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Aircraft Bridging/Transfer/Documentation Requirements

There are times and occasions when an operator may require adding or deleting an aircraft, or a fleet of aircraft, to a new maintenance program. This is called aircraft bridging or transferring to increase efficiency and/or reduce costs. Aircraft lessors are routinely required to transition aircraft from one maintenance program to another in order to meet specified delivery requirements. Returning an aircraft from the operator to the manufacturer has its own requirements.

When an aircraft transitions from one operator to another or from one inspection program to another, the time in service, calendar times, or cycles of operation accumulated under the previous program must be applied in determining inspection due times under the new program. In addition, some aircraft operators may have more stringent maintenance requirements than the aircraft manufacturer recommends.

Developing Solutions

Developing solutions for bridging maintenance requirements takes specialized skills and knowledge. It often requires the assistance of the aircraft manufacturer or specialist third-party maintenance repair & overhaul (MROs) companies. Bridging involves reviewing the task requirements of two maintenance programs and developing a “task differences” list.

A “task differences” list does not in itself mean a maintenance package. Instead, it is the product of a detailed analysis of the transfer aircraft’s maintenance history in relation to the Maintenance Program the aircraft is to be placed under. If the aircraft reverts back to the manufacturer, they will want to know where the aircraft falls under their own Maintenance Program recommendations.

Usually, there is some maintenance activity required at the time of transfer. The amount will clearly be influenced by the current maintenance status of the subject aircraft and to the extent, the Maintenance Program has been followed. 

It is the new operator’s responsibility to evaluate both the old and new maintenance programs. Then they will need to develop a transition plan suitable for the authorities to integrate the new aircraft into their maintenance operation.

A transition plan will evaluate the elements of the programs as they relate to an airframe and engine. These elements include:

  • Certification Maintenance Requirements
  • Airworthiness Limitation Items
  • Instructions for Continued Airworthiness
  • Airworthiness Directives / Service Bulletins
  • Corrosion Prevention and Control Program
  • Major Repairs and Alterations

Let us assist you and your company with these requirements. Our specialists are highly skilled in the research needed to accomplish a successful transfer of Maintenance Programs or aircraft transfer. We have assisted many operators with these requirements and look forward to assisting you as well.

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