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U.S. starts audit of FAA’s oversight of air carrier maintenance programs
2 June 2017

U.S. starts audit of FAA’s oversight of air carrier maintenance programs

The Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation began an audit of the FAA’s oversight of air carrier maintenance programs.

In 2016, the Ranking Members of the United States House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Subcommittee on Aviation requested that the Office of Inspector General (OIG) review the overall effectiveness of FAA’s oversight of air carrier maintenance programs.
The Congressmen questioned whether FAA demonstrates a sustained ability in its oversight role to account for mergers, rapid expansion, cost cutting, and other factors that could affect air carriers’ decisions about maintenance. They were particularly concerned about whether corrective actions taken by air carriers actually address root causes of maintenance lapses.

The OIG’s objectives for the audit are to assess (1) FAA’s oversight of air carrier maintenance programs and (2) whether FAA considers factors such as mergers, rapid expansion, or cost-cutting initiatives when adjusting its oversight of air carrier maintenance programs.

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Avian Líneas Aéreas passes IATA safety audit

The Argentine airline Avian Líneas Aéreas passed the  IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).

Avian Líneas Aéreas is a regional airline that was founded in the March 2016 as Macair Jet. The airline was rebranded Avian Líneas Aéreas and will start operations on behalf of Avianca Argentina in Q3, 2017 using ATR 72-600 aircraft. Currently the aircraft operated a few BAe Jetstream 32 aircraft.

The IOSA programme is an evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline. IOSA uses internationally recognised quality audit principles and is designed to conduct audits in a standardised and consistent manner. It was created in 2003 by IATA.  All IATA members are IOSA registered and must remain registered to maintain IATA membership.

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FAA proposes $435,000 civil penalty against United Airlines

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $435,000 civil penalty against United Airlines for allegedly operating an aircraft that was not in an airworthy condition. 

The FAA alleges that on June 9, 2014, United mechanics replaced a fuel pump pressure switch on a Boeing 787 in response to a problem that a flight crew had documented two days before. However, the airline failed to perform a required inspection of the work before returning the aircraft to service, the agency alleges.

United operated the aircraft on 23 domestic and international passenger flights before performing the required inspection on June 28, 2014, the FAA alleges. Two of those flights allegedly occurred after the FAA had notified United that it had not performed the inspection.

The FAA alleges the aircraft was not airworthy during all 23 of the flights.

United has asked to meet with the FAA to discuss the case.

FAA extends warning for unannounced North Korean missile tests in Pyongyang FIR

Pyongyang FIR (ZKKP) with 132° boundary

Pyongyang FIR (ZKKP) with 132° boundary

The U.S. FAA has extended by a year (until 27 May 2018) their advise to U.S. airlines to exercise caution when flying in the eastern part of North Korean airspace due to possible missile test launches. 

North Korea continues to conduct unannounced launches of short range and intermediate-range ballistic missiles that have the ability to travel beyond 132 degrees east longitude.

For this reason the FAA had already prohibited operations of U.S. aircraft from flying in the Pyongyang FIR (ZKKP) west of 132 degrees east longitude. U.S. operators are advised to use caution when planning for and operating in and around the Pyongyang FIR east of 132 degrees east longitude.

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J-Air (Japan) and Mann Yadanarpon Airlines (Myanmar) pass IATA safety audit

J-Air ERJ-170 (photo: lasta29)

The Japanese airline J-Air and Mann Yadanarpon Airlines from Myanmar both passed the  IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).

J-Air is wholly owned regional subsidiary of Japan Airlines – JAL and commenced operations in 1996 as a regional operator. The airline now flies domestic services within Japan with a fleet of 28  aircraft: Five CRJ-200ER jets, 17 Embraer ERJ-170’s and six ERJ-190’s.

Mann Yadanarpon Airlines is a privately owned domestic airline that began operarions in 2014 out of Mandalay Airport, Myanmar. The airline currently operates two ATR 72-600 turboprops.

The IOSA programme is an evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline. IOSA uses internationally recognised quality audit principles and is designed to conduct audits in a standardised and consistent manner. It was created in 2003 by IATA.  All IATA members are IOSA registered and must remain registered to maintain IATA membership.

