IAMA Updates Rulebook for Streamlined Aircraft Modifications

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Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance (IAMA) has released an updated version of its Rulebook, which it first published in March with the goal of helping members navigate the certification of aircraft modifications. The alliance is also working on an auditing system to enforce the IAMA Rulebook’s principles.

IAMA published a rulebook of best practices in March to help streamline the process of certification of aircraft modifications through supplemental type certificates (STC). An updated version of the rulebook is now available as an online resource to member organizations, airlines and lessors, upon request, through a free membership.

“The IAMA Rulebook aims to streamline the STC project lifecycle [for] airline owners and operators,” Nicole Noack, managing director of IAMA, told APEX Media. “Since the original version’s release this past March, updates and revisions continue. We are gratified to see the rulebook’s ongoing expansion.”

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IAMA’s STC Working Group has been responsible for drafting and updating the document, addressing airline and lessor concerns about aircraft modifications. The IAMA Rulebook establishes a standards-based process and comprehensive guide, covering all aspects of an STC project, from documentation to communication and project management.

The initial release addressed three critical elements in the management of a successful STC: ensuring that complex aircraft modifications with multiple subcontractors have suitable communication interfaces and clearly defined leadership; ensuring reliable after-sales support through the early consideration and implementation in the STC project; and the integration of IATA cabin interior retrofit and entry into service best practices.

“We are also welcoming feedback from airlines and lessors regarding new challenges and demands they may have.” – Romain Mbwang Seppoh, head of Eclipse Technics

The latest version adds details on “right to use” and “demodification.” STCs have commercial limitations attached, creating hurdles for airline owners and operators in obtaining the right to use a specific modification in the case of an aircraft transfer to a new operator. IAMA establishes rules that ensure modification data can be used by any future legal aircraft operator, transferring the commercial right to use STC data with the aircraft. For situations where an owner or operator decides not to use an installed aircraft modification, IAMA also created rules to reduce the risks of de-modification.

“The IAMA Rulebook is a living document,” said Romain Mbwang Seppoh, head of Eclipse Technics, which specializes in aircraft modifications and is an IAMA founding member company. Seppoh, who leads the IAMA Standard Working Group, explained, “Our goal is to continue upgrading its content with guidelines that will further streamline the STC process and deliver high-quality results with a strong focus on operator and owner needs. As part of our commitment to transparency and open communication, we are also welcoming feedback from airlines and lessors regarding new challenges and demands they may have. A future objective is to roll out an auditing system that is currently in development. This program will target enforcement of the IAMA Rulebook’s principles, which is why it is important to understand that modifier members must commit to following the rules in order to display and retain an IAMA quality standing.”

Based in Hamburg, IAMA was founded by retrofit market leaders, Eclipse Technics, Envoy Aerospace, Etihad Airways Engineering and Lufthansa Technik. Its purpose is to support its members in the aircraft and retrofit modification market and to educate about the value of supplemental type certificates (STC) within the aircraft lifecycle. The alliance also aims to simplify the interfaces between stakeholders within a modification project approved by an STC and to endorse STC-approved solutions by measures serving the aircraft operator’s or owner’s demands.

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