The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has introduced a change to the policy regarding ‘orphan’ aircraft. An aircraft becomes known as an orphan when the type is no longer supported by a Type Certificate Holder, usually the manufacturer and the State of Design.
Previously, this meant the orphan would only be eligible for a Certificate of Airworthiness (CofA ) through a Type Responsibility Agreement (TRA) which required the owner to monitor and react to continuing airworthiness concerns with the fleet. However, it effectively meant that if one aircraft owner decided to establish a TRA, all affected aircraft were compelled to also continue to hold a CofA. In most cases this went against the wishes of the majority of the aircraft owners, who would be content for their aircraft to hold a Permit to Fly. The policy change will now allow non-EASA orphans to either transfer to a Permit to Fly or remain on a Certificate of Airworthiness.
The CAA said the change of policy will result in fleets of aircraft of the same type having mixed certification, with some on a CofA and others a PtoF, but it allows the decision for the appropriate airworthiness certificate and the application of the corresponding operating limitations to rest with individual aircraft owners.
The CAA has now written to all current TRA holders informing them of the policy change. Any aircraft owner who wants to take advantage of the new policy should notify the TRA organisation of the deletion of the individual aircraft from the TRA and to apply to the CAA Applications and Approvals Department for the initial issue of a PtoF. The CAA will then confirm with the TRA holder when an individual aircraft has been transferred to a PtoF.