An airworthiness and maintenance standards working team formed by the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) and the Civil Aviation Department of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKCAD) conducted a two-day inspection on the airworthiness management work of the Civil Aviation Authority of Macao SAR (AACM) from 22 to 23 October. The inspection was carried out in accordance with the "Cooperation Arrangement of Mutual Acceptance of Approval of Aircraft Maintenance Organizations", with the objective of evaluating whether AACM follows the Joint Maintenance Procedures established in the said Arrangement in carrying out their audits on the aircraft maintenance organizations in Macao. In addition, the inspection also enhanced the cooperation and the exchange of experience in the area of aircraft components among the three parties. The inspection report is now being prepared.
Since the signing of the above mentioned Arrangement, the aeronautical authorities of the three parties have received applications for the first certifications from 20 maintenance organizations, including 14 from the inland, 5 from Hong Kong and AirTech from Macao. According to the objective of the Arrangement, after having received an application from a maintenance organization and evaluated that the organization complies with the standards, each aeronautical authority can submit such application to the Joint Maintenance Management, which is formed by one designated member from each authority, for certification. Any maintenance organization who receives the certification of the Management is then qualified to provide component maintenance service to the aircraft and the release of aircraft components to service after maintenance in the three places. The cooperation is based on the practice of the Joint Aviation Administration whose goal is to standardize the airworthiness standards and procedures of different places, thus providing the biggest convenience to the maintenance organizations coming from different areas and guaranteeing the quality and the safety of the maintenance service.
The Arrangement came out as a result of discussions held among the three parties in evaluating the rules, standards, practices, procedures and systems for the approval and monitoring of maintenance organizations. To avoid the duplication of inspections and evaluations, having received the certification from the Joint Maintenance Management, one party will give the same validity to the other authorities' inspection and evaluation findings for the approval of maintenance organizations and for the release of civil aircraft components to service after maintenance. Such cooperation arrangement reduces the economic burden on the aviation operators due to redundant technical inspections and testing and enhances the cooperation and the exchange of experience in civil aircraft safety.
The inspection is the first of its kind to be conducted on Macao. Since the inspection has to be mutually conducted on all three parties, the airworthiness officers of AACM have participated in the inspections respectively carried out on CAAC and HKCAD at an earlier time.
In what regards the other issues on the cooperation, the airworthiness departments of the three parties held meetings in May last year and in January and August this year. In the last meeting, they agreed to extend the cooperation scope to the area of aircraft engines and propellers. The signing of an appendix regarding this new item is planned to be arranged within this year.