to exempt aeroplanes, of 5700 kg MTOM and below which are equipped with multiple turboprop engines, from complying with point M.A.201 (g)(2) and (3) of the recently published regulation (EU) 2015/1536. They are still expected to comply with non-CMPA requirements in the implementing rules. It is expected that this exemption will remain in force until 31 January 2017, by which time an amendment to the regulation is expected.

All owners, operators and CAMO’s responsible for managing and operating this type of aircraft are advised to familiarise themselves fully with the exemption to ensure continued compliance.


27/07/2016   Ageing aircraft structure

EASA has extended the deadline to submit responses to CRD 2013-07 relating to the prevention of catastrophic failure of large ageing aeroplanes due to fatigue and corrosion. The proposal aims to ensure that the safety risks associated with the ‘ageing aircraft’ issues are mitigated. This risks include fatigue of the basic type design, widespread fatigue damage (WFD), corrosion, fatigue of changes and repairs, continued operation with unsafe levels of fatigue cracking.

The CRD contains an overview of the comments received on NPA 2013-07 on ‘Ageing aircraft structures’, and a summary of the responses provided by EASA.

EASA has finalised the proposed draft Regulations and the corresponding CSs and AMCs, taking into account the comments (674) submitted by the stakeholders (48). As the consideration of the comments resulted in a number of substantial changes to the proposed resulting text of the requirements relating to ageing aircraft, EASA would like to allow further public consultation on the new proposed resulting text.

EASA’s responses to individual comments submitted during the initial as well as to the extended consultation period will be published as part of the Opinion, which is scheduled for publication before the end of 2016.

If you haven’t yet submitted your response to the NPA, we recommend that you do so prior to the extended deadline.


12/07/2016   CAA issues a revision to CAP747 – Mandatory requirements for Airworthiness

The UK CAA has revised its mandatory requirements for airworthiness, CAP747 to Issue 3 2016/01, revising general information, a full replacement of GR10 – Painting of aircraft, and updates to GR17 - Maintenance Requirements for Variable Pitch Propellers Installed on Aircraft Holding a UK Certificate of Airworthiness and GR24 - Light Aircraft Piston Engine Overhaul Periods.

Those involved with aircraft painting, variable pitch props and light aircraft engine overhaul requirements are recommended to review and familiarise themselves with the changes.


12/07/2016   AMC/GM amendment to Continuing Airworthiness Annex’s

EASA has just published its decision 2016/011/R, which is Amendment 1 to Issue 2 of the AMC and GM for Part M, Part-145, Part-66 and Issue 1 of AMC/GM to Part-T.

This Decision addresses safety issues related to the implementation of the aircraft continuing airworthiness monitoring (ACAM) programme by the competent authorities, to the risks associated to the performance of maintenance and the need to develop mitigating measures, and to regulatory coordination and harmonisation issues to ensure that the essential requirements for continuing airworthiness of aircraft established with the Basic Regulation are implemented efficiently.

There are three safety recommendations related to the contents of this Decision. All three of them are linked with the need to mitigate risks during performance of maintenance.

This Decision introduces amendments to the AMC and GM to Part-M, Part-145 and Part-66, and establishes a new annex containing the AMC/GM to Part-T.

EASA expects that these amendments will increase safety during performance of maintenance, efficiency of the continuing airworthiness system, and to improve harmonisation in the implementation of the ACAM requirements.

We strongly recommend that due to the wide ranging scope of these changes, all organisations involved in continuing airworthiness arena familiarise themselves with the revised soft law.


28/06/2016   MAG Change 6

The EASA-FAA Maintenance Annex Guide has just been updated to Change 6. The significant changes to this revision relate to:-

  • Changed oversight system to Safety Assurance System.
  • Redefined coordinator roles regarding the IFO position.
  • Updated office AFS symbols.
  • Corrected repair station/AMO references.
  • Re-write of Section B “Certification Process of U.S based Repair Stations” and Section C “Certification Process for EU based Approved Maintenance Organizations”.
  • Changed references to (EU) 1321/2014.
  • Updated Section C to reflect switch to email process for OpSpecs.

 

We recommend all approved organisations with or looking to hold FAA repair station approvals familiarise themselves with these latest changes.

 


20/06/2016   Instructions for Continued Airworthiness

The specific objective of this rulemaking task is to establish clear requirements and responsibilities for all parties involved in the production of ICAs, their approval and their implementation.

The aspects to review will be, among others:

  • Definition and identification of ICA taking into consideration two safety recommendations
  • Completeness of ICA
  • Certification of ICA by the competent authority
  • Who has the right to receive ICA from the DAH and whether operators can share this information with maintenance organisations.
  • Does the ‘availability policy’ apply not only to TC and STC holders but also to other DAHs?
  • Does the ‘availability policy’ apply to repairs and modifications/change?
  • MRB Scheduling Information subtask 3 was cancelled Mid 2015 due to lack of resources.
  • A Certification Memorandum may be developed in the future to provide guidance.
  • Acceptance/approval of ICAs by other than the certification authority.
  • Certification Maintenance Requirements.

We recommend those involved with ICA’s become familiar with the details of this rulemaking task.


23/05/2016   EASA issues Opinion on large aircraft seat crashworthiness improvement

This Opinion addresses a safety issue related to the crashworthiness of passenger and cabin crew seats in order to mitigate the risk of post-crash injuries or deaths.

Certification Specifications for large aeroplanes (CS-25) provides specifications to protect large aeroplane occupants from serious injuries in case of emergency landing. These specifications are: CS 25.785, CS 25.561, and CS 25.562, and they only apply to new large aeroplane types being certified and to some significant changes to the existing types.

The specific objective of this Opinion is to improve the protection of occupants on board large aeroplanes operated in commercial air transportation (CAT), when they are involved in a survivable accident.

It proposes, within the new framework introduced by Part-26 and the related CS-26, to introduce additional airworthiness requirements and specifications for operations in order to make CS 25.562 specifications applicable also to newly produced large aeroplanes of already approved types.

The proposed changes are expected to increase safety and improve harmonisation with the corresponding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements.

We recommend that all individuals and organisations review the CRD content, together with the Opinion to ascertain how these changes will impact them.


12/05/2016   SMS into Part-M

As a result of the rulemaking process and Comment Response Documents 2013-01(A) & 2013-01(B), EASA has published a significant Opinion relating to introducing SMS into Part-M. This will be achieved through the introduction of Annex Vc to the continuing airworthiness regulation - ‘Part-CAMO’, dedicated to CAMOs which are managing aircraft operated by licensed air carriers and/or CMPA. Only Part-CAMO organisations will be required to implement SMS based on a set of proportional management system requirements.

The new Annex Vc ‘Part-CAMO’ will supersede the current Subpart G of Annex I (Part-M). The changes introduced are largely aligned with the general authority and organisation requirements adopted in the other domains (Aircrew, Air Operations, ADR, ATM/ANS).

EASA expects that the proposed changes will:

  • increase the level of safety in continuing airworthiness management and maintenance of aircraft operated by licensed air carriers and of CMPA; and
  • facilitate the implementation of single management systems by multiple-approved organisations and streamline the related oversight.

This Opinion also proposes consequential amendments to other areas of ‘Part-M’, ‘Part-145’ and ‘Part-T’ resulting from the changes proposed with ‘Task force for the review of Part-M for General Aviation Phase II’ from the new Part-CAMO.

It is also preparing the ground to allow licensed air carriers to contract a CAMO, which is the objective of rulemaking task concerned with contracting out continuing airworthiness tasks.

We strongly encourage all staff and organisations to familiarise themselves with these significant changes. Baines Simmons has played a key role in this change process and is currently evaluating the impact to the structure and requirements of various typical organisations. We will be releasing further information on our website soon.


28/04/2016   IMRBPB Issue Papers affecting MSG-3

The International Maintenance Review Board Policy Board (IMRBPB) has published a suite of Issue Papers (IP) on topics such as:-

We strongly recommend that those staff and organisations with an interest in MSG-3 philosophy take the time to familiarise themselves with these Issue Papers and the changes within.


25/04/2016   EASA publishes its decision on Integrated Modular Avionics for CS-ETSO

To improve the efficiency and the transparency of the certification process, this decision (2016/006/R) addresses an efficiency, level playing field, technological and economic issue related to the introduction of the European technical standard for the integrated modular avionics (IMA) platform and modules.

The specific objective of this Decision is to issue an ETSO-2C153 on the IMA platform and modules. It will offer the IMA platform/modules manufacturers the possibility to obtain ETSO authorisations at platform/modules level, independent of the aircraft.

We recommend authorisation holders and users of (E)TSO articles re-familiarise themselves with the information.


13/04/2016   Part-M for GA Task Force Phase II

EASA has published the Comment Response Document (CRD 2015-08) from comments received from NPA 2015-08. Based on these comments, Opinion 05/2016 was developed. For information purposes only, EASA has also published draft AMC/GM which will be further developed in consultation with the Task Force, before issuing a final decision.

The opinion proposes a ‘light Part-M’ (Part-ML) with requirements proportional to the much lower complexity and associated risks of the lighter end of the General Aviation (GA) community, and as clear and simple as possible in order to facilitate implementation.

Part-ML proposes alleviations for aircraft maintenance programmes (AMPs), airworthiness reviews and deferment of defects, and applies to the following aircraft when not listed in the air operator certificate (AOC) of a licensed air carrier and not classified as complex motor-powered aircraft:

  • aeroplanes of 2 730 kg maximum take-off mass (MTOM) or less;
  • rotorcraft of 1 200 kg MTOM or less, certified for a maximum of up to 4 occupants; and
  • other ELA2 aircraft.

This means that all sailplanes and balloons are covered by this Part-ML.

This Opinion also proposes a new simplified organisation approval (Part-CAO, Annex Vd to the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation) with alleviated requirements and with combined privileges for maintenance, continuing-airworthiness management, airworthiness reviews and permits to fly. Appropriate conversion requirements and transition measures have been introduced in order to facilitate the existing Part-145, Part-M, Subpart F and Subpart G organisations in obtaining the new Part-CAO approval.

This new Part-CAO approval is applicable to other-than-complex motor-powered aircraft not listed in the AOC of a licensed air carrier, and does not contain safety management system (SMS) requirements.

This Opinion will be complemented by a second Opinion to be issued in 2016/Q2, which will replace the existing Part-M, Subpart G by a new Part-CAMO (Annex Vc to the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation), with SMS requirements, applicable to continuing-airworthiness management organisations (CAMOs) managing complex motor-powered aircraft, and aircraft listed in the AOC of a licensed air carrier. This second Opinion will also contain the changes to Part-M stemming from both Opinions.

The many changes will have a significant impact to existing Part-M Subpart F and G organisations, Part-145 organisations and Part-66 personnel. We strongly recommend all affected parties to fully review and familiarise themselves these changes to Part-M.


13/04/2016   EASA updates its TSOA/ETSOA “Reciprocal Acceptance” FAQs

Further to our article in July last year EASA has further updated its FAQs relating to the Reciprocal Acceptance of TSOA/ETSOA’s.

TSOA/ETSOA reciprocal acceptance is the process by which the importing authority will accept the exporting authority’s approval of a TSO article without the importing authority issuing an approval. In plain language, this means the FAA will accept an EASA ETSOA for an article from the European Union (EU) and the FAA will no longer issue a Letter of TSO Design Approval, per the current procedure. Likewise, EASA will accept the FAA’s TSOA for an article from the United States without issuing an ETSOA.

We recommend authorisation holders and users of (E)TSO articles re-familiarise themselves with the information.


07/03/2016   Rotorcraft – Critical Parts Awareness and Training

The UK CAA has issued an Information Notice to advise Airworthiness Organisations and those personnel involved in maintaining rotorcraft to increase awareness of Critical Parts.

Organisations who provide rotorcraft continuing airworthiness management, maintenance and/or maintenance training must establish processes to ensure that their staff fully understands the information produced by the relevant Type Certificate Holders relating to Critical Parts.

To achieve this objective the following actions are necessary:

  • Part M organisations must establish that their staff is competent to manage the airworthiness of Critical Parts using the applicable ICA.
  • Part 145 organisations must ensure that their staff fully understands the concept of Critical Parts and how to apply the relevant ICA. This may be addressed through the Part 145 continuation training programme.
  • Part 147 organisations must ensure that helicopter type courses include information to explain the concept of Critical Parts and how this is applied through the ICAs applicable to the particular type.
  • Independent Licensed Engineers holding Rotorcraft type ratings must ensure that they understand the concept of Critical Parts and how to apply the relevant ICA for each rotorcraft type rating included in the scope of their licence.

We recommend that all such organisations and maintenance staff in this field fully appreciate the criticality of these parts, and if further information is required, then please contact the CAA by clicking here


25/02/2016   EASA reissues the Terms of Reference (Issue 2) for Embodiment of SMS into Part-M

EASA is pushing ahead with its rulemaking task of introducing SMS into the Part-M regulation, with an Opinion due for publication by the end of June 2016.

The principal task objectives are to adapt the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation and corresponding AMC and GM for implementation of organisation management system requirements providing for compliance with the relevant ICAO Annex 19 standards and recommended practices on SMS in the field of continuing airworthiness management.

