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Guidance on exemption instrument - extension of airworthiness review certificate
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisations (CAMOs) may face difficulties in carrying out airworthiness reviews of aircraft due to lack of resources and the availability of personnel due to travel and other restrictions.
An airworthiness review must be carried out for the issue of an airworthiness review certificate (ARC) required to operate an aircraft. The ARC is initially issued with a validity of one year. A CAMO for an aircraft can extend the validity of an ARC twice—one year at a time in accordance with Division 42.I.3 of CASR if the CAMO managed the continuing airworthiness of the aircraft since the aircraft’s last review.
An inability to carry out an airworthiness review would lead to grounding of aircraft – including those aircraft that may be used in essential services under the current situation. This would also create a backlog of aircraft requiring airworthiness reviews when things return to normal.
The exemption has been put in place to allow CAMOs to extend validity of the ARCs for a third time. This will assist operators to continue operation of their aircraft and will also help prevent backlog of airworthiness reviews in future. The exemption also relaxes the requirements for extending the validity of ARCs for aircraft that have been placed in storage.
The exemption (CASA EX65/20) came into effect on 9 April 2020 and will remain in force until 31 March 2023 allowing CAMOs to perform a third extension of the ARC as and when they become due on each aircraft.
How the exemption will work
Part 1 outlines of the duration of the instrument.
Part 2 of the instrument exempts CAMOs and its airworthiness review employees, from certain requirements of Division 42.I.3 of CASR Part 42, allowing a third extension of the validity of ARCs – in addition to the two extensions allowed under the existing legislation. Consistent with the existing regulation, the third extension is only allowed for an aircraft for which the CAMO carried out the previous airworthiness review and has managed the continuing airworthiness of the aircraft since the review. The third extension is allowed once only, for a maximum period of six months and must be performed within 90 days before the ARC is due to expire.
To perform the third extension, the airworthiness review employee must record in the ARC the new date of expiry of the ARC, the date of the extension and then sign the ARC.
Part 3 of the instrument also exempts CAMOs and its airworthiness review employees, from certain requirements of Division 42.I.3 of Part 42 of CASR, allowing extension of validity of ARCs even if the aircraft are not airworthy. This exemption applies to the first, second and third extensions of validity of ARCs for aircraft that are not being operated and are parked in storage at the time of extension. This is necessary as aircraft that are in storage may not strictly be airworthy.
Before the stored aircraft are returned to operation, the aircraft must be made airworthy by complying with requirements of Part 42 including carrying out any outstanding maintenance. For aircraft that are in storage, the storage maintenance program for the aircraft should dictate what minimum maintenance must be carried out during the storage period.
View the exemption on the Federal Register of Legislation website.