Aircraft End of Lease Return Technical Records Preparation - Best Practice

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SofemaOnline takes a look at the best practice preparation with the CAMO Technical Records Department to prepare for an end of lease handover.

Forthcoming Training Notification - Managing Aircraft Lease Agreements and Maintenance Reserves - 3 Days - Bangkok, Thailand 9 am to 5 pm from November 25th to November 27th 2019. Please see the following link for details:

Introduction to Aircraft Lease Return Conditions 

Effective maintenance planning is integral to the successful re-delivery of an aircraft, and this must be considered when agreeing on return terms.

Typical End of Lease Requirements Include:

a) Confirmation that all technical record paperwork meets the expectation of the lessor and that of the relevant regulatory authority
b) Physical condition and configuration of the aircraft (detailing the required standard of the interior and the exterior of the aircraft)
c) Preparation for the issue of an Airworthiness Certificate or a Certificate of Export, which is a usual requirement at the termination of a lease

Preparing the Re-delivery Schedule

Preparation for the redelivery of the aircraft should begin 18 months out when long term decisions may be made. The agreed return conditions may state that the aircraft must be returned to a particular original configuration. The ability to Identify modifications to be removed from the aircraft at this point will ensure that all maintenance requirements are in place in time for the redelivery maintenance input.

The next milestone is approximately 4 to 6 months out when detailed meetings involving all stakeholders can agree on both the objectives and delivery timeline.

At this time a full records review should ensure that the aircraft is fully compliant with the lease return conditions and there is still sufficient time to address the majority of issues arising.

The availability of detailed maintenance records containing copies of ‘dirty fingerprint’ task cards and records provides for strong confidence, and it will shortly be necessary to re-present to the lessor’s auditors for review.

The interior of the aircraft should be carefully inspected to ensure it meets the return conditions. Missing trim, seat parts, cleanliness, lighting and carpet condition can be reviewed at this point with corrective actions raised.


1. A release certificate may only illustrate a partial history for a component, so it is important to understand where “back to birth” obligations exist and need to be satisfied
2. Engines Life Limited Components (LLP), as well as Landing gears, can be particularly difficult to establish back-to-birth traceability

Issues to Address during the End of Lease Documentation Preparation

a) Components (including On-Condition, Hard Time & Life Limited Parts)  should be reviewed to ensure they meet the required lease return conditions
b) All ADs back to birth should be presented in a ‘Dirty Fingerprint’ style (original) and be accompanied by a suitably updated and verified AD compliance report
c) Service Bulletins (SB), Modifications & Repairs again to show back to birth traceability and correct release certification

Sofema Aviation Service and SofemaOnline offer regulatory and vocation training both online and within the classroom environment. For details or enquiries please email or

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