Maintenance records housekeeping is essential when applying industry best practices during aircraft acquisitions and transfers. This is also true whilst utilising the procedures concerned with ‘Continuing Airworthiness’, for a CAMO Technical Records department trying to maintain compliance with regulatory requirements.
ICAO definition of Continuing Airworthiness
“Covers all of the processes ensuring that at any time in their operating life, all aircraft comply with the airworthiness requirements in force and are in a condition for safe operation.”
Properly executed and retained records provide owners, operators and maintenance personnel with the essential information needed to control maintenance requirements. They also help whilst carrying out trouble shooting. Properly executed records eliminate the need for re-inspection and rework to establish airworthiness.
The prime objective is to have secure and easily retrievable records, with comprehensive and legible contents. The aircraft record should contain basic details of all serialised aircraft components, and all other significant aircraft components installed, to ensure traceability to the installed aircraft component documentation and associated maintenance data.
Maintenance records can be either a paper or computer system or any combination of both. The records should remain legible throughout the required retention period.
Paper systems should use robust material which can withstand normal handling and filing.
Computer systems are often used to control maintenance and record details of the work carried out. Aircraft maintenance computer systems should have at least one backup system, which should be updated within 24 hours of any maintenance. Each terminal has to contain programme safeguards against the ability of unauthorised personnel to alter the database.
Associated maintenance data is specific information such as repair and modification data. This does not necessarily require the retention of all aircraft maintenance manual, component maintenance manual, parts catalogues etc issued by the TC holder or STC holder.
Maintenance records should refer to the revision status of the data used.