Airworthiness

Developed by ICAO, the International Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) contained in the nineteen Technical Annexes to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (also called Chicago Convention) are applied universally and produce a high degree of technical uniformity which has enabled international civil aviation to develop in a safe, orderly and efficient manner. 

Airworthiness is the measure of an aircraft's suitability for safe flight.

A standard of airworthiness is initially demonstrated by a Certificate of Airworthiness from a national aviation authority, and remains valid by complying to the required Instructions For Continuing Airworthiness.

The application of airworthiness defines the condition of an aircraft and supplies the basis for judgement of the suitability for flight of that aircraft, in that it has been designed with engineering rigour, constructed, maintained and is expected to be operated to approved standards and limitations, by competent and approved individuals, who are acting as members of an approved organization and whose work is both certified as correct and accepted on behalf of the State.

The Primary document for airworthiness management information  is Registry Publication 9 (RP9).

Management of Airworthiness compliance  is the responsibility of the aircraft operator, who must appoint an individual in to the position of management, known as the Nominated Airworthiness Technical Representative (NATR).

The aircraft operator must inform the Aircraft Registry of their Nominated Airworthiness Technical Representative (NATR) who will manage the aircraft continuing airworthiness including the compilation of the requirements of the Maintenance Control Manual.

A specific contact who will be responsible for the airworthiness of the aircraft will be required.  (Please note this is NOT an IOMAR approved appointment).

This specific contact information is notified to the IOMAR on Form 20 Operator Declaration of Compliance & Delegated Authority Form.

(Further information on the role of Nominated Airworthiness Technical Representative (NATR) can also be found on Form 20.)

The Operator should, before submitting a completed Form 20  (Airworthiness Contact Information) be satisfied the nominated individual is experienced and competent to carry out the role of NATR, however the accountability of Aircraft Airworthiness is understood to remain with the Operator of the aircraft.

The NATR should be available to the IOMAR during the registration process, they should also provide the information required in Form 3 Application for a Certificate of Airworthiness, and also Form 100 Aircraft Maintenance Programme Approval Application.

The NATR will be the single point of contact for all matters of airworthiness for the Operator to the IOMAR.

Of specific importance is to identify the NATR must review all documents (work packs, tech log pages etc) that have a Certificate of Release to Service (CRS), within 30 days of receipt of the documents being returned from the Maintenance organisation or individual issuing the CRS . This is to ensure an accurate and therefore valid CRS has been made for.

IOMAR Senior Airworthiness Surveyors may contact the NATR on receipt of Form 20, to discuss the above information

Aircraft can only operate under 2 scenarios, either with a valid Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A) or a Permit to Fly (PtF).

To obtain the issuance of a C of A, the aircraft and its technical record documents will be presented, usually by your Nominated Airworthiness Technical Representative (NATR) to an appointed Isle of Man Aircraft Registry (IOMAR) Airworthiness Surveyor (AWS) for an airworthiness survey. 

Surveys will normally be conducted ‘remotely’ using digital technology without the need for the AWS to physically attend the aircraft; for further information see below on ‘Remote Aircraft Surveys’. Customers may request an attended survey to be completed; however, the IOMAR may decline the provision of an attended survey due to travel and public health restrictions. The IOMAR also reserves the right to insist that an attended survey is conducted.

Prior to requesting an airworthiness survey of the aircraft and its technical records, the Operator (NATR) must have completed their own inspection of the aircraft and records and satisfied themselves that they are in a position to demonstrate that each of the applicable items on this preparation document has reached a full level of compliance and when appropriate, providing documents if requested by the airworthiness surveyor. If there are any items about which you are unsure or cannot satisfy, please contact the Aircraft Registry or the assigned Surveyor in advance of the survey to discuss a possible resolution. 

Requirements for CERTIFICATE oF AIRWORTHINESS issue

The NATR will present the aircraft and it's technical records to the IOMAR Airworthiness Surveyor. The survey is undertaken with the intention of making a recommendation for a C of A to be issued so that the aircraft may operate as soon as possible afterwards, assuming all operational requirements and approvals have been met.

