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Aircraft continuing airworthiness monitoring


(a) The competent authority shall develop a survey programme on a risk-based approach to monitor the airworthiness status of the fleet of aircraft on its register.

AMC1 M.B.303(a) ACAM Survey programme- scope

  1. The competent authority should establish a programme covering in-depth surveys and ramp surveys.
  2. The competent authority’s survey programme should select aircraft and/or operators depending on the number and complexity of aircraft on the national register, the diversity of aircraft types, local knowledge of the maintenance environment and operating conditions, airworthiness standards and past surveillance experience.
  3. The programme should prioritise the operator/fleet/aircraft/key risk elements which are causing the greatest concern.
  4. The survey programme should also include a certain percentage of unannounced ramp surveys.
  5. The survey programme and changes thereto should be documented.

AMC2 M.B.303(a) ACAM survey programme- crediting

  1. Where the ACAM survey can be linked to the oversight of an approved organisation, then credit can be granted in the monitoring process of that approved organisation.
  2. The competent authority may take credit of aircraft airworthiness inspections qualifying for the ACAM programme when these inspections are performed in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 and its implementing and delegated acts.

GM M.B.303(a) Combined surveys

In the interest of efficient use of competent authority resources, aircraft inspection procedures may be established covering the combined scope of various aircraft survey tasks performed by a competent authority, such as but not limited to:
— ACAM in-depth survey;
— airworthiness review;
— permit to fly physical inspection;
— Export Certificate of Airworthiness inspection;
— product survey in accordance with M.B.704(c);
— product audit in accordance with Part-145, Part-CAO or Part-M Subpart F;
— review under supervision for airworthiness review staff authorisation, provided it covers the full scope of the physical survey in accordance with M.A.710(c); and
— ramp inspections performed in accordance with ARO.OPS1 or ARO.RAMP2.
Depending on which type of survey is required, any actual survey performed may cover a subset of the combined scope.

(b) The survey programme shall include sample product surveys of aircraft and shall cover all aspects of airworthiness key risk elements.

AMC1 M.B.303(b) Scope of surveys

1. The competent authority should undertake sample product surveys of aircraft on its register to verify that:
(a) the condition of an aircraft as sampled is to a standard acceptable for the Certificate of Airworthiness/Airworthiness Review Certificate to remain in force,
(b) the operator/owner’s management of the airworthiness of the aircraft is effective,
(c) the approvals and licenses granted to organisations and persons continue to be applied in a consistent manner to achieve the required standards.
A physical inspection of the aircraft is necessary during each ACAM survey (ramp or in-depth).

2. Sample product surveys of aircraft include:
(a) in-depth surveys carried out during extensive maintenance that fully encompass selected aspects of an aircraft’s airworthiness,
(b) ramp surveys carried out during aircraft operations to monitor the apparent condition of an aircraft’s airworthiness.

3. When performing a ramp survey, the inspector(s) should make all possible efforts to avoid an unreasonable delay of the aircraft inspected.

4.The further information on ‘KEY RISK ELEMENTS’ can be found in Appendix III to GM1 M.B.303(b).

AMC2 M.B.393(b) In-depth surveys

  1. An ACAM in-depth survey is a sample inspection of the key risk elements (KREs) and should be performed during scheduled/extensive maintenance. Appendix III to GM1 M.B.303(b) provides guidance on KREs that can be used for planning and/or analysis of the inspections.
  2. The survey should be a ‘deep cut’ through the elements or systems selected.
  3. The record of an ACAM inspection should identify which KREs were inspected.

AMC3 M.B.303(b) Key risk elements

1. The following KREs should be used for aircraft continuing airworthiness monitoring:
(a) Type design and changes to type design
(b) Airworthiness limitations
(c) Airworthiness Directives
(d) Aircraft documents
(e) Flight Manual
(f) Mass & Balance
(g) Markings & placards
(h) Operational requirements
(i) Defect management
(j) Aircraft Maintenance Programme
(k) Component control
(l) Repairs
(m) Records

2. These KREs and their detailed components should be adapted to the complexity of the aircraft type being surveyed by retaining only those items that are applicable and relevant for the particular aircraft type.

3. The further information regarding ‘KEY RISK ELEMENTS’ can be found in Appendix III to GM1 M.B.303(b).

GM1 M.B.303(b) Key risk elements

The KREs define the scope of continuing airworthiness. The list of KREs is intended to provide the basis for planning and control of the ACAM survey programme. It will ensure that the programme covers all aspects of continuing airworthiness. While it is not required to cover all KREs during a given inspection, the ACAM survey programme needs to ensure that there is no omission, i.e. certain KRE are never inspected.
The further information on ‘KEY RISK ELEMENTS’ can be found in Appendix III to GM1 M.B.303(b).

(c) The product survey shall sample the airworthiness standards achieved, on the basis of the applicable requirements, and identify any findings.

(d) Any findings identified shall be categorised against the requirements of this Part and confirmed in writing to the person or organisation accountable according to M.A.201. The competent authority shall have a process in place to analyse findings for their safety significance.

AMC M.B.303(d) Findings analysis

  1. The process should analyse the findings, or combination thereof, in order to identify:
    (a) the root causes and their recurrence;
    (b) the potential impact on flight safety of the individual aircraft or aircraft fleet on the national register, including hazard identification and risk mitigation; and
    (c) further necessary actions at the level of the organisation(s) or individual(s) interacting with the continuing airworthiness of the aircraft or aircraft fleet.
  2. The outcome of the analysis should be used for the further adjustment of the ACAM programme as well as for the purpose of M.B.303(e), (f) and (g).
  3. The purpose of this process is not to analyse individual findings, but to address systemic issues or issues that become apparent at individual, corporate or aggregate level.

(e) The competent authority shall record all findings and closure actions.

(f) If during aircraft surveys evidence is found showing non-compliance with this Part or with any other Part, the finding shall be dealt with as prescribed by the relevant Part.

(g) If so required to ensure appropriate enforcement action, the competent authority shall exchange information on non-compliances identified in accordance with point (f) with other competent authorities.

Updated on 12/05/2021

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