Learn more about inspection authorisations and how they will be issued once Part 43 is made and commences.
Who should read this
- Licensed aircraft maintenance engineers
- Registered operators
- CAR30 organisations
- Part 145 Approved Maintenance Organisations
What is an inspection authorisation?
Under a new CASR Part 43, CASA will introduce an individual authorisation – inspection authorisation (IA) – that would be issued to the holder of an aircraft maintenance engineer licence (AMEL).
The IA is an essential element in the continuing airworthiness of aircraft in private and aerial work operations. The holder of the IA would be responsible for assessing an aircraft annually for conformity with its type certification basis as properly altered. It is this annual conformity check that will assure CASA and the registered operator that an aircraft remains true to the safety standards by which it was designed, approved and manufactured.
The other important function of an authorised inspector is to oversee major repairs and modifications and to ensure the work performed conforms to the approved data under which the repair or modification is being carried out. Conformity inspections are not necessarily a one-off inspection at the completion of a repair or modification. It will often be necessary for the authorised inspector to carry out pre-closure inspections of the work at various stages to ensure all work has been properly completed according to the data.
What will the inspection authorisation be based on?
An IA will be based on the US-FARs with some changes to provide a better fit in the private and aerial work maintenance environment. For example, under Part 43 an IA will be available for a B1 LAME (mechanical IA) or a B2 LAME (avionics IA) – each with separate privileges and responsibilities.
How do I apply for an inspection authorisation?
An application for an IA would be made to CASA via the Client Service Centre using a form acceptable to CASA.
The applicant would be entitled to receive an IA if certain conditions are met.
What are the eligibility criteria for the issue of an inspection authorisation?
An applicant for an IA is required to meet the following requirements:
- For a mechanical IA:
- hold a subcategory of B1 licence
- the licence must be valid and have been in effect in its present form for a total of at least three years
- pass a written test on their ability to inspect according to safety standards for returning aircraft to service after major repairs and major modifications and annual and progressive inspections performed under Part 43 (Division 2.4 of the Part 43 Manual of Standards).
- For an avionics IA:
- hold a B2 licence – the licence must be valid and have been in effect in its present form for a total of at least three years
For both IAs
- have been actively engaged in exercising the privileges of their licence for at least two years prior to the date of application
- have a fixed base of operations, at which they may be located in person or by telephone during a normal working week, but it need not be the place where they will exercise the inspection authority
- have access to the equipment, facilities, and inspection data necessary to properly inspect airframes, powerplants, propellers, or any related part or appliance.
Is an examination required for issue of an inspection authorisation?
If you are a B1 LAME who holds:
- an authorisation to issue a certificate of airworthiness, or
- a valid FAA IA, or
- a valid NZ CAA issued IA, no examination is required.
If you are a B2 LAME, no examination is required.
How long will an inspection authorisation be issued for?
An IA would be issued for a period of two years. However, the holder may exercise the privileges of that authorisation only while they hold a current valid AMEL.
When would an inspection authorisation become invalid?
An IA would become invalid if one of the following occurs:
- the AMEL is suspended or cancelled by CASA
- the IA is surrendered, suspended, or revoked by CASA
- the holder no longer has a fixed base of operation
- the holder no longer has, or has access to, the equipment, facilities, and inspection data required for issuance of their authorisation.
How do I renew an inspection authorisation?
To be eligible for renewal of a mechanical IA an applicant would be required to present evidence they still meet requirements (1), (4) and (5) of the eligibility criteria outlined above.
In addition, during the time the applicant has held the IA, they must show completion of one of the activity requirements (1) through (4) below during each 12-month period prior to applying for renewal:
- performed at least one annual inspection, one major repair or one major modification for each 90-day period they held the current authority
- performed or supervised and approved at least one progressive inspection
- issued at least one certificate of airworthiness (only for those authorised persons that have C of A delegation)
- successfully completed an IA refresher course, acceptable to CASA, of not less than 8 hours of instruction
An IA would cease to be valid if the holder does not complete one of activities (1) to (4) by the end of the first year.
The IA would be revalidated after the holder passes a written test to determine their knowledge of the applicable regulations and standards is current.
An IA holder who passes a written test for issue of an IA would be deemed to have completed the requirements of the first year.
An avionics IA holder is entitled to renewal of the authorisation if they continue to meet the requirements (2) and (4) for initial issue of the IA.
Is an examination required to renew an IA?
No, provided that the IA holder has met one of the activity requirements (1) through (4) outlined above.
What are the privileges of an IA holder?
The holder of a B1 IA may:
- carry out or supervise annual inspections and supervise progressive inspections
- oversee an approved inspection program for small aircraft
- inspect major repairs and modifications for conformity to the approved data
- approve an aircraft, airframe, engine, appliance or component for return to service after a major repair or modification (other than avionics major repairs and modifications).
The holder of a B2 IA may:
- carry out major repairs and modifications to avionics systems and components
- inspect major avionics repairs and modifications for conformity to approved data
- approve an aircraft for return to service after a major avionics repair or modification provided that the work has not affected a mechanical or structural system or component.
What restrictions apply to an IA holder
The holder of a mechanical IA may not certify conformity of major repairs or modifications to avionics systems or components.
An IA holder may not certify for conformity of a major repair or modification to a propeller. This work may only be carried out and released to service by an appropriately rated approved maintenance organisation or aircraft maintenance technician.
If the mechanical IA holder has an exclusion E12 (Propellers), or E 13 (Hydraulics) attached to their AME licence they would not be permitted to certify for completion of annual inspections of an aircraft equipped with one or more of those systems unless they have either:
- successfully completed an examination in the relevant module of the Part 66 licence syllabus or passed the relevant old CASA basics examinations FF (power fluid systems) and GC (propellers)
- carried out an inspection of the excluded system to the satisfaction of a person who is qualified to perform the inspection
- satisfactorily carried out an annual inspection of the kind of aircraft under the supervision of an IA holder who is qualified to perform the inspection.
Note: “Kind of aircraft” does not mean specific aircraft types. It is a general term meaning that a pressurised Piper Navajo, would be the same kind of aircraft as a pressurised Cessna 337. Also, a Cessna 441 Conquest would be the same kind of aircraft as a Beech King Air.
The holder of an avionics IA may not approve an aircraft for return to service after:
- an annual or 100-hour inspection
- an avionics repair or modification that involved disturbance of a mechanical or structural system or component.
Note: reference to a structural component means the primary structure of an aircraft and the pressure cabin skin of a pressurised aircraft.
- For more information about the 100 hour or progressive inspection read the following information sheets:
- First annual inspection
- Approved and Acceptable data
- Mandatory vs recommended
For details of the IA holders responsibility when inspecting a major repair or modification, refer to the Information sheet – Inspections.
The content provided in the information sheet is a guide only as to how the rules may work in practice once Part 43 is made and commences.