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EU clears Benin, Mozambique from Air Safety List and adds four airlines

All air carriers from Benin and Mozambique are removed from the EU Air Safety List, while four individual airlines were added.

The European Commission updated the EU Air Safety List, the list of non-European airlines that do not meet international safety standards, and removed all airlines certified in Benin and Mozambique from the list, following further improvements to the aviation safety situation in these countries.
On the other hand, the airlines Med-View (Nigeria), Mustique Airways (St. Vincent and the Grenadines), Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe) were added to the list due to unaddressed safety deficiencies that were detected by the European Aviation Safety Agency during the assessment for a third country operator authorisation.

Med-View operated a regular service between Lagos and London-Gatwick using a Nigerian registered Boeing 767-300 until November 13, 2016. Effective November 2 the airline began using a Boeing 747-400 operated by Air Atlanta Icelandic.  Air Urga operated on occasional charter flights from Ukraine to EU states. Mustique Airways operated occasional flights to Martinique (France).

Despite the fact that Med-View Airlines was added to the ‘black list’, the airline is on IATA’s IOSA registry. The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) program is an international evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline.

Following the update, a total of 181 airlines are banned from EU skies:
174 airlines certified in 16 states, due to a lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities from these states.
Seven individual airlines, based on safety concerns with regard to these airlines themselves: Iran Aseman Airlines (Iran), Iraqi Airways (Iraq) and Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname), Med-View Airlines (Nigeria), Mustique Airways (St Vincent and the Grenadines), Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).
An additional six airlines are subject to operational restrictions and can only fly to the EU with specific aircraft types: Afrijet and Nouvelle Air Affaires SN2AG (Gabon), Air Koryo (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), Air Service Comores (the Comoros), Iran Air (Iran) and TAAG Angola Airlines (Angola).

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FAA extends prohibition for U.S. airlines from flying over Iraq

The Baghdad FIR roughly follows the Iraqi border

Due to continued concerns regarding the safety of aircraft in the Baghdad Flight Information Region (FIR), the FAA decided to extend the prohibition for U.S. airlines from flying over Iraq.

The Notam reads as follows:

KICZ A0010/17 - SECURITY..UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FLIGHT PROHIBITION FOR
 IRAQ BAGHDAD (ORBB) FLIGHT INFORMATION REGION
 DUE TO THE HAZARDOUS SITUATION CREATED BY THE ONGOING FIGHTING AND INSTABILITY IN
 IRAQ, ALL FLIGHT OPERATIONS IN THE BAGHDAD (ORBB) FLIGHT INFORMATION REGION (FIR) BY THE
 PERSONS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH A (APPLICABILITY) ARE PROHIBITED. THIS NOTAM IS AN
 EMERGENCY ORDER ISSUED UNDER 49 USC 40113(A) AND 46105(C). THIS NOTAM WILL REMAIN IN
 EFFECT UNTIL SUCH TIME AS TITLE 14, CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, SECTION 91.1605, SPECIAL
 FEDERAL AVIATION REGULATION NO. 77- PROHIBITION AGAINST CERTAIN FLIGHTS IN THE BAGHDAD
 (ORBB) FLIGHT INFORMATION REGION (FIR) IS REISSUED.
 
A. APPLICABILITY. THIS NOTAM APPLIES TO: ALL U.S. AIR CARRIERS AND COMMERCIAL
 OPERATORS; ALL PERSONS EXERCISING THE PRIVILEGES OF AN AIRMAN CERTIFICATE ISSUED BY
 THE FAA, EXCEPT SUCH PERSONS OPERATING U.S.‐REGISTERED AIRCRAFT FOR A FOREIGN AIR
 CARRIER; AND ALL OPERATORS OF AIRCRAFT REGISTERED IN THE UNITED STATES, EXCEPT WHERE
 THE OPERATOR OF SUCH AIRCRAFT IS A FOREIGN AIR CARRIER.

