8900.1 CHG 742



Section 3  Safety Assurance System: Phase 3—Design Assessment

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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. Refer to the appropriate initial certification checklist in the SAS Resource Guide (SRG) for detailed instructions on using SAS automation during the certification process.


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

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1)    Certification Project Manager (CPM). Request the precertification/designator code. (Refer to the appropriate initial certification checklist for detailed instructions.)
2)    CPM. Review and update the applicant’s configuration data on the Operations Specifications tab, Vitals tab, and Contractors tab, as necessary.

NOTE:  Prevalidate the configuration data in SAS when you have reached the appropriate step in the initial certification checklist.

3)    CPM. Generate the Comprehensive Assessment Plan (CAP) and add the Safety Management System (SMS) Design Validation Custom Data Collection Tools (C DCT) to the CAP. Enter principal inspector (PI) instructions for each Element DA (EDA) and C DCT.

B.    Resource Management (Module 3).

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1)    CPM. Using SAS automation, recommend team resources from the Certification and Evaluation Program Office (CEPO) and certificate management office (CMO) for each assessment. (The CEPO and CMO share the workload.)
2)    CEPO Assistant Manager and CMO Frontline Manager (FLM). Determine resource availability and assign team members to the Data Collection Tools (DCT).
3)    CEPO Assistant Manager. Review the proposed CAP with the CPM, make any necessary adjustments, and verbally approve the CAP. There is no CAP concurrence in the SAS automation for certification.

C.    Operations Specifications (OpSpec).

1)    CMO Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI). Coordinate with the applicant to draft the OpSpecs in the Web-based Operations Safety System (WebOPSS).
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D.    Initial Cadre Check Pilot Training Plan. The Certification Project Team (CPT) reviews and approves the initial cadre check pilot training plan. The training plan is the full qualification process used by the applicant to train and prepare initial cadre check pilots.

1)    CPT. Review the initial cadre check pilot training plan to verify its compliance with guidance. (See Volume 3, Chapter 20, Section 2.)
2)    CPM. When the initial cadre check pilot training plan is satisfactory, notify the applicant in writing of its approval.
3)    CPM. Upload a copy of the approval letter into the SAS Document Management.

E.    Approval or Acceptance of Training Programs. The CPT reviews and approves or accepts the applicant’s required training programs.

1)    CPT. Conduct a detailed analysis and evaluation of the training curriculum to determine the acceptability for initial approval or acceptance. Accomplish the appropriate Element Design DCTs (ED DCT) and review a sampling of the course material being developed by the applicant to ensure it is acceptable. (See Volume 3, Chapters 19, 20, 22, 23, and 24.)
2)    CPM. Notify the applicant in writing of training programs approved or accepted. In the letter, include that additional training may be required if the CPT identifies deficiencies during the certification process.
3)    CPM. Update the CAP to include the appropriate Element Performance DCTs (EP DCT) or C DCTs to assess the performance of these training programs.
4)    CPM. Upload copies of all approval and acceptance letters into the SAS Document Management.

F.    Other Programs Requiring Acceptance or Approval Prior to Proving Tests. 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 require approval or acceptance prior to the proving tests.

1)    CPM. Forward the Fatigue Risk Management Plan (FRMP) and the Fatigue Education and Awareness Training (FEAT) for review to the Air Transportation Division. (See Volume 3, Chapter 58.)
2)    CPM. Forward the hazardous materials (hazmat) program and the hazmat training program for review to the Office of Security and Hazardous Materials Safety (ASH). (See Volume 2, Chapter 2, Section 6.)
3)    CPM. Coordinate the review of the Weight and Balance Control Program (WBCP) with the Flight Standards Service (FS) Cargo Focus Team (CFT). (See Volume 3, Chapter 47.)
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a)    Add the CFT members to the certificate holder/applicant team in SAS.
b)    Add the applicable C DCTs to the CAP.
4)    CPM. Contact the Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST), Office of Aviation Analysis (OAA), Air Carrier Fitness Division, to confirm receipt of the application package. (See Volume 2, Chapter 2, Section 2 for details on DOT requirements and contact information.)
5)    CEPO Assistant Manager. Notify the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at adwr_admin@epa.gov that the initial certification project is in progress. Provide the business name (including doing business as (DBA), if known), physical business address, business phone number, and name of the applicant’s CPM.
6)    CPM. Notify the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Aviation Programs Office at Charters-AirCargo-S@tsa.dhs.gov that the initial certification project is in progress. Provide the name of the applicant’s CPM and contact information in the email. TSA personnel will work directly with the applicant to coordinate the submission, review, and approval of the security program.

