Avionics News July 2012 - 60

legislative

B Y J A S O N D I C K S T E I N AEA GENERAL COUNSEL

New FAA Policy Statement Clarifies Maintenance Manual Distribution Practices

I

nstructions for continued airworthiness and maintenance manuals, in general, have been a constant source of aviation industry debate and contention for decades. In a recent policy memo, the Federal Aviation Administration has attempted to inject a little more structure into the process of sharing these manuals by describing some manual licensing practices that are considered unacceptable. This policy memo is interesting to the Aircraft Electronics Association’s manufacturing members, because it imposes limits on what is permitted in the methods for distributing these instructions. It is equally interesting to the AEA’s repair station members, because these limits may benefit repair stations that are purchasing ICAs. This column describes the scope of the FAA Policy Memo (PS-AIR-21.50-01) as well as some of the limits of the FAA Policy Memo as it is applied to avionics manuals.

What is the Guidance All About? The FAA’s regulations require design approval holders prepare ICAs and that these ICAs are available to those persons who are required to comply with the ICAs. In each of the airworthiness standards, the FAA published appendices that explained what must be included (at a minimum) in these ICAs. The appendices
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also permitted the product manufacturers to rely on component maintenance manuals by incorporating them by reference. The appendices also required the product manufacturers to have a method for distributing the ICAs (and any amendments). The method for distributing the ICAs must be acceptable to the administrator. The FAA also has published regulations requiring the design approval holders that produce the ICAs to make the ICAs available to the eligible parties who are required to comply with the ICA. This complements the FAA-acceptable ICA distribution system by clarifying that certain parties are entitled to be beneficiaries of the distribution system. This class of eligible recipients parties is generally thought to include operators, repair stations with appropriate ratings and FAAlicensed mechanics. In the past, many manufacturing companies have required repair stations and operators that want to obtain their ICAs to sign ICA licensing agreements. In some cases, these licensing agreements have included language that conflicts with FAA approvals or with FAA policies. For example, an ICA licensing agreement might preclude the use of PMA parts, or it might preclude the use of DER-approved repairs. In such cases, the FAA feels that the licensing agreements

may inhibit safety by imposing non-safety-related impediments to the distribution of safety guidance. FAA regulations and policy favor the distribution of this information to those performing maintenance under the regulations, and reliance upon such information by those performing such tasks. The FAA’s new policy guidance (PS-AIR-21.50-01) makes it clear that ICA licensing agreements that inhibit use of FAA-approved components are “unacceptable.” This new guidance will be very useful to repair stations and operators seeking to understand what sort of provisions might reflect “over-reaching” by a design approval holder when they are included in a licensing agreement for instructions for continued airworthiness. Some of these license agreements have restricted the installer from using the “OEM manual” to maintain PMA parts or components that have been subject to DER repairs. This is a real problem in cases where the FAA has reviewed engineering data and authorized the continued use of that manual for maintenance related to the PMA part or DER repair. In such cases, you have a licensing agreement that restricts the use of the OEM manual, while FAA regulations and approvals actually require use of that manual in order to support safety.

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Avionics News July 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News July 2012

Point of Communication
AEA Now
The View From Washington
International News and Regulatory Updates
Going Glass
Member Profile
Extra Avionics
Member Profile
Glass Panel Upgrades
Aviation Aces
Business Basics
Member Profile
A Conversation With...
Making A Difference
Theory & Practice
Legal Ease
Meet the AEA Staff
What's New
Marketplace Classifies
Avionics News July 2012 - Cover1
Avionics News July 2012 - Cover2
Avionics News July 2012 - 1
Avionics News July 2012 - 2
Avionics News July 2012 - 3
Avionics News July 2012 - Point of Communication
Avionics News July 2012 - 5
Avionics News July 2012 - AEA Now
Avionics News July 2012 - 7
Avionics News July 2012 - 8
Avionics News July 2012 - 9
Avionics News July 2012 - 10
Avionics News July 2012 - 11
Avionics News July 2012 - 12
Avionics News July 2012 - 13
Avionics News July 2012 - The View From Washington
Avionics News July 2012 - 15
Avionics News July 2012 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News July 2012 - 17
Avionics News July 2012 - 18
Avionics News July 2012 - 19
Avionics News July 2012 - Going Glass
Avionics News July 2012 - 21
Avionics News July 2012 - 22
Avionics News July 2012 - 23
Avionics News July 2012 - Member Profile
Avionics News July 2012 - 25
Avionics News July 2012 - 26
Avionics News July 2012 - 27
Avionics News July 2012 - Extra Avionics
Avionics News July 2012 - 29
Avionics News July 2012 - 30
Avionics News July 2012 - 31
Avionics News July 2012 - 32
Avionics News July 2012 - 33
Avionics News July 2012 - Member Profile
Avionics News July 2012 - 35
Avionics News July 2012 - 36
Avionics News July 2012 - 37
Avionics News July 2012 - Glass Panel Upgrades
Avionics News July 2012 - 39
Avionics News July 2012 - 40
Avionics News July 2012 - 41
Avionics News July 2012 - 42
Avionics News July 2012 - 43
Avionics News July 2012 - Aviation Aces
Avionics News July 2012 - 45
Avionics News July 2012 - 46
Avionics News July 2012 - 47
Avionics News July 2012 - Business Basics
Avionics News July 2012 - 49
Avionics News July 2012 - Member Profile
Avionics News July 2012 - 51
Avionics News July 2012 - 52
Avionics News July 2012 - 53
Avionics News July 2012 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News July 2012 - 55
Avionics News July 2012 - Making A Difference
Avionics News July 2012 - 57
Avionics News July 2012 - Theory & Practice
Avionics News July 2012 - 59
Avionics News July 2012 - Legal Ease
Avionics News July 2012 - 61
Avionics News July 2012 - Meet the AEA Staff
Avionics News July 2012 - 63
Avionics News July 2012 - 64
Avionics News July 2012 - 65
Avionics News July 2012 - What's New
Avionics News July 2012 - 67
Avionics News July 2012 - 68
Avionics News July 2012 - 69
Avionics News July 2012 - Marketplace Classifies
Avionics News July 2012 - 71
Avionics News July 2012 - 72
Avionics News July 2012 - Cover3
Avionics News July 2012 - Cover4
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