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GCAA says now –EASA Says Later! ICAO says 8 years ago (2009)

Sofema Aviation Services ( considers the current status of SMS within an EASA compliant Part 145 organisation.

What is SMS?

Sure we all know what is a Safety Management System (SMS)

But consider the two options :-

a) Safety Management System focused on ensuring “Mandatory Compliance” with all Safety Objectives

b) Management System focused on developing in an effective way optimized for efficiency and delivering all Mandatory Safety Objectives

Tagged in: EASA GCAA ICAO Part 145 SMS
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Posted by on in Regulatory

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 This Blog looks at a basic understanding related to Part 66 Basic Examinations


 Examinations are conducted under strict examination conditions, all basic examinations shall be carried out using the multi-choice question format.

 Be careful and always read the question!

The incorrect alternatives shall seem equally plausible to anyone ignorant of the subject. All of the alternatives shall be clearly related to the question and of similar vocabulary, grammatical construction and length.

In numerical questions, the incorrect answers shall correspond to procedural errors such as corrections applied in the wrong sense or incorrect unit conversions: they shall not be mere random numbers.

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The requirement for EASA Compliant Fuel Tank Safety  (FTS) Training may be found in the New EASA Agency Decision Papers: •2009/006/R •2009/007/R. Both relate to Aircraft Fuel System Safety Effective from 28 March 2007. Essentially the rational for FTS Training was developed following the TWA 800 Disaster with the objective to both Familiarize candidates with the elements of Fuel Tank System Safety Issues and to enable candidates to understand the historical background and elements requiring consideration in relation to fuel system safety. In addition to Equip candidates to understand and use the language of fuel system safety issues and to allow candidates to understand and interpret fuel system safety issues from regulatory and manufacturer’s maintenance publications Satisfy Parts M & 145 Amendments on fuel system safety

Continuing Airworthiness Management and associated CAW tasks are the primary responsibility of the Operators CAMO. Regarding the management of Fuel Tank Procedures it is expected that the 145 Organisation should update the Maintenance Organisation Exposition (MOE) to include FTS concepts and organisation’s obligations. The Part 145 organisation is also responsible for all health and safety procedures including relating to fuel tank Nitrogen Inerting Systems

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EASAOnline ( considers the process to obtain your Maintenance Engineers Licence. Considering the Application Process for an EASA Part 66 Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Licence (AMEL)

An application for an aircraft maintenance License or change to such License shall be made on an EASA Form 19 (Form 19 is adopted and issued by each regulatory authority)

Applications process

The application are normally made under the jurisdiction of the Competent Authority of any European Member State. 

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Posted by on in Regulatory presents the different categories available within the EASA Part 66 licence 

On the basis of the Maintenance Engineers License, together with satisfactory demonstration of competency and knowledge of organizational procedures the personal authorization document is issued by an approved Part-145 organization. 

Note - Whilst Category A is not maybe the best choice to sit for your licence, clearly as it is incorporated within the B1 licence it can be of significant benefit to allow the B1 Engineer to be task trained on multiple aircraft. 

A Category “A” License holder may only certify his (or her) own work and cannot certify the work of other individuals. 

The Category “A” based approval is a task based approval which is restricted to the mechanical systems, although simple and limited avionic tasks as for example which may be found on a daily inspection or a weekly check, can be included with the approval of the Competent Authority.

(b) Categories A and B1 are subdivided into subcategories relative to combinations of Aeroplanes, helicopters, turbine and piston engines.

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EASA Regulated Aircraft Maintenance is interesting and highly professional moreover Licensed Aircraft Engineers are essential to maintain the global aviation industry. Employment in the field of aviation offers the potential of a wide and varied career with an attractive salary.

As a Part 66 AMEL you are on your way to Certifying Aircraft to Fly ! (Issuing a Certificate of Release to Service CRS). Licensed Aircraft Engineers perform maintenance and other activities on Aircraft (often with modern equipment and advanced technology.) Ensuring the rectification of all defects as well as repairing airframe structures, engines, and avionic systems.  

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As a career starting in Aviation or Airport Services Aircraft Maintenance either Base or Line may be just the job for you!

Line maintenance is very satisfying and rewarding with the opportunity to progress to higher positions either within the organisation or in other organisations. 

