Assignment of Technical Airworthiness Authority

Effective Date: 1 November 2013

Reference: TAM Part 1, Chapter 4, Section 2

OPI / Telephone: DTAES 4-5-4 / 819-939-4758

1.      Purpose

1.1.       This Technical Airworthiness Authority (TAA) Advisory provides guidance to individuals seeking TAA designation as “Airworthiness Manager” within a TAA-accredited organization.

1.2.       This TAA Advisory is not mandatory, nor does it constitute a regulation.  It describes a means acceptable to the TAA, but is not the only means to demonstrate compliance with the regulation(s).  If you elect to use this TAA Advisory, then all the important aspects of it must be followed.

2.      Applicability

2.1.      This TAA Advisory is applicable to all industry organizations seeking Assignment of Authority (AoA) for an individual responsible for the airworthiness-related activities as defined in the Technical Airworthiness Manual (TAM) Part 1, Chapter 4, Section 2 and associated annexes.

2.2.      This TAA Advisory has been generated to assist organizations in achieving the applicable AoA by providing guidance on the requirements and methods of demonstration.

3.       Related Material

3.1.      Definitions

  1. Airworthiness Manager. An individual within a TAA-accredited organization who fulfills the Airworthiness Management role and is responsible and accountable for all airworthiness-related activities performed within that organization. This person is always designated directly by the TAA staff, and is an essential link between the TAA and the organization.

3.2.     Regulatory References

3.2.1.  Technical Airworthiness Manual (TAM), Part 1, Chapter 4, Section 2 – Assignment of Technical Airworthiness Authority.

4.      Discussion

4.1      Selection of a Senior Airworthiness Manager

4.1.1.    The Senior Airworthiness Manager role should not be attached to any particular position within an organization, but rather must be performed by a suitable individual, considering the scope and depth of technical airworthiness authority assigned to the Organization. For example, the Senior Design Engineer (SDE) does not need to be the head of engineering or the business director.  The role could be assigned to the deputy head of engineering, provided the business manager makes a commitment that the appointed SDE has the necessary powers to control the airworthiness-related activities within the organization.

4.1.2.    The Senior Airworthiness Manager should be in a position that is actively engaged in the technical airworthiness activities performed by the organization.  For example, a senior engineering director or business manager may not have the time to be actively engaged in process development.

4.1.3.    When selecting a Senior Airworthiness Manager, it is important to ensure their skills, knowledge and experience meet the requirements of the applicable TAM standards.  If not, a waiver request must be included within the application.  This advisory contains five appendices that cover the different AoA eligibility criteria within the following organizations, as published in Part 1, Chapter 4 of the TAM:

  1. Appendix A - Senior Design Engineer (SDE) within an Accredited Technical Organization (ATO);
  2. Appendix B – Senior Manufacturing Manager (SMfgM) within an Accredited Manufacturing Organization (AMfgO);
  3. Appendix C – Senior Maintenance Manager (SMM) within an Accredited Maintenance Organization (AMO);
  4. Appendix D – Senior Materiel Support Manager (SMSM) within an Accredited Material Support Organization (AMSO); and
  5. Appendix E – Senior Design Engineer (SDE) within and Accredited Design Organization (ADO).

4.1.4.     Where airworthiness-related activities are performed at different locations, only one position (person) in the organization will be authorized as the Senior Airworthiness Manager. Position titles, duties, responsibilities, authorities and defined eligibility criteria of the person(s) who has (have) been assigned management responsibility for each site must be described in the Airworthiness Process Manual (APM).  These individuals are authorized and report to the Senior Airworthiness Manager, rather than to the TAA.

4.1.5.     In certain cases, it may make sense for one company to have multiple Senior Airworthiness Managers of the same type.  For example, in the case where a company is responsible for managing two unrelated fleets under separate contracts, the workload may be distributed between two separate SDEs or two SMMs.  The TAA staff will provide guidance during the accreditation whether it makes sense to create separate Airworthiness Management Roles of the same type.

4.2.        Application Package

4.2.1.     In order to initiate the AoA process, the Senior Business Manager of the company or a senior company representative must formally nominate a Senior Airworthiness Manager and provide an application package to the TAA staff (DTAES 4), with an info copy to the DND WSM sponsor.  The application package should include:

  1. a Nomination Letter to the TAA staff (DTAES 4), signed by the Senior Business Manager of the company and the nominated Senior Airworthiness Manager (if applicable);
  2. a résumé of the nominated Senior Airworthiness Manager;
  3. a completed copy of the applicable eligibility matrix from this advisory;
  4. eligibility waivers, if applicable;
  5. in the case of an SDE who will be making findings of compliance, a scope of authority matrix listing in-scope certification elements (if not already included in the Engineering Process Manual); and
  6. any other information as requested by the TAA staff.

4.3.       Regulatory Staff Due Diligence

4.3.1.    Once an individual has been nominated, there is a significant amount of liaison required between the individual and the TAA staff (DTAES 4) to confirm that the individual meets the eligibility requirements and possesses adequate knowledge of the organization’s policies and procedures.  On behalf of the TAA, DTAES staff will review the application package and conduct an interview.

4.3.2.    The interview is normally the final step prior to the TAA granting authority and is conducted and coordinated by DTAES 4 staff.  Each annex within this advisory contains a non-exhaustive list of typical interview questions.  In addition, the interview may include more specific questions or ask the applicant to describe interim airworthiness plans where existing processes are vague or future processes are under development.  Depending on the complexity and scope of the organization, the interview normally takes two to three hours.

4.4.       Acceptance of Assignment of Authority

4.4.1.    The person responsible for airworthiness-related activities must formally accept and acknowledge his/her assignment of authority as the Senior Airworthiness Manager.  The following are acceptable means of demonstrating acceptance of authority:

  1. The individual signs the Nomination Letter within the application package.  It should be clear within the Nomination Letter that the individual is demonstrating that he/she accepts the assignment of authority; or
  2. A statement of acceptance in the respective APM, signed by the Senior Airworthiness Manager is included.  This statement does not replace standard 1.4.2.S1.3.a.(8) (statement of commitment by the company senior management) of the TAM. This APM amendment must be incorporated within 30 days of receiving the AoA letter and its incorporation does not require TAA approval; or
  3. An acceptance letter is signed and mailed back to the TAA (DTAES 4) within 30 days from receiving the AoA letter.

4.5.       Acting Senior Airworthiness Manager

4.5.1.    It is paramount that a Senior Airworthiness Manager ensures that there is, at all times, someone within the organization who is capable of carrying out the responsibilities of the Senior Airworthiness Manager.  The Senior Airworthiness Manager must, by letter, fax or e-mail, formally authorize his delegate to carry out his/her responsibilities and must specify any restrictions and/or limitations to that authority that he/she feels are necessary.  Acting Senior Airworthiness Managers may not authorize airworthiness functions or airworthiness tasks to personnel within their organization without specific consent from the TAA.

4.5.2.    In circumstances where the Senior Airworthiness Manager is permanently leaving the organization or leaving for an extended period of time, the TAA should be informed at the earliest opportunity of any arrangements made to ensure that the responsibilities of Senior Airworthiness Manager will continue to be held by a competent individual.  The exiting Senior Airworthiness Manager may grant a temporary AoA to a competent replacement.  The limited authority of the acting Senior Airworthiness Manager should not be effective beyond a four-month period.  Prior to the expiration of this acting authority, it is the expectation that the organization nominates a replacement Senior Airworthiness Manager in accordance with this advisory.