VOLUME 4 AIRCRAFT EQUIPMENT AND OPERATIONAL AUTHORIZATIONS
CHAPTER 4 CONFIGURATION DEVIATION LIST (CDL) AND MINIMUM EQUIPMENT LIST (MEL)
Section 1 Configuration Deviation List
4-621 REPORTING SYSTEM(S).
A. Safety Assurance System (SAS) Activity Recording (AR). For Title 14 of the Code
of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts
91 subpart K (part
is no SAS AR activity code specifically assigned to a CDL. The review
of deferred CDL items should be captured through ramp and record inspection
SAS AR activity codes:
1) Operations: 1622, 1627, 1628, and 1661.
2) Maintenance: 3627 and 3634.
3) Avionics: 5627 and 5634.
B. SAS for 14 CFR Parts
a) System/Subsystem Performance (SP) Data Collection Tool (DCT) 3.3 Flight
Planning and Monitoring.
b) Element Performance (EP) and Element Design (ED) DCT 3.3.4 MEL/CDL/NEF Procedures.
a) SP DCT 4.3 Maintenance Operations.
b) EP and ED DCT 4.3.3 MEL/CDL/NEF and Other Deferred Maintenance.
NOTE: Never enter the same data into the SAS and AR.
3) SAS for 14 CFR Part
a) SP DCT 4.3 Maintenance Operations.
b) EP and ED DCT 4.3.3 (AW) MEL/CDL/NEF and Other Deferred Maintenance.
4) SAS for 14 CFR Part
a) SP DCT 4.2 Maintenance Planning and Monitoring (M).
b) EP DCT 4.2.1 (AW) Maintenance/Inspection Requirements.
A. Purpose. This section establishes the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) requirements for oversight of an operator’s use of an FAA-approved CDL as applicable to
operations conducted under parts
NOTE: All regulatory references in this section are found in 14 CFR unless otherwise indicated.
B. Scope. This section applies to all parts
142 operators and
part 125 Letter
of Deviation Authority (LODA) holders utilizing airplanes with an approved CDL.
Air Carriers or Foreign Persons. Unless otherwise indicated in
Volume 12, Chapter 4, Section 9, the
CDL policy found in this section is applicable to part
air carriers or foreign persons operating U.S.-registered airplanes in accordance with part
142 Training Centers. Part
within this section apply only to those part
142 training centers utilizing
airplanes as part of their training programs.
C. Terminology Used in This Section.
1) Operator. Unless otherwise noted, the term “operator” in this section
applies to an airplane owner or airplane operator conducting part
a program manager conducting part
a certificate holder (CH) conducting part
a LODA holder conducting part
a foreign air carrier or foreign person conducting operations in accordance with §
school; and a part
142 training center. This
section uses the singular term “operator” for simplicity.
2) Responsible Flight Standards Office. The use of the term “responsible
Flight Standards office” in this section refers to an FAA certificate management
office (CMO) or a Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) with oversight responsibilities
for the subject CH.
A. Historical. The CDL evolved over several years from what was commonly
known as a “missing parts list,” which was a list of nonstructural external
parts of an airplane that were found missing after flight. The missing parts
list is known today as the CDL.
B. Role of the CDL. Operating an airplane without certain secondary airframe and
engine parts is permitted through the use of an approved CDL. The CDL plays
an important role in the operator’s ability to safely continue flight operations.
It is a list of externally exposed airplane parts that may be missing for flight
while the airplane remains airworthy. CDLs are developed by airplane manufacturers,
approved by the FAA, and tailored for each model airplane.
C. Which Airplane Has a CDL. A CDL is developed for most U.S.-built transport 14 CFR part
and many 14 CFR part
by airplane manufacturers during the initial certification process. However, they are not a required element
for aircraft certification. The manufacturer makes the decision to develop or
not to develop a CDL. If deemed necessary, the airplane manufacturer develops a proposed CDL and coordinates
submission with the responsible Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) and Aircraft
Evaluation Division (AED). The ACO and AED review, evaluate, and may conduct
or oversee any required testing and data collection necessary to approve proposed
CDL items. Approval of a CDL is by the ACO or through an Original Equipment
Manufacturer’s (OEM) Organization Delegation Authorization (ODA) program.
