Regulatory Updates

August 2016

UNITED STATES

InFO 16008, Technical Standard Order
Reciprocal Acceptance Guidance

This InFO notifies maintenance providers and aircraft operators the FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service recently signed into effect two international agreements. These agreements document the FAA’s reciprocal acceptance of European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) European TSO articles and Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) Canadian TSO articles.
 
The new agreements state that the FAA will accept the EASA’s and the TCCA’s approval of TSO articles and will no longer issue a letter of TSO design approval. Imported TSO articles from Europe and Canada will not require an FAA TSO marking, and will have: (1) ETSO or CAN-TSO markings, and (2) an authorized release certificate for installation on U.S. products. Likewise, the EASA and the TCCA will no longer issue approvals for TSO articles produced in the U.S. Answers to FAQs about practical implementation may be viewed on the FAA’s website.
 
According to the FAA (InFO 16008), maintenance providers should not reject ETSO or CAN-TSO marked articles based solely on the lack of FAA TSO markings during a receiving inspection. These articles still require the proper ARCs. ETSO and CAN-TSO articles will not be directly interchangeable with FAA TSO articles unless specifically identified in the design approval. Articles accepted under this process will still require a separate installation approval, and ETSO or CAN-TSO markings on articles will indicate the articles are FAA approved.

CANADA

Transport Canada to Re-Write AME Licensing
Policy and Guidance

If you are a licensed AME in your home country (not Canada), and you are offered an AME job in Canada, if you have gone to school based on the British model and curriculum, you would expect that your credentials will stand you in good stead. Maybe not.
 
Several Changes to the foreign AME license acceptance have taken place during the past 25 years, the last happening in 2008. At that time, there was a major focus on the training that an AME went through and the curriculum covered. Experience seemed to be less of a factor and one could not receive a license without being able to show that the individual had received the proper training.
 
Regardless of the number of years of experience, the foreign license based on the British CAA requirements could not receive a Canadian license. After having worked 10 or 15 years in your home country, it becomes increasing difficult to provide sufficient information on the specific curriculum covered in your training cycle. Without being able to prove your training curriculum, you are stuck and cannot receive a Canadian license. This could lead to fewer opportunities for advancement and an increase in pay. A fly in the standards ointment if you please, states that if you received your AME license in your home country prior to 1990, you are exempt from proving your training curriculum.
 
The TCCA is in the process of writing new policy and guidance for AME licensing and has the opportunity to make some significant and meaningful changes. There are many competent AMEs that cannot get work, are not paid as well as others or are so frustrated they leave the industry altogether. Can we afford this loss at this time? There many ways to determine the competency of an individual and these need to be brought into play. There is a global shortage of helicopter maintenance professionals and it will only get worse as the baby boomers continue to retire.

EUROPE

EASA Annual Safety Review

The European Aviation Safety Agency Annual Safety Review for 2016 covers a review of aviation safety in Europe for 2015. For commercial air transport aircraft, there was one fatal accident in 2015, which was the Germanwings accident on March 24, 2015. There were a higher number of nonfatal accidents involving EASA member states operators in 2015 than the 10 year average. At the same time, there was a 24 percent decrease in the number of serious incidents against the 10 year average.

In noncommercial aircraft, there was a decrease in the number of fatal accidents against the 10 year average, along with w decrease in the number of actual fatalities. In the Aerial Work/Part SPO aircraft, there were two major accidents in 2015. One was an in-flight collision between two LET-410 aircraft taking part in parachuting operations in Slovakia that resulted in 7 fatalities. The other occurred at the Shoreham Air Show in the United Kingdom and resulted in 11 ground fatalities.

Two versions of the ASR are available on the EASA website. The full document covers all areas of aviation, and the summary document focuses on the key highlights.

EASA Proposes a Reorganization of CS-23 – Certification Specifications for Normal, Utility, Aerobatic and Commuter Category Aircrafts

Similar to this NPA, The FAA recently published notice of proposed rulemaking 16-01 for the restructuring of Part 23. The EASA has been observing and cooperating in this restructuring from the early days of the aviation rulemaking committee. The EASA strongly supports the initiative that is aiming to change airworthiness requirements in a way that supports general aviation development and innovation. It is believed and clearly expressed by stakeholders in Europe and the U.S. that harmonization of this restructuring is vital for a global success.

This NPA therefore considers the feedback that the EASA received through the consultation and advanced notice of proposed amendment 2015-06 that explained the new concept, as well as the FAA NPRM. The proposal for the reorganized CS-23 in this NPA reflects the EASA’s current position that is not fully in line with the FAA NPRM. Since stakeholders’ comments, especially on the differences between this NPA and the FAA NPRM are welcomed. Comments are due not later than September 23, 2016.

SOUTH PACIFIC

Australia – Small Aircraft Maintenance Licensing Changes Proposed

The introduction of the new small aircraft maintenance licensing structure is being postponed following requests from maintenance training organizations and other aviation interested groups.

The new small aircraft maintenance licensing arrangements were to have started from July 4, 2016, with a package of amendments made to the manual of standards for Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 66. Part 66 covers maintenance personnel licensing.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority consultation with the aviation community on both the Part 66 regulations and the manual of standards has been ongoing for a number of years. However, key stakeholders and the CASA recognized there were still outstanding issues to be resolved and some unintended consequences as a result of the proposed new small aircraft maintenance personnel structure. Issues relate to maintenance workforce flexibility, career progression and the workload for maintenance training and registered training organizations. In addition, more work needs to be done to ensure the regulatory requirements and the vocational training system can work effectively together.

The CASA listened to this feedback and agreed to postpone the new small aircraft maintenance personnel licensing structure.

A comprehensive review of Part 66 will now be undertaken by the CASA to develop a more progressive maintenance licensing system that will integrate a small aircraft license. As part of this review, the CASA will work with the national education body responsible for the development of training for the aviation industry, to produce a more streamlined training package. While this review is underway, people can still gain an aircraft engineer license for maintenance of small aircraft using the CASA basics examinations and schedule of experience system.

NEW ZEALAND

Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand

AC21-8 (draft revision 1) Design Changes – Supplemental Type Certificate has been added to the CAA website.

Revision 1 updates and expands on the existing guidance. The CAA now requires new STCs to be supplemental to aircraft type accepted or certified in New Zealand. The project specific certificate plan template now includes a sample compliance checklist and is moved to a separate advisory circular appendix (AC21-8 Appendix A). The guidelines provided in this advisory circular are general in nature and are intended to help applicants and design organizations gain a better understanding of the STC process, including their respective roles and responsibilities.

The CAA also added safety management systems frequently asked questions to the CAA website at: caa.govt.nz.