FAA issues new SUPs Guidance

The FAA has issued a “change one” to the SUPs Advisory Circular: AC 21-29D, Detecting and Reporting Suspected Unapproved Parts.
The change adds better information on how to subscribe to the FAA’s Unapproved Parts Notices (UPNs) in order to get them when they are issued, and it also updates some office references to make them consistent with the FAA’s reorganization.
Remember, the FAA eliminated the ability to make a SUPs report by phone when they issued the “D” revision last summer.  SUPs reports must be provided to the FAA by e-mail or by US mail.

Unapproved Parts Notice – Rescinded

Recently, we provided an update on our progress with the FAA concerning a recent Unapproved Parts Notice (UPN) known as UPN 2018-2017-0001120.  We had concerns about the basis for the issue of that UPN, which appeared to be contrary to law.

The FAA has formally rescinded that UPN.  They recognized that the UPN was not necessary, because each of the parts had been shown to be “traceable to a PAH, traceable to an approved design by which an airworthiness determination can be made, or quarantined.”  This pronouncement did not give us the clear statement concerning traceability policy for which we were hoping, but it does mean that ASA members do not have to search their inventories for these parts.

The formal rescission can be found here: Rescind Notice – 2018 Genesis UPN 2018-2017-0001120


Unapproved Parts Notice – Update

We’ve gotten a number of phone calls and emails about a recent Unapproved Parts Notice (UPN) known as UPN 2018-2017-0001120.  This UPN claimed that several parts (Clamp Loop, Cushion, part number TA025030-06; Filter Element, part number 26570; Base Plate, part number 232012; and Bushing, part number S700B0455-6C011) were distributed without traceability to a FAA Production Approval Holder.  As many of you know, U.S. law does not require this sort of traceability as a regulatory condition for distribution of expendable parts like these.

This purported traceability-basis for the UPN has confused many ASA members who are extremely familiar with both the law and the industry practice concerning traceability.

Two weeks ago, we sent an email to the FAA that explained:

On February 15, the FAA issued a UPN on some expendable parts (UPN 2018-2017-0001120).  The claim in the UPN was that the parts were “distributed … without traceability to a FAA Production Approval Holder.”  This appears to be the sole violation described in the UPN.

As you know, back-to-birth traceability is a norm for life limited parts, but several Chief Counsel’s Opinion Letters have confirmed that it is not required under the regulations.

For expendable parts like the ones in the UPN, the FAA’s published policy states that it is acceptable to distribute such parts with a “statement as to identity and condition.”  E.g. AC 00-56B.  Thus, FAA published policy comports with FAA Chief Counsel’s Opinion Letters in clarifying that back-to-birth traceability is NOT required.

We are very concerned that this UPN appears to set the wrong standard – a standard that is legally wrong, that contradicts published FAA policy, and that would be unmanageable for current expendable inventories.  This concern is shared by many of ASA’s members and we have fielded a significant number of phone calls this week from concerned members.

It is possible that the real issue for these parts is different from what the MIDO published in the UPN.  If this is the case, then we trust that the FAA will reissue the UPN with the correct information.  But if the identified problem truly was a lack of back-to-birth traceability, then we trust that the FAA will rescind this UPN in the grounds that back-to-birth traceability is not required, and that it is an industry norm for expendable parts purchased from many distributors that they may not have back-to-birth traceability.

Once your staff has looked into this, I would appreciate an update on your plans, if any, to remedy this UPN guidance.

We’ve been talking with the FAA in the intervening two weeks, and they have been diligently investigating this matter. The FAA management people who now have charge of this project are the sort who like to do something once, and do it correctly the first time; so we have a great deal of confidence that they will come to the right decision: a decision that protects the integrity of the industry’s safety focus without imposing unworkable documentation standards.

Meet the Chinese Air Carriers and MROs

Are you interested in doing business with Chinese Air Carriers?  Wondering where to find them? We can tell you where to find (nearly) ALL of the Chinese carriers.