For an initial survey the survey will follow the format of Registry Publication 7 Preparation Requirements for Certificate of Airworthiness (CoA) Initial Issue. To apply for an initial C of A survey please complete Form 3 Survey Application for the Initial Certificate of Airworthiness (Initial CoA) or Initial Certificate of Airworthiness and Certificate of Airworthiness for Export (ECoA).

A renewal survey will follow the format of Registry Publication 17 Preparation Requirements for Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A) Renewal Survey. To apply for a renewal C of A survey please complete Form 9 Survey Application for the Renewal Issue of a Certificate of Airworthiness (renewal CoA) and or Certificate of Airworthiness for Export (ECoA).

For a survey with no RP7 or RP17 findings, the Surveyor will submit a recommendation to the IOMAR that a standard has been achieved to issue a C of A. (Note - for initial C of A surveys IOMAR will confirm whether all registration requirements have been satisfied). At the conclusion of a satisfactory initial survey, the IOMAR will issue by email the Certificate of Airworthiness in digital format.

Generic Information

The digital certificates are rendered valid as the original documents in their digital form by IOMAR. They satisfy the on-board carriage requirements for aircraft engaged in international air navigation in accordance with Articles 29 and 31 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation as well as the requirements of Annex 7 and 8 to the same Convention.

The certificates may be carried using a portable electronic device (PED), or if the aircraft has approval, an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB)

Prior to your first flight you must have an Approved Maintenance Programme - guidance and instructions for this can be found within Registry Publication 9 Airworthiness Management Information, and is applied for by completing Form 100 Application for an Aircraft Maintenance Programme (AMP) Approval.

Upon satisfactory level of review, an Approved Maintenance Programme Certificate will be issued by the Registry.

Any subsequent changes to your Maintenance Programme must be detailed on Form 101 Change of Details of Aircraft Maintenance Programme Approval and submitted to the Registry.

The content of Form 100 / 101 and all documents cross referenced from it must be in compliance for the aircraft to be considered airworthy.

Remote surveys are conducted to the same compliance standard as traditional onsite attended survey but require alternative methods of accessing aircraft records and gaining visual confirmations. Consequently, please review the details below so that you can be appropriately prepared in advance of applying for a survey.

  • The requirements of RP7 (initial survey) and RP17 (renewal/export survey) continue to be the core preparation requirements to present an aircraft and its technical records. However, the NATR or Person Presenting the Aircraft’ (PPtA) must be able to send the aircraft records (including log books) in a digital format to the surveyor. If you do not hold digital aircraft records then please make early contact with us so that we can consider alternative arrangements in good time ahead of the survey being required.
  • The NATR or PPtA must be able to send photo images and live video broadcast of the physical aircraft while the survey is being conducted as requested by the surveyor.
  • Experience has shown that a remote survey for renewal or for export CoA normally takes 2 days and a remote survey for an initial CoA typically takes 3 days. As with a traditional onsite survey, appropriate advance preparation by the NATR or PPtA ensures that survey time is kept to the absolute minimum.
  • The aircraft will be required to be available on the ground during periods of the remote survey identified by the surveyor (see below). This is usually on the 2nd day for renewals and export CoA and the 2nd or 3rd day for initials.
  • From the remote survey start date until the completion of the survey, the NATR or PPtA must be available to answer questions relating to the continued airworthiness of the aircraft. Further documentation, images/video may well be requested during the conduct of the survey.

Once the survey date has been agreed, the allocated surveyor will make contact with the NATR/ PPtA to agree detailed arrangements, including:

  • Setting out the aircraft records and photographs/video that are required and to agree the means of sending/receiving these;
  • The exact dates when the aircraft will be required on the ground;
  • Agreeing which method of remote communication is preferred during the survey.

This should enable the NATR/PPtA to conduct appropriate prior preparation so that the survey proceeds as efficiently as possible.

On successful completion the CoA will be subsequently issued for 12 months as per normal.

If you have any queries regarding remote surveys then please email us at [email protected]

Modification and repair data provided by the Type Certificate Holder, Supplemental Type Certificate Holder or Design organisation and/or those approved under the regulations of the state of design, will be acceptable without further showing.  EASA Part 21 design data is also acceptable. 

If your modification falls outside of the groups above, then the NATR may apply for our modification approval using Form 35 Application for Approval of a Modification.