6/7/17

 

8900.1 CHG 531

Volume 3  GENERAL TECHNICAL ADMINISTRATION

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CHAPTER 17  EVALUATE FOREIGN-REGISTERED AIRCRAFT OPERATED BY 14 CFR PART 121 or 135 CERTIFICATE HOLDERS

Section 1  Safety Assurance System: Evaluate the Contracted Agreements for the Operation of a Foreign‑Registered Aircraft

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3-641    PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS). Use PTRS activity codes 1333, 3337, 3362, and 5337, as appropriate.

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3-642    OBJECTIVE. This chapter provides guidance for evaluating a foreign-registered aircraft and the programs needed to support the intended use by a Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121 or 135 certificate holder.

3-643    GENERAL. A part 121 or 135 certificate holder may operate a foreign-registered civil aircraft in common carriage and for carriage of mail. However, the aircraft must be operated by U.S.-certificated airmen employed by the part 121 or 135 certificate holder. The aircraft’s State of Registry must be a member country of the convention of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The principal maintenance inspector (PMI), principal avionics inspector (PAI), or principal operations inspector (POI) will validate the State of Registry as a member of ICAO using the ICAO website. (Refer to part 121, § 121.153(c)(3) and part 135, § 135.25(d)(3).)

3-644    FOREIGN AIRWORTHINESS CERTIFICATES.

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A.    Airworthiness Requirements. The airworthiness requirements of foreign countries differ from that of the United States. It is possible that aircraft modifications are required before a part 121 or 135 certificate holder can operate a foreign-registered aircraft. Such changes may invalidate the Certificate of Airworthiness. In such cases, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of the aircraft’s State of Registry may require an exemption. The foreign air carrier/person should be the party to file for the exemption.

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B.    Effectivity. To maintain the effectivity of the foreign airworthiness certificate, the part 121 or 135 certificate holder may have to agree to perform more extensive inspections or tests than those required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-accepted Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program (CAMP) or Approved Aircraft Inspection Program (AAIP).

3-645    DIFFERENCES AND/OR EXEMPTIONS OF MAINTENANCE TASKS. Part 121 and 135 maintenance and inspection requirements may differ from those of the foreign air carrier’s maintenance and inspection programs. If this is the case, the part 121 or 135 certificate holder must apply for an exemption due to the program differences such as:

    Inspection/maintenance of required emergency equipment;

    Inspection/maintenance of encoding altimeters and transponders;

    Inspection/maintenance of fire extinguishers and air and oxygen bottles; and

    Hydrostatic tests and life limits. Inspectors shall verify the accomplishments of these tasks in accordance with Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) part 180, § 180.209.

NOTE:  Differences in aircraft or its equipment may require exemptions from 14 CFR. In order to operate the aircraft under part 121 or 135, the FAA must independently evaluate the exemption. This process is to ensure that the requirements of the foreign Certificate of Airworthiness remain in force and that the aircraft meets all requirements of part 121 or 135.

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NOTE:  Exemptions are processed through the Federal Docket Management System at https://www.regulations.gov and must be evaluated by the appropriate FAA headquarters (HQ) Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR).

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3-646    COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS. This task requires coordination of the principal inspectors (PI) (operations, maintenance, and avionics), the part 121 or 135 certificate holder, and the regional Flight Standards division (RFSD).

3-647    REFERENCES AND JOB AIDS.

A.    References. Title 14 CFR parts 43, 121, and 135.

B.    Job Aids. Automated operations specifications (OpSpecs) checklists, worksheets, and Web-based Operations Safety System (WebOPSS).

3-648    PROCEDURES.

A.    Inspection of the Certificate of Airworthiness. Verify that the State of Registry issued the airworthiness certificate and that it meets the issuing state’s requirements for aircraft identification.

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B.    Inspection of the Aircraft. Verify that the aircraft complies with all the requirements of § 121.153 or § 135.25, that it is of its type design, has received approval under a U.S. type certificate (TC), and complies with the requirements of all of the parts of 14 CFR. It must meet all the requirements for issuance of a U.S. standard airworthiness certificate (including type design conformity). It must also be in condition for safe operation and comply with noise requirements, fuel venting requirements, and exhaust emission requirements per 14 CFR part 21.

