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ARSA CORNER


INTERNATIONAL SOPHISTICATION


By Sarah MacLeod


industry can create unnecessary costs without a correspond- ing safety improvement. Even so, international requirements must be understood to support worldwide operations. The United States has only one truly reciprocal bilat-


T


eral aviation safety agreement (BASA) — its maintenance implementation procedures (MIP) with Canada. Under that BASA/MIP, each country accepts the certifi cation of the other and each allows the other’s maintenance providers to perform work on the other’s aircraft. When the work is performed on a Canadian aircraft, Transport Canada Civil Aviation (Canadian Aviation) regulations must be followed; similarly, when the work is performed on a U.S. aircraft, the FAA’s rules prevail. This arrangement does not exist in any other context — to work on a European aircraft, the maintenance provider must work under a European Avia- tion Safety Agency (EASA) repair station certifi cate. This is also true for China. Other countries “accept” the work performed by EASA- or FAA-certifi cated repair stations or other maintenance certifi cate holders (such as a Part 65 mechanic’s certifi cate). Wherever an aircraft fl ies it must be maintained, since an operator can only perform preventive maintenance on its own aircraft. That means knowing what certifi cate is acceptable to your country of registry is essen- tial to uninterrupted international operations. Under most civil aviation safety regulations in the world,


the work (maintenance, preventive maintenance or altera- tion) must be done in accordance with a manufacturer’s recommendations or be based upon other “approved” data. The agencies reserve the right to approve data; it can be done through a validation process or it can require review of the exact same data by multiple regulators. In all cases, the data must show compliance with basic (usually minimal) airworthiness standards established for the certifi cation of


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he country of registry controls the maintenance of the aircraft. This seems like pretty basic stuff . Unfortunately, the international aspects of the aviation maintenance


aircraft, aircraft engines and propellers. There are nuances among and between the various nations on what constitutes compliance, but the bottom line is that each can require an application and payment of fees. For maintenance providers, multiple country require- ments must be addressed before work begins — it must be determined along with the scope of work. Basic questions include: Where is the aircraft currently registered? What are the expectations of the owner versus the regulatory require- ments for the work? Is the aircraft changing registries? Does the work require more than one approval because of where the articles will be procured versus where the data will be approved? For a business aircraft, the operating rules must be consid-


ered before upgrades are ordered or installed. Countries have no standardized required equipment. In order to maintain the value of the asset and to ensure uninterrupted international travel, maintenance managers and directors must be up to date on the operating rule variations. Unfortunately, under- standing the vagaries of one government is tough enough, but when your business depends upon consistent and con- stant international travel, regulatory sophistication is essential.


Sarah MacLeod is executive director of the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), an organization she helped found more than 25 years ago. She is a managing member at the law fi rm of Obadal, Filler, MacLeod & Klein P.L.C. and is engaged in the legal representation of foreign and domestic air carriers, aircraft maintenance and


alteration facilities, distributors, pilots and other individuals and companies in federal court and before federal administrative bodies. She also serves as assistant chair for Air Carrier and General Aviation Maintenance of the FAA’s Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, a post she has held since 1996. A globally recognized expert in aviation regulatory compliance, Ms. MacLeod is a sought-after speaker and has appeared a numerous aviation and MRO events. She is admitted to the bar in Virginia.


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