Aircraft technicians and Engineers typically specialise as either B1 Airframe Engine & Electrical or B2 Avionic plus Electrical.  B1 Engineers who service engines, airframes and hydraulic and pneumatic systems, and the associated electrical systems and B2 avionic Engineers who service and overhaul the electronic systems, instruments, flight control, navigation and communication systems of aircraft as well as Aircraft Electrical Systems (task shared with B1)

Line maintenance essentially is maintenance that is performed on aircraft while they still remain operational, (carrying out routine maintenance of the aircraft on the ground during the turnaround between flights) whereas for Base Maintenance the level of maintenance is somewhat deeper. (Carrying out full servicing of the aircraft within the hangar at regular intervals typically at C check level) 

Last modified on looks at the role of EASA Part 66 Certification Staff.

The Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (LAME) assumes “legal” responsibility (by means of a certification) for all or part of the line maintenance which is required to be performed on aircraft or helicopters to maintain the aircraft in an airworthy condition to remain serviceable. (He/she also acts as support staff for aircraft which are receiving “heavy” means base maintenance – typically C Checks.

The Licenced aircraft engineer will hold an authorisation approval issued by an EASA Part 145 Organisation. (The Validity of this approval is conditional on the maintenance of the licence)

Typically the Aircraft Licensed Maintenance Line Engineer will be employed by an EASA Part 145 organization and will either certify aircraft maintenance based on the scope of the Aircraft maintenance approval issued by the organization on the basis of the Certifying engineers license, or act as supervisory and support staff during base maintenance activities.

The different Aircraft Licensed Maintenance Line Engineer jobs include B1 Engineer specializing on Airframe Engineers and Electrical Systems and B2 Engineer specializing in Avionic Systems.

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Within the CAMO department we will see all levels of experience from Entry level administration staff through to Licensed Aircraft Engineers and Degree holding Aeronautical Engineering Staff.

Managing this department is the Continuing Airworthiness Manager (CAM), who is typically acceptable to the regulatory authority. If you are looking for a position with an organization as a CAM, you have to be highly trained and demonstrate considerable experience to achieve the position.

The Job of the Continuing Airworthiness Manager is to ensure that all Aircraft Technical Records are maintained correctly and that the aircraft is current with all maintenance requirements and is fit to fly.

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As an EASA approved organisation Aviation Postholder, your primary responsibility is to ensure full compliance of your business area with all regulatory requirements externally as well as all organizational requirements internally. Other challenges faced by both the EASA approved organisation Aviation Postholders and Senior Aviation Business Leaders involve effectively managing your team and developing effective strategies to optimize performance whilst maintaining standards.

In order to effectively manage aviation standards it is essential to both document and communicate clearly all expected objectives, challenges, and team goals. The level of communication must ensure that this is confirmed and understood.

EASA Approved Organisation Postholder Quality Control Obligations

The starting point is to put in place the most effective Quality Control processes because it is necessary not only to ensure compliance but also to promote efficiency wherever possible in the work place. This in turn brings the growing need to measure the effectiveness of the processes and people you are managing. Increasingly, the focus will be orientated towards integrated management standards. This is why it is required to develop a process approach with embedded quality principles.

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Since August 2008 EASA has required Aircraft Inspectors to be trained in accordance with the provision to be found in AMC20-22

Aircraft inspection is normally performed by competent staff and such Inspectors are typically licensed aircraft engineers. Once qualified, they will gain the organization's approval and will be allowed also to certify General Visual Inspections, Detailed Inspections and EWIS Inspections.

What is a General Visual Inspection (GVI)?

The term GVI, when associated with Electrical Wiring Interconnect Systems, is a visual examination of an interior or exterior area, installation, or assembly to detect obvious damage, failure or irregularity based on a non-compliance or non-conformity with the standard configuration.

It is acknowledged that one of the weak areas in the maintenance chain is the effectiveness of the Inspection Process and the mitigation for this weakness will be found in the development of training programs.

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EASAOnline is pleased to discuss the role of the EASA Quality Assurance Auditor. Quality Auditors will be found in all organisations which work under the umbrella of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), including Airlines, Airports, and Maintenance Organizations.

Considering the Nature of Audits

When we talk about audits we are generally talking about the need to ensure compliance. Regulatory audits are essentially compliance audits where we are looking to compare the actual with the expected. The expected typically being compliance either with EASA or another regulatory body.

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EASAOnline looks at the Notification to Captain (NOTOC)

BEST Practice – Driven By IATA

Each airline is individually responsible for developing the procedures which should be followed to ensure that the Captain is fully informed at all times. A typical process involves the use of the Notification to Captain Document which is otherwise known as a NOTOC. IATA requires all of its member airlines to notify the flight deck crew (the pilot) anytime dangerous goods are to be loaded on board their flights. It is both a standard and a best practice procedure to ensure that on any flight the crew have full knowledge of what is being carried in the cargo compartments.

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What is the role of Aircraft Technical Records staff in an EASA or GCAA compliant organisation?

