Airworthiness Manual Advisory (AMA)
Date: January 1, 1986
Subject: Manufacturer Approval Procedures
This advisory provides information concerning Chapter 56l, Subchapter B of the Airworthiness Manual and sets forth acceptable means, but not the sole means, of compliance with its requirements. It covers only those sections where further discussion, information and examples would be helpful. The numbering and headings of the paragraphs of this advisory refers to the applicable sec-tions of Chapter 561, Subchapter B.
561.203 Application for Approval
It is recommended that a manufacturer contact the appropriate DOT regional office prior to submitting an application for approval to ensure that he has all of the pertinent data and information and that he understands DOT require-ments. It is important also to establish a continuing convenient means of communicating and exchanging information and data to facilitate the processing of a request for approval.
An application for a manufacturer approval may be made while some of the con-ditions for approval are still being established. In such case the applicant should advise DOT of the status of all outstanding conditions and also provide a schedule of events showing when these will be met. It would be ideal if the schedules were such that a manufacturer approval could be granted at the same time as production commences, but there are circumstances under which an ap-plicant will require approval to manufacture before all of the conditions of Chapter 56l, Subchapter A are met. Under such circumstances the applicant may request approval to manufacture pursuant to Chapter 561, Subchapter A, Section 561.103 (b), but in doing so he should be able to show that he has the poten-tial to meet all of the conditions for approval.
561.205 Granting Approval
Particular care should be taken by the applicant when evaluation by DOT is being carried out on a progressive basis while his manufacturing processes and his quality program are still being established. Close coordination and full cooperation with DOT will assist greatly in obtaining a timely manufacturer approval.
DOT will require access to the applicant's facilities and data, and may re-quire assistance by the applicant's personnel. Specialist assistance may be required if, for example, it is necessary to operate complex and costly test equipment, in which case it would be more appropriate for an experienced com-pany inspector to perform the test and have DOT witness it. Specialist assis-tance may also be required at the manufacturer's suppliers' facilities.
When there is a requirement for DOT personnel to be in a manufacturer's plant on a daily basis for any appreciable time, the manufacturer is expected to provide suitable accommodations.
The manufacturer's approved quality program may be amended without affecting the manufacturer approval providing the aeronautical products are not affec-ted.
561.207 Approval Limitations
When a manufacturer requests an approval or a change to an approval, and his facilities are at more than one location, consideration should be given to whether all locations may be included under one approval, or whether two or more approvals may be more appropriate. When assemblies and components of a type approved product are manufactured at more than one location, but respon-sibility for the completed product is held at only one of the locations it is probably more appropriate to request one approval and include all locations under the same approval. However, when a type approved product is manufac-tured at more than one location, and responsibility for manufacturing the product is held separately at each location, it is probably more appropriate to request and grant separate approvals for each location. Variations to these circumstances will occur, and it is advisable for an applicant to con-sult with the appropriate personnel from the DOT regional office prior to requesting an approval or a change to an approval.
561.209 Approval of Manufacturer's Personnel
It is essential that only competent personnel be authorized by a manufacturer to certify that aeronautical products conform to approved design data and are in a condition for safe operation. In submitting to DOT the names of the personnel whom the manufacturer proposes as authorized inspectors, Airworth-iness Inspection Representatives, or Field Service Representatives, the appli-cant should have readily available data detailing the inspection to be per-formed, the knowledge and expertise required to carry out the inspection, and the qualifications of each person to be assigned to inspect and certify spec-ific aeronautical products.
The manufacturer is required to maintain a record of authorized inspectors, AIRs, and FSRs. The record should identify each inspector, his qualifica-tions, his specific assignments and if applicable his delegation of authority and stamp number. Acceptable means of establishing and maintaining these records may take the form of appendices or annexes to the quality program manual or may be a separate procedure identified in the manual. Whatever means is used, the records should be kept up to date and be available to DOT personnel when required.