FSTD Suspension, Variation and Revocation

Information regarding the Suspension,Variation and Revocation of a Flight Simulation Training Device Qualification Certificate or User Approval

A Flight Simulation Training Device (FSTD) must in principle remain in compliance with the associated regulatory requirements (JAR-STD, JAR-FSTD or Part ARA / Part ORA as applicable) for its qualification to remain valid. If this is not the case, the qualification of the device may be suspended, varied (limited to support training needs for which it remains suitable, including a change of qualification level if appropriate), or ultimately revoked.

A suspension, variation or revocation can be initiated voluntarily by the Operator of the device, or by the CAA following an evaluation, or evidence being presented that action needs to be taken.

Voluntary Action

In the event of a User/Operator becoming aware that the device is no longer meeting the requirements of the regulatory requirements, either partially or fully, it is encouraged that a request be put in writing for the Qualification Certificate (and any associated User Approvals) to be suspended, varied or revoked as necessary.

Upon receipt of such a request the CAA will be able to take appropriate action to address the identified issues.

Actions taken by the CAA will be based upon the Operator’s request and any supporting evidence provided by the Operator or from an investigation by the CAA. 

Action Initiated by the CAA

The CAA will take action to suspend, vary or revoke the qualification of a FSTD where it has found evidence that the device is not in compliance with the regulatory requirements to the extent where the training capability of the device could be compromised.

In most cases where such action is required a gradual deterioration is witnessed in the device that may be linked to failure on the part of the User/Operator to address significant deficiencies in the Organisation, in the associated Compliance Monitoring System or with the FSTD itself.

In such cases,  CAA FSTD Standards will advise the User/Operator that they have been placed ‘on-notice’ and that the FSTD Qualification Certificate (and any associated User Approvals) is at risk unless remedial action is agreed and taken within a specific time scale. The corrective measures required will be made clear and, if considered appropriate, the CAA will assist in prioritising the required actions.

If the CAA's final assessment is that satisfactory standards cannot be achieved, the FSTD Qualification Certificate will be permanently suspended, varied or revoked in accordance with Part ARA.FSTD.135 and its associated AMCs. User Approvals linked to a device subject to a suspension or revocation are automatically invalid. User Approvals can remain valid, however, for devices subject to variation provided the User establishes that the restricted capability remains adequate for their training needs.

In the event that action is taken by the CAA without the consent of the User/Operator, Regulation 6 of the Civil Aviation Authority Regulations 1991 provides an appeal procedure. The reasons upon which the decision is based and the protocols for commencing an appeal under Regulation 6 will be detailed in a notification letter.

Action taken by the CAA to suspend, vary or revoke a FSTD qualification will be justified by clear and objective supporting evidence.

Variation of the Qualification

A variation to the qualification can be accomplished by the application of specific restrictions to address the identified deficiencies or by a downgrading of the FSTD qualification level to a level where the remaining capability can be demonstrated as compliant to the Part ARA / Part ORA requirements applicable to that lower qualification level.

A variation allows continuity of training albeit normally to a reduced extent.  The removal of restriction(s) or the re-instatement of the original qualification level is dependent upon satisfactory resolution of the identified issues.  A further evaluation by the CAA (a Special Evaluation) may be carried out if deemed necessary.

Re-instatement of a User Approval or FSTD Qualification Certificate

Users/Operators may apply for a suspension to be lifted.

On receipt of a written request for re-instatement FSTD Standards will decide whether a special evaluation should be conducted or will confirm that the situation is now satisfactory on the basis of evidence submitted by the FSTD Operator in relation to correction of the deficiencies that caused the suspension, variation or revocation to be issued.

Re-instated documents that have expiry dates will be valid to their original expiry date.

For FSTDs which have been formally revoked a new application must be made and an initial evaluation will be required to allow a qualification to be granted.