• Introduction

    In March 2020, changes to EASA regulations will separate the existing continuing airworthiness requirements for 'Light Aircraft' from the requirements applicable for licensed air carriers and other complex motor-powered aircraft.

    We are developing these webpages over the coming months to help organisations and personnel involved in Light Aircraft to transition to the new requirements. Other regulatory changes (e.g. Part-CAMO, Part-T) are dealt with in other areas of the CAA website.

    The regulation will become applicable from 24 March 2020. These webpages will be updated as further guidance becomes available.

    A complete guide to the transition to the new requirements for organisations is available from EASA

    Part-ML

    Part-ML simplifies existing maintenance rules and offers a less prescriptive and burdensome approach to maintenance programmes, airworthiness reviews, defects deferments and TBO extensions. It also provides more privileges for pilots, owners, independent certifying staff and small maintenance organisations. For example:

    • The CAA will no longer be involved in the approval of maintenance programmes for Light aircraft. 
    • A new Airworthiness Review Certificate (EASA Form 15c) will be introduced that can be issued by the CAA, by an approved organisation or by independent Part-66 engineers with an appropriate authorisation.
    • CAA Generic Requirements (e.g. GR No.24) will be revised to remove their applicability to aircraft maintained under Part-ML

    Part-CAO 

    Part-CAO introduces a new combined Maintenance and Airworthiness Management Organisation for 'Light Aircraft' and aircraft up to 5700 kg MTOW within the revised scope of Part-M:

    • Existing Part M Subpart F and Subpart G approvals will gradually be replaced with a new Combined Airworthiness Organisation approval, Part-CAO (pronounced “cow”)
    • The transition period will end on 24 September 2021. After this date Part M Subpart F and Subpart G approvals will no longer be valid.
    • Applications for Part-CAO transition will be accepted using this online application form

    Independent Certifying Staff

    Part-ML introduces an independent certifying staff authorisation which allows licenced engineers to carry out the airworthiness review and issue the Airworthiness Review Certificate in conjunction with the annual inspection for light aircraft within the scope of Part-ML:

    • The authorisation is issued after the applicant has carried out an Airworthiness Review under supervision by the competent authority (CAA).
    • The authorisation is limited by Part-ML and the scope of aircraft on the applicant’s licence.
    • Existing ELA 1 authorisations are not valid after 24th March 2020 due to the change in regulations
    • Applications for an independent certifying staff authorisation should made using Form SRG1015 be submitted to apply@caa.co.uk with 'ML.A.901 Authorisation' in the subject line.

    Additional information 

  • Since 24 March 2020, it is only possible to issue an EASA Form 15c for aircraft within the scope of Part-ML (New Issue).

    If an aircraft holds a current EASA Form 15b, that has not been extended for either the first or second time, it is possible to extend this ARC until the first and second extensions expire. This is only possible where the aircraft has been continuously managed for the previous 12 months by the CAMO or CAO granting the extension after ensuring that the other requirements of ML.A.901(c) are also met. 

    Approved organisations may issue Airworthiness Review Certificates (ARCs) directly using the Word version of Form 15C, suitably amended with their approval number, aircraft details and dating protocols: Download Form 15C Issue 3 (Word Document).

    A copy of the ARC issued or extended for an aircraft must be sent to the CAA apply@caa.co.uk  within 10 days, as required by ML.A.903 (h).

    Part-ML will become applicable on 24 March 2020. To align UK requirements with this EASA rule change, GR No.17 and GR No.24 will be revised to remove their applicability to aircraft maintained under Part-ML.

    After this date, deviations from the Design Approval Holder's Instructions for Continuing Airworthiness (DAH ICA), such as the extension of time between overhaul (TBO) intervals, should be evaluated using a risk-based approach.

    The risk-based approach should consider aspects such as the operation of aircraft, type of aircraft, hours/years in service, maintenance of the aircraft, compensating measures, redundancy of components, etc.

    Alternative tasks or intervals (e.g. escalations) to the DAH ICA by the CAMO or CAO do not need to be approved by the competent authority. Justification of these deviations are to be documented and retained by the CAMO or CAO.

    Where an aircraft subject to Part-ML is not used for commercial operations and the owner elects to manage the continuing airworthiness of the aircraft themselves, the owner issues a declaration for the maintenance programme and in this case, no justification of such deviations is required.

    Details can be found in Part-ML Paragraph ML.A.302 and AMC1 ML.A.302(c)(3). Owners, operators and approved organisations should ensure they are familiar with the revised regulations as well as the safety implications of any proposed deviations from the DAH ICA.

    It is important to note that deviations with respect to tasks classified as mandatory (e.g. Airworthiness Directives, requirements specified on the type certificate data sheet, airworthiness limitations) are not permitted.

  • 'Light aircraft'

    'Light aircraft' means the following non-complex motor-powered aircraft not listed in the air operator certificate of an air carrier licensed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008:

    1. aeroplanes of 2,730 kg maximum take-off mass (MTOM) or less;
    2. rotorcraft of 1,200 kg MTOM or less, certified for a maximum of up to 4 occupants;
    3. other ELA2 aircraft (e.g. sailplanes, balloons, small airships).

    Updates 

    More information will be published as soon as it is available. Please subscribe to our SkyWise alerting system so we can let you know when new information has been added.