View Full Version : Starting EASA aircraft maintenance shop
19th Jun 2012, 16:14
I'm an FAA PPL with little experience with EASA regulations and maintenance organisations. I know an EASA approved maintenance shop which is up for sale, which is basically a one-man show mainly focussed on general non-commercial aviation. I'd like to consider buying the shop from it's current owner, and hire a B1/B2 mechanic to do the work for which certification is required.
However, it's not clear to me what all the requirements are to be allowed to do aircraft maintenance. I know this is a very broad question, but can someone shed light on the high-level requirements for running it? Basically I'd like be able to continue doing the following:
- Perform scheduled maintenance
- Perform repairs
- Perform annual inspections and sign releases for flight
---> for small single-engine aircraft, non-commercial operations
When reading up on EASA regulations, it looks like you need at least 10 people to do this, while apparently it is possible with a single person. What are the minimum qualifications needed for the personnel?
19th Jun 2012, 21:01
I'll assume that you're looking into buying a hangar which is approved to do heavy maintenance on small jets.
you need to get an EASA 145 approval and for this you'll need to go through a complex procedure.
Here is some useful info I found after googling.
2. INTRODUCTION• An organisation that intend to secure jobs from Europe has to have EASA 145 approval. The approval means that the organisation has met the minimum standard as listed.
3. ROAD TO GET EASA 145 APPROVAL• One of the actions items required for companies applying for 145, is to train their staff on 145 awareness. Some of the learning points are shared below.• You may get more information from EASA official website.
4. ABOUT EASA• EASA stands for European Aviation Safety (http://www.slideshare.net/joharahman/easa-145#) Agency.• Its responsibilities includes – Act as an advisory body to EU in matters related to civil aviation. – Monitor the aviation safety and ensure its compliant. – Issue Type certificate for companies in Europe – Issue Design approval for manufacturing and modification. – Authorize non EU companies to operate on EASA guidelines.
5. VARIOUS PART OF EASA• In order for EASA to perform its roles, various regulations were laid down. The big ones are as follows:• Part 145 – MRO – These are regulation related to the setting and operation a maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircrafts of components.• Part M - continuous airworthiness. This provide the guides and process to ensure the civil aircrafts continue its airworthiness status.• Eu Operation – AOC – The air operators certificate are given to airlines when the airline had met the minimum standard and requirement to set up a civil airline.• Part 66 – licensing. This is the section giving guides and approval in matters relating to certifying the maintenance personnel.• Part 147 – training organization
6. REQUIREMENTS TO GET EASA 145• The followings are the requirements that an organisation must have at the time when the application is made: – Approved facilities with controlled environment – Tools and equipments. – Approved processes as laid in MOE – maintenance organisation exposition.
7. More Requirements to get 145• Approved parts. A system to ensure that the parts received are genuine.• Approved documentations – Manufacturers – AMM,MPD, CMM,IPC,WDM,SB – Regulatory – AD,AN – Companies – job cards, check list, report, manufacturing orders, Tags• Release documents – CRS EASA form1
8. More Requirements to get 145• Qualified personnel – sufficient licensed personnel – Quality assurance personnel• Auditor• Accountable manager• Moe – Maintenance Organisation Exposition giving details of the management personnel, processes and the control.
9. MOE Contents• Management organization• Maintenance Procedures• Line Maintenance Procedures• Quality System Procedures• Procedures for operators• Appendies
10. CATEGORIES OF 145• Part 145 categories• A1 aircraft > 5700kg• A2 aircraft <5700kg
11. ENGINE APPROVAL• Approval: For repairing & overhaul Engine – B1-turbo-jet – B2-Recipocating – B3-Apu (auxiliary power unit (http://www.slideshare.net/joharahman/easa-145#)) – D1-NDT
12. WHO CAN ISSUE CRS is the certificate release to service.• B1 Certifying staff• B2 Certifying staff for his scope.• Certifying staff for his scope of Authorization
13. INFORMATION GIVEN IN CRS The following information shall be available• Companys approval number• Name, approval number• Date and place of issue• Reference
Ensure that all these requirments are fullfilled in the maintenance hangar you're looking to buy + The personnel in there are appropriately qualified lincensed B1 or B2 engineers, Have a look at thier MOE, Thier procedures, The infrastructure of the shop and capabilities of the hangar and I advise you to do some more reading on 145 organizations before involving yourself in this bussiness.
