Federal Aviation
Administration

MMEL Policy Letter (PL) 122, Revision 1 GC

Date:

October 9, 2012

To:

All Region Flight Standards Division Managers
All Aircraft Evaluation Group Managers

From:

Manager, Air Transportation Division, AFS-200

Reply to Attn of:

Manager, Technical Programs Branch, AFS-260

MMEL GLOBAL CHANGE (GC)

This Global Change is an approved addendum to all existing MMEL documents.  The operator may seek use of the specific relief contained in the policy letter by revising their Minimum Equipment List (MEL).  In doing so, the sample proviso stating relief in the policy letter must be copied verbatim in the operator’s MEL.  Approval of the revised MEL is gained using established procedure, through the assigned Principle Operations Inspector (POI).  This GC expires 10/9/2016.

SUBJECT:

Flight Deck Door Surveillance Systems

MMEL CODE:

25 (Equipment and Furnishings)

REFERENCE:

PL-122, Original, dated April 04, 2008.

14 CFR §§ 25.795, 121.313, 121.547, 121.583

PURPOSE:

To provide standardized Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) relief for Flight Deck Door Visual Surveillance Systems.

DISCUSSION:

Revision 1 revises relief for cargo aircraft operating with Intrusion Resistant Cockpit Doors (IRCD) that have view ports installed, and/or are operated with a Flight Deck Door Visual Surveillance System.

The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks prompted the design and installation of intrusion resistant doors on the vast majority of the Transport Category Airplanes operated within the United States and many other parts of the world.  The FAA and other aviation regulatory agencies examined equipment options which would enhance security in operations.  Aviation regulatory agencies also reexamined crew procedures, associated with monitoring and controlling access to the flight deck.

On passenger carrying aircraft coordination between the flight and cabin crews must occur before the flight deck door is opened during flight.  Crew coordination procedures must communicate both normal and abnormal conditions in the cabin to the flight crew.  The flight crew should also perform a thorough and deliberate viewing of the area aft of the flight deck door before the door is opened.

Viewing the area aft of the flight deck door, before it is opened, may be accomplished effectively using an electronic visual surveillance system or a viewing port mounted within the flight deck door panel.  Procedures for the use of electronic visual surveillance systems or viewing ports should ensure the area aft of the flight deck door is secure and cabin crews requesting entry are not doing so under duress.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has also called for increased in-flight security standards by issuing Amendment 27 to ICAO Annex 6, Part 1, International Commercial Air Transport – Aeroplanes, Operation of Aircraft.  Other regulatory agencies have agreed that operational procedures must be in place to ensure that flight deck access is coordinated with the flight crew before the flight deck door is opened.

All-cargo operated aircraft are specifically exempt by regulation (14 CFR §§ 25.795 and 121.313) from requiring lockable flight deck door.  Some however, have been certified with an IRCD that has locks and view ports installed.  Similarly, some passenger configured aircraft may be modified to the freighter configuration that includes an IRCD and systems such as video surveillance.  In these cases the IRCD and other related systems do not need to be removed or replaced.

If a cargo aircraft was Type Certificated (TC) or Supplemental Type Certificated (STC) with an operable IRCD, then the aircraft aft of the door is considered crew rest, courier, or supernumerary compartments that can be occupied in flight by persons per § 121.583.  If the door is not an IRCD, or is an IRCD but is inoperative, the entire aircraft is considered a flight deck and only those authorized by § 121.547 may be aboard.

POLICY:

On passenger carrying aircraft, POIs may approve relief for Flight Deck Door Visual Surveillance Systems in operator MELs provided (O) Procedures developed by the operator are adequate to ensure flight deck security when the flight deck door is opened during flight.

On cargo aircraft TC’d or STC’d with an operable IRCD, the aircraft aft of the door is considered crew rest, courier, or supernumerary compartments that can be occupied in flight by persons per § 121.583.  If the door is not an IRCD, or is an IRCD but is inoperative, the entire aircraft is considered a flight deck and only those authorized by § 121.547 may be aboard.

The following standard MMEL proviso and repair category is adopted to provide standardization among all MMELs.

Flight Deck Door Visual

Surveillance Systems

Repair Interval

Number Installed

Number Required for Dispatch

Remarks or Exceptions

1)

Electric System

***

A

1

0

(O) May be inoperative provided:

a)              Alternate procedures are established and used, and

b)    Repairs are made within three flight days.

 

 

C

1

0

(O) May be inoperative provided:

a)            A flight deck door viewing port is installed and operates normally, and

b)            Alternate procedures are established and used.

 

 

D

1

0

May be inoperative provided procedures do not require its use.

 


Flight Deck Door Visual

Surveillance Systems

(continued)

Repair Interval

Number Installed

Number Required for Dispatch

Remarks or Exceptions

 

 

 

 

 

 

a)

Cargo Configuration

C

1

0

May be inoperative provided the aircraft aft of the flight deck door is occupied only by those personnel authorized by 14 CFR.

 

 

D

1

0

May be inoperative provided procedures do not require its use.

2)

Viewing Ports

***

A

1

0

(O) May be inoperative provided:

a)          Alternate procedures are established and used, and

b)          Repairs are made within three flight days.

 

 

C

1

0

(O) May be inoperative provided:

a)            An electronic flight deck door visual surveillance system is installed and operates normally, and

b)            Alternate procedures are established and used.

 

 

D

1

0

May be inoperative provided procedures do not require its use.

a)

Cargo Configuration

C

1

0

May be inoperative provided the aircraft aft of the flight deck door is occupied only by those personnel authorized by 14 CFR.

 

 

D

1

0

May be inoperative provided procedures do not require its use.

 

 

Each Flight Operations Evaluation Board (FOEB) Chair should apply this Policy to affected MMELs through the normal FOEB process.

 

 

 

 

 

Leslie H. Smith

Manager, Air Transportation Division