1) U.S.-Manufactured Airplanes. For U.S.-manufactured airplanes, once
the CDL is FAA approved, it is either:
a) Incorporated into the limitations section of the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM),
b) Published as an appendix to the AFM, or
c) Published as a supplement to the AFM.
2) Airplanes Manufactured Outside the United States. For airplanes manufactured outside
the United States, the CDL may be a standalone document that is part of the
Structural Repair Manual (SRM) or another manufacturer’s document.
4-624 OPERATOR’S USE OF A CDL.
A. FAA-Approved CDL. The operator may use a CDL and incorporate it into
their manual system. However, the official manufacturer’s CDL is already approved
by the ACO and therefore must not be approved or accepted by the responsible
Flight Standards office. It should not appear on the List of Effective Pages
(LEP) of an operator’s MEL or any other documents showing approval or acceptance
by the responsible Flight Standards office. The official manufacturer’s CDL
may be attached to the operator’s MEL but must be treated as a separate and
B. CDL Use Instructions. The manuals used by flightcrew members, maintenance
personnel, and dispatch personnel must include instructions governing CDL use.
An operator may increase fuel and/or performance penalties, or add additional
limitations and/or restrictions beyond what is already required in the FAA-approved
CDL. These additional penalties, limitations, and restrictions may be listed
in the operator’s manual system and approved or accepted by the responsible
Flight Standards office. Such additions must be delineated as “operator-specific”
requirements and under no circumstances be less restrictive than the FAA‑approved CDL.
C. Coordinating a CDL Amendment. If an operator desires an amendment
to the official manufacturer’s CDL, such requests may be coordinated with the
ACO through the responsible Flight Standards office, directly with the responsible
ACO, or directly with the airplane manufacturer.
D. Operator-Specific CDL. An operator may also choose to create an “operator-specific”
CDL for use in their operation, using the FAA-approved CDL’s data. Operators
creating their own operator-specific CDL clearly must not confuse this CDL
with the official FAA-approved CDL, or make it less restrictive than the FAA-approved CDL.
E. What the Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI) Must Know. For effective
oversight and surveillance of CDL use, the ASI must:
• Be familiar with a CDL and how it is used by an operator;
• Know where to access current FAA-approved CDLs for
specific model airplane; and
• Know how to monitor the operator for proper application of fuel
and performance penalties, procedures, and/or restrictions and limitations while
conducting flight operations utilizing the CDL.
4-625 ASI PROCEDURES. ASIs conduct surveillance of CDL use by an operator
prior to and during flight. Primary areas of concern are the proper application
of fuel and performance penalties, if applicable, and compliance with the procedures,
restrictions, and limitations imposed by CDL items.
A. Adequate Operator Policies and Procedures. ASIs must ensure that parts
and 142 operators
holders conducting part
have adequate policies and procedures in place to ensure that all penalties,
limitations, and restrictions associated with a CDL item are properly addressed.
These procedures may be combined with the operator’s approved MEL management program procedures (see
Volume 4, Chapter 4, Section 3 for
information regarding an MEL management program).
B. Prior to Actual Flight. Before conducting surveillance on specific flights, ASIs
should review all penalties, limitations, and restrictions associated with any
deferred CDL item(s) applied to the airplane.
