FAA Issues Guidance for Aircraft Health Programs

 - July 12, 2022, 2:50 PM

The FAA has issued policy notice 8900.1 and Advisory Circular (AC) 43.218 that together provide guidance for fractional and commercial operators to obtain authorization to use digitally integrated aircraft health management (IAHM) programs to meet maintenance requirements. Comprehensive IAHM is an end-to-end concept that encompasses aircraft systems, data transmission, and data analysis/implementation, often on ground-based equipment, to provide information regarding aircraft system performance and structural conditions.

To enable IAHM approval, the FAA's aircraft maintenance division has developed operations specifications for letters of authorization and letters of deviation authority (LODA) that apply to Part 91K, 121, 125, 135, and combined 121/135 operators and LODA holders requesting authorization to use an IAHM program.

The policy notice contains examples of templates providing each operator segment with the information that must be provided to the FAA to obtain approvals. A key provision to use an IAHM is that the “certificate holder has incorporated policies and procedures into its maintenance programs to use IAHM for airworthiness decisions and for adjusting its maintenance or inspection program’s interval or scope.”

The AC describes an acceptable means to comply with IAHM requirements. However, the FAA cautions that if these means are used “to show compliance, you should follow it in all important respects.” This guidance also applies to MRO organizations, the agency said.