Recommendation R20010092

Recommendation issued to: Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Recommendation details
Output No: R20010092
Date issued: 12 April 2001
Safety action status:

Output text

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority take steps to ensure that the continuing airworthiness requirements for Australian registered Class A aircraft are not compromised through any lack of action by the national airworthiness authorities of other countries.



On two recent occasions the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has found it necessary to specifically mandate operator compliance with an aircraft manufacturer's airworthiness recommendation contained in a Service Bulletin, even though compliance was not mandatory in the State of design and manufacture.


On 22 December 2000 Australian registered Boeing 767 aircraft VH-RMD/E/F/G/H/K/L were grounded after it was discovered that certain structural inspections had not been carried out. Initial indications were that a significant safety deficiency existed within the airline operator's system of maintenance. Subsequent investigation has established that there are also safety deficiencies within the Australian system of control for the continuing airworthiness of Class A aircraft (as defined by the Australian Civil Aviation Regulations 1988).

The Australian system of aircraft certification provides for the automatic acceptance of aircraft type certification, and continuing airworthiness requirements, from other national airworthiness authorities recognised by Australia. Any omission, or incompatibility between the system of continuing airworthiness in the State of design and/or manufacture and the State of registry, may have the potential to compromise the safety of flight.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority recently mandated two Service Bulletins related to Boeing 767 aircraft. This action was subsequent to the identification of safety of flight issues. In both cases the Service Bulletins were not mandatory in the State of manufacture of the aircraft.

It is essential that the Australian system for continuing airworthiness of Class A aircraft is robust in itself and is not reliant on actions that may, or may not, be taken by other national airworthiness authorities.

Initial response
Date issued: 14 March 2002
Response from: Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Action status: Open
Response text:

These recommendations were included as part of the Terms of Reference of CASA's Service Bulletin Review Project. The first stage of this project was completed in September 2001 and was subsequently reviewed by external panels and a world-class expert. CASA considers that the recommendations of the Service Bulletin Review fully meet the intent of the ATSB recommendations.

The now consolidated report, including the later two reviews, formed the basis of CASA's implementation plan for Service Bulletins. The formulation of the implementation plan was completed in February 2002.

CASA undertakes to advise the ATSB of future developments of the Service Bulletin Review.

ATSB response:

ATSB Note: There has been ongoing correspondence with CASA on this recommendation. This record will be updated when the final report is published.

Further correspondence
Date issued: 27 June 2003
Response from: Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Response status: Monitor
Response text:
ATSB response:

Further correspondence concerning this recommendation was received from CASA on 30 January and 27 June 2003. The ATSB considers that there are still unresolved matters in relation to this recommendation and is working with CASA to effect resolution. This recommendation therefore remains open and its status will be reviewed once the issues have been resolved.

Further correspondence
Date issued: 31 October 2006
Response from: Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Response status: Closed - Accepted
Response text:

In October 2006, CASA issued Notice of Proposed Rule Making NPRM 0604MS, A Proposal to Modernise and Harmonise Rules for the Maintenance of Australian Aircraft and Licensing of Aircraft Maintenance Personnel for industry comment by 27 November 2006.

The NPRM addresses the policy outcomes of adopting a regulatory style similar to that proven by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and would amend Parts 42, 66, 145 and 147 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASRs).

ATSB response:

The NPRM, as proposed, should address the issue in the recommendation.

Last update 16 January 2013