By Mike Whissell
Discussions between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) regarding mutual recognition of design approvals resulted in changes to the Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA). This revised agreement signed on June 12, 2000 now has specific provisions for the reciprocal acceptance of replacement parts without explicit review and approval by the importing authority.
The FAA agreed to accept "replacement parts" whose design has been approved under a TCCA "Part Design Approval" (PDA), and produced by the holder of a TCCA (Standard) 561 manufacturer certificate, for installation on U.S. registered aircraft or on other aeronautical products to be installed thereon. In return, TCCA agreed to remove the existing limitation in Standard 571 on FAA Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) usage on Canadian registered aircraft or on other aeronautical products to be installed thereon. Specifically, the change introduced a new reciprocal agreement for acceptance of "replacement parts" intended for installation on aeronautical products.
In Canada, when it comes to the installation of "replacement parts" in an aircraft the final decision rests with the AME who will be signing the maintenance release for the maintenance accomplished. The certification statement stipulates, "The described maintenance has been performed in accordance with the applicable airworthiness requirements." Applicable airworthiness requirements include Canadian Aviation Regulation (CAR) 571.13 and Section (Standard) 571.13 of the Airworthiness Manual which provides eligibility criteria that must be satisfied, each time a part is installed on a Canadian registered aircraft, or on an aeronautical product intended for installation on a Canadian registered aircraft. Eligibility criteria include proper documentation and certification for these FAA PMA "replacement parts."
So, what is a TCCA PDA part?
A TCCA PDA is a design approval means for Canadian-designed replacement parts that replaces the TCCA historically used approval means of issuing an STC or RDC, under Chapter 513 of the Airworthiness Manual (AWM). As a result, the PDA system is fundamentally a new approval document added to the existing process for STCs and RDCs set out in subpart 513 of the CARs and Chapter 513 of the Airworthiness Manual, augmented by some elements of the FAA PMA system governed by FAR Part 21, Subpart K and FAA Order 8110-42A. The significant PDA system elements are:
- The TCCA PDA system addresses only the design approval aspects of a given replacement part and only has a "test and computation" design methodology, whereas the FAA also allows PMA by "identicality." An applicant for a PDA must have its own design data approved by TCCA, or have legally acquired the rights to use TCCA approved data which may be proprietary to other parties;
- TCCA PDA replacement parts can only be manufactured under a manufacturer certificate issued under subpart 561 of the CARs or Chapter (Standard) 561 of the Airworthiness Manual; and
- The holder of both the PDA design approval and the 561 manufacturer certificate for a replacement part must be the same.
Which countries produce PMA parts?
The United States of America, New Zealand, and Australia issue PMA authorizations. New Zealand Civil Aviation Rules Part 21, Subpart P, prescribes rules governing the approval of designs for replacement or modification parts by the issue of New Zealand Parts Manufacturing Approval (NZ PMA) authorizations. The Australia Civil Aviation Regulations 1998, Part 21 prescribe rules governing the approval of designs for replacement or modification parts by the issue of Australian Parts Manufacturer Approval (APMA) authorizations. In the United States of America, FAA PMA are issued for the production of modification or replacement parts, which includes; materials, parts, processes, and appliances. It should be noted that an FAA PMA authorization is for both design and production approval for replacement parts, and only for production approval for modification parts.
At this time, in Canada, eligibility for PMA part installation only applies to FAA PMA parts. Other Civil Aviation Authorities may have PMA authorizations, however, there are no provisions within Canadian regulations for installation of these parts on Canadian registered aircraft, or on other aeronautical products to be installed thereon.
The proposal to delete Standard 571.07 (c) to (h), that prescribes restrictions to FAA PMA part installation in aeronautical products for which Canada has jurisdiction for the initial type design, was accepted at the June 2001 Canadian Aviation Regulatory Advisory Council (CARAC) meeting.
An exemption to Standard 571.07 (c) to (h) referred to as "FAA PMA exemption" was issued Feb. 13, 2002 to allow installers of parts on Canadian registered aircraft to use these additional acceptable sources of supply. This exemption addresses "new, FAA PMA replacement parts" and will be valid for the expected period of time required for regulatory changes to complete the CARAC process.
This exemption is subject to the following conditions:
1. The part shall be marked in accordance with FAA PMA part marking requirements set out by the FAA.
2. The part shall be certified by the part manufacturer, as conforming to the design data, approved by the FAA or by Transport Canada Civil Aviation, through a certificate of conformity.
3. The certificate of conformity set out in condition 2 shall indicate the aeronautical product(s) for which it is eligible.
4. If the certificate of conformity is issued by a person other than the FAA PMA holder, the certificate shall indicate that the production approval holder has authorized direct shipment.
5. The installer of parts shall comply with all other requirements of the Canadian Aviation Regulations.
Regarding item No. 2 above, it is expected that parts received from the United States would be certified on an "Airworthiness Approval Tag" (FAA form 8130-3). In Canada, Airworthiness Manual Section (Standard) 561 compliant manufacturers certify their product on an "Authorized Release Certificate" (TCCA form 24-0078). Since FAA PMA part manufacturers do not yet have the privilege of certifying 8130-3 forms, it was agreed at the CARAC meeting held in June 2001, that Canada would accept the FAA PMA manufacturer's certification to their parts as conforming to the design data approved by the FAA, on a document of their own design.
This BASA change and FAA PMA exemption does not affect existing requirements for FAA PMA "modification parts." If the FAA PMA part is a "modification part," it receives design and installation approval through issue of an FAA STC. To obtain production approval for modification parts the applicant must obtain an FAA PMA. These modification parts, which are PMA'd for production purposes only, are not covered by this exemption. However, modification parts approved by FAA STC may be used following the TCCA STC procedures presented in the BASA Implementation Procedures. Modification part status can be determined by confirming if the FAA PMA approval means was by FAA STC.
"Used" FAA PMA parts are to be treated like any other used aircraft part in Canada.
If you wish to see a copy of the FAA PMA exemption, it is posted on the TCCA web site at: http://www.tc.gc.ca/civilaviation/maintenance/AARPE/pmaexemp.htm.
Mike Whissell is a Civil Aviation Safety Inspector for the Aircraft Maintenance and Manufacturing Branch in Ottawa.