Advisory Circular (AC) No. 573-002

Subject: Aircraft Certification Authority Based on Foreign Qualifications

Issuing Office: Civil Aviation, Standards
Document No.: AC 573-002
File Classification No.: Z 5000-34
Issue No.: 03
RDIMS No.: 14558164 – V15
Effective Date: 2020-04-13

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction

  • (1) This Advisory Circular (AC) is provided for information and guidance purposes. It describes an example of an acceptable means, but not the only means, of demonstrating compliance with regulations and standards. This AC on its own does not change, create, amend or permit deviations from regulatory requirements, nor does it establish minimum standards.

1.1 Purpose

  • (1) This AC provides information and guidance for Approved Maintenance Organizations (AMO) to incorporate procedures in their Maintenance Policy Manual (MPM) to authorize a person who is not the holder of an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) licence issued under Subpart 403 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) to sign a maintenance release following the performance of aircraft line maintenance activities outside of Canada.
  • (2) This AC also provides what the Minister has determined to be equivalent qualifications held by a foreign aircraft maintenance licence holder to those required to hold an AME licence pursuant to section 571.11(2)(a)(ii) of the CARs.

1.2 Applicability

  • (1) This document is applicable to an appropriately rated Aircraft AMO conducting aircraft maintenance outside Canada and Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) Regional personnel responsible for approving AMO MPM procedures for the performance of maintenance outside of Canada.
  • (2) When the AMO’s MPM procedures have been approved by TCCA, the AMO may issue the Aircraft Certification Authority (ACA) in accordance with their approved MPM. No individual approval by TCCA will be required for the issuance of ACA.
  • (3) While the information outlined in this AC is considered guidance, an AMO who chooses to utilize this AC as a means to demonstrate compliance must do so in its entirety.
  • (4) The information in this document does not apply to the issuance of an AME licence or ACA for the purposes of singing a maintenance release for maintenance performed within Canada.

1.3 Description of Changes

  • (1) Section 4.0, “Equivalent Qualifications”, was amended to remove the need to request TCCA to review other licences and to add the cases where licences are used as the basis of ACA in countries where there is an agreement or technical arrangement.
  • (2) Section 5.0,”AMO procedures for the issuance of ACA”, was introduced to provide clarification on the conditions and limitations and when they would apply.

2.0 References and Requirements

2.1 Reference Documents

  • (1) It is intended that the following reference materials be used in conjunction with this document:
    • (a) Part IV, Subpart 3 of the CARs — Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Licenses and Ratings;
    • (b) Part V, Subpart 71 of the CARs — Aircraft Maintenance Requirements;
    • (c) Part V, Subpart 73 of the CARs — Approved Maintenance Organizations;
    • (d) Standard 566 of the CARs, Division II — Approved Training Organizations;
    • (e) Standard 571 of the CARs — Maintenance;
    • (f) Standard 573 of the CARs — Approved Maintenance Organizations.

2.2 Cancelled Documents

  • (1) By default, it is understood that the publication of a new issue of a document automatically renders any earlier issues of the same document null and void.

2.3 Definitions and Abbreviations

  • (1) The following definitions are used in this document:
    • (a) Aircraft Certification Authority: means the maintenance release authorization issued by an AMO to a qualified person who meets the requirements of Subparts 571 and 573 of the CARs.
    • (b) Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Licence: means the licence issued pursuant to Subpart 403 of the CARs.
    • (c) Line maintenance: means maintenance activities limited to pre-flight, daily and weekly checks, and includes the rectification of unscheduled aircraft defects provided the maintenance is not specialized work as described in paragraph 573.02(3)(c) of Standard 573 of the CARs. It does not include any scheduled checks which may also include segmented portions of higher level checks.
    • (d) Maintenance Release: means a certification made following the maintenance of an aircraft, indicating that the maintenance was performed in accordance with the applicable provisions of the CARs and standards of airworthiness.
  • (2) The following abbreviations are used in this document:
    • (a) AC: Advisory Circular;
    • (b) ACA: Aircraft Certification Authority;
    • (c) AME: Aircraft Maintenance Engineer;
    • (d) AMO: Approved Maintenance Organization;
    • (e) CARs: Canadian Aviation Regulations;
    • (f) MPM: Maintenance Policy Manual; and
    • (g) TCCA: Transport Canada Civil Aviation.

3.0 Background

  • (1) Subparagraph 571.11(2)(a)(ii) of the CARs provides that in the case of maintenance performed outside Canada, a person may be authorized to sign a maintenance release if the person holds qualifications that the Minister has deemed equivalent to qualifications that are required to hold an AME Licence.
  • (2) Before an AMO can authorize a person with equivalent qualifications to sign a maintenance release, an AMO must make a separate evaluation of the licence holder’s qualifications and training to determine if they meet the policies in their MPM and requirements of the CARs for the purposes of issuance of ACA. The description of the evaluation of policies and procedures are described in their approved MPM to ensure that authorized persons are qualified pursuant to section 573.05 of the CARs.
  • (3) The following sections provide guidance on establishing qualification equivalency, necessary MPM procedures and describes an acceptable means of evaluating an aircraft type maintenance training course that was not approved by TCCA for the purposes of meeting the requirement in subsection 571.11(4) of the CARs.