G.    Data Collection and Data Reporting (Module 4).

1)    CPT. Complete the assigned ED DCTs using the guidance in this order. Each team member enters their responses into SAS. The design of the applicant’s operating systems must meet all of the necessary regulatory and design requirements to be acceptable.
2)    CPT. Complete the assigned SMS Design Validation C DCTs. Each team member enters their responses into SAS. The responses to the SMS Design Validation C DCTs must result in all “YES” answers in order to accept the applicant’s SMS design.
3)    CPT. If a team member observes any findings not related to their assigned element, or they cannot capture a finding in their assigned element, notify the CPM and/or team member assigned to the applicable element.
4)    CPT. Conduct a detailed analysis and evaluation of the minimum equipment list (MEL) to determine the acceptability. (See Volume 4, Chapter 4, Section 3.)
5)    CPM/CPT. Conduct a data analysis meeting to review and analyze the data. (See Figure 2-99, Data Analysis Meeting Instructions.) If the submission is of sufficient quality, continue to the step in subparagraph H1). If the submission is insufficient, see the steps in subparagraphs 6), 7), and 8) below.
6)    CPM. 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 their Safety Risk Management (SRM) process for all revisions and provide documentation to show they used the process.
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7)    CPT. When the applicant resubmits the manuals, duplicate and answer any question that contained a negative response from the previous review. Include the manual revision in the response to identify the version of the manual submission used to answer the duplicated question.
8)    CPM/CPT. If a subsequent submission contains minor discrepancies that will allow the CPT 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.

Figure 2-99.  Data Analysis Meeting Instructions

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Data Analysis Meeting Instructions

1.   CPM. Schedule a meeting with the CPT.

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

3.   CPM. If a DCT has negative findings and the Element Design (ED) will not be approved/accepted, draft a letter to the applicant. Include a general explanation of the negative responses and reason for the rejection of the manual system. (Return the entire manual system.)

    Keep the letter at the element level.

    You do not have to return other formal application required documents.

The letter must advise the applicant that they must return the next revision as an entire submission to include the entire manual system, SRM documentation, and the letter of compliance. The applicant will label all documents in the revised submission in sequential order (Revision B, Revision C, etc.). In addition, the applicant will use their manual revision process when revising their manuals (e.g., change bars, etc.).

H.    Data Review (Module 4).

1)    CPT. Ensure the ED DCT or SMS Design Validation C DCT data meets the data quality guidelines (DQG) and submit the DCT for data quality review.
2)    CPM/Data Quality Reviewer (DQR). Ensure the data meets the DQG and submit the ED DCTs and C DCTs to Analysis, Assessment, and Action (AAA).

I.    Analysis and Assessment (Module 5).

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1)    CPM/CPT. Analyze and assess the collected data for each ED DCT and C DCT.
2)    CPM. Make an assessment determination for each element. (The assessment should be a 0G or 1G with nonregulatory findings.)
3)    CPM. Notify the applicant in writing that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved/accepted all manuals, programs, and the SRM process.

J.    Status/Progress of Programs.

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1)    CPM/Primary Inspector (OP). Provide required information to the General Aviation Operations Branch to determine applicability of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 requirements. (See Volume 11, Chapter 6, Section 4.)
2)    CPM. Check the status of the following:

    Drug and alcohol program testing,

    FRMP and FEAT,

    Hazmat program and hazmat training program,

    All required training, and

    Progress of economic authority.

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K.    Phase 3 Review.

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1)    CPM. Verify that the applicant submits an updated Schedule of Events (SOE).
2)    CPM. Verify that the applicant has met all Phase 3 Gate requirements. (See Figure 2-100, Phases and Gates for Initial Certification.)
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3)    CPM. Ensure all correspondence and supporting documentation are uploaded into the SAS Document Management.
4)    CPM. Make appropriate entries into SAS automation, per the initial certification checklist.

NOTE:  Title 14 CFR part 119, § 119.39(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.” In addition, the applicant must maintain an active project. The CEPO and the Office of Air Carrier Safety Assurance (ACSA) must evaluate an inactive period that exceeds 90 calendar-days. Inactivity of greater than 90 days may be cause to terminate the certification process. The FAA may also terminate the process when it is clear that continuing will not result in approval or acceptance (i.e., multiple failures of the applicant’s submissions or performance). If there is a change to the aircraft make/model during the certification process, the project must start over at the beginning of Phase 2 or reviewed for possible termination.

Figure 2-100.  Phases and Gates for Initial Certification

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Figure 2-100. Phases and Gates for Initial Certification

RESERVED. Paragraphs 2-316 through 2-321.