Airworthiness Notice - B004, Edition 4 - 12 September 2000

Acceptance of Foreign Designed Modifications and Repairs

(This Airworthiness Notice supersedes AN B004 Edition 3,) 
(dated 3 October 1997


The purpose of this notice is to provide general information concerning the acceptance of foreign designed modifications and repairs, (hereafter referred as "type design changes" in Canadian Aviation Regulations), incorporated or intended for future incorporation on Canadian registered aircraft, or on aeronautical products to be installed thereon.  This revision deletes some information now published in Airworthiness Manual Advisory (AMA) 513.20; introduces the use of "type design examination" terminology; and reflects changes in polices with respect to the acceptance of modifications and repairs that originate in the United States.


For the purpose of this notice, a foreign designed modification or repair means a change in type design that originated:

  1. In the United States and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), under either a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC), an FAA  Letter of Repair Design Approval or an FAA 337 Field Approval;
  2. In other foreign countries, for which approval has been recorded under a document equivalent or similar to an FAA STC;
  3. In the United Kingdom, for which approval has been recorded by either an STC or a Field Approval issued by the responsible Civil Aviation Authority; or
  4. In other foreign countries, for which approval was issued by their private delegates and/or delegated organizations and recorded under a form of approvals unique to the originating country, e.g. Design Deviation Authorization Notes, DGAC Service Bulletins, British Airways Engineering Order, etc.

Note: Based on known international practices, STC documents are presently issued by Transport Canada (TC), the United States (FAA), Australia (CAA), Argentina and the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA). Other countries are expected to eventually issue STCs as a means of recording the approval of a domestic modification or repair design.


The emergence of the JAA, the implementation of new Bilateral Airworthiness Agreements or other Technical Arrangements in place with other foreign airworthiness authorities, and an express objective on the part of TC to give maximum credit to foreign airworthiness authorities for their findings of compliance, has culminated in the refinement of the Canadian type certification process associated with foreign designed aeronautical products, more specifically aircraft.

Consistent with the aforementioned objective, foreign designed modifications or repairs may be accepted by TC through a "type design examination" consisting of the application of "three possible levels of airworthiness review".  The level of review for the given foreign modification or repair, which is to be determined by TC in accordancewith established policy materials, will be predicated primarily by the level of confidence given to the responsible foreign airworthiness authority, the category of aircraft or other aeronautical product(s) involved and their intended operational role in Canada.

Given TC's longstanding interaction with the FAA, modification and repair approvals issued by the FAA enjoy a high level of recognition, thus in many instances FAA STCs may be acceptable to TC without a detailed review.  In support of the foregoing, TC and the FAA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in May 1998 which provides for the reciprocal acceptance of repair designs approved by either country, intended for installation on aeronautical products for which the other country holds design responsibility.

Pertinent Advisory Materials

Airworthiness Manual Advisory (AMA) 513.20 provides the industry with detailed procedural guidelines to follow and associated responsibilities for Canadian operators or other interested parties in order to obtain a corresponding approval from TC for a foreign design modification or repair.  Additional advisory materials will also be published by the FAA and TC in the near future to clarify and complement the provisions currently outlined in the FAA/TC MOU with respect to the reciprocal acceptance of repair designs.

Importation of Foreign Aircraft

Prior to making firm commitments for the importation of foreign aircraft, or the return to Canada of a Canadian designed aircraft which was operated and maintained outside Canada, owners/operators should establish a list of incorporated STCs, FAA Field Approvals and other forms of approvals unique to the operating country, and contact the Transport Canada Centre located in the geographical region where the imported aircraft will be based or operated.  Lack of timely notification to TC  may incur delays in obtaining the required corresponding approvals, and possibly jeopardize the issue of the required aircraft flight authority in time to meet the operator's schedule of operations.

Operator's Responsibilities

Once advised by TC of the applicable airworthiness review requirements, the aircraft owner/operator is responsible for negotiating arrangements with the proprietary holder of the design data for the submission of an application to TC, including a copy of the technical data specified in Airworthiness Manual Chapter 513 required for review.

For Minister of Transport

K.J. Mansfield
Director, Aircraft Certification

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