Part 21 - Consultation

Note: This statement does not form part of the rules contained in Part 21. It provides details of the consultation undertaken in making the rules.

Background to the Rules

In April 1988 the Swedavia-McGregor Report on civil aviation regulation in New Zealand was completed. Following the recommendations contained in that report, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) (formerly the Air Transport Division of the Ministry of Transport) commenced a complete review of all existing civil aviation legislation. The existing legislation that is still appropriate is being rewritten into the new Rules format. New legislation is being generated where necessary for the areas not presently covered.

Considerable research was carried out to determine the format for the new legislation. It was decided that the legislative framework should incorporate the advantages of the regulatory system of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of United States of America and the system being developed by the European Joint Aviation Authorities and published as Joint Aviation Requirements (JAR).

The new rules are structured in a manner similar to the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) of the FAA, and aim to achieve maximum harmonisation whilst allowing for national variations. Close co-operation is also being maintained with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia to ensure maximum harmonisation with their regulatory code.

New Zealand’s revised legislation is published as Civil Aviation Rules (CAR) which is divided into Parts. Each Part contains a series of individual rules which relate to a particular aviation activity.

Accompanying most Parts will be at least one associated Advisory Circular (AC) which will expand, in an informative way, specific requirements of the Part and acceptable means of compliance. For instance an AC may contain examples of acceptable practices or procedures which would meet the requirements of a particular rule.

The CAR numbering system is based on the FAR system. As a general principle the subject matter of a rule Part will be the same or similar to the FAR although the title may differ to suit New Zealand terminology. Where a CAR Part does not readily equate with a FAR number code, a number has been selected that does not conflict with any existing FAR Part.

The objective of the new rules system is to strike a balance of responsibility between the State authority and those who provide services and exercise privileges in the civil aviation system. This balance must enable the State authority to set standards for, and monitor performance of, aviation participants whilst providing the maximum flexibility for the participants to develop their own means of compliance.

Section 12 of the Civil Aviation Act 1990 requires participants in the aviation system to carry out their activities safely and in accordance with the relevant prescribed safety standards and practices. Section 28 of the Act allows the Minister to make ordinary rules.

Notice of Proposed Rule Making

To provide public notice of, and opportunity for comment on the proposed new rules, the Authority issued Notice of Proposed Rule Making 96-7 under Docket Number 1062 on 22 May 1996. This Notice proposed the introduction of Civil Aviation Rules Part 21 to provide a regulatory safety boundary for Certification of Products and Parts. This Notice also proposed amendments to Parts 43 and 66 resulting from the new rules developed for Part 21.

Supplementary Information

All comments made on the Notice of Proposed Rule Making are available in the rules docket for examination by interested persons. A report summarising each substantive contact with the Civil Aviation Authority contact person concerning this rule making has been filed in the docket.

Availability of the Document

Any person may view a copy of these rules at the Civil Aviation Authority, Level 15 Asteron Centre, 55 Featherston St, Wellington 6140. Copies may be obtained from the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand, PO Box 3555, Wellington 6140.

Summary of Comments on Docket Number 1062 NPRM

Part 21 included proposed changes to Parts 43 and 66. Part 66 was also in the NPRM stage of the rulemaking process. The responses to submissions on the rule changes proposed in the docket for Part 66 are included in the consultation documents attached to the final rule.

1. General comments on the NPRM

From the 11 submissions received, four general issues were raised.

1.1 One submission was received that discussed the time constraints placed on responding to the rule. The commenters expressed concern over the wide changes involved with the rules and with Part 21 in particular.

CAA response: The CAA agrees with the commenters in that there is a limited time to allow comments from industry. The CAA also agrees that the volume of proposed rules is high. The time constraint has been set in the Civil Aviation Amendment Act 1991 sections 8 and 14. These sections of this act determine when the present Civil Aviation Regulations 1953 expire and the CAA must provide rules and advisory circulars by this time. This constraint necessitates a reasonably quick response from industry to NPRM but the constraint also applies to the CAA who must analyse the responses and draft the final rules.

Because of its wider implications, the submission has been brought to the Director’s attention for discussions in the management forum.

