Part 146 - Consultation

Note: This statement does not form part of the rules contained in Part 146. 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 96-8 under Docket Number 1071 on 22 May 1996. This Notice proposed the introduction of Civil Aviation Rules Part 146 to provide a regulatory safety boundary for the certification of aircraft design organisations.

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 1071 NPRM

1. General comments on the NPRM

From the seven submissions received, two general issues were raised. These are discussed as follows:

1.1 Three commenters made general requests to amend the wording of some rules and the advisory circular. These amendments related to incorrect references and wording that the commenters felt could be improved.

CAA response: In general, the CAA agrees with the suggestions and has incorporated the changes requested. Those changes not incorporated were either unnecessary due to the rule changing completely, or the legal opinion supported the original wording.

Any amendments to the advisory circular will be incorporated in the final production of this document in due course.

1.2 One commenter suggested that the requirement for an appropriate person, for example a LAME, to sign for the accomplishment of any modification or repair work should not be overlooked.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and considers this to be adequately covered by Parts 43 and 66.

2. Specific comments on the NPRM

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

2.1 146.3 Definitions [Final Rule 146.3]

One commenter suggested that the definitions of a statement of compliance and of a design change approval be included.

CAA response: The CAA does not consider these definitions necessary as the wording of the rules, either in Part 146 or Part 21, indicate the meaning of these terms.

2.2 146.11 Privileges of certificate holder [Final Rule 146.11]

Two commenters suggested that the requirement to list every design was unnecessary and that the listing should be for the more general design activities.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and has amended all rules relating to the listing of designs to require the listing of the design activities.

2.3 146.57 Design control system [Final Rule 146.57]

One commenter suggested that the design control system requirement for the delegation holder to ensure there are no unsafe features with the design change should actually refer to ‘no known unsafe features that could be identified by the design process’.

CAA response: The CAA considers the rule to correctly state the intent and that the person approving the design should be considering all the possibilities for unsafe features they can identify. The CAA will however include some guidance material in the advisory circular as suggested by the commenter.

2.4 146.59 Design control procedures [Final Rule 146.59]

Two commenters suggested that the requirement to forward design approvals within seven days was unduly onerous. The commenters suggested 28 days was more appropriate.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and has amended the rule to require this information to be forwarded within 28 days.

One commenter suggested that the control of the changes to documentation should only apply to those documents containing design data.

CAA response: The CAA agrees that the design data changes are one important aspect but there could be other documents not necessarily containing specific design data, such as generic testing procedures, that should also be controlled to ensure they conform to the design data requirements. The rule has not been altered and continues to describe the more general documentation case.

One commenter requested that the rules relating to obsolete documents and their usage be amended to allow the use of older documents if they are appropriate to the design being considered.

CAA response: The CAA suggests that should a design or design change still be in current use, then the documentation should not be considered obsolete. The CAA however agrees with the intent of the submission and has amended the rule accordingly. Advisory information will be included to clarify what should be ascertained when using this older data.

2.5 146.61 Continuing airworthiness requirements [Final Rule 146.61]

The continuing airworthiness responsibilities was recognised by the majority of commenters but one commenter suggested that the CAA would have to be involved in providing the design organisation some support in fulfilling the continuing airworthiness responsibilities. The commenter also questioned how a design organisation could practically monitor all the installations of design changes they may have developed.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and will continue to provide this information support derived from its safety analysis and investigation roles.

A design organisation should be responsible for the designs they develop throughout the design or design change’s life. The CAA agrees that once a product incorporating a design change is disposed of the tracking of that design change is extremely difficult. The rule has been retained to require the design organisation to monitor their designs but amended to only require the associated continuing airworthiness information to be provided to the person who received the design from the design organisation.

2.6 146.63 Records [Final Rule 146.63]

One commenter 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.

2.7 146.65 Internal quality assurance [Final Rule 146.65]

Two commenters expressed needs for improvement in the internal quality assurance rule.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and there is a project underway to rewrite this rule. The revision will be provided at a later date as if affects several organisational rules.

2.8 146.105 Changes to certificate holder’s organisation [Final Rule 146.105]

One commenter suggested that the requirement to provide the Director with changes to an exposition should have a definite time limit, rather than ‘as soon as practicable’.

CAA response: The CAA disagrees after discussing this issue with the legal specialists. The terminology as soon as practicable is clear in its intent and applies the appropriate requirement. In most instances the term as soon as practicable means as soon as a copy can be forwarded by normal mail procedures.

One commenter suggested that the changes in the design activities requiring prior notification to the Director should only relate to significant changes in the scope of certificate.

CAA response: The CAA agrees to some extent with this but considers the provision of guidance material in the advisory circular to be appropriate for this topic.

2.9 Appendix A – Delegation for the approval of design changes [Final Rule Appendix A]

One commenter suggested that the Appendix should be reworded to remove the reference to engineering investigations.

CAA response: The CAA agrees and has reworded the rule to expand the term to better reflect the tasks involved.

Approval of flight manual supplements.

CAA comment: The CAA has maintained the ability for the delegation holder to approve flight manual supplements. With the structure of the proposed rules, the CAA had no easy way to provide advice as to what a supplement should contain. Without changing the intent of the rule, the appendix has been amended to provide a base for the advisory circular information.

The approval of flight manual supplements does not extend to the approval of a completely new flight manual associated with a design change. In the case of a completely new flight manual, approval of that flight manual is required.


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 1071.

Transitional arrangements

If a design organisation does hold an approval under regulation 176 at the time this Part comes into force then the approval will remain in force for 12 months from the time this Part comes into force. After that time all design organisations must operate under a certificate issued under this Part.

Regulatory activities

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 146 comes into force on 1 April 1997.