U.S. Part 91 twin turboprops and jets flown in Europe must now operate with a Minimum Equipment List (MEL) developed for that specific aircraft under Letter of Authorization (LOA) D195, rather than with a manufacturer’s aircraft model Master MEL (MMEL) approved by the FAA under LOA DO95. Laurent Chapeau, head of the ramp inspection office of the French Safety Oversight Authority, which administers SAFA ramp inspections for third-country operators in France, has affirmed EASA’s recent recognition of the ICAO standard.
“The regulation is now clearly written from last November,” Chapeau said, adding that his agency has noted a lack of compliance “during ramp inspections in the last few months.” In some cases, inspectors “did raise Category 2 findings,” which represent “significant impact on safety” and require operators to take follow-up preventive action.
Under ICAO guidelines, LOA DO95 doesn’t provide the oversight or approval process required for a valid MEL. FAA Flight Standards is reportedly developing compliance solutions for affected U.S. operators. The U.S. is the sole ICAO signatory country that allows operators to use an MMEL as an MEL.