1.2 Three submissions suggested that more use should be made of definitions to enable a better understanding of terminology in the rules.

CAA response: The CAA agrees with the intention of the submissions and has examined the appropriate sections to ensure that the necessary definitions are included.

1.3 Three submissions provided comments on rule structure and general corrections.

CAA response: The CAA agrees with the submissions and has incorporated the appropriate suggestions.

1.4 One commenter pointed out corrections and clarifications that could have been included in the pre-amble.

CAA response: The CAA accepts these comments and, whilst not directly on the rule, will consider them when writing the advisory circulars.

CAA comment: The CAA has taken the opportunity to carry out several amendments to the existing rules of Part 21. These amendments result from— 

  • changes in the proposed rules for the rest of Part 21
  • introduction of other rule parts
  • problems with the form, but not the content, of the existing rules.

CAA comment: The CAA has revised the policy on the reference to forms in the rules and where forms are required to be submitted by applicants the rules have been amended. These amendments only change the form of the rule and not the content.

2. Specific comments on the NPRM

Specific comments received from the 11 submissions are discussed as follows:

2.1 21.3 Definitions [Final Rule 21.3]

Three commenters expressed views on the definitions of modification and repair and the removal of the term major used in respect of these definitions.

CAA response: The CAA agrees with the general concept of the comments and has reworded the definitions. The term major has been retained to differentiate those modifications and repairs requiring conformity certifications. The term minor has not been retained. Modifications and repairs that are not major are considered to be maintenance.

CAA comment: Only the definitions related specifically to Part 21 are retained here. All other definitions are removed to Part 1.

2.2 21.31 Airworthiness design requirements [Final Rule 21.31]

One commenter suggested that the conformity of a product to its type design was not required as part of the airworthiness requirements.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and has removed the requirement.

CAA comment: The CAA examined the wording of this rule and has changed the evidence required from that of a product type to that of a product type design. This requirement better reflects what evidence is being produced by the applicant.

2.3 21.73 Design change approvals [Final Rule 21.73]

Two commenters suggested that the types of design change approvals suggested there was a way to approve a modification other than the form CAA 337. The commenters suggested this conflicted with the rest of the proposed rules.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and has reworded the rule and clarified the requirements.

CAA comment: The rule has been reworded to differentiate between those design changes accepted and those design changes approved.

2.4 21.77 Continued airworthiness responsibilities [Final Rule 21.77]

One commenter suggested that the continuing airworthiness responsibilities were too onerous for an individual and that the rule should place the requirement on the organisation.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and has amended the rule.

One commenter suggested that there be more emphasis on the operator of a product to supply that information to the organisation responsible for the continued airworthiness.

CAA response: The CAA agrees. Part 146 places a requirement on the organisation to inform the appropriate operators of a type certificated product of the organisation’s system for accumulating the required information. The CAA will examine the rules requiring operators to provide the defect information to the manufacturer or design organisation.

One commenter questioned what would happen when a design organisation went out of business.

CAA response: The CAA agrees that this is an issue. There are two cases to consider. First, if a design organisation goes out of business but sells the designs to another party. The purchaser would be expected to accept the responsibilities for the continuing airworthiness. Secondly, if the organisation does not sell the designs then the designs would cease to have any industry support. In this second case, the CAA would have to take some positive action and either withdraw approval of the design or accept the continuing airworthiness responsibilities.

2.5 21.79 Foreign design changes [Final Rule 21.79]

CAA comment: The Civil Aviation Authority examined the need for this rule in relation to aircraft arriving into New Zealand. The CAA decided that 21.83 and the acceptance of design changes by the issue of an airworthiness certificate covered most instances. The CAA also decided that should a foreign design change be brought into New Zealand then this would be a form of technical data and should follow the same process as locally produced technical data during a design change approval process. The rule was removed.

2.6 21.85 Application for modification approval [Final Rule 21.81]

Three commenters suggested that a Part 146 Aircraft Design Organisation would want to use a form or forms other than the form CAA 337.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and has amended the rule to provided for documents other than the form CAA 337. This amendment can be found in 21.505.

CAA comment: The CAA considered information required in 21.101 should apply to all design changes and would be better located under the modification approval rule. The CAA also considered that the limited information provisions of 21.81 better resided under the modification rule also.

