Can an Airworthiness Review Staff (ARS) perform an airworthiness review on an aircraft in which he/ she had released some maintenance as Certifying Staff (CS)?
To avoid possible conflict of interests, the ARS (Airworthiness Review Staff) should not be or have been involved in the release of the maintenance for the aircraft on which he or she intends to perform the airworthiness review (AR), except in one of the following cases:
- Such maintenance has been released as part of the airworthiness review’s physical survey of the aircraft (e.g. release necessary after visual inspections requiring panel opening);
- Such maintenance has been released as a result of findings discovered during the physical survey of the aircraft (defect rectification)
Note: cases 1 and 2 are justified by the fact that such specific maintenance activity is part of the AR and therefore does not require independence between maintenance and the AR.
- Such maintenance has been released as part of the 100-h/annual inspection contained in the maintenance programme conducted together with the Airworthiness Review of the Part-ML aircraft:
- by an approved maintenance organisation (145.A.75(f) or CAO.A.095(c)(2)) (see also ML.A.901(b)(3)); or
- by independent certifying staff holding an ARS authorisation (see ML.A.901(b)(4)) for aircraft operated under Annex VII (Part-NCO) to Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 or, for balloons not operated under Subpart-ADD of Annex II (Part-BOP) to Regulation (EU) 2018/3951 or for sailplane, not operated under Subpart DEC of Annex II (Part-SAO) to Regulation (EU) 2018/1976.
From regulatory perspective, cases 1 and 2 are explicitly considered by ‘AMC M.A.707(a)’ and ‘AMC1 CAMO.A.310(a)’ [2nd bullet of point (5), respectively point (e)] for an ARS belonging to a CAMO also holding a AMO approval. Although not explicitly mentioned in any AMC, considering the Note above, the Agency understands that this principle is also permitted in other cases where the ARS happens to be also Certifying staff (including independent certifying staff).
Iaw M.A.901(l) or ML.A.903(b), when the ARS is not Certifying Staff, he/she must be assisted by a Certifying Staff to release the maintenance mentioned in cases 1 and 2.