International Federation of Airworthiness. Promoting AirworthinessInternationalImpartial
International Federation of Airworthiness. Promoting AirworthinessInternationalImpartial

IFA Initiative to identify and assess airworthiness issues related to COVID-19

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Initiative to identify and assess airworthiness issues related to COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic thousands of aircraft have gone simultaneously into storage. IFA is aware that this situation was not foreseen as a part of the normal lifecycle of large numbers of civil aircraft.   Technical guidance exists, but IFA is concerned that there maybe gaps in current knowledge.  Our initiative will be to try to identify those gaps, should they exist.

Our first Technical meeting will be a structured discussion that addresses the aircraft from the perspective of the ATA codes and applying the following:

A hazard being that which has a potential to have a harmful operational outcomes. Each one of these hazards has an Internal and/or external effect.

From an airworthiness perspective we might ask – what’s the risk (likelihood x severity) of these hazards significantly impacting fitness to fly?

  • Hazards due to exposure to storage environment:
    • natural – static (films, sand, dust, dirt, powders, moisture, condensation, mould, fungus)
    • natural – dynamic (wind, rain, electrostatic, UV, temp cycle)
    • animate (birds, bees, insects [infestations], rats and mice, snakes)
  • Hazards due to low utilisation (corrosion, liquid separations, and solidification, contamination, residuals, uneven pressure, cable tensions, sticking sensors, build-up of pressure)
  • Hazards due to latent effects (timing devices, batteries [lifecycle], filters, data gaps)
  • Hazards due to specific working procedures (FOD, aerosols, cleaning products, chlorine, chlorine dioxide or hydrogen dioxide, gels, disinfectant, insecticides, flammable gasses. protective covers and coatings)
  • Hazards due to airport environment (GSE, tow bars, ground movement, under strength taxiways, staging and ramp access, services [power and water], hoses, cables)
  • Hazards due to management/organisation (training, competence, handovers, record keeping, NTOs, cannibalisation of parts, hygiene routines, human factors)
  • Hazards due to regulatory measure (oversight, concessions, extensions to certificates, knowledge of certification basis)

This list is provided to assist it is by no means fully comprehensive.

What can be done to address the risks that may not have already been identified and acted upon by new or amended:

  • rules
  • procedures
  • training
  • safety promotion

For our discussion of issues we will use the FAA ATA codes – click to link to read the codes


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