It appears from your post that you have no idea on what you're about to embark on which is no good when it comes to such businesses so do your research.
19th Jun 2012, 21:18
Hi, the hangar is already being used as a maintenance organization. Since it's a one-man business, and he'll be leaving, i'm trying to find out how to replace him and keep the existing approvals.
As far as I know the approvals are for the person and not transferable you would have apply for approval in your own name; and of course pay the appropriate fees. I am assuming that the EASA rules are common across all countries.
22nd Jun 2012, 19:03
To understand how it works under EASA and what you would have to do it's necessary to understand Part M and what the owner/operator is responsible for, summed up, I guess, as assuring the Continued Airworthiness of the aircraft, and the relationship between the owner and the person or company that does the maintenance in pursuit of that objective.
You want to be the garage, and have an appropriate approval for that, ie Part 145, but you are very unlikely to get it with the set up you have in mind, ie you with no knowledge but in charge, and a Part 66 LAE with B1 and B2 doing the work. Ever heard "Quality Management System" mentioned?
However, outside a Part 145 approval a suitably licensed and qualified Part 66 LAE can, given that a number of other boxes are ticked, issue a CRS on his/her licence alone, for a small aircraft. You are merely putting a wrapper of admin, marketing, facilities, tools and so on, around that person to enable him/her to do that. This assumes that there is a CAMO (Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation, see Part M, especially Subpart F) looking after the aircraft if the owner isn't able to do that.
It will need an Airworthiness Review Certificate ARC every 3 years. Back to the CAMO.
You might want to consider becoming a CAMO with multiple clients, but as an FAA PPL with little experience with EASA regulations and maintenance organisations you have a steep hill to climb! And it needs the right number of competent staff.
IMHO, your starting point is not to buy an EASA-approved facility (don't forget that the approval does not necessarily continue with a change of owner), but to set up a little organisation with your friend signing off the work. But the business will depend on his/her licence and goodwill. High risk?
You can develop from there, and it's unlikely that the business you are looking at is worth a dime after a change of owner; this point is often missed with small "one-man" operations.
For interest, there's a move afoot, with the French leading the charge, to cut out huge swathes of the bureaucratic crap that EASA (and the whole ponderous, useless European Commission behind it) has generated for small non-commercial, non-complex aircraft. The UK CAA seems to be uninterested in supporting that (".....keeps us employed, old boy. More tea?") but with the French behind it things could, just, change.
If you need any help, PM me!
23rd Jun 2012, 09:13
Phillip, from bitter experience in these current economic times, HANG ON TO YOUR MONEY, the margins are too small or non-existant in GA at the moment, to even consider a move like this.
KEEP YOUR CASH IN THE BANK
24th Jun 2012, 11:05
I agree with bish-bash-bosh. Its very hard to make any money on the light stuff. I have tried. I started my own light aircaft maintenance company. If you dont have deep pockets then its hard to keep going. I do some part time work for a GA maint company. They have a monopoly on they airfield that they are based on and lots of work but are still finding it hard.
There are companys out there that do do well. So it can be done. Your 145 approval isnt to difficult to get. But it is expensive. I've seen companys get their approvals where the company management has little to no aviation experience. Its a very expensive process.
Have you read EASA 145 yet?
24th Jun 2012, 13:23
Your 145 approval isn't too difficult to get. But it is expensive.
Hmmm....I've been there twice, and I would not call it easy. It depends a great deal on which office you are allocated to (there's now a much smaller number of them) and more importantly whether your Surveyor is any good. The latter is possible, I guess, but the few good ones I know have all quit for Baines Simmons or Avisa, the two retirement shelters for ex-UK CAA staff, to both of which the UK CAA contracts out as much work as possible.
It's expensive because of the facilities you must have in place, before your application goes in, rather than the work in preparing an MOE (quite easy). You need premises, tools and people adequate to tick all the boxes and to perform the work you are approved for, as well as sufficient finance to carry it through without problems. For Line Maintenance you need a customer before the CAA will accept an application. Catch 22? Yes.
IMHO a Part 145 approval will not be worth it for what you seem to want to do. And the doomsayers have a point; you could lose a lot of money, not least because you are totally dependent on the "Competent Authority" (ho, ho, ho) and they have their own agenda which does not include your business success.
24th Jun 2012, 18:32