Additional objectives are to:

  • Improve overall consistency and harmonise organisation management system requirements applicable to the different types of organisations;
  • Streamline certification and oversight processes, as far as practicable; and
  • Apply ‘better regulation’ principles by:
    • Focusing on the safety objective to improve resilience of implementing rules; and
    • Moving detailed implementation aspects to the AMC level, where appropriate.

EASA’s Specific objectives are to:

  • Harmonise implementation of the new management system requirements for all Annex I (Part-M) Subpart G organisations which are also approved to or declaring their activity in accordance with the Air Operations Regulations; or which are approved training organisations (ATOs) in accordance with the Aircrew Regulation;
  • Promote an integrated approach to management systems for those organisations and for related oversight;
  • Ensure effective compliance monitoring, safety risk management and oversight for all continuing airworthiness management and airworthiness review activities of aircraft used in commercial air transport (licensed air carriers) and complex motor-powered aircraft; thus preparing the grounds for the implementation of SMS in Annex II (Part-145);
  • Facilitate international harmonisation.

EASA’s intended effects would mainly be to:

  • Enhance safety by contributing to effective hazard identification, error reduction and by improving transparency; and
  • Improve flexibility and proportionality in particular as regards management system requirements.

These amendments to the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation are proposed to be progressed in two phases, as follows:

PHASE I

  • Introduction of SMS for CAMOs managing aircraft used in commercial air transport and/or complex motor-powered aircraft, based on ICAO Annex 19 requirements and material already developed within NPA 2013-01(B).
  • Changes to the related ‘Procedures for Competent Authorities’ to harmonise with the authority requirements already applicable in the fields of ATM/ANS, aerodromes, aircrew and air operations.
  • Changes to the structure of the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation to:
    • create a new annex including the organisation and authority requirements for CAMOs managing aircraft used in commercial air transport and/or complex motor-powered aircraft;
    • remove the related provisions from existing Annex I ‘Part-M’.

 Note:

This will also lead to the creation of a new Annex to the Continuing Airworthiness to define a new type of organisation approval for continuing airworthiness management and/or maintenance applicable to aircraft other than complex motor-powered aircraft not used in commercial air transport . This will, however, not be part of RMT.0251, and processed as part of RMT.0547 ‘Part-M General Aviation Task Force Phase II’.

PHASE II

  • Introduction of SMS for Part-145 organisations based on a common proposal to cover Part-145 (‘MOA’) as well as Part-21 Subpart J (‘DOA’) and Subpart G (‘POA’).
  • Assessing the need for changes in Section A of Part-147.
  • Changes to Sections B of Part-145 and Part-147 in line with changes to Section B of Part-M Subpart-G resulting from Phase I.
  • Review of changes to the authority requirements for CAMOs managing aircraft used in commercial air transport and/or complex motor-powered aircraft, (new annex to be created) resulting from Phase I and further changes as necessary for cross-domain alignment.

Phase II will be subject to new Terms of Reference.

We recommend all affected owners, operators and equipment manufacturers engage fully with this rulemaking task either directly or through their applicable trade association.


13/01/2016   Easy Access Rules for Continuing Airworthiness

The Easy Access rules for Part-M, Part-145, Part-66 and Part-147 are going to be produced and published in the course of Jan-March 2016. In order to get notified, you can sign up here (tick the ‘Technical Publications’ box).

Find out more on the EASA website here >>


17/12/2015   EASA consolidates Continuing Airworthiness AMC and GM

After over twelve years since its initial release (in Decision 2003/019/RM) and after over fifteen amendments made in that period, EASA has at long last now elected to provide stakeholders with a consolidated version of the related acceptable means of compliance (AMC) and guidance material (GM) to the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation, as last amended by Regulation (EU) 2015/1088 (3 July 2015) through its Decision 2015/029/R together with its four Annexes.

This new issue of AMC and GM also incorporates changes to align with the changes introduced in Regulation (EU) 1321/2014, such as:

  • replacement of the term ‘European Community’ by ‘European Union’;
  • replacement of the term ‘the Basic Regulation’ by ‘Regulation (EC) No 216/2008’; and
  • replacement of the cross-references to ‘Commission Regulation (EC) No 2042/2003’ where applicable and ‘Commission Regulation (EC) No 1702/2003’ by cross-references to ‘Commission Regulation (EU) No 1321/2014’ and ‘Commission Regulation (EU) No 748/2012’, respectively,

Also, through this new issue of AMC and GM EASA “took the opportunity”:

  • to remove any known errors, incorrect cross-references, editorials etc.;
  • to remove any identified inconsistencies either within the document itself or inconsistencies with Commission Regulation (EU) No 1321/2014 and/or other Regulations and Agency CS/AMC/GM. This includes alignment of inconsistent terms, designations, cross-references, terminology, writing conventions etc.; and
  • to improve the structure and formatting of the document.

Unfortunately as these changes are not marked or otherwise highlighted, they will not be readily evident to readers. We would welcome any observations by readers of where these have been found, and would aim to issue a consolidated listing through this microsite in the future.

Readers should also note that this document repeals all current AMC and GM, but does not include any new AMC and/or GM applicable to the revised rules in Regulation (EU) 2015/1536.

We must congratulate EASA on this long overdue and much needed consolidation of material that was becoming increasingly complex and difficult to read, understand, and comply with over the past 12 years.

We strongly recommend to EASA that it consolidates such texts on a more frequent basis in the future and ensures all changes are clearly highlighted, to assist with understanding and correct implementation.


09/12/2015   EASA hosts 3rd Airworthiness Directive workshop

EASA has recently hosted the third in a series of AD workshops.

These workshops are addressed to all interested stakeholders such as operators, CAMO, maintenance organisations, design approval holders, who want to have a better understanding of EASA processes related to the publication and/or adoption of Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI), i.e. Airworthiness Directives and non-MCAI, i.e. Safety Information Bulletins (SIB). During the two-day Workshop, some general presentations are provided by EASA AD experts.

For those of us that were unable to attend the workshop, EASA has made those presentations available on its website.

We recommend that interested stakeholders review the presentations and address any questions that may arise directly with EASA, although we are always happy to help organisations in the interest of spreading understanding and raising safety standards.


05/11/2015   EASA proposes changes to Airworthiness Review process

The airworthiness review process, which first entered into force in September 2008, introduced significant changes to former national requirements, among others a new role for the national aviation authorities (NAAs), new privileges for the organisations holding a Part-M, Subpart G approval, specific requirements for personnel involved in this review, description of the process itself, and an airworthiness review certificate (ARC).

In addition, the Basic Regulation requires EASA to assess the implementation impact of regulations.

The feedback obtained by EASA through activities such as standardisation visits to the Member States (MSs), Article 14 exemptions, and questions from NAAs/stakeholders related to the interpretation of the rules, among others, led it to decide that the airworthiness review process needed to be reviewed.

As a consequence, EASA launched a survey among NAAs and stakeholders whose results are included in Chapter 5.3 of its NPA 2015-17. In order to address the issues raised during the survey, EASA issued the NPA that aims to:

  • provide clearer requirements/guidance on those aspects creating interpretation/standardisation problems;
  • remove those requirements that do not bring any safety benefits;
  • facilitate the transfer of aircraft between MSs; and
  • reinforce the oversight role of the NAAs.

Furthermore, in line with the objective of providing proportionate and cost-efficient rules for General Aviation (GA) while maintaining an acceptable level of safety, EASA coordinates the proposals included in this NPA with RMT.0463 ‘Task Force for the review of Part-M for General Aviation’ (PHASE I) and RMT.0547 ‘Task Force for the review of Part-M for General Aviation’ (PHASE II).

The rulemaking working group has been working on these proposals for a number of years, and this is borne out by the size of this document alone. Running to 67 pages, the impact of these proposals should not be underestimated by the organisations concerned. Its 16 pages of proposed Regulation (hard rule) changes to Part-M, Part-145, and Part-21, 26 pages of proposed AMC/GM (soft rule), and 10 pages of RIA (including additional questions to stakeholders), should be comprehensively reviewed by all affected organisations, including Competent Authorities.

We have yet to fully review the document and digest its impact, however at first sight, it appears to contain some significant changes, some useful explanatory material, as well as some other areas requiring further clarification and “tidying”.

EASA is hosting a workshop to discuss the NPA’s content late in November and it will be interesting to hear the response to its proposals.

Comments should be made using the CRT by 05 February 2016.


19/10/2015   EASA Part-M General Aviation Task Force — Phase I

Following a survey letter sent by EASA to stakeholders and NAAs in 2011 and a workshop in the same year, EASA decided to set up a ‘Part-M General Aviation Task Force’ representing the diversity of General Aviation sectors, with the objective of discussing appropriate actions that would reduce the burden on the General Aviation community. Two separate phases were established:

  • Phase I: This phase covered a first set of alleviations for which an extensive Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) was not required (Maintenance Programmes and Airworthiness Reviews).
  • Phase II: This phase covers other areas where further action was needed (rulemaking, standardisation, change management, etc.), and where more technical discussions were needed.

Phase I resulted in the EASA Opinion 10/2013 in October 2013. Based on that Opinion, the Commission proposed a legislative text to the Member States which was favourably voted in July 2014 and which has been adopted by the Commission through Regulation (EU) 2015/1088 of 3 July 2015.

EASA has now published its Decision 2015/024/R introducing the Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material applicable to Part-M and Part-145 associated with this amending Regulation.

In our article dated, 07/07/2015, we expressed our concerns as follows:

“Whilst this Regulation is intended to alleviate some requirements for owners of ELA1 and ELA2 aircraft, it has at the time served to significantly expand and complicate the rules themselves, and begins to “muddy the waters” between continuing airworthiness management (by CAMOs) and the performance of contracted maintenance tasks (by maintenance organisations). As such it may appear to undermine some of the rigour or discipline within the EASA airworthiness model. The creation and adoption of a “Light Part-M” in the future will help to alleviate some of these concerns by separating the clarity that exists for other than ELA1 and ELA2 aircraft from this new era with its potential for ambiguity and confused responsibilities.”

Our position has not changed with this somewhat delayed publication of supporting AMC and GM to Part-M and Part-145. It is of particular concern that the Maintenance Organisation managing a Maintenance Programme on behalf of its customers may not necessarily have the appropriate competent personnel or organisational capabilities that a CAMO must have to support this function, e.g. technical services, reliability monitoring, and/or scheduling personnel.

We strongly recommend that owners, CAMOs, maintenance organisations (Part-145 and Part M), and certifying staff consider the consequences of the Regulation and the AMC/GM and how it will impact upon their organisations and arrangements currently in place, as well as draft the required procedures and other documents for submission to their Competent Authority for approval.


12/10/2015   UK CAA consolidates aircraft types shown on approval certificate

In its Information Notice IN-2015/093, the UK CAA announces it rationalisation of aircraft type groups on approval certificates applicable to CAMOs and Maintenance Organisations for those aircraft classified other than Group 1.

The change to introduce generic approval certificate content requires that approved organisations fully specify their actual capability within the ‘Scope of Work’ section of their Exposition. This section of the Exposition must include full details of the individual aircraft and installed engine types which the organisation has the capability to support. To assist the UK CAA in evaluating expositions for organisations holding group ratings, it recommends that the individual aircraft types are listed in the ‘Scope of Work’ section, under the relevant group headings listed in the limitations section of the approval certificate.

Where an approved organisation intends to add aircraft within an existing group rating, it will not be necessary to submit a variation application. Changes to the ‘Scope of Work’ within an existing group may be accomplished by submitting an amendment to the organisation’s exposition in accordance with the procedures approved by the UK CAA. Where a new group rating or individual aircraft type rating is required, a variation application must be submitted to the UK CAA.

When adding a new aircraft type to an existing group, the organisation must ensure that they have the tooling, equipment, documentation and manuals, as well as the appropriately qualified and experienced staff (we recommend that this be translated as appropriately competent people ... ), to support the additional type. For Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisations, in addition to the documentation, manuals and experienced staff they will also need to have appropriately competent and authorised Airworthiness Review Staff, where applicable, and generic/baseline maintenance programmes for the additional types.

When making an application to add a new group rating, the applicant must be able to demonstrate that they have the capability and means to manage/maintain at least two aircraft types within the applicable group. Individual ratings remain available for organisations who do not meet the criteria for a group rating.

The group ratings adopted by the UK CAA, which may be found on their website, are as follows:

Applicable group ratings for aeroplanes under the A2 rating:

  • Piston engine aeroplanes – metal structure not exceeding 5700 Kg
  • Piston engine aeroplanes – composite structure not exceeding 5700 Kg
  • Piston engine aeroplanes – wooden structure not exceeding 5700 Kg
  • Piston engine aeroplanes – mixed construction not exceeding 5700 Kg
  • Single turboprop aeroplanes not exceeding 5700 Kg - Unpressurised

Applicable group ratings for helicopters under the A3 rating:

  • Single piston engine helicopters
  • Single turbine engine helicopters not exceeding 3175 Kg

Groups for aircraft under ratings other than A1, A2 or A3:

  • Hot air balloons and hot air airships
  • Gas filled balloons and gas filled airships
  • Sailplanes and powered sailplanes

Organisations should observe that aircraft types that do not fall into the above groups in the A2, A3 or A4 ratings will need to be listed individually on approval certificates.