Technical records staff typically work either for the operator (The Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation) CAMO or the Maintenance Organisation (145) – usually the Base Maintenance Organisation.

Considering the Typical Duties

Let’s consider the various tasks, roles and responsibilities which will apply to the Tech Records Job role:

Last modified on (EOL) provides an unrivalled opportunity for your staff and employees to undertake online competence building regulatory and vocational training via our easy to use online training portal. It is a fact that no other training organisation offers the depth and breadth of online CAMO related courses than We offer a unique online program which provides an opportunity to raise the competence levels of your employees!

Do you know your employees’ competence levels?

In fact, EASA provides guidance in respect of EASA Part 145, but this is not the complete picture - on Part M and Part 21 Subpart G this guidance is quite minimal.

Thus, it is left to the organisation to develop appropriate Competence Management Processes. Consider this: as the regulations are sparse in several areas it is not possible for regulatory auditors to identify exposures which do not relate to specific findings but at the same time hurt the organisation.

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A competent and effective Maintenance planning group is an essential attribute to any efficient operators CAMO. Without any doubt the opportunity exists in every organization to deliver improvements to the existing Maintenance Planning processes - and these are improvements which may contribute to real cost savings. The Aircraft Maintenance Process is a major cost centre within the aircraft operating environment thus providing a significant opportunity to deliver optimization and saving. has developed a suite of online training courses which address the challenging role of Maintenance Planning - a total of 5 separate courses each with its own certificate.

Who is EASAonline?

EASAOnline (EOL) is a service provided by Sofema Aviation Services, offering a range of EASA compliant online video regulatory courses. EOL is supported by the European Aviation Institute (EAI), an EASA Part 147 approved Maintenance Training Organization (MTO) with Certificate of Approval No RO.147.0003.


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What is it all about?

A compliance audit essentially looks for conformance to a set of rules or standards – the rules may be external (regulations) or internal, process and procedures driven.
Certain areas of business, (in aviation these are many) can be described as high risk. For these activities audits play a significant role to establish ongoing conformity with company processes and procedures.

What are compliance audits?
Compliance audits are designed to give assurance that activities have been performed properly and they are, of course, reactive. Compliance audits also tend to be binary - they either pass or fail. It is also fair to say that the compliance audit in fact requires a lower level of auditor competence. Why? Because it is essentially rules driven which means that there is a removal of subjective ambiguity. This audit is presented typically as a completed checklist of observed conditions at the time when it takes place.

Tagged in: Audit Compliance EASA
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An effective Aviation Safety Management System (SMS) provides the industry with a key driver to manage the various organisational elements, which when managed in an effective way can support the prevention of incidents and accidents.

The crux of implementing an effective safety management system (SMS) is not just in defining it, but also in effectively implementing it. This really is the major challenge – ask yourself how your organisation measures the effectiveness of your SMS.

The Accountable Manager (AM) of the organization is ultimately responsible and accountable for Safety. The AM MUST understand the risk of not having an effective SMS in place for his organization. The key to a job well done is to see the SMS not merely as a compliance-driven requirement but as an opportunity to drive improvement both in terms of Safety and also in terms of organisational effectiveness which can save significant expenditure in the long run.

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Let’s first consider a fundamental difference between ISO 9001-2015 and EASA Regulatory Compliance Audits.  In the ISO world one reason to perform internal audits is to support the continual improvement of the organisation system. Conversely when in EASA compliance audit is carried out it is essentially to support the identification of a non-conformance.

Let’s also consider that the criteria by which we audit is called our audit “standard” Such a standard may in fact be a regulatory requirement driven directly from the Implementing Rule IR or the Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC).

It may also be a requirement based on the need for compliance with internal documentation, for example any of the following - OPS Manual Part A, EASA Part 145 Maintenance Organisation Exposition (MOE), EASA Part M Continuous Airworthiness Management Exposition (CAMO) or EASA Part 147 Maintenance Training Organisation Exposition (MTOE).  All of the aforementioned documents contain detailed procedures which need to be complied with by the organisation.

Tagged in: Audit EASA Part 147
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Let’s consider the purpose of the evidence?

Essentially it is required to convince the Business Area Owner / Nominated Person that the finding is valid. We cannot impose findings, we must be able to demonstrate the validity of the finding based on objective evidence.

How much evidence is required?

We have to take into consideration the time factor (time is precious) / sufficient evidence for the auditor to form an opinion / the need to demonstrate to the auditee the existence of the issue.

Can we trust the evidence?

Evidence that can be considered trustworthy which essentially means it is accurate, credible and where the integrity of the evidence has not been compromised.

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