8900.1 CHG 475



Section 13  Safety Assurance System: Add an Aircraft to an Existing Part 121/135 Certificate Holder’s Operations Specifications (Airworthiness)

3-18-13-1    REPORTING SYSTEM(S). Use Safety Assurance System (SAS) automation and the associated Data Collection Tools (DCT). See SAS Element 4.4.4, Aircraft Acceptance Process.

3-18-13-3    OBJECTIVE. The objective of this section is to provide instructions and guidance to aviation safety principal inspectors (PI) when tasked to issue or amend Operations Specification (OpSpec) D085, Aircraft Listing, for:

    An existing certificate holder adding an additional aircraft (newly manufactured or used) of the same make and model that the certificate holder is currently operating; or

    An existing certificate holder that adds a new make and model (type) of aircraft to its operations.

Note:  See Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 6, Parts D and E Maintenance OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs, for a description and details of D085.

3-18-13-5    GENERAL. An aircraft must meet the following conditions for airworthiness.

A.    Type Certificate (TC). The aircraft must conform to its TC. An aircraft conforms to its TC and type design when the aircraft configuration and the installed components are consistent with the drawings, specifications, and other data that are part of the TC. This also includes conformity to any Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) and field‑approved alterations to the aircraft.

B.    Condition for Safe Operation. The aircraft must be in a condition for safe operation. The condition of the aircraft relative to wear and deterioration (skin corrosion, window delaminating and crazing, fluid leaks, tire wear, etc.) must be acceptable. (Refer to the current edition of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Order 8130.2, Airworthiness Certification of Products and Articles.)

C.    Standard Airworthiness Certificate. The aircraft must have a standard airworthiness certificate. This certificate remains valid as long as:

    The aircraft meets its approved TC;

    The aircraft is in a condition for safe operation; and

    Maintenance, preventative maintenance, and alterations are performed in accordance with Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 21, 43, and 91.

D.    Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM). The aircraft must conform to the “Limitations” and “Supplement” sections within the approved AFM.


A.    Prerequisites.

    Completion of aviation safety inspector (ASI), Airworthiness Indoctrination course or equivalent.

    Knowledge of the regulatory requirements of 14 CFR parts 91, 121, and 135.

B.    Coordination. This task requires coordination with the assigned operations PI and/or the Flight Standards National Field Office (FSNFO) (AFS-900) for part 121, if necessary.


A.    References (current editions):

    Title 14 CFR Parts 91, 121, and 135.

    Volume 3, Chapter 18, Operations Specifications.

    Volume 10, Safety Assurance System Policy and Procedures.

B.    Forms:

    Aircraft Information Form.

    Tracking Report.

    Schedule of Events.

C.    Job Aids:

    Major Change Process Document (MCPD) Work Instructions.

    Schedule of Events.

    Required Document List.

    Aircraft Configuration Control Document (ACCD).

    Tabletop Scenario Worksheet.

    Proving Flight Scenario Worksheet.

3-18-13-11    ACTION.

A.    Add Additional Aircraft of the Same Make and Model. When a certificate-holding district office (CHDO) receives notification from a certificate holder that they intend to add an additional aircraft to their certificate of the same make and model they currently operate, the following actions must be accomplished:

1)    When a certificate holder takes delivery of a new aircraft from an aircraft manufacturer or leasing company, and the certificate holder currently has the authorization to operate that particular make and model, the aircraft can be added to the certificate holder’s OpSpec paragraph D085, provided that the certificate holder complies with the following procedures:
a)    The certificate holder (part 121/135 10 or more) must have procedures in their manual of sufficient detail that would prevent it from operating the aircraft in revenue service before an aircraft conformity evaluation is accomplished.
b)    The aircraft is on the certificate holder’s maintenance program, or for part 135, § 135.411(a)(1) nine or less, annual/100-hour inspection, manufacturer’s program, or Approved Aircraft Inspection Program (AAIP) for that particular make and model.
2)    The certificate holder can then operate the aircraft in accordance with part 91 flight rules to a base where an aircraft conformity evaluation will be accomplished.

Note:  Operations under part 121 or 135 may require additional inspections, tests, or the installation of additional instruments and/or equipment before operating in revenue service. If the certificate holder intends to obtain a previously operated aircraft (used) and place it on their certificate, the CHDO and the certificate holder must follow the procedure contained in Order 8130.2 for special flight permits (SFP).

3)    PIs should ensure that a part 121/135 10 or more certificate holder’s maintenance program has policy and procedures that aircraft/equipment to be added to an operating certificate conforms to its type design and operational rules.

Note:   Volume 10, Chapter 9, Section 1, provides an extensive checklist of items for aircraft configuration in the ACCD. Provided as guidance for PIs assigned to certificate holders under part 121, PIs with oversight for part 135 certificate holders should adapt the list to the applicable rules of part 135.

4)    PIs should ensure that a certificate holder adding an aircraft to OpSpecs has established procedures for bridging aircraft onto its certificate (see Volume 3, Chapter 16).