For further information, such organisations under the oversight of the UK CAA should refer to the Information Notice itself and the UK CAA’s website.


12/10/2015   EASA addresses Part-66 examination fraud risk

Part-66 currently allows that basic-knowledge examinations for maintenance certifying staff can be conducted either by an approved Part-147 Maintenance Training Organisation (MTO) or by the competent authority (CA). In the case of Part-147 MTOs, the examination can be performed either in conjunction with the basic-training course they provide or as a stand-alone examination.

Although there is no safety concern in relation to the examinations performed by Part-147 MTOs when they are part of a basic-training course (typically lasting between two and three years), this is not the case with stand-alone basic examinations. A significant number of fraud cases in approved Part-147 MTOs providing unofficial training lasting only for a few days have been reported, where said MTOs released focused information on the content of the upcoming examination to their students. These practices take place in and outside Europe, mostly away from the base of the Part-147 MTO, where oversight by the CA is more difficult to exercise or even impossible to plan.

In EASA’s opinion, the situation has spiralled quickly out of control as, progressively, more Part-147 MTOs have been following this practice, enticing their customers with very short, so-called ‘refresher courses’ supposed to guarantee them that they would pass the official Part-147 examination. In some cases, fraud or malpractice has been confirmed by EASA or the CAs, which necessitated action being taken against the issued licences or certificates. This has generated a major safety concern, with the risk of having the aviation system overwhelmed with licence holders releasing to service aircraft after maintenance without having the basic knowledge required.

EASA therefore proposes restrictions to the stand-alone basic examinations when they are performed outside the locations listed in the approval certificate of the maintenance training organisation. This would address the immediate safety concern without the significantly higher impact of completely removing the privilege of Part-147 MTOs to perform examinations.

Its Opinion 07/2015 and the draft amended Regulation may be reviewed on its website. We recommend all MTOs review the Opinion for its impact upon their own organisation.


28/09/2015   UK CAA hosts Part-145 and Specialised Services seminar

In its Information Notice IN-2015/090, the UK CAA advises industry of a seminar on 28 October 2015.

This Seminar is an opportunity for the CAA to communicate the changes that have been made to the oversight and regulation of industry. This will include the introduction of Performance Based Oversight (PBO) and analysis of the issues raised, short presentations on various topics:

  • FAA repair station approvals,
  • Safety Management Systems (SMS) from an approved organisation view point,
  • CAA standardisation,
  • Registration Evaluation Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH),
  • Changes to the Mandatory Occurrence Reporting (MOR) regulations, and
  • other pertinent issues.

The Seminar will also give an opportunity for a number of stakeholders to deliver presentations on experiences and best practice in their own organisation related to safety improvements, which we hope will be relevant and applicable to your own organisation

Unfortunately, due to oversubscription of the Seminar the UK CAA has had to limit the delegates to those from Part-145 Maintenance and Specialised Services only. Therefore those from training organisations, certification third parties and other external aviation personnel will not be able to attend on this occasion.

We strongly recommend that the UK CAA publishes the presentation and other relevant material from the seminar on its website after the event, in order to make this available to as wide an audience as possible, so that the whole of industry can benefit from the insights and observations made.


17/09/2015   Commission adopts further changes to Continuing Airworthiness Regulation

The Commission has now adopted a long overdue Regulation amending the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation ((EU) 1321/2014), regarding alignment of rules for continuing airworthiness with the Basic Regulation ((EC) 216/2008), critical maintenance tasks and aircraft continuing airworthiness monitoring.

The legal background is as follows:

  • Annex IV to the Basic Regulation established (in 2008!) continuing airworthiness requirements for the operation of aircraft, including requirements for organisations managing the continuing airworthiness of complex motor- powered aircraft and aircraft operated for commercial purposes. The Continuing Airworthiness Regulation should be updated to ensure that those requirements are implemented;
  • It is necessary to establish the conditions under which air carriers licensed (in accordance with Regulation (EC) 1008/2008) may operate aircraft registered in a third country, in order to ensure that the relevant essential requirements are complied with;
  • It is necessary to ensure uniform application of the requirements of the aircraft continuing airworthiness monitoring programme within the Union. To that end, the provisions contained in Annex I to the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation concerning the implementation by the competent authorities of an aircraft continuing airworthiness monitoring programme should be amended; and
  • It is necessary to mitigate the risks associated with the performance of maintenance and in particular to ensure that the necessary measures are taken by the persons and organisations concerned to detect errors made during the performance of maintenance that may affect flight safety. Therefore, the requirements for performance of maintenance set out in Annex I and Annex II to the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation should be amended.

In summary, the changes to the cover regulation are as follows:

  • Articles 1 and 3 are amended to reflect the expanded applicability to Third Country aircraft operated by EU operators. This is includes a reference to the NEW Annex Va (Part-T).
  • Article 2 is amended by the creation of new definitions and references to definitions in other Regulations.
  • Article 8 is amended to introduce a derogation for the new Third Country aircraft requirements until 25 August 2017.

In summary, Part-M is amended as follows:

  • References to CAT operations are generally replaced with references to operations by “air carriers licensed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008”. This change has no material effect on matters for most CAT operators, and does not change the intent of Part-M, as historically, references to CAT operations were always limited to those “air carriers licensed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008”.
  • The complexity of the requirement texts, e.g. M.A.201, has been significantly increased to cater for requirements that now apply to:
    • licensed air carriers, or
    • all CAT operations, or
    • commercial ATOs, or
    • commercial specialised operations.
  • The “large aircraft” discriminator has been generally replaced by the term “Complex Motor-Powered Aircraft” (CMPA). This change will materially affect the owners, operators, and other organisations involved with aircraft types that have effectively migrated across the discriminator boundary, e.g. Agusta 109 and Beechcraft Super King Air.
  • The “Operators Technical Log” is now known as the “Aircraft Technical Log”, to reflect the fact that the requirement is now also applicable to commercial ATOs (these organisations

are not generally referred to as “operators”).

  • Subpart D: M.A.402 is substantially changed. The specific requirement to perform Independent Inspections has been deleted. There are now more general requirements relating to “error capturing methods” and “critical tasks”.
  • Subpart D: M.A.403 is changed to clarify the references to the deferral of defect rectification action.
  • Subpart F is now applicable to other-than-CMPA, not used by licensed air carriers.
  • Subpart G amended to reflect the above, but in particular the wording of the M.A.708(c) requirements to contract a maintenance organisation have been subtly changed.
  • Sadly, the opportunity to correct M.A.706(d) and M.A.712(e), so that they align with the Air Operations Regulation, has been missed by EASA and the Commission. These paragraphs use outdated terms like nominated post holder and Quality System; neither of which appear in the Air Operations Regulation.
  • Section B: M.B.303 ACAM requirements and M.B.304 Revocation, etc. requirements have been significantly changed.
  • In Appendix I, the “Continuing Airworthiness Arrangement” has now been renamed “Continuing Airworthiness Management Contract” to more precisely align with the wording of M.A.201. The wording of the Appendix has also been updated.

In summary, Part-145 is amended as follows:

  • The “large aircraft” discriminator has been generally replaced by the term “Complex Motor-Powered Aircraft” (CMPA) to align with Part-M. This change will materially affect maintenance organisations involved with aircraft types that have effectively migrated across the discriminator boundary, e.g. Agusta 109 and Beechcraft Super King Air.
  • A new requirement, “145.A.48 Performance of maintenance” is introduced, duplicating the M.A.402 requirements into Part-145, for those organisations that have historically had difficulty accepting there are requirements applicable to them beyond the limits of Part-145. The former, specific, requirement to perform Independent Inspections has been deleted. There are now more general requirements relating to “error capturing methods” and “critical tasks”.

In summary, Part-66 is amended as follows:

  • References to CAT operations are generally replaced with references to operations by “air carriers licensed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008”.
  • The “large aircraft” discriminator has been replaced by the term “Complex Motor-Powered Aircraft” (CMPA). This change will materially affect those certifying staff involved with aircraft types that have effectively migrated across the discriminator boundary, e.g. Agusta 109 and Beechcraft Super King Air.

As outlined above, some of the changes, whilst appearing voluminous, have had no material effect, whilst others affecting aircraft types at the edges of the discriminatory boundary could potentially have very significant effects on industry. However, these changes have been under discussion since before 2008 and so should not come as a surprise to affected individuals and organisations.

We strongly recommend owners, operators, and other approved organisations review the changes in detail and revise their policies and procedures accordingly, liaising with the appropriate competent authorities to ensure continuing validity of approvals and reduce the safety risks associated with non-compliance.


26/08/2015   EASA enhances its Technical Occurrence Report procedures

EASA has introduced a new form as part of its Internal Occurrence Reporting System (IORS). When reporting an occurrence related or concerning a Suspected Unapproved Part, applicable individuals and organisations are asked to fill in the Suspected Unapproved Part questionnaire in addition to the Technical Occurrence Report. This questionnaire will facilitate the initial assessment of the issue reported.

Details of the EASA IORS and the new form may be found on the EASA website.

Organisations that come under the safety oversight of EASA should review the form, and revise their occurrence reporting procedures to include the new questionnaire.

 


03/08/2015   UK CAA hosts maintenance and specialised services seminar

In its Information Notice (IN-2015/061), the UK CAA announces its invitation-only “CAA and Industry Part 145 Maintenance and Specialised Services Organisations Airworthiness Seminar” to be held at Gatwick on 28 October 2015.

This seminar is an opportunity for the CAA to communicate the changes that have been made to the oversight and regulation of industry. This will include the introduction of Performance Based Oversight (PBO) and analysis of the issues raised, short presentations on various topics, FAA repair station approvals, Safety Management Systems (SMS) from an approved organisation view point, CAA standardisation, Registration Evaluation Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), changes to the Mandatory Occurrence Reporting (MOR) regulations and other pertinent issues.

Maintenance Organisations and those organisations potentially impacted by the on-going rulemaking task looking at specialised services, e.g. aircraft painting, welding, etc. who have not been invited to this event are recommended to keep in touch with their applicable trade association and the CAA to find out more on these important subjects.


27/07/2015   EASA Committee progresses amendments to Continuing Airworthiness Regulation

In its Information Notice (IN-2015/058), the UK CAA reports on the business of the most recent EASA Committee Meeting 8-9 July 2015. One item on the agenda was the continuing saga of the adoption of rules that would align elements of the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation with the Basic Regulation (of 2008!). The CAA reports that adoption was expected in July with applicability from August 2017. A review of the Comitology website and the Eur-Lex website appears to suggest that this legislation is still waiting in the wings.


15/07/2015   EASA updates its TSOA/ETSOA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

EASA has updated its “FAA Technical Standard Order Authorization (TSOA) and EASA European TSOA (ETSOA) Reciprocal Acceptance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)”.

TSOA/ETSOA reciprocal acceptance is the process by which the importing authority will accept the exporting authority’s approval of a TSO article without the importing authority issuing an approval. In plain language, this means the FAA will accept an EASA ETSOA for an article from the European Union (EU) and the FAA will no longer issue a Letter of TSO Design Approval, per the current procedure. Likewise, EASA will accept the FAA’s TSOA for an article from the United States without issuing an ETSOA.

A number of associated questions are answered on this page.

We recommend authorisation holders and users of (E)TSO articles familiarise themselves with the information including the stated timescales for implementation.


15/07/2015   EASA publishes regular update to Part-66 aircraft type ratings

Appendix I ‘Aircraft type ratings for Part-66 aircraft maintenance licences’ to Annex IV ‘Acceptable Means of Compliance to Part-66’ to Decision 2003/019/RM (‘Part-66 AMC Appendix I’) is required to be up to date to serve as a reference for national aviation authorities. 66.B.115 requires that the aircraft type endorsement shall use the appropriate type ratings specified by EASA.

In order to achieve this requirement, the text of Part-66 AMC Appendix I should be amended regularly to include new aircraft type ratings, and this regular amendment of Part-66 AMC Appendix I is considered a permanent rulemaking task for EASA. Appendix I was last amended by Decision 2013/024/R of 10 September 2013.

EASA has widely consulted interested parties on the matters which are the subject of this rulemaking activity and has provided thereafter a written response to the comments received. Comment-Response Document (CRD) 2014-10 contains all the individual comments received on NPA 2014-10 (published on 16 April 2014), as well as the EASA responses to them.

The resulting rule text is provided in Decision 2015/020/R and in particular its Annex (AMC to Part-66 - Amendment 14), which is published in parallel to the CRD.

We recommend national aviation authorities, maintenance organisations, and licence applicants remain current with these type ratings.


