8900.1 CHG 571



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Section 3  Safety Assurance System: Phase 3—Design Assessment

2-314    GENERAL. This section details the process for Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121 air carrier certification, Phase 3—Design Assessment (DA). The Safety Assurance System (SAS) contains “Certification Projects” on the menu, which is the entry point for creating and accessing data and documents related to the certification.


A.    Configuration and Planning (Modules 1 and 2).

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1)    Configuration, Module 1Certification Project Manager (CPM)/Certification Team Leader (CTL). Validate the applicant’s information and update the pre-populated fields in the Certificate Holder Operating Profile (CHOP) as necessary.
2)    Planning, Module 2CPM. Generate the Comprehensive Assessment Plan (CAP) and add the Safety Management System (SMS) Design Validation Custom Data Collection Tools (C DCT) to the CAP. Include the following information in the principal inspector (PI) instructions for each Element Design Assessment (EDA) and C DCT:

    “Name of Inspector” conducting the inspection, and indicate “team coordinator (TC)” or “team member.”

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    Proposed completion date.

B.    Resource Management (Module 3).

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1)    CPM and CTL. Provide input to Frontline Managers (FLM) and assistant managers to help them identify team resources to complete the Element Design (ED) DCTs and the SMS Design Validation C DCTs. The workload should be shared between the certificate-holding district office (CHDO) and Safety Analysis and Promotion Division (AFS-900) personnel.

NOTE:  A CHDO inspector should be assigned as TC on the ED DCTs that apply to programs that must be approved or are related to operations specifications (OpSpecs).

2)    CHDO FLM and AFS-900 Assistant Manager. Determine resource availability and assign TCs and team members to the DCTs.
3)    CHDO Manager. Review the proposed CAP with the CPM and, if in agreement, verbally approve the CAP. There is no CAP concurrence during certification in SAS.
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C.    Initial Cadre Check Airmen (ICCA) Training Plan. The ICCA Training Plan is completed and approved prior to the proving tests.

1)    Certification Project Team (CPT). Review the ICCA Training Plan to verify compliance with guidance (see Volume 3, Chapters 19 and 20). Accomplish the appropriate ED DCT for the ICCA training, and review all courseware provided by the applicant to ensure it is acceptable.
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2)    CPM/CTL. Notify the applicant, in writing, of the approval of the ICCA Training Plan. Include in the letter that additional training may be required if deficiencies are identified during the certification process.
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3)    CPM/CTL. Update the CAP to include the appropriate Element Performance (EP) DCT to assess the performance of ICCA training.
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4)    CTL. Upload a copy of the approval letter to the SAS document management system.
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D.    Other Programs Requiring Acceptance or Approval Prior to Proving Tests.

1)    Some programs that require approval or acceptance prior to proving tests are not listed in the Phase 3 Gate, since they are Phase 4 requirements. However, they still must be approved or accepted prior to the proving tests. During Phase 3, the applicant should submit the following programs, as they require review by the Air Transportation Division (AFS-200) and the Aircraft Maintenance Division (AFS-300):

    Fatigue Risk Management Plan (FRMP).

    Fatigue Education and Awareness Training (FEAT).

    Weight and Balance Control Program (WBCP).

NOTE:  AFS-200 approves the FRMP and FEAT. (See Volume 3, Chapter 58 for guidance.) The Flight Standards Cargo Focus Team (CFT) reviews the WBCP for concurrence. (See Volume 3, Chapter 47 for guidance.) In addition, the CPM should accomplish the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requirements outlined in Volume 11, Chapter 6.

2)    CPT. Review any other initial training and required programs that must be approved or accepted prior to proving tests (Phase 4 Gate). Accomplish the appropriate ED DCTs for these programs following the guidance in this order.
3)    CPM. Notify the applicant in writing of all programs approved or acceptance.
4)    CPM/CTL. Update the CAP to include the appropriate EP DCTs or C DCTs to assess the performance of these programs.
5)    CPM. Upload copies of all approval and acceptance letters to the SAS document management system.

