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
To obtain a Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A), the Operator is required to demonstrate compliance to the aircraft type certificate. This will require, the aircraft and its technical record documents, to be available for demonstration, in response to questions raised of each applicable subject, during the survey, conducted by an appointed Isle of Man Aircraft Registry (IOMAR) Airworthiness Surveyor (AWS).This is usually completed by your Nominated Airworthiness Technical Representative (NATR). The Operator may choose to have another person present the aircraft (PPtA). However, the NATR must ensure a full brief is provided to the PPtA of what is expected during the survey. The PPtA will take full responsibility to be knowledgeable of the aircraft, its records and the IOMAR requirements.
Prior to requesting a survey the NATR must have completed their own inspection of the aircraft and records. They should be satisfied that they or the PPtA are in a position to demonstrate each of the applicable items on the relevant IOMAR survey preparation guidance document and a full level of compliance has been reached. If appropriate, they should also be able to provide any further documents requested by the AWS.
If there are any items that you are unsure about or cannot satisfy, please contact the Aircraft Registry or the assigned AWS in advance of the survey to discuss a possible resolution.
The survey is undertaken with the intention of the AWS 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 and the aircraft is registered).
For a survey with no findings, the AWS will submit a recommendation to the IOMAR that a standard has been achieved to issue a C of A. The IOMAR will then issue the C of A for 12 months. This will be in digital format and will be sent to the NATR and Operator by email. Customers can also view and download the certificate by logging on to their ARDIS customer account. More information can be found here.
Please note that 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).
For surveys in the UK or Isle of Man, we offer the client the choice of either an attended on-site survey or a survey conducted remotely (by digital means). Surveys in all other locations will normally be conducted remotely.
Customers may still request an on-site survey. However, the IOMAR may decline the request for a variety of reasons including but not limited to: employee duty of care considerations; political/security concerns; travel and public health restrictions.
The IOMAR also reserves the right, as a safety regulator and based on reasonable grounds, to insist that an on-site survey is conducted.
A remote survey is conducted to the same compliance standard as an on-site survey, but we require alternative methods of accessing the aircraft records and gaining visual confirmations. Consequently, please review the details below so that you can be appropriately prepared in advance of applying.
RP7 (for initial, initial/export survey) and RP17 (for renewal, renewal/export survey) detail the survey preparation requirements. However, the NATR or 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 of the physical aircraft while the survey is being conducted as requested by the AWS.
Experience has shown that a remote survey for an initial C of A typically takes 3 days and renewal/export C of A normally takes 2 days. As with an on-site 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 AWS. This is usually on the 2nd or 3rd day for initials and on the 2nd day for renewals/export C of A.
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 AWS will make contact with the NATR or PPtA to confirm 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.
The NATR or PPtA must ensure all the required aircraft records are accessible at the location of the survey, either in hard copy or digital format.
The AWS will require access to the aircraft at the same location as the records (unless prior agreement by the IOMAR).
The aircraft should be in the following condition where possible (please discuss with your allocated AWS if any of the following cannot be complied with).
- Aircraft located in a hangar, electrical/hydraulic power available;
- Flaps in the down position, any undercarriage fairings, equipment/cargo/APU bays, engine cowls open (or removed);
- Access equipment (stage, platforms, lifts etc.) should be adequate to gain access to aircraft;
- Sufficient lighting, with addition of portable lighting if necessary;
Please ensure all Health and Safety aspects are considered prior to the survey.
Once the survey date has been agreed, the allocated AWS will make contact with the NATR or PPtA to confirm the survey arrangements.
We understand that circumstances do change however please note that additional costs may be incurred in the event a survey is cancelled or postponed at your request.
INITIAL C of A (and INITIAL & EXPORT C of A combined SURVEY)
- Registry Publication 7 Preparation Requirements for Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A) Initial Issue.
- To apply please complete Form 3.
- If an on-site survey* required also supply a Form 10
RENEWAL C of A SURVEY (and EXPORT C of A SURVEY)
- Registry Publication 17 Preparation Requirements for Certificate of Airworthiness Renewal Survey.
- To apply please complete Form 9.
- If an on-site survey* required also supply a Form 10.
*For aircraft surveys in the UK or Isle of Man, we offer the client the choice of either an attended on-site survey or a survey conducted remotely (by digital means). Surveys in all other locations will normally be conducted remotely.
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.
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.