10/07/2015   Netherlands CAA provide MAG interpretation guidance

We are indebted to Rogier van der Velden (via Linked In) for tipping us off about some useful information published by the Netherlands CAA. Rogier records:

“Today the CAA of The Netherlands published their amended guidance on acceptance of Components, Materials and Standard parts (AIC-B 03/2015) . A great overview of the applicable requirements and BASA agreements on this. Especially the tables are very helpful, providing direct information on what documentation can be accepted, depending on the origin and the type of components. And best of all for you... it is in English. The document can be downloaded here:

http://www.ais-netherlands.nl/aim/2015-07-09-AIRAC/eAIP/pdf/EH-eAIC-2015-03-B_en.pdf

Whilst any non-Netherlands-based organisation will need to read and interpret this document with care within their own national context, it is always great to see a Competent Authority trying to help industry navigate these tortuous documents – and to share it publicly – in the interests of aviation safety, through improved compliance.


09/07/2015   EASA proposes “Light Part-M”

Further to our article dated 02/07/2015, and somewhat inexplicably, EASA has now issued its proposals for “Light Part-M”, some 7 days after issuing its Terms of Reference.

In its NPA 2015-08, EASA proposes a “Part-ML” applicable to ELA2 aircraft and helicopters certified for up to 4 occupants and up to 1 200 kg Maximum Take-Off Mass (MTOM), including all types of operations. This is considered a significant expansion of the previous proposals which addressed only ELA1 aircraft NOT used for commercial purposes.

The NPA is extensive and raised a number of specific issues/questions from EASA to various stakeholders, including:

  • EASA welcomes feedback with data from Member States on how many aircraft are currently registered and classified as ELA2 versus ELA1. With data already received from France and the UK, EASA believes the increase in numbers and hence safety risk is in the order of 25%.
  • EASA does not consider the difference between the current Part-M standards versus proposed Part-ML standards to represent a risk to passengers during commercial operations. Nevertheless, it is interested in receiving specific feedback on the following:
  1. Whether the aircraft should be marked (with a placard, for example) indicating that the aircraft is subject to the alleviated continuing airworthiness requirements of the Part-ML.
  2. Whether the passengers should be informed (and how) about this fact.
  • In relation to the potential for “management” activity to move from pre-existing CAMOs to Maintenance Organisations, stakeholders are kindly invited to provide data on economic impacts introduced by these draft rules and any other quantitative information they may find necessary to bring to the attention of EASA.
  • Based on the discussion within the Task Force, several members are of the opinion that the requirements could still be further simplified, for example, by amending the Basic Regulation or by eliminating the need for an ARC. In order to be fully transparent, EASA has included in Section 5. ‘Appendices’ of the NPA, the vision and concerns of some of the members of the Task Force. Stakeholders and competent authorities are welcome to provide feedback on the issues raised in those Appendices.

In addition, EASA is interested in receiving specific feedback on the following proposals:

  • Eliminate the ARC and replace it by an additional statement included in the CRS of the 100h/annual inspection.
  • The need to amend the Basic Regulation in order to:
  1. eliminate the need for a maintenance programme;
  2. include certain categories of balloons (and maybe other aircraft) in Annex II of the Basic Regulation; and
  3. eliminate the need for an organisation managing the continuing airworthiness of aircraft involved in commercial operations (this organisation, in the Implementing Rules, is called CAMO).

We strongly recommend that owners, CAMOs, maintenance organisations (Part-145 and Part M), and independent certifying staff consider the consequences of proposals and how they will impact upon their organisations and arrangements currently in place.

We further recommend that stakeholders submit their comments using the automated Comment-Response Tool (CRT), before 9 October 2015.


08/07/2015   EASA concludes Standard Changes and Repairs rules (Phase 1)

Further to our Initial Airworthiness Article, dated 08/10/2014, EASA has now considered the comments made in response to NPA 2014-24, published its CRD and its resulting Decision.

This rulemaking activity addresses a proportionality issue: it will allow a simpler process for the design and embodiment of some changes and repairs when applicable to certain aircraft (aeroplanes up to 5 700 kg MTOM, rotorcraft up to 3 175 kg MTOM, most sailplanes, balloons and airships) and when in compliance with CS-STAN.

The concept of Standard Changes and Standard Repairs was introduced with through Part-21 of the Initial Airworthiness Regulation (paragraphs 21A.90B and 21A.431B). In order to use these concepts, EASA had to publish the related Certification Specifications (CS-STAN). The package now released is the first phase of this rulemaking activity (see ToR RMT.0245 (MDM.048) Issue 2) and contains a first Decision for the initial issue of CS-STAN with additional AMCs, mainly to Part-M.

In the future, CS-STAN will be further supplemented (Phase 2) based on experience and with new proposals provided by the affected stakeholders.

EASA expects the proposed changes to reduce the regulatory burden for the embodiment of simple changes and repairs in certain aircraft when fulfilling the acceptable methods, techniques and practices included in CS-STAN. It is expected that this will have a positive impact on the operation of the affected aircraft in Europe, thus promoting general aviation. Additionally, a simplified procedure for the embodiment of Standard Changes and Standard Repairs could limit the illegal practices of some owners who have not followed the applicable rules when modifying the aircraft and may encourage the installation of safety equipment.

The CRD contains the comments received on NPA 2014-24 (published on 6 October 2014) and the responses provided thereto by the Agency.

Based on the comments and responses, Decision 2015/016/R was developed. The Decision also includes three Annexes as well as CS-STAN:

We recommend that all owners, Design Organisations, CAMOs, and maintenance organisations involved with applicable categories of aircraft familiarise themselves with the CS and the new Part-21, Part-M and Part-145 soft rule material. Procedures should be developed to control the development and embodiment of Standard Changes and Repairs.


07/07/2015   Commission adopts Regulation providing alleviations for maintenance procedures for general aviation aircraft

The Commission has adopted Regulation (EU) 2015/1088, for the following reasons:

The Continuing Airworthiness Regulation establishes implementing rules on the continuing airworthiness of aircraft and aeronautical products, parts and appliances and on the approval of organisations and personnel involved in these tasks. Now it is considered necessary to reduce the complexity of those implementing rules in order to adapt them with regard to the risks associated with the different categories of aircraft and types of operation and, in particular, to the lower risks associated to general aviation aircraft, by alleviating the maintenance procedures leading to greater flexibility and a reduction of costs for the owners of the affected aircraft. The rules are based upon EASA’s Opinion 10/2013 of October 2013.

In addition, since some certificates, as laid down in the Appendices to the Annexes to the recently repealed Regulation, refer to that Regulation, which was recast by the current Regulation, it is necessary to update those references.

This Regulation addresses the following subjects in respect to ELA1 and/or ELA2 aircraft:

  • Development of maintenance programmes by maintenance organisations.
  • Possibility for the owner to declare the maintenance programme.
  • Introduction of Minimum Inspection Programmes.
  • Introduction of a simplified maintenance programme, which will be complemented in the AMC material by a template to customise the maintenance programme.
  • Possibility for maintenance organisations to perform the airworthiness review at the same time as the annual inspection.

Whilst this Regulation is intended to alleviate some requirements for owners of ELA1 and ELA2 aircraft, it has at the time served to significantly expand and complicate the rules themselves, and begins to “muddy the waters” between continuing airworthiness management (by CAMOs) and the performance of contracted maintenance tasks (by maintenance organisations). As such it may appear to undermine some of the rigour or discipline within the EASA airworthiness model. The creation and adoption of a “Light Part-M” in the future will help to alleviate some of these concerns by separating the clarity that exists for other than ELA1 and ELA2 aircraft from this new era with its potential for ambiguity and confused responsibilities.

We strongly recommend that owners, CAMOs, maintenance organisations (Part-145 and Part M), and certifying staff consider the consequences of this Regulation and how it will impact upon their organisations and arrangements currently in place, as well as draft the required procedures and other documents for submission to their Competent Authority for approval.


02/07/2015   EASA works on “Light Part-M” realisation

During the discussions of Phase II of the “Part-M General Aviation Task Force”, all the members agreed that there was a need to develop a “Light Part-M” completely independent from Part-M, whose content would be proportional to the significantly lower complexity and associated risks of the lighter end of the General Aviation community.

This need for a “Light Part-M” was, later on, very strongly voiced by the Industry during the EASA Annual Safety Conference on General Aviation held in Rome on 15 and 16 October 2014. It was at that conference where the EASA’s Executive Director made the commitment that it will develop a “Light Part-M” as a matter of urgency.

EASA has now issued the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the rulemaking task (RMT.0547) with the objective of developing a “Light Part-M”:

  • with requirements proportional to the significantly lower complexity and associated risks of the lighter end of the General Aviation community; and
  • as clear and simple as possible in order to facilitate implementation.

The following activities will be performed in coordination with “Part-M General Aviation Task Force”, composed of representatives of the General Aviation community and competent authorities:

  • Evaluation of the format and structure of ‘Light Part-M’.
  • Evaluation of further alleviations to those proposed during Phase I of the “Part-M General Aviation Task Force” (RMT.0463). When doing so, all possible options should be explored, being limited only by the requirements contained in the Basic Regulation.
  • Coordination with other past and current rulemaking activities (see below) in order to ensure adequate consistency.
  • Coordination of the task with all other activities linked to the General Aviation Road Map.

The following aspects linked to continuing airworthiness in General Aviation, although not directly addressed in this task, have to be considered for appropriate coordination:

  • “Part-M General Aviation (Phase I)” (RMT.0463): This has already been addressed through Opinion 10/2013, published in October 2013 and adopted by the Commission in Regulation (EU) 2015/1088.
  • “B2L and L Part-66 aircraft maintenance licences” (RMT.0135): This has already been addressed through Opinion 05/2015, published on 22 June 2015 (refer to our RegsUpdate article with that date).
  • CS-STAN” (RMT.0245): Published in July 2015.
  • “Parts without EASA Form 1 or equivalent” (RMT.0018): The task is currently in progress with a working group discussing different proposals in order to issue an NPA.
  • “Technical Records” (RMT.0276): The task is currently in progress with a review group evaluating the comments received on NPA 2014-04.
  • “Review of the airworthiness review process” (RMT.0521): The task is currently in progress with a working group discussing different proposals in order to issue an NPA.

In addition, this activity has to be properly coordinated within the framework of the General Aviation Road Map.

This is an Agency task and, as a consequence, there is no Rulemaking Group. Nevertheless, the focussed consultation includes meetings and discussions with the “Part-M General Aviation Task Force”, including also members of the balloon community. Issue of the subsequent NPA is scheduled by the end of September 2015, with a comment period of 3 months thereafter.

We strongly recommend that all individuals involved in the lighter end of General Aviation remain vigilant to this significant piece of rulemaking activity, and fully engage with it, either through the “Part-M General Aviation Task Force” or by commenting on the NPA when it is released.

We are very excited by this opportunity to create a new regulatory landscape for the continuing airworthiness of light aircraft, including balloons and gliders, and would be happy to work with any organisation that needs to get its head around all of this.


01/07/2015   Commission adopts amending Regulation on Flight Testing

The Commission has now adopted Regulation (EU) 2015/1039 amending the Initial Airworthiness Regulation as regards flight testing, amongst other matters, for the following reasons:

  • Further to EASA’s Opinion 07/2013 ,the Initial Airworthiness Regulation should be amended in order to regulate, as part of the flight conditions, the competence and experience for pilots and for lead flight test engineers, depending on the complexity of the flight tests performed and of the aircraft, with a view to increasing safety and enhancing the harmonisation of the competency and experience requirements for flight test crew members within the Union.
  • Requirements for production and design organisations conducting flight testing, a requirement to have a Flight Test Operations Manual (FTOM) defining the organisation's policies and the necessary procedures in relation to flight test should also be introduced, so as to promote the safe conduct of flight testing. That manual should include policies and procedures for crew composition and competence, presence on board of persons other than crew members, risk and safety management, identification of instruments and equipment required to be carried.
  • The Continuing Airworthiness Regulation has been recast in the interest of clarity. Since the EASA Form 15a, as laid down in the Part 21, refers to the repealed Regulation, it is necessary to update that reference.
  • It is necessary to provide sufficient time for the aeronautical industry and the Member States to adapt to those requirements. Therefore, appropriate transitional provisions should be provided for. For certain amendments, however, a specific deferred application date should be provided in light of the nature of those amendments.

Flight Test Operations Manual requirements apply from 01 January 2016, whereas crew competence requirements apply from 01 January 2018. At the time of writing, EASA had yet to issue its Decision containing AMC and GM in relation to this new Regulation.

We recommend all Design and Production organisations, as well as existing aircraft operators who do or plan to provide aircraft for the purposes of Flight Tests, become familiar with the requirements laid out in the Regulation and the applicable AMC and GM, upon publication. Design and production Organisations involved in Flight Testing should define their policy, procedures, etc. and submit their FTOMs to their Competent Authority for approval within the dates specified.


22/06/2015   EASA issues Opinion on light aircraft maintenance licences

Article 7(8) of the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation requires EASA to submit an opinion to the Commission including proposals for a simple and proportionate system for the licensing of certifying staff involved in the maintenance of ELA1 aeroplanes as well as aircraft other than aeroplanes and helicopters. In addition, it was requested by industry to simplify the Part-66 avionics licence by adapting it to the lower complexity of light aircraft. This is partly driven by the need to fill the gap for certifying staff on aircraft other than aeroplanes and helicopters and to continue the light touch approach to regulation of General Aviation.