I will be speaking at the 3rd Annual Civil Aviation Parts Management Forum on 28-30 March 2018 in Shanghai. I’ve attended the last two of these conferences and they are very well attended – most particularly they have featured excellent participation by Chinese air carriers.

I have spoken with many of you about this event, and we’ve sent out information to the members but I realized that I haven’t added anything to the blog.  So here are some links to help you get out to China for this conference at the end of the month:

March 30 will feature two tracks – one on parts supply and one on engine maintenance and management.

The Conference will take place at the Shanghai Marriott Luwan hotel (also known as the “Riverside” for its proximity to the Huangpu River).  This hotel is about 8 miles from SHA and 28 miles from PVG.

The Conference also includes a tour of COMAC on the morning of March 28th, so be sure to arrive early for that event!

To get in touch with the organizers directly, send an email to Echo Sun at echos@opplandcorp.com, or call her at +86 1356 463 7605.

Getting Closure … in Your Hazmat Packagings

It seems like such a simple issue.  Your hazmat packages must be closed.  But there are right ways and wrong ways to close your hazmat packaging!

There are regulations that affect closure.  For example, the United States regulations require hazmat packages to be properly closed.  49 C.F.R. § 173.24(b).  This means that under normal transportation conditions, hazmat will not be released into the environment and the expected effectiveness of the package will remain consistent with the tested effectiveness.  49 C.F.R. § 173.24(b)(1-2).  Correlative requirements exist in the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR).

How does closure influence the expected effectiveness?  In order to ensure that closure does not compromise the expected effectiveness of the package, one must follow the manufacturer’s instructions for closing the package.  These instructions can often be found printed on a flap on a specification packaging.  If they are not printed on the packaging itself, though, then they should be found on a document that accompanies the packaging.

As a shipper, you should always expect closure instructions with your specification packagings, because the manufacturer is required to provide closure instructions.  49 C.F.R. § 178.2(c)(1)(i)(B).

The shipper is required to close the package in accordance with the information provided by the manufacturer.  49 C.F.R. § 173.24(f).

The closure instructions may go into tremendous detail, such as requiring you to use the tape that is provided with the packaging (rather than any other tape) and even explaining precisely where the tape must be applied.

But the manufacturer’s closure instructions must also be read in light of the regulations (compliance with both will typically be required).  For example, one regulation that must be obeyed says that a combination packaging containing liquid hazardous materials must be packed so that the closures on the inner packagings are upright (which will make them consistent with the orientation arrows required by the regulations).  49 C.F.R. § 173.24a(a)(1).  When using the U.S. regulations you need to follow the packaging regulations found in Part 173 and when using the IATA DGR, you need to follow the Packing Instruction found in the yellow pages of section five.

Most people in our community ship their hazmats by air according to the ICAO Technical Instructions, as those are reprinted in the IATA DGR.  The procedure for doing this involves selecting an authorized Packing Instruction which guides the shipper in how to legally package the hazardous materials for shipment.  The Packing Instruction will describe what packagings are authorized (e.g. a 4G specification fiberboard box).  But the Packing Instruction may have additional packaging instructions that also must be followed.  For example, the instructions for packaging Dangerous Goods in Apparatus (which is a commonly used proper shipping name in the aviation industry) are currently found in Packing Instruction 962.  Packing Instruction 962 explains that when shipping fuels system components (such as a fuel pump containing fuel residue), each component “must be emptied of fuel as far as practicable and all openings must be sealed securely.”  This must be accomplished before the outer packaging is closed (note that this particular Packing Instruction permits the use of non-specification packaging and therefore the outer packaging may not include manufacturer’s closure instructions meeting the requirements of the hazmat regulations as they apply to specification packagings).

If this article seems confusing, then perhaps you need to join us in one of our hazmat classes!  We will be teaching a live online hazmat class on April 24-25.  The class is live, so you can ask your questions, but it is also online, so you can take the class from the comfort of your own desk.  Our class uses the IATA DGR (and some of the US regulations that remain applicable) and goes through the functional steps you need to accomplish in order to remain compliant with US and international law; successful completion of the class yields a training certificate that meets the legal requirements of the US and most other non-US jurisdictions.

