Australia Clarifies Aircraft Manufacturer NTO Limitations
A new airworthiness bulletin from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) clarifies that a “no technical objection” (NTO) is not an approval. According to CASA, an NTO provided to an operator by the type design manufacturer to make maintenance or other changes that would affect the continued airworthiness of an aircraft or product does not constitute automatic approval for variation to approved maintenance or technical data.
The advice or recommendation in an NTO usually includes a statement such as “the manufacturer has no technical objection to the operator’s request,” CASA said. “There is an incorrect assumption that an aircraft or aeronautical product can continue to operate with changes based solely on an NTO.” CASA emphasized that NTO documents “do not constitute approved data for continued operation of the aircraft.”
According to the bulletin, “It remains the operator’s responsibility to ensure that local regulatory approval is obtained before using manufacturer’s advice, recommendations, alterations, repairs, etc., prescribed in an NTO.” A CASA delegate or other authorized person asked to approve a change to maintenance or technical data may take an NTO into account. However, even with an NTO in hand, additional documentation “must include substantiating data to support an approval.”