The basis for the approval of a modification is the approval of the associated technical data. The form CAA 337 is performing two functions; the approval of data and the certification of conformity. For modification approval only the approval of the technical data is considered relevant to Part 21.

The information from 21.81, 21.83, 21.85, and 21.101 has now been incorporated into one rule and placed in Subpart N. Rules 21.81, 21.83, and 21.85 were replaced with a single rule referencing the approval of technical data. Rule 21.101 was reworded. This arrangement does not change the intent but improves the legal and technical correctness of these rules.

2.7 21.113 Supplemental type certificate [Final Rule 21.113]

One commenter suggested that the reason for and nature of a supplemental type certificate be better explained in either the rule or an advisory circular.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and will provide further guidance in the accompanying advisory circular.

2.8 21.117 Application for certificate [Final Rule 21.117]

One commenter suggested that the approval of a supplemental type certificate was one function that should not be delegated.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and will consider this in the implementation and ongoing application of the rules.

2.9 21.123 Responsibilities of certificate holder [Final Rule 21.123]

One commenter suggested that the collaboration with a type certificate holder may not be achievable and should be removed.

CAA response: The CAA agrees that this may be difficult to achieve but also recognises that there may be an instance when the CAA requires an applicant to liaise with the type certificate holder. The wording is such that this requirement will only be at the Director’s request and not as a matter of course.

Two commenters suggested that the time that records had to be kept could be difficult to determine because of the wording ‘retained for a period of 2 years from the date the last example of the product type is permanently withdrawn from service’.

CAA response: The CAA agrees with the difficulty this could create. The time limit is, however, considered appropriate despite the difficulty in determining accurately the date of withdrawal from service. Because of this difficulty a provision to dispose of the records at some other period, with the Director’s approval, has been provided.

2.10 Changes to certificates [Final Rule 21.125]

One commenter suggested that there should be rules regarding the revision of a supplemental type certificate and what design changes require the application for a new supplemental type certificate.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and has included a rule to require significant changes to a supplemental type certificate to require either an application for an amendment to the certificate or an application for a new certificate. Significant changes are considered to include the addition or change of applicable product models. Guidance will be provided in the advisory circular as to the interpretation of the term significant.

2.11 21.303 Replacement and modification parts [Final Rule 21.303]

One commenter suggested that the advisory circular should provide examples of what are considered replacement parts.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and will provide this information in the advisory circular.

One commenter suggested that the provision for a person to manufacture a part if they are installing that part needs clarification.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and has amended the rule.

One commenter questioned if the manufacture of parts under this rule extended to glider engineers.

CAA response: The privileges of glider engineers is covered in Part 43 and the proposed Part 149. The manufacture of parts for type certificated products under this rule is restricted to use on a person’s own product. In the case of replacement parts manufactured in accordance with specific instructions provided by the manufacturer, these parts could be covered under 21.303(1) and (2).

CAA comment: The wording of the subparagraphs of this rule have been amended to better reflect the requirements. Changes include:

  • Reference to the type certificate holder in subparagraph (1):
  • Including supplemental type certificates to the manufacturing authorisations of the Part 148 organisation:
  • Including existing certificates of type approval to the manufacturing authorisations of the Part 148 organisation:
  • Including release notes issued by a supply organisation certificated under Part 19:

2.12 21.305 Approval or acceptance of materials, parts, and appliances [Final Rule removed]

CAA comment: Rule 21.305 as a separate rule served no particular purpose and could be covered by 21.303. Rule 21.305 was removed.

2.13 21.323 Definitions [Final Rule 21.323]

One commenter stated that the change in the product definition in Subpart L could cause confusion in reading the rule.

CAA response: The CAA accepts this comment but considers that the use of a separate definition aids the reading of the subsequent rules. The use of the full description of the items concerned is extremely cumbersome in the rule text. The CAA will monitor the rule and could amend it at a later date if the rule causes too much confusion.

2.14 21.331 Application for certificate [Final Rule 21.331]

Four commenters expressed concern over the increased requirements for the exporter to provide evidence of the meeting of special conditions of the importing state. The commenters suggested that it was either an Authority to Authority matter or an importer’s responsibility.

