How IAMA Supports Airlines and Lessors Following an Approved Aircraft Modification?
Jun 22, 2022
Your aircraft modification was realized by a non-IAMA member design organization, and further down the road, you’ve discovered some problems. What do you do next? IAMA, the Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance, offers an array of resources to address some of the most pressing upgrade challenges airlines and lessors face. At the same time, IAMA members guarantee a high-quality after-sales support and a host of other Supplemental Type Certificate services. The IAMA Rulebook is the alliance’s definitive document which encapsulates the IAMA Standard and alliance members are committed to following its guidance. Developed by experts, the Rulebook is an essential guide for the aviation industry in how to avoid common aircraft modification pitfalls. Whether it’s After-Sales Support, Right to Use De-modifications, Validation, Modification maintainability or Orphan STCs, IAMA has solid advice.
IAMA Eases Down the After-Sales Aircraft Modification Pitfalls
IAMA experts have developed a white paper that extensively outlines the Supplemental Type Certificate after-sales consideration for airlines. The white paper is a helpful resource and a great starting point to get the better of the possible unwanted after-sales issues. Many airlines and lessors have reported IAMA that they discover an issue with their approved in-service modification but no one is available for a support. IAMA members guarantee a technical point of contact to ensure you receive quality after-sales support. Not only that, but the Rulebook guides alliance design organization members to ensure all aircraft modifications are compatible with future upgrades. And here’s a hint: addressing the need for support beforehand in the RFP leads to better outcomes.
Right to Use Requirements
Transferring an STC data can pose many challenges. Say for example, you want to transfer your aircraft, but the Right to Use STC data is commercially limited to the current aircraft operator. At IAMA, we believe STC data belongs with the modified aircraft. Following the Rulebook, alliance members commit to providing a Right-to-Use letter to not only the operator, but also the aircraft owner with the modification. It’s easy to see that working with an IAMA member for your airplane upgrade helps bypass this hurdle.
De-Modification of a Modification
De-modification of an airplane upgrade presents complications too. Maybe you need to return your aircraft to a pre-modified state. Owners may prefer the aircraft be returned with modifications removed for many reasons, but the key thing to remember is that alliance members can help support, even if you didn’t originally plan ahead for the de-modification. Once again, planning mitigates many pitfalls. A must-read source for all aviation industry participants, more information can be found in the IAMA white paper called “De-modification: Removal of STC modifications.”
The next challenge, validation, a commonly encountered issue in the aviation industry, is a particularly demanding issue, but one that can be managed. Say your aircraft registration needs to transfer to Latin America, but it has not been validated. If you’ve chosen an IAMA member to design and support the airplane upgrade, they can also support validation efforts. It is well to remember that validation processes are partially outside of the control of any modifier. However, alliance members follow the Rulebook to ensure all stakeholders understand the validation path and time required. IAMA’s white paper “Supplemental Type Certificate Interaction with Aviation Authorities” displays more information on this challenge.
As significant as maintaining a robust relation with aviation authorities, another longer-term issue is aircraft maintenance, which is already an enormous undertaking. Especially for aging aircraft, the ability to streamline aircraft maintenance is an important goal. IAMA members adhere to rules that consider maintainability at the outset. Once more, it is the RFP and aircraft maintenance planning that will help you reduce the burden on your maintenance team. To overcome aircraft maintenance challenges, a good first move to start the process is to read the alliance’s white paper, “Maintainability Considerations Throughout the STC Life Cycle.”
Aircraft maintenance can be even more problematic if you discover an aircraft modification has been orphaned because the design organization who did the upgrade is no longer in business. In many cases, Orphan STCs can be a frustrating issue. However, in contrast to other STCs, members of the alliance commit to surrender IAMA-endorsed STCs and not abandon them. Plus, IAMA members will commit to supporting the operators and owners affected by a surrender with reasonable efforts. IAMA’s white paper “Orphan STCs – STCs that are no Longer Supported” is a good primer on this topic, or you can ask an IAMA member for more information.
There are many challenges facing aircraft owners and operators when it comes to aircraft modification. IAMA is a strong force for good in the aviation ecosystem. To learn more about the alliance, join us and get access to these resources, visit www.iamalliance.aero. And to get a taste of how we help our stakeholders, watch our video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcUtI0ce79w&t=130s