Note:  When the CHDO determines that an aircraft can be added on a certificate holder’s OpSpec paragraph D085, it must also consider, if applicable, OpSpec paragraph D092. Additionally, the CHDO must add the aircraft to the certificate holder’s configuration data in the SAS automation.

Note:  See Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 6, for descriptions and details of D085 and D092.

B.    Add New Make and Model. When a CHDO receives notification from a certificate holder of their intent to add a new make and model (type) aircraft to an existing certificate holder’s OpSpecs, the CHDO manager should first determine if they need technical assistance from AFS-900. When making this determination, the manager should consider if the ASIs assigned to the project have adequate training in the task, have the necessary experience with the certificate holder’s operation, and have experience with the type of aircraft proposed for addition to the certificate holder’s OpSpecs.

Indicates new/changed information.

Note:  Before adding any affected airplanes (turbine-powered and air ambulance) to the OpSpecs of any certificate holder seeking authorization to conduct airplane air ambulance operations, the PIs must review Volume 11, Chapter 8, Section 1, for additional information.

1)    If they do or do not need assistance from AFS-900, CHDO personnel should follow the guidance provided in Volume 10, Chapter 11, Sections 1 and 2 (MCPD).
2)    The design of the MCPD guides the activities of PIs during the addition of a new aircraft make and model to a certificate holder’s OpSpecs.
3)    The MCPD uses a structured system safety-based approach to assess the design and performance of the certificate holder’s proposed changes. The basis of this approach is on reviewing the air carrier’s revised policies and procedures as an integrated whole rather than two separate parts. It incorporates SAS guidance, as explained in Volume 10, that follows the general process for approval or acceptance as described in Volume 3, Chapter 1, and its basis is the regulatory requirements of 14 CFR part 119, § 119.51(c)(1) through (c)(4). This process can be tailored to suit any project; however, there will be no modification or deletion of regulatory requirements and requirements based on FAA policy without permission from the Office of the Director, AFS-1.
a)    There are five phases that make up the MCPD:

    Phase 1—Initial Inquiry.

    Phase 2—Application.

    Phase 3—Element Design Assessment (EDA).

    Phase 4—Element Performance Assessment (EPA).

    Phase 5—Administrative Functions.

b)    The MCPD includes steps that require actions for an AFS-900 certification section team leader (TL) to perform. The AFS-900 certification section TL function will only be appropriate when the process, by request of the CHDO manager, includes AFS-900.
4)    If the CHDO needs assistance from AFS-900, the CHDO manager should notify AFS-900 via email. This notification should include the following minimum information:

    The name of the certificate holder,

    The location of the certificate holder’s principal base of operations,

    The kind(s) of change(s) to the operation,

    The type of airplane(s), and

    The proposed date for implementation.

5)    Although the addition of a new aircraft make and model to a certificate holder’s OpSpecs is not an initial certification event, the MCPD process includes many of the steps and forms used for initial certification. See Volume 2, Chapter 3, for initial certification procedures.

Note:  When the CHDO determines that an aircraft can be added on a certificate holder’s OpSpec paragraph D085, it must also consider (if applicable) OpSpec paragraph D092. Additionally, the CHDO must ensure the aircraft is properly added to the certificate holder’s configuration data in the SAS automation.

Note:  See Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 6, for descriptions and details of D085 and D092.

C.    Conformity Inspection Requirements. Aircraft conformity is the responsibility of the certificate holder. PIs should ensure that part 121/135 10 or more certificate holders have in their maintenance and inspection program, policy and procedures in enough detail to ascertain conformity of the aircraft for the type of operation to be conducted.

Note:  When surveillance requirements exist due to system safety principles, PIs should accomplish an aircraft conformity evaluation in accordance with this guidance, handbook chapters, and applicable regulations. For part 121/135 10 or more certificate holders, a new aircraft conformity maintenance and inspection program developed by the certificate holder would require surveillance the first time the certificate holder uses the program, whereas an established maintenance and inspection program would require surveillance on an as-required basis, determined by system safety risk factors. As a reference, the PI will see Figure 10-9-1A, Request List, in Volume 10, Chapter 9, Section 1, for the review of required documents.

3-18-13-13  TASK OUTCOMES.

A.    Follow SAS Guidance. Follow SAS guidance in completing applicable DCTs.

B.    Complete the Task. Complete applicable SAS DCTs. If design and performance are affirmed, issue OpSpec D085—Aircraft Listing. See Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 6, for a description and details of OpSpec D085. If design and performance are not affirmed, return to the certificate holder for corrections. Once corrections are found acceptable, issue OpSpec D085.

C.    Document the Task. File all supporting paperwork in the certificate holder/program manager’s office file.

3-18-13-15    FUTURE ACTIVITIES. Follow SAS guidance for planning and accomplishing future risk-based surveillance.

3-18-13-17 through 3-18-13-31 RESERVED.