CAA response: The CAA disagrees that any special requirements are an importer’s problem. The CAA has checked the requirements of other countries and what exporters in those countries must provide. The proposed requirements are consistent with other international requirements.

The export airworthiness certificate is a CAA issued document and reflects the technical competency of the New Zealand industry. New Zealand’s technical competency is recognised in Bilateral Airworthiness Agreements. Under these bilateral agreements the CAA has a obligation to ensure that the special conditions imposed by a signatory are met. These requirements are entirely consistent with foreign requirements.

An export airworthiness certificate is an optional document and the exporter must consider whether a certificate is required. If an export airworthiness certificate is requested by an exporter then it is appropriate that the applicant provide evidence that any special conditions are met.

The CAA agrees that it is more appropriate for the special conditions to be determined Authority to Authority and will be providing information in an advisory circular summarising the requirements. The CAA stresses that it remains the exporter’s responsibility to provide evidence that these special requirements are met, or are otherwise acceptable to the importing state.

2.15 Acceptable technical data [Final Rule 21.503]

CAA comment: This rule has been included to accept the data in Appendix D.

2.16 21.505 Application for approval of technical data [Final Rule 21.505]

One commenter suggested that a delegation holder may approve technical data.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and will provide this ability to delegation holders as applicable.

Two commenters suggested that the form CAA 337 was not an appropriate form for the approval of data, particularly in a design organisation.

CAA response: The CAA agrees in the case of a Part 146 certificated organisation and has provided an ability to use alternative forms.

CAA comment: The CAA examined the use of the form CAA 337 with respect to the approval of technical data. In practice the approval of technical data separate to another design change activity will be limited. In most cases the technical data, if it is not approved, will form part of a modification package, repair scheme, supplemental type certificate, or other design change. The rule 21.505 provides the mechanism, associated with the processing of the form CAA 337 or equivalent, to approve technical data. The information requirements of this rule have been derived from 21.81, 21.85, and 21.101 of the NPRM.

2.17 21.511 Application for deviation from specification [Final Rule 21.511]

CAA comment: The CAA has included a form for this application.

2.18 21.607 Eligibility [Final Rule 21.607]

One commenter suggested that the wording should allow for organisations that are able to produce to apply for a New Zealand Technical Standard Order authorisation.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and has amended the rule.

2.19 21.615 Validity of authorisation [Final Rule 21.615]

One commenter questioned what would happen if the New Zealand Technical Standard Order was updated or cancelled.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and has amended this rule to reflect the cancellation or significant updating of the specification and the validity of the authorisation.

2.20 21.621 Responsibilities of authorisation holder [Final Rule 21.621]

Two commenters questioned the correctness of the reference 21.805.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and has amended the reference to 21.813.

2.21 21.623 Design changes [Final Rule 21.623]

One commenter requested guidance for the term significant with respect to design changes by the holder of a New Zealand Technical Standard Order authorisation.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and will provide guidance in the advisory circular.

2.22 Appendix D – Acceptable technical data [Final Rule Appendix D]

One commenter suggested changing the descriptions of some of the Appendix D data to better define the information. The commenter also suggested supplemental type certificates from other Authorities should be accepted.

CAA response: The CAA agrees with most of the changes and has incorporated them. The supplemental type certificates from other countries have been examined for inclusion and the CAA considers supplemental type certificates and supplemental type approvals from the United States of America Federal Aviation Administration, the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority, and from Transport Canada to be acceptable data. All technical data, and in particular the foreign supplemental type certificates, are conditional on the requirements of this Appendix being met.

2.23 43.103 Certifying requirements [Final Rule 43.103]

One commenter suggested that the only exclusions to the certification requirements of Subpart E should be the maintenance manuals.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and has amended the rule.

2.24 Part 43, Subpart E – Certifying conformity following major modification or major repair [Final Rule Part 43, Subpart E]

One commenter expressed concern over the requirements for the holder of an inspection authorisation to certify conformity after an overhaul.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and points out that the overhaul of a component will not require an inspection authorisation certification. The overhaul task is carried out in accordance with manufacturer’s manuals and is not considered a modification or repair in its own right.