In its NPA 2012-15, EASA made a proposal for two new types of licences (L and B2L) covering the aspects described and this was issued in October 2012.

EASA has now published the CRD and its Opinion 05/2015 for Regulation change, based upon it. The CRD includes the comments received from stakeholders and competent authorities and the responses to them provided by EASA further to the publication of the NPA, together with the proposed amendments to the AMC/GM.

EASA records general support (with some limited exceptions) to the proposals, both from industry and competent authorities. There was a wide support from associations like Europe Air Sports, European Gliding Union, Royal Danish Aeroclub and Luftsport Verband Bayern. They stated that the proposal was a step forward in the right direction, although they also commented that they were afraid that the introduction of Part-66 licences for sectors which were previously under national rules might increase the costs. EASA believes that the costs associated with the new licences should be kept to a minimum (although this will depend on each competent authority) as a result of grandfathering provisions and that no formal training is required and any organisation (like a manufacturer, aeroclub or association) may perform the exams if agreed by the competent authority.

In addition, the British Gliding Association (BGA), which holds Subpart F and Subpart G approvals, expressed concerns that they would lose certain control on their certifying staff once they get a Part-66 L-licence. Currently, the BGA issues certifying staff privileges to their members, which are valid only for as long as their members remain in the association.

Some comments requested to identify the link between the L licence and the B1 or B3 licences, or the possibility for the holder of a B1 or B2 licence to also obtain an L or a B2L licence. EASA believes it has clarified these links in the CRD.

A significant number of comments requested to remove the obligation to have the L-licence examinations at Part-147 organisations or the competent authority. The proposal has been changed to allow examinations at any organisation if agreed by the competent authority. This would allow to have the examinations at, for example, sailplane/balloon manufacturers, associations, aeroclubs, etc.

Some requests were made to align the B2 licence with the ‘very innovative approach’ used for the B2L licence which is based on ‘system ratings’. Unfortunately, the Terms of Reference did not provide for amending the text of the B2 licence and, in addition, EASA believes that creating systems ratings for complex aircraft may prove difficult since this would also require the adoption of type training courses covering separate system ratings. EASA does observe though that the advisory bodies (RAG/TAGs and SSCC) may, if needed, submit a proposal for a separate rulemaking task.

We strongly recommend that all individuals and organisations review the CRD content, together with the Opinion to ascertain how these changes will impact them. As EASA has issued its Opinion, there seems little scope for changing the hard rule changes, however, until such time as it publishes its Decision containing the AMC/GM, there may be scope to react to those and further develop them.


14/05/2015   Commission adopts additional airworthiness requirements for certain operations

As required by the Basic Regulation, the Commission, assisted by EASA shall adopt the necessary implementing rules for common airworthiness requirements throughout the EU. Those requirements, covering the entire life cycle of aeronautical products, include additional airworthiness specifications for a given type of operation to be implemented after the initial issuance of a type-certificate in the interest of safety.

The Commission considers that the technical requirements of JAR-26 ‘Additional Airworthiness Requirements for Operations’, previously issued by the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) should be laid down in Union law, because the JAA ceased to exist on 30 June 2009 and the scope of Basic Regulation was extended in 2008 to include operations.

It therefore adopted Regulation (EU) 2015/640 on 23/04/2015, which applies from 14/05/ 2015. In order to ensure consistency and to clarify obligations related to airworthiness, a reference to this new Regulation is inserted in the Air Operations Regulation and in order to ensure a smooth transition and to avoid disruptions, appropriate transitional measures are provided for. The Additional Airworthiness Requirements appear in Annex I to the Regulation, entitled Part-26.

Amongst others, these requirements relate to:

  • Seats, berths, safety belts, and harnesses;
  • Location of emergency exits, emergency exit access, and emergency exit markings;
  • Interior emergency lighting and emergency light operation
  • Compartment interiors;
  • Flammability of cargo compartment liners;
  • Lavatory fire protection;
  • Landing gear aural warning; and
  • Flight crew compartment door operating systems — single incapacitation.

The Regulation also requires EASA to issue certification specifications as standard means to show compliance of products with Part-26. The certification specifications must be sufficiently detailed and specific to indicate to operators the conditions under which compliance with the requirements of Part-26 may be demonstrated.

To this end EASA published CS 26 on 12 May 2015.


04/05/2015   EASA expands its Airworthiness Review Process rulemaking activity

Originally set up in May 2013, EASA’s rulemaking tasks 0521 and 0522 were aimed at addressing feedback received from standardisation visits and industry general on many aspects of Airworthiness Review and the associated certificate.

The feedback received showed a lack of clarity in the current requirements/guidance, which may lead to an inadequate airworthiness review and an improper assessment of the airworthiness status of the aircraft. This may have safety consequences in those cases where the actual airworthiness status of the aircraft is below the standard and it is not identified.

EASA has now revised the task to Issue 2, and the terms of reference now consider the issuing of the C of A at the transfer (import). This topic is transferred from the RMT.0278 rulemaking task “Importing of aircraft from other regulatory system, and Part-21 Subpart-H review” because EASA considers the process is closer to the transfer of an aircraft between Member States, which is already part of this rulemaking activity.

NPA is now scheduled for release by the end of 2015.

We recommend that all of us who have yet to engage with the working group and support its research, decision making, and proposals do so as soon as possible. The Airworthiness Review process is a safety-critical task, both at import and during continuous operations in Europe, and also represents a significant investment on the part of CAMOs. It is therefore important to have a comprehensive, but proportionate, set of hard and soft rule material to ensure appropriate levels of compliance with underlying principles and hence safety are achieved.


22/04/2015   EASA progresses SMS rulemaking in continuing airworthiness domain

Those readers with long memories will remember that EASA issued two NPAs in early 2013 addressing the introduction of Safety Management Systems (SMS) into the Continuing Airworthiness Regulation, and specifically into CAMO (Part-M), Maintenance Organisations (Part-145), and Maintenance Training Organisations (Part-147) originating from rulemaking task MDM.055. A task, readers will remember, that did not benefit from an industry-based rulemaking group.

  • NPA 2013-01, published in January 2013 to cover Part-M and Part-145, 1300 comments received.
  • NPA 2013-19, published in October 2013 to cover Part-66 (very limited changes) and Part-147, 192 comments received.

Following a decision taken by EASA’s Executive Director and the EASA Management Board, that rulemaking task, like a number of other rulemaking tasks, had been postponed to consider the overload of the EU aviation regulatory system and the economic downturn, calling for a breathing space.

EASA is now about to resume work on this rulemaking task starting with the changes to Part-M, excluding Subpart-F, in particular to address the situation of AOC holders being approved pursuant to Part-M Subpart-G. They now plan to publish a corresponding CRD and Agency Opinion in October this year, but seek the support of a ‘focussed consultation group’ composed of selected authority and industry representatives. The group will discuss the main issues raised in NPA comments and assist EASA in producing the CRD and Opinion.

Baines Simmons, having largely contributed with its comments to the two NPAs, is privileged to have been invited by EASA to participate in the “focussed consultation group” alongside other industry representatives.

We intend to participate fully and invite interested parties to contact us now to express their views in relation to the original proposals, so that we can put forward as broad a view as possible in the discussions that will take place at (and between) the three meetings planned during the summer.


17/03/2015   UK CAA advises on Continuing Airworthiness rulemaking

In its Information Notice, IN–2015/019, the UK CAA reports that whilst Commission Regulation (EU) 1321/2014 came into force on 6 January 2015, it does not include the amendments voted on in the EASA committee meeting in July 2014:

  • to address the output of Phase 1 of the GA taskforce;
  • introduction of Part T;
  • revised ACAM requirements; and
  • critical tasks.

These amendments are not expected to be published until at least the second quarter of 2015.

We recommend that Competent Authorities, European operators of third country aircraft, CAMOs, and Maintenance Organisations remain vigilant to these impending and much delayed amending Regulations being adopted during this year.


17/12/2014   Commission adopts “recast” Continuing Airworthiness Regulation

Commission Regulation (EC) 2042/2003 of 20 November 2003 on the continuing airworthiness of aircraft and aeronautical products, parts and appliances, and on the approval of organisations and personnel involved in these tasks, the "Continuing Airworthiness Regulation" has been substantially amended several times. Since further amendments are to be made, the EASA Committee decided that it should be recast in the interests of clarity. As a result there is now a "new" Continuing Airworthiness Regulation ((EU) 1321/2014), adopted on 26 November 2014, and published in the Official Journal on 17 December 2014.

Article 5 of the Basic Regulation dealing with airworthiness was extended to include the elements of operational suitability evaluation into the implementing rules for type-certification. EASA found that it was necessary to amend the Initial Airworthiness Regulation ((EU) 748/2012) in order to allow it to approve operational suitability data (OSD) as part of the type-certification process and the OSD should include mandatory training elements for type rating training of maintenance certifying staff. It then follows that those elements should be the basis for developing type training courses and the requirements related to the establishment of certifying staff type rating training courses (in Part-66) need to be amended to refer to the OSD.

This "recast" Regulation, therefore also includes the incorporation of EASA’s Opinion 07/2011 into Appendix III of Part-66.

We recommend that all affected organisations, including CAMOs, Maintenance Organisations, and Maintenance Training Organisations review the recast Regulation and in particular the changes made to Part-66. References in documents, for example Expositions, certificates, etc., to the former Regulation ((EC) 2042/2003) should be replaced with references to Regulation (EU) 1321/2014.


02/12/2014   EASA attempts to clarify responsibilities of CAMOs and Part-145 Maintenance Organisations

In its Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) 2014-27, EASA has proposed new rule material to mitigate the risks linked to a faulty assessment of the responsibilities of CAMOs and maintenance organisations, especially in relation to the coordination needed in complex maintenance and operational arrangements. This includes the following aspects:

  • the responsibilities linked to the determination of the airworthiness of the aircraft, including the procedures and documentation needed to ensure its notification to the flight crew;
  • the responsibilities linked to the performance, coordination and release of maintenance; and
  • the process followed for the release of maintenance.

EASA states that this NPA mostly affects Part-145 organisations involved in aircraft maintenance (A-rated organisations) because, generally, Part-145 organisations involved in component maintenance (B/C/D-rated), Subpart-F maintenance organisations, and independent certifying staff are not involved in such complex maintenance arrangements. However we disagree with this assumption, at least in the case of Engine maintenance, where arrangements can be complex involving multiple “sub contractors” and other stakeholders.

We recommend that all operators, CAMOs, and maintenance organisations (regardless of rating) carefully consider the proposals, some of which at least do provide for greater clarity, and comment via the CRT before 02 March 2015, as we intend to do.


09/09/2014   EASA proposes new teaching and training methods

During the recent years, the evolution of aircraft technologies has been accompanied by the development of new training methods and teaching technologies. However, Annex III (Part-66) and Annex IV (Part-147) to Regulation (EC) No 2042/2003 do not sufficiently reflect these developments. This has been brought to the attention of EASA by industry associations and EASA’s Advisory Bodies. EASA finds it appropriate to introduce new training methods and teaching technologies into Annexes III and IV to Regulation EC (No) 2042/2003 for the benefit of all stakeholders.

As described in the Terms of Reference for NPA 2014-22, the specific objective of this proposal is to:

  • evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of these new training methods and teaching technologies; and
  • amend Regulation (EC) No 2042/2003 accordingly.
  • The Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) takes into account safety, economic and social issues related to the introduction of the new training methods and teaching technologies into the basic knowledge and aircraft type training of maintenance certifying staff.

    The NPA proposes a regulatory framework to ensure the legitimacy of the new training methods and teaching technologies in terms of location, facilities, training records and documentation/course notes, the use of Maintenance Simulation Training Devices (MSTD) for practical training and assessment, duration of training courses, examinations and qualification and training of the instructors.

    The proposed changes are expected to fulfil Industry’s needs for efficient and cost-effective training of maintenance certifying staff, while maintaining or increasing the level of safety.

    The main issues being addressed are the following:

    • Current 147.A.145(b) excludes the possibility for any distance learning for the purpose of basic knowledge and aircraft type training in Part-147 ‘Approved Maintenance Training Organisations’ (AMTOs), as it states that the training may only be carried out at the locations identified in the approval certificate and/or in the Maintenance Training Organisation Exposition (MTOE).
    • Current 147.A.115(a) and (d) allow the use of ‘Synthetic Training Devices’ when they are considered beneficial for the training, but there is a lack of definition of such devices and a lack of guidance on their integration and usage in approved maintenance training.
    • Current Appendix III to Part-66, point 3.(f) states that ‘Multimedia-Based Training (MBT) methods may be used to satisfy the theoretical training element either in the classroom or in a virtual controlled environment’, without further guidance and definition of the MBT and of the ‘virtual controlled environment’.
    • The training tools as described in the current rules suffer a lack of interactivity and do not sufficiently address the efficiency of the training course.
    • There is a need to emphasise the importance of blending the different training methods with the objective of improving the effectiveness and the efficiency of the course.
    • The current rules do not provide any option to adapt the duration of the training based either on the use of the new training methods and technologies or the blending of training methods.
    • There is a lack of guidance for competent authorities on how to evaluate, validate and/or approve courses based on ‘Multimedia-Based Training’ methods.