Sanctions for Aircraft Parts Transactions: Exercise Due Diligence With Your Business Partners

It remains important for aircraft parts exporters to check their customers against the U.S. government export databases.

In today’s Federal Register, restrictions were renewed against an individual and her companies for supporting an Iranian airline, Mahan Airways, that has been designated by the United States as a Global Terrorist.

  • Gulnihal Yegane, Merkez Mah. Hasat Sok. No: 52/6, Sisli, Istanbul, Turkey;
  • Trigron Lojistik Kargo Limited Sirketi, Yanibosna Merkez Mah., Degirmenbah[ccedil]e Cad. No. 11, Airport Hill Sitesi Blok D.6,
    Bah[ccedil]elievler, Istanbul, Turkey;
  • Ufuk Avia Lojistik Limited Sirketi, Merkez Mah. Hasat Sok., No: 52/6, Sisli, Istanbul, Turkey;
  • RA Havacilik Lojistik Ve Tasimacilik Ticaret Limited Sirketi, Yesilce Mah. Dalgic SK., 3/101 Kagithane, Istanbul, Turkey

According to the Federal Register, Ms. Yegane was originally one of 19 persons accused of procuring parts to support the operation of Mahan Airways in Iran. 78 FR 75,463 (Dec. 12, 2013).  Mahan Airways is designated by the United States as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. 77 FR 64,427 (Oct. 18, 2011).  Most recently (in 2017), Ms. Yegane was accused of obtaining CFM-56 engines and gaskets and isolators used on Boeing aircraft for shipment to Iran.  83 FR 4897 (Feb. 2, 2018).

Aircraft parts distributors should be cautious in their business dealings to ensure that they are not supporting persons or entities members in violation of the law, and this includes forbidden business dealings with parties subject to export restrictions.

As we’ve discussed in our export classes, one efficient way to identify parties who might be subject to export restrictions is to search the consolidated screening list found online at https://www.export.gov/csl-search.  The Consolidated Screening List is a list of parties for which the United States Government maintains restrictions on certain exports, reexports or transfers of items.  The restrictions are drawn from eleven export screening lists published by the U.S. Departments of Commerce, State and the Treasury.

We recommend that you check your business partners with every transaction, because a previously “clean” partner could be added to the lists at any time.  Linking your computer-based transactions system to the Consolidated Screening List is one way to automatically ensure that every transaction is scanned.  If you choose to do this, then make sure that other parties who are not entered into the system, but who are nonetheless part of the transaction, are also checked by hand.  You can link to the database using the Application Programming interface (API), which enables computers to freely access the CSL in an open, machine-readable format. From this API, any company can build a search engine to quickly find names, aliases, and other screening information. Developers can find more information about the API online at https://developer.export.gov/consolidated-screening-list.html.


Updates to Lithium Battery TSOs Available for Comment

The FAA has issued two new draft TSOs related to lithium batteries.  Draft TSO-C142b Non-Rechargeable Lithium Cells and Batteries, and Draft TSO-C179b Rechargeable Lithium Batteries and Battery Systems, each inform applicants for TSOAs or LODAs of the minimum performance standards articles must meet in order to receive approval and identification with the applicable TSO marking.

These TSOs will cancel the old versions of the TSOs (C142a and C179a) six months after the effective date of the new revisions. After that point, all applications for TSOA or LODA must be made under the new TSO revision.  However, the draft TSOs make clear that articles “approved under a previous TSOA may still be manufactured under the provisions of its original approval.”

ASA has reviewed the draft revision TSOs and they do not appear revoke or amend already-approved TSOAs. This means older equipment manufactured to the old TSOs under previously issued TSOAs remain usable, which should give distributors with articles manufactured in accordance with the old TSOs in their inventory a measure of comfort in the face of the revised standards.

If you think these draft TSOs warrant comment we would love to hear from you.  Email ryan@washingtionaviation.com with your feedback.  Comments are due January 31, 2018 so we need to hear from you before then.

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