Singapore and China Ink Technical Pact on Maintenance

 - August 21, 2019, 9:55 AM

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has signed a landmark deal with China that will allow the streamlining of maintenance licensing provisions, the agency announced Wednesday. Dubbed the Technical Arrangement on Aviation Maintenance (TA-AM) agreement, the deal aims to reduce the time and cost involved in reciprocal license recognition and surveillance of approved maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) organizations located in China and Singapore. Both sides inked the agreement on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 56th Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Region in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Under the terms of the agreement, MRO companies operating in either nation can obtain an aircraft maintenance license from the other’s authority without conducting an onsite review. The cooperation, a first for China, will allow both nations to save on regulatory resources while reducing administrative costs. Singapore currently holds similar agreements with Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Hong Kong China’s Civil Aviation Department, Transport Canada, and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. 

According to CAAS, 43 operators in Singapore hold China Civil Aviation Regulation (CCAR) 145 Maintenance Organization Certificates from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). They include MRO arms of airlines and maintenance units authorized by manufacturers.

“In China, 26 MROs, including engine and aircraft parts repair workshops hold Singapore Airworthiness Requirements (SAR) 145 Maintenance Organization Approvals from CAAS, which enable them to perform maintenance on aircraft and components intended for fitment onto aircraft registered in Singapore. Under the agreement, participating MROs would only be audited by local authorities,” said CAAS in a statement.

According to the CAAC, the agreement also serves as a model for future cooperation with other foreign aviation bodies.

In recent months, China has stepped up cross-border engagement in an attempt to boost its competitiveness in the aerospace field. In late May, Chinese and European regulators signed two aviation agreements—a bilateral civil aviation safety agreement (BASA) and a so-called horizontal air services agreement—to strengthen cooperation in areas such as airworthiness, licensing, and training. With the expansion in passenger and freight operations, European officials estimate that both agreements will generate economic benefits of about $3.9 billion for the EU and China by 2025 and create 11,000 jobs.