Validity of the MMEL as an MEL in U.S. Domestic and Foreign State Airspace
By now, most business aviation operators are aware of the frenzy created by the epiphany that an MMEL is not valid outside of U.S. domestic airspace.
|“The United States deviates from the international standard, more so than all other ICAO signatory countries combined.”|
I find this interesting
ICAO introduced the “approved” MEL in 2008, with the seventh edition of Annex 6, Part II – International General Aviation – Aeroplanes, which came to force on November 18, 2010. By 2010, most civil aviation authorities around the world had written the MEL requirements into their civil aviation regulations.
The European Union (EU) addressed their regulatory requirement in 2008. Specifically, in Regulation (EC) No 216/2008. The MEL requirements were further supported by Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 in 2012. Late 2016, the EU added clarity for SAFA inspectors via an amendment to 965/2012.
Of the 191 ICAO signatory countries, the U.S. is the ONLY country that allows operators to use an MMEL as an MEL.
MEL Options for U.S. Noncommercial Operators
U.S. noncommercial operators may opt for an authorization to use the MMEL as an MEL, in accordance with the LOA D095 (domestic airspace only), or choose the FAA-approved MEL, in accordance with LOA D195 (worldwide applicability).
I have done extensive research on this topic and have assembled regulatory evidentiary material supporting the requirement for noncommercial operators, of US registry, to have an FAA-approved MEL (LOA D195) while operating outside of U.S. domestic airspace. I have authored a position paper, with all the details required, to assist manager with making an informed decision about their MEL strategy.
Since the NBAA published an article, revealing the fact that many U.S. operators are noncompliant, I have sent out over 150 copies of my paper. Since the paper remains popular, I have made it available on Amazon as an E-book and Paperback.
Minimum Equipment List: Validity of the MMEL as an MEL in U.S. Domestic and Foreign State Airspace
The MEL is only the tip of the iceberg
Through Air Safety Group’s international operations support services, we have found many operators are failing to meet other key requirements for operations in foreign state airspace.
Frankly, U.S. noncommercial operators cannot rely on meeting FAA requirements as the catch-all for the rest of the world.
The United States deviates from the international standard, more so than all other ICAO signatory countries combined. The U.S. difference to international standards are published in 108 pages of the U.S. International Aeronautical Publication. Yes, 108 pages!
Many of the U.S. differences pertain to lower-level regulatory oversight of noncommercial operations, in areas such as the MEL, technical dispatch requirements, airspace authorizations, flight planning requirements, documents to be carried, et.al. This creates significant challenge for U.S noncommercial operators.
A question flight department managers ought to be asking is, does the sudden realization for the “FAA-approved” MEL indicate other critical areas needing attention.
As to the MMEL as an MEL in domestic operations. 100% of operators Air Safety Group has audited, or provided safety and compliance implementation support, have failed to meet the requirements of the LOA D095, and therefore have invalidated their MEL authorization. This concern is addressed in the position paper.