    NPA 2014-22 remains open for public comment until 09/12/2014. We encourage Accountable Managers and Training Managers of Part-147 Approved Maintenance Training Organisations and Maintenance Training Managers/Co-ordinators of Part-145 Approved Maintenance Organisations to consider the proposals and make comment via EASA’s online Comment-Response Tool application.


    02/09/2014   UK CAA makes changes to theory knowledge exams for Aircraft Maintenance Licences

    In its Information Notice IN-2014/144, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) intends to introduce electronic-examinations (e-Exams) for aircraft maintenance engineer (and flight crew) to replace the current paper-based examining system. The programme will encompass all examinations taken by applicants for UK and European (Part-66) maintenance engineer licences as well as the venues where they may be sat.

    The programme transitions the current paper-based examinations to electronic examinations (e-Exams) to be completed by December 2014, for Part-66 AMELs (Basic Categories A, B1, B2 and B3).

    Key benefits to the e-Exams programme are described as follows:

    • A modernised examinations application process for both the CAA and Aviation Community;
    • The development of a scalable and flexible electronic examinations capability for the CAA;
    • Improved examination security enhancing aviation safety;
    • Enhanced customer/user experience. The CAA has embarked upon a comprehensive programme to update its technology platforms and business processes. Among these is the creation of a CAA Customer Portal for access to online services.

    The e-Exams service will be introduced to coincide with the introduction of the new CAA-wide dedicated customer portal domain. In future, all CAA customers will register via the CAA website portal to use CAA regulatory and non-regulatory services. E-Exams will feature as a regulatory service on the portal and, by requesting this service, examination candidates will be able to register for access to the e-Exams platform referred to as ‘TASMAN’. Accessed via the CAA portal website, TASMAN enables candidates to book, pay for and amend examination bookings. After the examinations, candidates will have access to their results records and knowledge deficiency reporting (this is a report generated after each examination, advising each candidate of the specific areas identified as being knowledge deficient – see paragraph 9.3 below. Approved Training Organisations (ATOs) will be provided with access to TASMAN to perform functions on behalf of candidates who have a membership status with that ATO. Memberships are described in more detail below.

    Candidates wishing to sit an e-Exam (initially for Part-FCL only) will be required to register for the CAA e-Exams service via the CAA website.

    The CAA is working closely with ATOs to establish new e-Exam venues; some ATOs will have an onsite e-Exams capability, others will continue to use CAA open venues. The CAA’s Aviation House examination venue will operate as an open venue with increased examining days and seat availability. Other UK open venues will be:

    • Oxford Airport
    • Southampton
    • Luton
    • Leicester
    • Perth, Scotland

    Limitations apply in respect of seating capacity at venues.

    UK venue requirements will be reviewed on an annual basis with additional locations under consideration as required. The international venues will remain as currently available.

    Further information is available in IN-2014/144, though greater detail will be published during September 2014.


    05/08/2014   EASA extends comment period for NPA-2014-11 "Functions and responsibilities of B1 and B2 support staff — link with sign-off"

    Further to our article, dated 13/05/14, EASA has now extended the comment period from 13 August 2014 to 30 September 2014.

    As we stated in our earlier article: “We recommend that all stakeholders, i.e. operators, CAMOs, maintenance organisations, trade associations, etc. thoroughly review the proposals and consider the safety and cost impacts that may result from their implementation. Stakeholders should consider both the validity of the objectives of the NPA as well as whether the working group has adequately met them.”

    To place comments, use the automated Comment-Response Tool (CRT) available athttp://hub.easa.europa.eu/crt.


    23/07/2014   UK CAA reports on EASA rulemaking progress

    In its Information Notice, IN–2014/124, the UK CAA reports from the EASA Committee Meeting (8-9 July 2014) on number of rulemaking subjects, including:

    Additional requirements for operations (“Part-26”)

    The draft Commission Regulation on additional airworthiness requirements for operations (Part-26) as well as amending the Air Operations Regulation as regards airworthiness requirements (based on EASAOpinion 8/2013) was discussed and voted upon

    Several Member States raised concerns about obtaining certificated data from older aircraft as the information is simply not available. There was also a request to extend the transition period to 3 years to enable compliance, but the Commission made it clear that the transition period would be 2 years. EASA will review the guidance material to include how to comply in those cases where the certificated data is not available.

    The Committee voted in favour of the adoption of this draft Commission Regulation.

    Recasting of Continuing Airworthiness Regulation

    The draft Commission Regulation amending (recasting) Regulation (EC) 2042/2003 as regards alignment of rules for continuing airworthiness with the Basic Regulation, critical maintenance tasks and aircraft continuing airworthiness monitoring (based on EASA Opinion 6/2012, on EASA Opinion 2/2013and on EASA Opinion 6/2013), and draft Commission Regulation amending the Air Operations Regulation as regards operations by EU air carriers of aircraft registered in a third country (based on EASA Opinion 6/2012, limited to CAT) was discussed and voted upon.

    There was significant discussion arising from this item on the subject of leasing, ICAO Annex 6 and Article 83 bis. The Commission asked for this discussion to be handled separately in a dedicated Article 83 bis meeting in Cologne on 10 July 2014, which was attended by the UK CAA and DfT.

    The Committee voted in favour of the adoption of this draft Commission Regulation.

    Part-M GA Task Force (Phase I)

    The draft Commission Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No. 2042/2003 as regards alleviations for maintenance procedures for General Aviation aircraft (Part-M; based on EASA Opinion 10/2013) was discussed and voted upon. The UK CAA raised concerns that this regulation appears to prohibit pilot owners from performing a maintenance task that forms part of the 100-hour check, which does not alleviate the burden from owners and operators of small aircraft. EASA will review the text in Appendix 8 to explain that pilots can assist in but cannot certify the task.

    The Committee voted in favour of the adoption of this draft Commission Regulation.


    14/07/2014   EASA issues Terms of Reference for Part-66 rulemaking task

    EASA has published the Terms of Reference for its Rulemaking task addressing miscellaneous issues relating to Part-66 (RMT.0255 (MDM.059)).

    Since its entry into force Part-66 has been amended several times and, according to EASA, each of the amendments brought numerous improvements, enhanced the rule and took Part-66 to a higher level of maturity. At the same time, the adoption of the new amendments induced several implementation challenges, most of them successively being solved.

    However, there remain some open issues in the implementation of Part-66 being raised by competent authorities and stakeholders; brought to EASA’s attention through a variety of channels. In addition, EASA receives the through its functional mailboxes a significant number of enquiries requesting clarification of the rules and raising issues connected with their implementation, on a daily basis. Some of them cause standardisation problems or are related to safety.

    As a consequence, EASA has identified the most significant areas related to Part-66 which need improvements in order to meet the safety, standardisation and proportionality objectives as follows:

    • Type rating training for legacy aircraft;
    • Removal of limitations;
    • Split basic knowledge examinations;
    • On-the-Job Training; and
    • Basic examination standard

    The main objective of the rulemaking task RMT.0255 (MDM.059) is to improve those levels of safety, standardisation and proportionality by introducing new or amended provisions into Part-66 and its related AMC/GM. In particular, these should be reviewed and amended accordingly with regard to, but not limited to, the following issues:

    • Explore and provide an acceptable solution for aircraft type training on certain Group 1 aircraft for which the approved Part-147 organisations do not (or rarely) provide the required type training, which typically is the case for out-of-production aircraft with a low number of units still in service, taking into account safety and proportionality principles.
    • Evaluate the need for and propose appropriate provisions in Part-66 related to the removal of licence limitations from converted licences with regard to additional experience or type rating training/examination in order to address potential safety and standardisation problems.
    • Propose a proportionate system of splitting the examinations on some basic training modules other than Module 13, taking due account of the amount of learning material, number of questions and duration of the examination.
    • Provide an additional OJT ‘List of Tasks’ for large aircraft or, alternatively, adapt the current Part-66 AMC Appendix II ‘List of Tasks’ in order to match the OJT needs for large aircraft.
    • Explore and provide additional options for mechanics endorsing their first aircraft type in the licence (sub)category to gain the required competence and experience.
    • Align the provisions of Part-66 Appendix II ‘Basic Examination Standard’ with those contained in 66.B.200 in order to adjust the standards to the same level.
    • Any other request for clarity on Part-66 should be dealt with and properly evaluated and an appropriate solution should be proposed.

    Due to the different subjects being dealt with, EASA considers a single working group is not adequate. Instead, it will perform “focussed consultation” on each of the subjects. This “focussed consultation” may include:

    • meetings with experts from the industry and competent authorities;
    • technical workshops;
    • conferences (including teleconferences);
    • RAG/TAGs and SSCC consultations (written consultation or dedicated meetings); and/or
    • focussed consultation via CRT on key issues.

    We recommend interested parties, including AML holders, Part-M Subpart F, Part-145, and Part-147 organisations should monitor the EASA website closely or use existing channels of communication to fully participate in this rulemaking task, with the NPA being due by March 2016.


    12/06/2014   UK CAA reminds industry about EASA Safety Information Bulletins (SIB)

    In its Information Notice IN–2014/100, the UK CAA reminds operators (AOC holders) and General Aviation pilots of the EASA SIB mechanism and its objectives. It goes on to explain that all operators must review all applicable SIBs and that the UK CAA will audit procedures and results of the reviews as part of its oversight of UK AOC holders.

    The SIB system was introduced, initially (as Safety Information Notices (SINs)), to address a significant legal shortcoming within the Basic Regulations and its implementing rules. This shortcoming means that legally, EASA can only address Airworthiness Directives (ADs) to DOA and/or POA holders to correct and prevent the unsafe condition. Hence, potential and actual unsafe conditions resulting from, for example, maintenance system errors cannot be addressed through an AD as they would be, say, in the USA, where the FAA is not so constrained.

    We stress this throughout our continuing airworthiness training and consultancy projects, strongly advising operators, CAMOs, and Maintenance Organisations alike that they should consider all SIBs as “would-be” ADs and treat them accordingly. For that reason, we feel the UK CAA should be addressing this IN to CAMOs and Maintenance Organisations, in addition to operators and pilots.


    16/05/2014   EASA examines welding and composite repairs as specialised tasks

    As part of the 2013-2017 Rulemaking Programme, EASA has initiated the rulemaking task, RMT.0275 (MDM.075) `Specialised tasks`, to propose an amendment to Regulation (EC) No 2042/2003 and in particular to the requirements of Part-145 and Part-M Subpart F specialised tasks performed during maintenance of aircraft and components.

    The main objective of the rulemaking task is to define the scope and limits of welding and composite repairs and to extend the class D approval rating to include new ratings for welding and composite repairs. One of the key elements of this task is to define the acceptable qualification standards for personnel performing specialised tasks.

    In the context of reviewing this task EASA wishes to draw on the expertise of stakeholders (Part-145 or Part-M Subpart F maintenance organisations, independent certifying staff, part-66 licence holders, etc) and National Aviation Authorities with regard to existing working practices.

    To this end, an on-line questionnaire has been established in order to gather information regarding the standards/methods currently in use for specialised services.

    Maintenance organisations and individual certifying staff are encouraged to visit the survey webpageand complete the survey. The more and varied information received by EASA will help ensure the rulemaking group provides both realistic and applicable proposals in the future.

    If you have any questions or queries regarding this questionnaire, you may send them to:

    rosa.tajes@easa.europa.eu

    muhammedseyda.akdag@easa.europa.eu

    The survey itself closes on 01 June 2014, so please do not delay!


    13/05/2014   EASA expands upon roles and responsibilities of support staff

    EASA has published its NPA 2014-11, “Functions and responsibilities of B1 and B2 support staff - link with sign off”, which explains what a Part-145 “sign off” is and how EASA conclude Part-145 needs to be changed to clarify its use.

    The NPA explains that ‘sign off’ is linked to AMC 145.A.65(b)(3), which states: “In order to prevent omissions, every maintenance task or group of tasks should be signed off. To ensure the task or group of tasks is completed; it should only be signed-off after completion. Work by unauthorised personnel (i.e. temporary staff, trainee, …) should be checked by authorised personnel before they sign-off. The grouping of tasks for the purpose of signing-off should allow critical steps to be clearly identified

    Note: A “sign-off” is a statement by the competent person performing or supervising the work, that the task or group of tasks has been correctly performed. A sign-off relates to one step in the maintenance process and is therefore different to the release to service of the aircraft. “Authorised personnel” means personnel formally authorised by the maintenance organisation approved under Part-145 to sign-off tasks. “Authorised personnel” are not necessarily “certifying staff”.”

    EASA’s aim is to clarify the qualification, authorisation process, roles and responsibilities of the personnel authorised to ‘sign off’. Difficulties with the areas that this proposal included, i.e. line and base maintenance, led to the European Transport Workers Federation and Aircraft Engineers International submitting two letters of non-consensus.

    After evaluating and taking into account all the comments and proposals received, as well as all the ‘Notifications of non-consensus’, EASA has elected to proceed with the external consultation of the NPA in order to seek the opinion of all competent authorities and stakeholders. The proposed text clarifies the issues related to ‘B1 and B2 support staff’ for base maintenance and the issues related to ‘sign-off staff’ for all maintenance environments.

