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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is ACAM?

Aircraft Continuing Airworthiness Monitoring (ACAM) is laid down in Part M, Annex I of Regulation (EC) 2042/2003. M.B.303 obliges the national aviation authorities in the EU to take random airworthiness surveys on aircraft, which are on their national register.

This is carried out by means of ACAM-surveys.

With the help of ACAM the LBA intends to enhance aviation safety.

The results of the surveys will be evaluated in order to identify safety critical trends and developments. In case of frequent occurrences, the LBA will take corrective actions such as the issue of an AD, if deficiencies are detected on aircraft types.

If findings are detected during the survey, they have to be removed by the operator of the aircraft in due time.

The corrective actions have to be in agreement with the LBA-inspector.

It is in the interest of aviation to carry out surveys and corrective actions on the basis of a trustworthy cooperation and a mutual support.

2. Which aircraft can be surveyed by ACAM?

Aircraft (aeroplanes, helicopters, sailplanes, powered sailplanes, balloons and airships) within the scope of applicability of Regulation (EC) No. 216/2008 can be inspected. Aircraft according to Appendix II to Regulation (EC) No. 216/2008 (e. g. microlight aircraft) are not inspected by ACAM.

3. Are only privately operated aircraft concerned?

No. ACAM also carries out surveys on commercially operated aircraft (e. g. of an air carrier). There is no difference as to the procedure of a survey.

4. Can I refuse an ACAM-survey?

No. In accordance with M.A.201 (j) the owner/operator is obliged to grant to the LBA-inspectors access to the aircraft (and to its documentation according to M.A. 305 f).

5. How are ACAM-surveys carried out?

Airworthiness surveys are carried out by means of

  • Ramp Surveys: Survey of aircraft shortly before or after operation (e.g. on aerodromes) or
  • In-Depth Surveys: Survey of aircraft following the prior arrangement of the date (even possible during turnaround or maintenance).

These surveys are no adequate airworthiness inspections, airworthiness is only checked on the basis of random samples. The extent of an ACAM airworthiness survey is left to the discretion of the LBA-inspector. Ramp Surveys are carried out without announcement. In this case aircraft are selected that are by chance on the chosen aerodrome. A Ramp Survey takes about 30 minutes, in well-founded cases even longer.

In-Depth Surveys are more extensive surveys where, apart from the aircraft, even the aircraft documentation is checked.Contrary to Ramp Surveys, these surveys are mostly announced and take place at a date fixed with the owner.The survey is divided into a survey of the aircraft documentation (L-file) on a random sample basis and a survey of the aircraft. Depending on the size of the aircraft, the survey takes 1 – 2 days whereby the aircraft does not have to be available for more than one day.

6. How can I prepare for an ACAM-survey?

Due to the fact that Ramp Surveys take place without announcement, a preparation is not necessary.

In case of In Depth Surveys, aircraft and aircraft documentation have to be available at the date agreed upon. Any changes should be arranged in time with the ACAM-team.

The aircraft should be presented in a clean condition.

It is of mutual interest that a contact person who is familiarized with the aircraft and the documentation should accompany the survey. Thus, questions can be simply and easily clarified on the spot. Furthermore, a person is required who is authorized to operate aircraft systems, to open and close cowlings and, if appropriate, to issue a certificate of Release to Service.

It is left to the discretion of the owner/operator to provide a technician who is able to take care of identified deficiencies on the spot. Regarding ACAM, however, the owner/operator is not obliged to do this. The costs for the technical staff will not be assumed by the LBA.  

7. How do I have to handle identified deficiencies?

During the survey, a record is prepared including all findings detected. The findings are classified by the LBA-inspector according to their risk and assigned to level 1 or 2.

Further procedure in case of findings

In case of findings listed in the record, the aircraft operator is responsible that corrective actions are completed within the specified period.

Level 1 findings

Level 1 Findings must be rectified before the next flight. Pending rectification, the airworthiness review certificate is suspended. If the finding is not rectified within a period determined in advance, the Airworthiness Review Certifcate will be revoked unless the LBA-inspector agreed to an extension of the due date. By initiating immediate corrective actions a level 1 finding can be downgraded to level 2 or immediately be closed. As soon as all level 1 findings will have been successfully accomplished, the suspended airworthiness review certificate will be sent back to the aircraft owner.

Level 2 findings

Level 2 Findings need to be rectified within the period mentioned in the record, if no period was noted, within 60 days.

Closure of findings

Before carrying out corrective actions, they need to be approved by the LBA-inspector. If the rectification cannot be carried out directly on the spot, the LBA-inspector must be notified of the accomplishment of corrective actions by enclosing appropriate evidence.

The operator is obliged to prepare a root-cause-analysis for each finding. This is to find out the causes for the deficiencies in order to determine the suitable corrective actions thus ensuring that the deficiencies will be avoided in the future.

8. Which costs do I have to calculate?

An ACAM-survey is not subject to fees. As the operator is legally obliged to provide aircraft and aircraft documentation, no expense allowance is reimbursed.

9. How are ACAM-inspectors trained?

The ACAM-staff members have passed an extensive training. They are qualified and authorized for both kinds of surveys. In case of  'In-Depth Surveys' at least always one member of the staff has a licence according to Part-66 corresponding to the category of the aircraft.

10. Which laws are binding for me in connection with ACAM?

Please refer to ‘Legal Basis’, where we summarized the legal principles authorizing to carry out ACAM-surveys as well as the obligations of the persons responsible for the aircraft.

11. How can I contact the ACAM-team in case of questions?

You can contact us by email (acam@lba.de), by phone (+49 531 2355-5210) or by fax (+49 531 2355-5299).

Release: 2016.11.03

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