The FAA is amending maintenance regulations, removing the task of updating some databases from the preventive maintenance category effective Jan. 28, 2013. Previously, because database updating was listed as preventive maintenance in FAR Part 43 Appendix A, pilots were allowed to perform the updates only on aircraft that they own or operate, but not on commercially operated aircraft. This is because Part 43.3, paragraph (g) allows only pilots who own or operate aircraft not flown under Parts 121, 129 or 135 to conduct preventive maintenance.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA), responding to recent member requests, issued a statement that clarifies FAA regulations that apply to updates of navigational databases used on modern avionics. The FAA changed the Part 43 Appendix A regulations in 1996, according to NATA, and classified database updates as preventive maintenance instead of maintenance.