E.    Data Collection (Module 4).

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1)    CPT. Evaluate the assigned DCTs using the guidance in this order. The responses to the SMS Design Validation C DCTs must result in all “YES” answers in order to accept the applicant’s SMS design. After the Safety Risk Management (SRM) Design Validation is accepted, the SRM process should be used for the remainder of the certification process.
2)    CPM/CPT. If a DCT has negative findings and the program will not be approved, return the manuals to the carrier for resubmission. When the carrier resubmits the manuals, the CPT will duplicate the question(s), or the CPM will add another DCT for the subsequent manual review(s). Include enough detail in the comments for both the original question and the new question to identify the iteration of the manual submission, and that another question or DCT will be created to address the negative finding. Submit the DCTs to Data Review when the program is ready to be approved.
3)    CPT. Collect and analyze the data by conducting a data analysis meeting. (See Figure 2-99, Data Analysis Meeting Instructions.) If the data is of sufficient quality, continue to subparagraph F below. If the data is insufficient, see the steps in subparagraphs 4) and 5).
4)    CPM/CTL. If the current submission is not of sufficient quality, and/or when additional data is necessary, notify the applicant with a written explanation of concerns. The applicant must use the accepted Preliminary Risk Assessment (PRA) process or the SRM process, if accepted, for all revisions and provide documentation to show they used the process.
5)    CPM/CTL. If a subsequent submission contains minimal concerns which will allow the PI to approve or accept the program with mitigation, schedule and conduct a meeting with applicable members of the CPT and the applicant to discuss and correct the remaining discrepancies.
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Figure 2-99.  Data Analysis Meeting Instructions

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Data Analysis Meeting Instructions

1.   CPM/CTL. Collect and analyze all DCTs and schedule a meeting.

2.   CPT. Conduct a meeting to review and analyze the collected data.

3.   CPM and CTL. Draft a letter to the applicant and include a general explanation of the negative responses and reason for the rejection of the manual system. (Return the entire manual system.)

    Do not cut and paste “No” answers from the Safety Assurance System (SAS) automation.

    Keep the letter at the element level.

    You do not have to return other Preapplication Checklist (PAC) required documents.

The letter must advise the applicant that they must return the next revision as an entire submission accompanied by revised applicant completed ED DCTs. The applicant will label all documents in the revised submission in sequential order (Revision B, Revision C, etc.). Also, the applicant will use their manual revision process when revising their manuals (i.e., change bars, etc.).

NOTE:  Title 14 CFR part 119, § 119.39(b) and (b)(1), states, “An application for a certificate may be denied if the Administrator finds that the applicant is not properly or adequately equipped or is not able to conduct safe operations under this subchapter.”

The applicant must also maintain an active project. The CHDO must evaluate an inactive period that exceeds 90 calendar-days. Inactivity of greater than 90 calendar-days may be cause to terminate the certification process, or the process may be terminated when it is clear that continuing the process will not result in approval or acceptance (i.e., multiple failures of the applicant’s submissions). If there is a change to aircraft make/model during the certification process, the project must be restarted at the beginning of Phase 2 or reviewed for possible termination.

F.    Data Reporting (Module 4).

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1)    CPT. Enter data and the appropriate responses and details as it becomes available. Duplicate questions or DCTs as necessary to capture the data. When the submission is acceptable; the CPT will verify all data has been entered into SAS.
2)    CPT. Each team member enters their responses into SAS. If an inspector observes any finding(s) not related to their assigned element, or he or she cannot capture a finding in their assigned element, then document the finding(s) in a Dynamic Observation Report (DOR) and notify the aviation safety inspector (ASI) that is working that element.

G.    Data Reviewing (Module 4).

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1)    TC. Ensure ED DCT and the SRM Validation DCT data meets the data quality guidelines (DQG) and submit the ED DCTs to data review.
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2)    CPM/Data Reviewer (DR). Ensure the data meets the DQG and submit the ED DCTs and C DCTs to Analysis, Assessment, and Action (AAA).

H.    Analysis and Assessment (Module 5).

1)    CPM/CTL. Conduct a meeting with the CPT to analyze the collected data by element.
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2)    CPM/CTL. Make an assessment determination for each element. (The assessment should be a 1G or 2Y with appropriate action.)
3)    CPM/CTL. Notify the applicant in writing that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved/accepted all manuals, programs, and the SRM process.

I.    Status/Progress of Programs.

1)    CPM/CTL. Check the status of the following:


    Drug and alcohol abatement program;

    Hazardous materials (hazmat) program;

    Security program;

    All required training; and

    Progress of economic authority.

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J.    OpSpecs. CPM/CTL: Verify that the draft OpSpecs match the proposed operation.

K.    Phase 3 Review.

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1)    CPM/CTL. Verify that the applicant submits an updated Schedule of Events (SOE).
2)    CPM/CTL. Verify that the applicant has met all Phase 3 Gate requirements. (See Figure 2-100, Phases and Gates for Initial Certification.)
3)    CPM. Make appropriate entries into the SAS document management system.

Figure 2-100.  Phases and Gates for Initial Certification

Figure 2-100. Phases and Gates for Initial Certification

RESERVED. Paragraphs 2-316 through 2-321.