1) Newly Identified Missing CDL Items. For new missing items identified
as CDL items, ASIs must verify that operators accomplish the following:
a) The airplane manufacturer’s or Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) holder’s
FAA-approved CDL must list relief for the CDL item.
b) If the CDL item is discovered by a maintenance person positioned at the airplane,
that person notifies the flightcrew and the maintenance organization (e.g.,
maintenance control). The maintenance organization or flightcrew notifies flight
operations personnel (dispatch, flight following, and/or other persons authorized
to exercise operational control) in accordance with the airplane operator’s approved MEL and/or CDL procedures.
c) If the CDL item is discovered by the flightcrew, the flightcrew notifies
the maintenance organization and appropriate flight operations personnel.
d) Each CDL item is entered into the airplane maintenance logbook.
e) Each CDL item is listed on a placard and affixed in the flight deck in clear view
of the flightcrew, per the AFM:
1. Operators may establish a standard procedure for advising flightcrews
and maintenance personnel of an airplane’s status with current CDL and MEL issues
and the conditions and limitations that apply.
2. Principal Operations Inspectors (POI) may allow operators to use their MEL
procedures for addressing an airplane’s CDL status and limitations. However,
any procedure used must conform to the CDL placarding requirements found in the AFM.
f) Fuel and performance penalties, limitations, and restrictions associated
with each CDL item are calculated and entered in the appropriate flight documentation
(e.g., dispatch, flight release, flight plan). If flight documentation has been
issued prior to the application of the CDL item, ASIs must ensure that fuel
and performance planning are recalculated and flight levels are adjusted in
accordance with the CDL item, if applicable. Operators conducting part
are required to issue a new or amended dispatch or flight release
to include these penalties.
2) Open CDL Items. If a CDL item remains applied to an airplane conducting a series
of flights, ASIs should monitor that the flightcrew, maintenance, and flight
operations personnel are aware of the item for each flight and continually comply
with steps listed above.
C. During Flight. ASIs should verify that the airplane continues to
be operated in accordance with the fuel and performance penalties, procedures,
and/or restrictions and limitations specified in the AFM, as amended by the CDL.
4-626 TASK OUTCOMES.
NOTE: See Volume 14, Compliance and Enforcement, for the Flight Standards
Compliance Philosophy and specific requirements associated with it.
A. Unsafe Operation. ASIs must immediately bring any condition determined to be
unsafe to the attention of the flightcrew or aircraft dispatcher.
B. Discrepancies. Any discrepancies or deficiencies associated with
the application of a CDL must be rectified with the flightcrew when either found
or upon debrief, as appropriate. If issue resolution cannot be attained through
discussions with the flightcrew, ASIs should discuss the discrepancies with
the assigned POI or Front Line Manager (FLM) at the responsible Flight Standards office.
4-627 FUTURE ACTIVITIES.
A. Surveillance. Principal inspectors (PI) and ASIs must ensure through
regular surveillance that operators consistently apply the CDL policies and procedures.
B. Enforcement. A CDL is an FAA-approved document and is typically part
of an AFM and/or MEL management program. All penalties, limitations, and restrictions
imposed by a CDL must be complied with. If an ASI determines that an operator
is not complying with the requirements of a CDL, the ASI is responsible for
pursuing the required compliance or enforcement activity.
C. Revisions. The ACO must approve all revisions to an official manufacturer’s FAA-approved CDL.
1) ASIs and PIs are not authorized to approve or accept operator requests for revisions
to the official FAA-approved CDL.
2) PIs should accept operator-specific CDLs, when used by an operator
in lieu of the FAA-approved CDL (FAA ACO-approved document). See
Volume 3, Chapter 1, Section 1 for
more information on this process.
3) ASIs and PIs may assist the operator’s efforts in coordinating with
the ACO. However, it is the operator’s responsibility to work with the airplane manufacturer and
ACO to achieve FAA-approved CDL revisions.
4) An Airworthiness Directive (AD) and/or an alternative method of compliance (AMOC)
could affect a CDL. For example, an AD exists for an EMB-145 airplane which
requires an item to be removed from the CDL. The ACO may grant an AMOC to the
operator that allows them to keep the item in the CDL without going through a revision process.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 4-628 through 4-641.