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C.    Adoption of the Foreign Aircraft Maintenance and Inspection Program. If the part 121 or 135 certificate holder is to adopt the foreign air carrier’s aircraft maintenance and inspection program for use during the lease period, ensure that the foreign air carrier’s aircraft maintenance and inspection program meets an equivalent level of safety to that of the certificate holder’s existing CAMP or AAIP. If the part 121 or 135 certificate holder does not have a maintenance and inspection program for the aircraft listed, it must submit the foreign air carrier’s maintenance and inspection program to the certificate-holding district office (CHDO) for review and acceptance. Once the PIs find the maintenance and inspection program to be acceptable, OpSpec D087 will be issued authorizing the part 121 or 135 certificate holder to maintain the leased, foreign‑registered aircraft per the accepted maintenance and inspection program (see Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 6). The part 121 or 135 certificate holder will list all program differences and exceptions in the OpSpecs supplemental table.

NOTE:  If the part 121 or 135 certificate holder has an approved reliability program, the foreign‑registered aircraft may not be added to the program.

D.    Ensuring the Certificate Holder Has Filed a Lease or Charter Agreement with the FAA. The part 121 or 135 certificate holder must send this agreement to the FAA Aircraft Registry in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma per §§ 121.153 and 135.25.

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E.    Minimum Equipment List (MEL) and Configuration Deviation List (CDL). In most cases, the foreign-registered aircraft will come with an approved MEL and CDL from the State of Registry; they normally follow guidance outlined in the U.S. MEL/CDL requirements. As with U.S. requirements, the foreign MEL/CDL must be tailored to the aircraft, identified by the registration number and in a form acceptable to the administrator. The part 121 or 135 certificate holder submits their tailored MEL/CDL to the CHDO PIs for review and approval. The CHDO PIs should ensure that the provided MEL/CDL meets the requirements of 14 CFR. Once approved, OpSpec D095 must list the appropriate aircraft information as required per Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 6. If the foreign-registered aircraft did not come with an MEL or CDL, the part 121 or 135 certificate holder must develop an MEL based on the U.S. MMEL, if available, and submit it to the CHDO PIs for approval. If a U.S. MMEL is not available, the part 121 or 135 certificate holders must refer to the MMEL issued by the State of Registry and submit an MEL to the CHDO PIs for approval.

NOTE:  The nonessential equipment and furnishings (NEF) program will be in accordance with the part 121 or 135 certificate holder’s NEF program.

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F.    Spare Parts. As stated in the lease contract, the foreign-registered aircraft may or may not come with spare parts. Regardless, the part 121 or 135 certificate holder will review the parts program and incorporate it into their manual. The part 121 or 135 certificate holder must inventory and control the parts in accordance with the contract requirements. The part 121 or 135 certificate holder must determine where the spare parts will be located. The lease contract should define the process for returning parts tags as well as shipment transporters, and how to store and ship back foreign Company Material (COMAT) to the lessor’s facility.

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G.    Manuals. The part 121 or 135 certificate holder is responsible for distributing all the foreign‑registered aircraft manuals and information to contract maintenance providers, vendors, and company and contracted employees who will require it. (Refer to §§ 121.137 and 135.21.) The part 121 or 135 certificate holder must develop a procedures manual or appendix to its General Maintenance Manual (GMM), in a form acceptable to the administrator, to list and address all of the differences to ensure that they maintain the foreign‑registered aircraft in the same manner as their U.S.-registered aircraft. This manual will be the basis of the differences training afforded to the company personnel as well as what the maintenance contract provides. For part 121 supplemental operations and part 135 certificate holders, a copy of this information must be carried on the aircraft as required by § 121.139 and 135.21(f).

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H.    Logbooks. All certificate holders (foreign and domestic) must have onboard the aircraft a means to record all mechanical irregularities occurring during flight and malfunctions that occur on the ground in the aircraft maintenance log. (Refer to §§ 121.563, 121.701/135.65.) When a part 121 or 135 certificate holder operates a foreign-registered aircraft, there must be prior agreement and it must be stated in the contract which logbook the part 121 or 135 certificate holder will use onboard the aircraft. This agreement must also come from the CAA of the State of Registry. Provided the CAA agrees, the U.S. Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanic can sign the maintenance logbook for the work accomplished. Conversely, the FAA must agree to allow the certificate holder to use a logbook that is not standard to the part 121 or 135 certificate holder’s operation in parts 121 and/or 135 service. Generally, it is agreed upon by all concerned that the part 121 or 135 certificate holder should develop and use a two-logbook system, carry the logbooks onboard the foreign-registered aircraft, and use them as part of the agreed-upon standard operating procedures (SOP). The part 121 or 135 certificate holder will retain all of the original copies of the log page information collected during the term of the lease. Also, the part 121 or 135 certificate holder will copy and forward the log page information to the foreign air carrier/person upon request.