    The NPA aims to address the following:

    • Address the need for Part-145 organisations to better evaluate the complexity of each maintenance task and assign it to appropriately qualified personnel authorised to sign off or to non-authorised personnel under supervision;
    • Better define who can be authorised to sign off maintenance tasks, under which qualification criteria and under which authorisation process;
    • Clarify how the licensed support staff evaluate that maintenance tasks are performed to the required standard and which level of supervision they should place on the personnel authorised to sign off; and
    • Clarify how the licensed support staff should record that all maintenance tasks have been carried out to the required standard, in particular those carried out by non-licensed ‘signoff’ personnel.

    Consideration has been given to the fact that, although the latter two objectives above apply only to the base maintenance environment, the initial two objectives can only be achieved in a consistent manner if they are addressed for all the maintenance environments (line and base maintenance, as well as component maintenance).

    The proposals introduce a new section to the Regulation and AMC 145.A.32, which is specifically for ‘sign off’ staff, and amends .30, .35, and .50. It also amends AMC/GM material relating to .47 for planning tasks, .65 for audits and .70 for the MOE.

    The new text includes clear additions for “sign off” staff similar to those in place for support and certifying staff, such as records, authorisation, training, and competence. It introduces, in 145.A.50, a declaration for support staff declaring that all maintenance tasks have been carried out to the required standard. There is guidance on supervision across the different types of staff, indicating sign off staff can only supervise those working with them.

    We recommend that all stakeholders, i.e. operators, CAMOs, maintenance organisations, trade associations, etc. thoroughly review the proposals and consider the safety and cost impacts that may result from their implementation. Stakeholders should consider both the validity of the objectives of the NPA as well as whether the working group has adequately met them.

    Comments must be made via the CRT by 13 August 2014.


    16/04/2014   EASA proposes minimum syllabus for maintenance certifying staff type ratings

    EASA has proposed to issue a Certification Memorandum on ‘Type rating determination and minimum syllabus considerations for maintenance certifying staff type rating training in light of Operational Suitability Data requirements’ (EASA Proposed CM-MCSD-001 Issue 01). The related document is available for public consultation on the EASA website.

    The purpose of the Certification Memorandum is to provide specific guidance for compliance with certification requirements as stipulated by Annex I Part-21 to Commission Regulation (EU) No 748/2012 in 21.A.15(d)3, coupled with regulatory proviso 21.A.16A and 21.A.16B. It describes how the TC Holder should perceive the Part-21 regulatory requirements regarding the OSD element for Maintenance Certifying Staff Data (MCSD). This Certification Memorandum presents a series of considerations that should guide the TC Holder regarding EASA’s approach in preparation of the Special Condition which will be included in the operational suitability data certification basis to address the OSD-MCSD.

    It is neither the role nor the intent of this Certification Memorandum to be understood or used as a substitute for the CS-MCSD (which is under development, and not expected until 2018, at the time of release of this Certification Memorandum).

    It should be understood that any TC reference in this Certification Memorandum is generic in nature and should be considered as being also applicable/valid to/for restricted type certificates (RTC) and supplemental type certificates (STC) as well as changes to TC, RTC or STC.

    We recommend that Design Organisation approval holders review these proposals and actively participate in EASA’s consultation process.

    Furthermore, we recommend that all Part-145, Part-M Subpart F, and Part-147 organisations consider how they might use this information in training courses, etc. Those organisations may also consider it appropriate to participate in the consultation process and the end-users of such data in the future.


    28/02/2014   EASA publishes consolidated version of EU-US safety agreement (“bilateral”)

    EASA has published a consolidated version of the “Agreement between the United States of America and the European Community on cooperation in the regulation of civil aviation safety” on its website, together with the usual Disclaimer.


    25/02/2014   UK CAA opens its doors to US Repair Station applicants

    In its Information Notice IN–2014/043 the UK CAA has notified industry of a change in US policy that now means that all Part-145 approved maintenance organisations whose principle place of business is located in the United Kingdom may now apply for “FAR 145” Repair Station approval.

    When making an application the UK CAA will need to be provided with the following information, as detailed in 14 CFR Part145 and the EU/US Bilateral Maintenance Annexe Guide (MAG):

    • A completed Application Form;
    • The relevant application fee;
    • Evidence that there is a need to hold a FAR-145 approval;
    • FAA e-VID information;
    • A completed FAA form 8400-6;
    • A completed FAA form 8310-3; and
    • A draft FAA Supplement to the EASA Part-145 Maintenance Organisation Exposition

    The UK CAA states that it will make every effort to process applications in an efficient and timely manner. At this stage it has not been possible for the UK CAA to accurately forecast how many initial FAR 145 approval applications will be received.

    To ensure organisations are ready for the approval process, the CAA will notify each applicant when they will be able to process their application following receipt of a correctly completed application pack.

    For further information refer to the Information Notice.

    Baines Simmons is pleased to offer such organisations training and/or consultancy support in regard to applications for approval and on-going compliance monitoring, etc.


    20/02/2014   UK CAA advises on EU rulemaking progress

    In its Information Notice IN-2014/041, the UK CAA reports on a wide range of rulemaking activity at the EASA Committee meeting in January:

    • EASA Opinion 6/2012 (except Part-T) amending Regulations (EC) 2042/2003 and 965/2012, and aligning Regulation (EC) 2042/2003 with the Basic Regulation and with ICAO Annex 8Further the initial discussion of this Opinion in July 2013, EASA has now removed the Part-T text and it is being treated separately (see below). The EASA introduction focussed on harmonising the requirements for complex motor-powered aircraft. A high level discussion followed, with requests for clarity on the definition of commercial operations and to align this regulation with NCC so that operators only have to change their procedures once.
    • EASA Opinion 2/2013 on aircraft continuing airworthiness monitoring (ACAM) and EASA Opinion 6/2013* on Critical Tasks, both amending Regulation (EC) 2042/2003There was a general discussion about the risk-based elements of this Opinion, and whether the maintenance organisation or the Type Certificate Holder was better placed to identify critical and complex tasks. EASA clarified that this text is dealing with errors that occur during performance of maintenance; hence the responsibility to identify these tasks lies with the maintenance organisation. There was also an in-depth discussion about independent inspections and a subsequent proposal for the rule to be less prescriptive and more objective-based, particularly for smaller organisations. EASA will consider this further.

      *Note: the Information Notice contains a typographical error, which refers to Opinion “06/2012”

    • Concept paper in support of EASA Opinion 6/2012 (Part-T) for a Commission Regulation amending Regulation (EC) 2042/2003 and 965/2012 – Information by the Commission and EASAPart-T, continuing airworthiness requirements for third country aircraft operated by European operators, will proceed for CAT aircraft and it is likely to be annexed to the Commission Regulation for Opinion 6/2013 and apply 1 year after the Regulation enters into force. Part-T was also discussed with regard to GA and the Commission will review the proposal in light of the comments.

    We will advise further progress in these areas in due course.


    07/02/2014   EASA proposes changes to “Technical records” rules

    EASA has published its NPA 2014-04 – Technical records, which explains that “Technical records” are the means to assess the airworthiness status of a product and its components and that incomplete technical records may lead to a wrong assessment with consequential safety risk.

    Although there are specific requirements in the rule, EASA infers from the number of queries received that the provisions are not clear enough on what should be kept and for how long.

    Furthermore, the NPA evaluates the use of new technologies and copies of the continuing airworthiness records, providing more guidance on the commonly used information technology (IT) systems. This evaluation is always done taking into account different operations/aircraft, so the less complex aviation community is not imposed to hold records in the same way that more complex ones are.

    In addition, EASA received a safety recommendation from UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) which it addresses within this rulemaking task. It recommends that the maintenance and overhaul records must be part of the log book and retained until the aircraft / engine / propeller / component has been destroyed or permanently removed from service.

    The NPA aims to address the following:

    • Inconsistency in the use of the terms ‘Life Limited Parts’ and ‘Service Life Limited Parts’;
    • Different interpretations as to which components require an EASA Form 1 or equivalent, and which documents are considered equivalent to an EASA Form 1;
    • Different interpretations of the need for ‘back to birth’ traceability;
    • Inconsistency in 145.A.55 of the record-keeping periods and the periods applicable to the transfer of records;
    • Lack of guidance on the use of electronic signature;
    • Lack of guidance on the acceptability of records copies (scanned, photocopy);
    • Lack of guidance on the acceptability of new technology, such as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification);
    • Lack of harmonisation with the FAA requirements in relation to continuing airworthiness records.

    The proposals include changes (to either requirements or AMC/GM or both) in Part-M (Subparts B, C, E, F, G, and I), Part-145, Part-CAT, Part-NCC, and Part-NCO.

    We shall be reviewing the proposals in more detail and commenting via the CRT before 07 May 2014.

    Owners, operators of all types, CAMOs, and Maintenance Organisations should review these detailed changes to ensure they adequately address any issues that have been highlighted during, for example, audits, Competent Authority oversight, Airworthiness Reviews, lease hand–backs, etc. Such organisations are encouraged to comment accordingly upon the proposals using the CRT.


    20/12/2013   UK CAA details its understanding of the requirements for Practical and On-The-Job (OTJ) Training

    In its Information Notice IN-2013/205, the UK CAA details its understanding of the requirements for Practical and On-The-Job (OTJ) Training and the responsibilities of both Part-145 and Part-147 approved organisations respectively.

    Simply put, OJT training is provided and assessed by a Part-145 organisation in accordance with its MOE procedures to a syllabus in Part-66, whilst Practical training is provided and assessed by a Part-147 organisation in accordance with its MTOE procedures to a syllabus in Part-66.

    For further information, readers should refer to the IN, Part-145, Part-147, and Part-66.


    19/12/2013   EU relaxes rules on “essential” halons

    In its Information Notice IN–2013/197, the UK CAA advises that Commission Regulation (EU) 1088/2013 was published in November 2013. By amending Regulation (EC) 1005/2009 it provides a derogation regarding the import/export of essential aircraft equipment containing halons. The list of items required in an application for an import/export licence is simplified in order to allow the issue of general licences rather than separate licences for each import and export, recognising that when compared to other industry sectors, the aviation sector is by its nature importing and exporting more frequently and the previous process is very repetitive.


    19/12/2013   EASA exceptionally withdraws ‘Recommended practice for TBO extension’ AMC

    Further to our article, dated 20/09/2013, EASA has taken the exceptional step of withdrawing the previously published AMC material relating to ‘Recommended practice for TBO extension’:

    • AMC2 M.A.302 (d);
    • AMC M.B.301(b); and
    • Appendix XIV to AMC2 M.A.302(d)

    Apparently; some Member States have encountered difficulties implementing the content of ED Decision 2013/025/R, which has led to the preventable grounding of several aircraft and, consequently, a negative impact on general aviation. The objective of the Decision was to assist competent authorities and stakeholders in taking the proper technical and timely decisions, which will not be met unless there is a clear understanding by all of its purpose.

    EASA concludes that there is a need to further:

    • evaluate which are the current policies applied by Member States in order to allow TBO extensions; and
    • review the technical content of its Annex, including, but not limited to, which aircraft categories and operations are covered by the Decision and which organisations are entitled to extend the Time Between Overhaul (TBO).

    EASA considers that the intended objectives of the ED Decision 2013/025/R will not be met unless the issues described above are addressed.

    We are very surprised by this unprecedented action; we have concerns that this reflects very badly on the rulemaking process and how Member States, in particular, participate in it. Any person or undertaking currently adopting this means of compliance, e.g. many in the UK at least, could now potentially be considered out of compliance and hence may be in a position that requires them to apply to their Competent Authority for acceptance as an alternative means of compliance (AltMOC). We will be very interested to see how this is handled by the Agency and Competent Authorities and would be interested to hear from any organisation that may be affected by this latest decision.


    10/12/2013   EASA responds to comments on expanded rules for Maintenance check flights (MCFs)

    EASA has issued its Comment-Response Document (CRD) addressing the comments received (and a summary of the Agency’s responses) on the Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) 2012-08 (published on 30 July 2012) regarding Maintenance Check Flights (MCFs).

    The Review Group consisted of the initial Rulemaking Group together with representatives from the EASA Standardisation Directorate and the European Helicopter Association (EHA). After gathering reactions to this CRD, EASA will publish an Opinion and a Decision.

    MCFs may be required to complete certain maintenance instructions, to avoid potential operational disruptions after major maintenance, to verify that certain maintenance has been properly performed or to assist in the identification of a defect that can only be done in flight. During an MCF there is often the need to operate the aircraft differently from the normal aircraft operation, requiring a different set of flight crew skills, as well as different operator procedures and training of flight crew. The current requirements contained in the Air Operations Regulation ((EU) No 965/2012) do not contain specific procedures or limitations for these flights. While there is some guidance material that has been developed by aviation authorities (such as the UK CAA), it is not systematically used or applied across all EU Member States. The proposed expanded rules address a number of safety recommendations stemming from incidents/accidents during the performance of maintenance check flights. These safety recommendations have urged the Agency to develop additional requirements regarding crew qualifications and training when such flights are conducted.