4.0 Qualifications determined to be equivalent

  • (1) For the purposes of issuing ACA under an AMO for the line maintenance performed outside of Canada, the Minister has determined that, subject to the conditions and limitations herein, a person who meets the following is considered to have equivalent qualifications pursuant to subparagraph 571.11(2)(a)(ii) of the CARs:
    • (a) a person holds a valid aircraft maintenance licence issued by a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA);
    • (b) the maintenance release privileges of the licence held in (a) are appropriate for the ACA privileges being considered;
    • (c) the holder of the licence in (a) has exercised the privileges of the licence for not less than two years ; and
    • (d) the holder of the licence in (a) meets the recency requirements of section 403.05 of the CARs.

5.0 AMO Procedures for the issuance of ACA

  • (1) Under subsection 573.05(1) of the CARs, no AMO shall authorize a person to sign a maintenance release unless the person meets the applicable requirements of section 571.11 and has successfully completed the training required by section 573.06 of the CARs.
  • (2) Under section 573.10 of the CARs, the AMO shall have a description of the policies and procedures used to ensure that the persons authorized to sign maintenance releases are qualified and meet the applicable requirements in accordance with section 573.05 of the CARs. These policies and procedures are to include the following conditions, limitations and evaluation procedures in accordance with this AC, which are documented in the AMO’s MPM and approved by TCCA.

5.1 Conditions for the issuance of ACA

  • (1) The following conditions apply to the issuance of ACA for line maintenance performed outside of Canada:
    • (a) The person holds equivalent qualifications in section 4.0 of this AC;
    • (b) The person is working under the direct control of the AMO issuing the ACA;:
    • (c) The person successfully completes a regulatory examination on the CARs with a minimum passing mark of 70% that is administered by TCCA, or by the AMO, which addresses the Subparts 605, 571 and 573 of the CARs, as they relate to the maintenance responsibilities of the Air Operator, AMO, flight crew, and persons signing a maintenance release;
    • (d) The person completes the required training under the AMOs training program; and
    • (e) As applicable, the person has successfully completed aircraft type maintenance training on the applicable transport category aeroplane or turbine-powered helicopter required under subsection 571.11(4) of the CARs that has been:
      • (i) TCCA approved in accordance with requirements in subsection 571.11(4) of the CARs; or
      • (ii) Reviewed and found acceptable in accordance with the approved procedures in the AMO’s MPM.

5.2 Review of non-TCCA approved Aircraft Type Maintenance Training

  • (1) Where aircraft type maintenance training was successfully completed but was not TCCA approved, the AMO will evaluate the training used as the basis for ACA held by the person against the requirements in subsections 566.18(2) and (3) of Standard 566 of the CARs.
  • (2) The AMO ensures that the person has completed all aspects of the aircraft type maintenance training that are related to the scope of ACA privileges being granted. This includes the review of the course completion certificate and course curriculum certified as accurate by the organization that provided the training.
  • (3) The AMO’s review ensures that the person’s training on the aircraft, engines, structures, systems and procedures concerned is sufficient to meet the training requirement for granting of ACA privileges.
  • (4) The AMO’s procedures for review of training courses shall be documented in the MPM and approved by TCCA.
  • (5) The AMO shall maintain records of training course evaluations in accordance with section 573.07 of the CARs.

    Note: Where the aircraft type maintenance training held by the person meets the requirements, the training is only valid for the ACA being granted by the AMO.

5.3 Limitations for the Issuance of ACA – Scope of privileges

  • (1) The following limitations apply for the issuance of ACA and are annotated to that effect:
    • (a) The ACA identifies the licence upon which the ACA is based;
    • (b) The ACA privileges do not exceed the privileges associated with the licence for which it is based ;
    • (c) The ACA privileges are limited to line maintenance activities;
    • (d) The ACA privileges do not include line maintenance performed within Canada; and
    • (e) The person’s licence for which ACA is based on remains valid while exercising the ACA privileges.

6.0 Document History

  • (1) AC 573-002 Issue 02, RDIMS 14274249 (E), 14274519 (F), dated 2018-07-25 — Aircraft Certifying Authorities Based on Foreign Qualifications.
  • (2) AC 573-002 Issue 01, RDIMS 3815375 (E), 4144637 (F), dated 2009-01-15 — Aircraft Certifying Authorities Based on Foreign AME Licences.

7.0 Contact Us

For more information, please contact:
Chief, Operational Airworthiness (AARTM)
Phone: 613-952-4386

We invite suggestions for amendment to this document. Submit your comments to:
Civil Aviation Communications Centre
Civil Aviation Communications Centre contact form

“Document approved by Jean-François Mathieu for”

Robert Sincennes
Director, Standards Branch
Civil Aviation