B. PERMITTED OPERATIONS. THIS NOTAM DOES NOT PROHIBIT PERSONS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH
 A (APPLICABILITY) FROM CONDUCTING FLIGHT OPERATIONS IN THE BAGHDAD FIR (ORBB) WHEN
 SUCH OPERATIONS ARE AUTHORIZED EITHER BY ANOTHER AGENCY OF THE UNITED STATES
 GOVERNMENT WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE FAA OR BY A DEVIATION, EXEMPTION, OR OTHER
 AUTHORIZATION ISSUED BY THE FAA ADMINISTRATOR. OPERATORS MUST CALL THE FAA
 WASHINGTON OPERATIONS CENTER AT 202-267-3333 TO INITIATE COORDINATION FOR FAA
 AUTHORIZATION OF OPERATIONS.
 
C. EMERGENCY SITUATIONS. IN AN EMERGENCY THAT REQUIRES IMMEDIATE DECISION AND
 ACTION FOR THE SAFETY OF THE FLIGHT, THE PILOT IN COMMAND OF AN AIRCRAFT MAY
 DEVIATE FROM THIS NOTAM TO THE EXTENT REQUIRED BY THAT EMERGENCY.
 SFC - - UNL 10 MAY 13:52 2017 UNTIL PERM. CREATED: 10 MAY 14:05 2017

 

Yangtze River Airlines passes IATA safety audit

File photo of a Yangtze River Boeing 747-400F at Brussel Airport (photo: H.Ranter/ASN)

The Chinese airline Yangtze River Airlines passed the  IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).

The airline commenced operations in 2003 as a cargo operator added passenger flights in 2015. It operates a fleet of ten Boeing 737-300SF’s, three Boeing 737-400SF’s, six Boeing 737-800 passenger aircraft and three Boeing 747-400F’s. .
The airline’s parent company, Hainan Airlines, is also an IOSA registered airline.

The IOSA programme is an evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline. IOSA uses internationally recognised quality audit principles and is designed to conduct audits in a standardised and consistent manner. It was created in 2003 by IATA.  All IATA members are IOSA registered and must remain registered to maintain IATA membership.
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EASA issues Conflict Zone Information Bulletin regarding North Korean airspace

EASA issued a Conflict Zone Information Bulletin regarding North Korean airspace.

Referring to French and German aeronautical publications, EASA recommends operators that they should “take this information and any other relevant information into account in their own risk assessments, alongside any available guidance or directions from their national authority as appropriate.”

The German Notam, which is in force since at least July 2016, states:

FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY ADVISES GERMAN OPERATORS NOT TO PLAN AND 
CONDUCT FLIGHTS WITHIN FIR PYONGYANG (ZKKP) INCLUDING TAKE OFF AND 
LANDINGS AT ALL AIRPORTS. POTENTIAL RISK TO AVIATION FROM DEDICATED 
GROUND TO GROUND BALLISTIC WEAPONRY TEST FIRINGS WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE.

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U.S. pilot sentenced to 10 months for operating aircraft without license

A 37-year old American who admitted that he illegally piloted private jet airplanes with passengers onboard without having a valid pilot’s license was sentenced to 10 months in U.S. federal prison.

According to court documents, the pilot operated aircraft with passengers on a number of occasions without the proper authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration. In January 2015, he piloted a Cessna Citation turbojet-powered aircraft, with paying passengers, from Santa Monica to Phoenix prior to receiving any type of airman’s certificate for turbojet-powered aircraft.

The following month, he obtained an airman’s certificate that authorized him to be a second-in-command pilot on a Cessna Citation turbojet-powered aircraft, but he continued to operate the Cessna Citation as a sole pilot with passengers. For example, in April 2015, he piloted a Cessna Citation from Burbank to Bermuda Dunes and from Santa Monica to Bentonville, Arkansas.

Furthermore, on April 8, 2016, he was the sole pilot of a Dassault Falcon 10 turbojet-powered aircraft, with passengers on board, that flew from Van Nuys to Las Vegas, Nevada. At this time, he was not certified to fly the Falcon 10, and the FAA had revoked all of his airman certificates.

This case was investigated by the Department of Transportation – Office of Inspector General, with assistance by the Federal Aviation Administration.

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