Can an airworthiness review certificate (ARC)/recommendation be issued after an airworthiness review with open findings?
Neither an ARC nor a recommendation can be issued with open findings. Each finding requires a corrective action before the issue of the ARC or recommendation. The corrective action should be adequate to the open finding and it should be carried out and verified by the airworthiness review staff (ARS) before the issue of the ARC/ recommendation.
Can an extension of an ARC be anticipated more than 30 days?
As long as the conditions established for controlled environment (M.A.901 (b): continuously managed during the previous 12 months by a unique CAMO and maintained for the previous 12 months by part-145/part-M subpart F maintenance organisations or maintenance tasks referred to in point M.A.803(b) carried out and released to service by independent certifying staff (M.A.801(b)2) or pilot owner (M.A.801(b)3) are met, the validity of the ARC can be extended for a period of one year. Should the ARC extension be anticipated more than 30 days, you will lose the continuity of the airworthiness review pattern, being the next date of expiry one year after the date of extension.
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 annual inspection contained in the maintenance programme conducted together with the Airworthiness Review (for ELA1 aircraft not involved in commercial operations). Refer to M.A.901(l).
From regulatory perspective, cases 1 and 2 are explicitly considered by AMC M.A.707(a) [2nd bullet of point (5)] 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 is also Certifying staff. Such cases include for example standalone ARS as per M.A.901(g) or ARS personnel of an AMO with 145.A.75(f) or M.A.615(e) privilege.
Remark: iaw AMC M.A.710(b) and (c) points 1 and 2, 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.
Can the airworthiness review certificate (ARC) of the large aircraft be extended during the extensive maintenance/long term storage?
An ARC extension could be performed as long as:
- the conditions established for controlled environment (M.A.901 (b)) are met. This means:
- continuously managed during the previous 12 months by a unique CAMO, and
- maintained for the previous 12 months by Part 145 organisations.
- there is no evidence or reason to believe that the aircraft is not airworthy, as stated in M.A.901(k).
Thus, the procedure for the extension established in the CAMO has to address verification of the compliance with 3 above mentioned conditions. An aircraft going through the lengthy maintenance/modification or long-term storage is not considered to meet the condition number 2.
CAMO 1 uses the anticipation when performing the airworthiness review or extension for 90 or 30 days correspondingly. After the issue or extension of the ARC, the aircraft is transferred during the anticipation period from CAMO 1 to CAMO 2. As the consequence CAMO 2 has solely continuously managed the aircraft for more than 12 months due to the term of the validity of the ARC accordingly being more than 12 month. Are the requirements of the M.A.901(b)(i) satisfied?
The intent of the article M.A.901(b)(i) is to define the ‘controlled environment’ by indicating that the aircraft must be managed during last 12 months by unique CAMO, which indirectly refers to a standard term of validity of the ARC. Therefore, if the aircraft has been managed by more than one CAMO since the date of issue of the last ARC or the date of issue of the ARC extension, it actually indicates that controlled environment was discontinued.
In addition in accordance with M.A.710(d) the 90 days anticipation shall be used to allow the physical review to be performed during a maintenance check. However, the intention of the rule was never to address the transfer of the aircraft within those 90 days with the purpose of avoiding the forthcoming airworthiness review. Concerning the 30 days anticipation for the ARC extension, point M.A.901(f) is intended for 2 consecutive extensions by the same CAMO managing the continuing airworthiness of the aircraft from the date of issue of the ARC, so the extended ARC could not be extended 2nd time by another organisation, because this constitutes a ‘breach’ of controlled environment.
Is EASA Forms 1 required during the import of the aircraft in the EU?
For the import of aircraft in the EU, the provisions of M.A.904 require the accomplishment of the airworthiness review, associated AMC M.A.904(a)(2) defines work to be performed in order to determine the airworthiness status of the aircraft.
When performing the airworthiness review there would be certain provisions of part-M where it might be not possible to show the full compliance with M.A.710 e.g. availability of EASA Form 1 for all relevant components. In such case, other releases to service or serviceable tags may be acceptable for the competent authority of the importing country.
Nevertheless, it must be ensured that the information required by M.A.305(d) related to the status of ADs, determination of remaining life, modifications and repairs is available (see also AMC M.A.305(d)).