    The CRD distinguishes between complex MCFs (‘Level A’) which entail new requirements for crew qualification and training, and non-complex MCFs (‘Level B’) for which some basic requirements are proposed, such as the development of a dedicated MCF manual. The key changes in this CRD, as opposed to NPA 2012-08, are as follows:

    • exclusion from the proposed provisions of European Light Aircraft (ELA2 and ELA1, as defined in Commission Regulation (EU) No 748/2012);
    • less stringent flight crew requirements for MCFs conducted with complex and non-complex motor-powered aircraft;
    • simplification of provisions in respect of crew composition and persons on board;
    • new definition of complex MCFs (now entitled ‘Level A’ MCF) and new link to the aircraft flight manual (AFM);
    • grandfathering of the training requirements for pilots already conducting MCFs today.

    The expanded proposed rules are based on EASA’s Opinion 02/2012 on Air Operations - Part SPO. The final Agency Opinion on MCFs will be aligned with any changes to Part SPO as a result of the on-going adoption procedure.

    We recommend that all operators and their CAMO personnel review these proposed rules and react accordingly through the CRT


    10/12/2013   Control of suppliers of components and material used in maintenance

    EASA has issued its Comment-Response Document (CRD) containing the comments received (and the Agency’s responses) on NPA 2012-03 (published on 12 April 2012), as well as the comments received on NPA 2013-01 (C), and in particular on points 145.A.42, 145.A.43, AMC/GM to 145.A.42 and AMC/GM to 145.A.43.

    The Agency decided to include the comments received on NPA 2013-01 (C), points 145.A.42, 145.A.43, AMC/GM to 145.A.42 and AMC/GM to 145.A.43, in this CRD because they affect the content of NPA 2012-03.

    As a result of all the comments, the Agency proposes amendments to Article 3(2) of Regulation (EC) 2042/2003, M.A.501, M.A.504 and 145.A.42 and to the associated AMC/GM. EASA’s aim is to clarify the provisions on classification, acceptance and installation of components, and segregation of unserviceable and unsalvageable components. M.A.502 (d) has also been amended to improve its readability.

    In addition, EASA has issued its Opinion (12/2013) on changes to Part-145. This Opinion addresses a safety issue related to the risk associated to the acceptance of components from external suppliers.

    In order to mitigate such a risk, this Opinion requires Part 145 organisations to establish procedures for the acceptance of components. Furthermore, the comments received during consultation of NPA 2012-03 and NPA 2013-01 (C) showed that there was a need to clarify the requirements for acceptance, installation and segregation of components, parts or material both in Part M and in Part 145.

    In the Opinion, EASA acknowledges that discussions on the acceptability of components without an EASA Form 1 have been initiated in the frame of rulemaking task RMT.0018. As a result of these discussions further amendments to the requirements of M.A.501 and 145.A.42 may be proposed in a future Opinion.

    EASA expects the proposed changes to increase safety and improve compliance.


    29/11/2013   UK CAA published guidance on Check Flights

    The UK CAA has re-issued its Check Flight Handbook (CAP 1038).

    This Handbook is produced by the UK CAA as a reference work for those pilots and FTEs carrying out Check Flights on UK registered aircraft using CAA Check Flight Schedules (CFS); as such, it is intended for use by those pilots who have previously received adequate familiarisation of check-flight techniques and safety precautions and fully understand the significance and intent of the tests as well as the techniques used to minimise the risk associated with some tests. The UK CAA goes on to remind pilots (and operators) that for occasions when a Check Flight is required, pilots must have been briefed by a member of the “Airworthiness Team”.

    The purpose of this Handbook is to advise owners and operators and organisations involved in the management of the airworthiness of UK-registered aircraft of the current UK policy for flight-checking both EASA and non-EASA aircraft. However we believe and recommend that its contents could (and should) be easily observed in other States in the absence of any such guidance from those States’ Competent Authorities

     


    27/11/2013   Third edition of EU/US Maintenance Annex Guidance (MAG) issued

    The third edition to the Maintenance Annex Guidance (MAG) supporting the EU/US Safety Agreement (“Bilateral”) has been updated to include technical and editorial changes.

    Significant changes include the following:

    • Added time frame to implement the changes to the MAG;
    • Added requirement for FAA and EASA to coordinate external audits (e.g., OIG audits);
    • Conversion of geographic authorization to line maintenance authorizations;
    • Revised line maintenance authorizations and line stations requirement to reflect BOB decision 003;
    • Added provision to address level 1 and level 2 findings;
    • Added requirement to provide repair station information;
    • FAA’s use of the available risk management tools- The RSAT and risk management process (RMP);
    • Transition process has been removed;
    • Added Regional coordinators office identifiers;
    • Included OpSpecs references to items listed in Appendix 6 (FAA Annex to EASA Form 6);
    • Clarified Work Away and D100 Procedures;
    • Added a note regarding the use of eVID for EASA line stations;
    • Added provision for AMOs to notify FAA through the AA when adding and deleting line stations;
    • Added a provision in the use of used components with a maintenance release in accordance with air carriers’ CAMP ; and
    • Added a provision in the use of used components with an EASA form 1 triple release (EASA, FAA, TCCA).

    This last change allows the acceptance of EASA/FAA/TCCA “Triple Release” Form 1s; a subject that has lead to much discussion in industry in the recent past, including correspondence between EASA and individual Part-145 organisations.

    The other changes indicated by the revision description are easily followed, and most are in Section B (for US-based organisations), although they do not include every change. The other changes, indicated by revision bars, add clarity too but do need to be reviewed, as they include a deleted requirement, relating to a list of staff for reviewing final work packages as an example.

    We recommend that all maintenance organisations/repair stations working within the scope of the bilateral and its MAG, and/or accepting components from such organisations, review these latest changes to ensure their procedures and staff training reflect the requirements adequately.


    22/11/2013   EASA proposes no change to Class D Cargo compartment rules

    In its Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA 2013-23) EASA addresses a safety issue related to the Class D cargo compartments in aircraft in response to three safety recommendations from the NTSB in the USA concerning Class D compartments, which recommend requiring smoke detection and fire suppression systems for all Class D cargo compartments.

    The specific objective of this task is to improve the protection of occupants on board large aeroplanes operated in commercial air transportation (CAT) by removing the risk of uncontrollable fire in Class D cargo compartments. This improvement could be reached by upgrading, on large aeroplanes used for CAT, the existing Class D cargo compartments to the current CS-25 standards for Class C or Class E cargo compartments.

    Apart from ‘no regulatory change’, EASA did assess the option of mandating a retrofit. However, although a mandatory retrofit to upgrade the Class D cargo compartments to either Class C or E would have a limited safety benefit, the RIA shows that the subject risk is already declining, taking into account the effect of previous regulatory actions. In addition, the economic burden ensuing from retrofit is considered disproportionate in relation to the possible safety benefit.

    As a consequence EASA recommends the ‘no regulatory change’ option and does not propose any new rules in this NPA.

     


    19/11/2013   EASA proposes new rules on VHM for CAT helicopters

    Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) 2013-22, EASA proposes the installation of a vibration health monitoring (VHM) system in commercial air transport (CAT) helicopters that have a maximum certified take-off mass of more than 3,175 kg or a maximum operational passenger seating configuration (MOPSC) of more than 9. A VHM system allows detecting mechanical failures before they could lead to a serious incident or accident. ICAO currently recommends that this type of helicopter (large helicopters) should be equipped with a VHM system.

    A related NPA, 2013-10 ‘Helicopter offshore operations’, already considered this recommendation, proposing to mandate the installation of a VHM system in CAT helicopters operating in a hostile environment, but not for those operating in a non-hostile environment. Subsequently, the specific objective of this NPA is to validate the need for a regulatory requirement for VHM equipment to be installed in new, and retrofitted to existing CAT helicopters that are not involved in offshore operations, but have a maximum certified take-off mass of more than 3 175 kg or a MOPSC of more than 9.

    EASA considers it has assessed all aspects related to operations by the relevant helicopters with specific attention to the safety level and the cost impact associated with instalment or retro-fitment of a VHM system. The assessment indicates that the major issues in helicopter operations are related to piloting. This information will be further considered during the RMTs addressing pilot licensing and operator pilot training. The Agency has therefore concluded that a regulatory requirement for VHM system is not required, as a significant safety improvement for the relevant helicopters would not be introduced and the associated costs cannot be justified. Consequently, it proposes that the ICAO recommendation is not transposed into EU legislation for other than helicopter offshore operations in hostile environment.

    EASA does however encourage the European Helicopter Safety Team (EHEST) to promote voluntary installation of VHM equipment in relevant helicopters and to develop guidance for operators how best to use the data to improve operations.


    01/11/2013   Alignment of continuing airworthiness requirements with Basic Regulation

    In its Information Notice, IN–2013/173, the UK CAA advises of progress by the EASA Committee towards aligning Regulation 2042/2003 with Regulation 216/2008 and ICAO Annex 8, as proposed in Opinion 06/2012.

    The Opinion covers amendments to the implementing rules for continuing airworthiness management of aircraft registered in an EU Member State and a new set of requirements for continuing airworthiness management of aircraft registered in a third country and used by EU operators or persons residing in the EU. The latter was the main subject of discussion. The Commission and EASA are to prepare a concept paper for the next Committee meeting setting out the options for dealing with third country aircraft in the different operational configurations (e.g. CAT, SPO, NCC etc).

    Considering how long the requirements for continuing airworthiness have NOT been aligned to the Basic Regulation of 2008 (now over 5 years), it is disappointing to hear that this process continues without a clear deadline being defined or published. We shall continue to monitor the situation and keep readers informed.


    10/10/2013   EASA proposes implementation of SMS into Part-147 organisations and Part-66 syllabus

    EASA has published its NPA 2013-19 proposing to amend Part-66 and Part-147 to implement SMS and to support the implementation of SSP/EASP. Similarly to NPA 2013-01, the majority of changes are based on Subparts GEN of the authority (Part-ARx) and organisation (Part-ORx) requirements, and related AMCs/GM issued with the Regulations for civil aviation air crew and air operations respectively.

    EASA has again attempted to shoehorn those logically structured requirements, into the existing (2042/2003) rule structure which remains unchanged. However, as with NPA 2013-01 (relating to Part-M and Part-145 organisation requirements) EASA has again solicited the opinions of stakeholders as to whether the rule structure should change to something more resembling that of the above Regulations. We strongly recommend that EASA follows option A and restructures the continuing airworthiness requirements for the reasons that EASA suggests within the NPAs.

    We find it surprising, given the timing of NPA 2013-01, the stage of its consultation, and the amount/nature of comments that are expected to have been submitted, that EASA has not delayed this particular NPA to take account of those comments to some degree. Industry is now largely faced with resubmitting mostly the same comments to this NPA.

    We encourage organisations holding Part-147 certificates to study the proposals made within this NPA in conjunction with the requirements for other certificates they may hold that also attract similar existing or proposed organisational requirements for compatibility with each other and their own business models.

    Comments must be submitted using the CRT by 10/01/2014. All stakeholders are strongly recommended to take the opportunity to shape both the nature and structure of such rules.


    07/10/2013   EASA publishes its Opinion "Part M General Aviation Task Force (Phase I)"

    Following a survey letter and a workshop, EASA created a ‘Part M General Aviation Task Force’ with the objective of discussing appropriate actions that would reduce the burden on the General Aviation community. Two separate phases were established:

    • Phase I: Covering a first set of alleviations for which an extensive Regulatory Impact Assessment was not considered required (e.g. Maintenance Programmes and Airworthiness Reviews); and
    • Phase II: Covering other areas where further action was needed (rulemaking, standardisation, change management, etc.) but where more technical discussions and an extensive Regulatory Impact Assessment were considered required.

    EASA has now published Opinion10/2013 covering Phase I and proposes amendments to the rules in the following areas.
    For non Commercial ELA2 aircraft:

    • Development of maintenance programmes by maintenance organisations;

    For non Commercial ELA1 aircraft

    • Possibility for the owner to declare the maintenance programme;
    • Introduction of Minimum Inspection Programmes;
    • Introduction of a simplified maintenance programme, which will be complemented in the AMC material by a template to customise the maintenance programme; and
    • Possibility for maintenance organisations to perform the airworthiness review at the same time as the annual inspection.

    Later on, EASA intends to publish additional AMC material for the following, details of which may be found in NPA 2012-17:

    • Clarification that, depending of the scope of work, the Subpart F maintenance organisation may not need a hangar and may use alternative suitable facilities.
    • Introduction of guidance related to the use of the indirect approval procedure by the CAMO to introduce new type ratings in their scope of approval.

    We support the move to further enhance the proportionality of the rules in this area, and encourage approved organisations to discuss the changes with their customers. However, we believe there is further need to engage with the owners of the aircraft themselves which is not an easy task to undertake, even at Member State level. It could be argued that, without meaningful engagement, rule changes (generally) could be interpreted as being inappropriately influenced by industry for its own benefit.


    22/07/2013   UK CAA advises of latest rulemaking progress

    In its Information Notice IN-2013-112, the UK CAA advises of a number of developments in Continuing