1)    Throughout the term of the aircraft lease, the part 121 or 135 certificate holder will continue to collect items such as maintenance logs, aircraft records, Continuing Analysis and Surveillance System (CASS) data (if applicable), flightcrew time, engine time, maintenance trending, and all other pertinent information.
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2)    There should be a reference in the part 121 or 135 certificate holder’s manual of the importance to ensure timely transmission and receipt of the relevant Service Difficulty Report (SDR) and Airworthiness Directive’s (AD) information to the State of Registry and to the foreign air carrier/person.
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I.    Requirements for Use of U.S. A&P Mechanics to Repair Foreign-Registered Leased Aircraft. Before U.S. A&P mechanics receive permission to work on foreign aircraft, the State of Registry CAA of the country of registry must grant permission, and the FAA CHDO must concur. If the foreign CAA denies permission, the foreign air carrier/person must provide all maintenance support for the aircraft during the course of the lease.

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J.    Training. Although the aircraft may be of the same make and model that the part 121 or 135 certificate holder normally operates, the differences lie with the foreign requirements. The part 121 or 135 certificate holder will provide differences training to all applicable maintenance personnel.

K.    Line Stations and Unscheduled Maintenance Stops. Each line station along the assigned route must be ready to support a foreign-registered aircraft with pre-positioned parts or the parts that are carried in the aircraft as part of a Fly Away Kit. Ensure the part 121 or 135 certificate holder plans for servicing and maintenance support training for all line station and contract maintenance personnel.

L.    Required Inspection Items (RII) Program. If the RII requirements for the foreign-registered aircraft are different due to differences in systems and/or equipment, the part 121 or 135 certificate holder must develop an addendum RII list and training. (Refer to §§ 121.371 and 135.429.)

M.    CASS. The CASS program must incorporate the requirements of a foreign-registered aircraft. The CASS system must monitor all of the needed procedures established to operate and maintain this aircraft during the course of the lease. At the end of the lease when the part 121 or 135 certificate holder returns the aircraft, it should also copy and return all of the CASS information. (Refer to §§ 121.373 and 135.431.)

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N.    Vendors and Contract Maintenance Providers. On an as-needed basis, the part 121 or 135 certificate holder must inform their approved vendors and contract maintenance providers of the foreign‑registered aircraft operating in their fleet. In many cases, the foreign lessor has contracts with Maintenance Repair Organizations (MRO), Approved Maintenance Organizations (AMO), and U.S. part 145 repair stations that it must use for maintenance, checks, inspections, and alterations if needed. (Refer to §§ 121.379 and 135.437.)

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NOTE:  The part 121 or 135 certificate holder should enter into the contract agreement with the civil maintenance entities that it may call upon to provide scheduled maintenance to the leased foreign-registered aircraft. It is not a requirement for the part 121 or 135 certificate holder to list unscheduled maintenance that may occur on an ad hoc basis on the contract.

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O.    Aircraft Equipment Requirements. Foreign-registered aircraft equipment requirements may differ from 14 CFR parts requirements. The part 121 or 135 certificate holder often overlook(s) areas such as “Placards” (other than English) until the aircraft starts in service. Be aware of cabin and seat layouts to ensure they comply with 14 CFRs. Also, ensure that, if the seating configurations are different in the foreign-registered aircraft from those of the part 121 or 135 certificate holder, the differences are recorded by the part 121 or 135 certificate holder in OpSpec A003. If there are differences in seating capacity and/or arrangement, the flight attendants (F/A) must train for these differences and a mini evacuation may be necessary.

3-649    TASK OUTCOMES.

A.    Complete the PTRS Record.

B.    Complete the Task. Completion of this task will result in one of the following:

    Approval of the OpSpecs, or

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    A letter to the part 121 or 135 certificate holder listing the reasons for rejection.

3-650    FUTURE ACTIVITIES. Follow Volume 10 to plan future risk-based surveillance in SAS.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-651 through 3-675.