2.25 43.203 Persons to certify conformity [Final Rule 43.203]

Three commenters suggested that the rule should provide for internal authorisations in lieu of inspections authorisation holders.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and recognises that internal authorisations are appropriate providing the person meets the same requirements as Part 66.

One commenter suggested that glider engineers should be able to be authorised by a gliding organisation to fulfil this certification function.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and will be examining the qualifications and necessary experience of glider engineers to fulfil this function in conjunction with the writing of Part 66.

2.26 43.207 Certification [Final Rule 43.207]

One commenter suggested that the form CAA 337 should be only forwarded after the aircraft is released to service. The commenter, and one other commenter, also suggested that seven days was an acceptable time frame.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and has amended the rule.

2.27 Part 43, Appendix H – Major modifications and major repairs
[Final Rule removed]

Three commenters suggested retaining the term Major to differentiate maintenance from the modifications requiring conformity. The commenters also suggested that the definitions used for major modifications and major repairs needed revision.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and has amended the rules.

CAA comment: The CAA has examined the definitions of major modifications at length. The term major has been re-introduced and the definitions amended accordingly. The definitions now have consequences included to assist in the interpretation of what is a major modification or major repair. The CAA acknowledges that a definitive description of major modifications and major repairs is difficult and in many cases will be reliant on the experience and skill of the licensed aircraft maintenance engineer to make a judgement.

The CAA has removed Appendix H to Part 43 and considers the definitions to be comprehensive enough on their own. The consequences detailed in the definitions are always applicable and the information provided as Appendix H to Part 43 in the NPRM will be provided in an advisory circular. The advisory circular will provide guidance material for dealing with modifications and repairs.

2.28 66.207 Recent experience requirements [Final Rule to be confirmed]

One commenter suggested that as some certifications of conformity will only be for components those tasks should count towards the Part 66 inspection authorisation recent experience requirements.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and examine the rule during the finalising of Part 66.

2.29 Form CAA 337

One commenter suggested that the approval and rejection of technical data boxes should be separated.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and will examine this for the final layout of the form.

One commenter suggested that the boxes in Block 6 should reflect the privileges and appropriate personnel more correctly.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and has amended the form.

CAA comment: It is intended to provide the form of the layout of the form CAA 337 in an advisory circular to allow people to computer generate their own documents, similarly to the CAA Form One.

2.30 Part 145, Appendix A – Certificate ratings [Final Rule Part 145, Appendix A]

CAA comment: As a result of discussions regarding the implementation of Part 21 Subpart K, and in particular 21.305, the CAA has included a rating on the Part 145 maintenance organisation certificate to allow for processing to be carried out. The rating is not intended to be issued to organisations otherwise engaged in maintenance under another rating as these functions are already permitted. The rating is also not considered a requirement for a processing organisation as another means of acceptance is provided by 21.305 subparagraph (c). The rating is provided for those organisations identified by the CAA as being supportive of the aviation industry but not otherwise engaged in aircraft maintenance.


The Authority concludes from this consultation that the majority of aviation industry participants favour the direction of the new rules. Specific issues that were identified in the comments received from the consultative group have been addressed. The rules also meet New Zealand’s international obligations under the applicable ICAO Annex. The comments and all the background material used in developing the rules are held on the docket file and are available for public scrutiny. Persons wishing to view the docket file should call at the Civil Aviation Authority, Level 15 Asteron Centre, 55 Featherston St, Wellington 6140, and ask for docket file 1062.

Regulatory activities

These Subparts will replace existing requirements in the Civil Aviation Regulation 1953 and also requirements contained in the New Zealand Civil Airworthiness Requirements, which is authorised under regulation 8A(4).

Specific amendments to the Regulations and NZCAR will not be necessary. Section 14(2) of the Civil Aviation Amendment Act 1991 (as amended by section 34 of 1996 No. 91) deems the Civil Aviation Regulations 1953 that are continued in force by section 8 of that Act to be revoked on the close of 31 March 1997.

Section 14(3) states that any order, notice, requirement, circular, or other publication continued in force by section 8 shall expire on the close of 31 March 1997.


Part 21 Amendment 3 comes into force on 1 April 1997.