The Airworthiness Concern Process (ACP) is a cooperative information-sharing initiative between industry and the FAA intended to increase industry participation in the development of airworthiness issues before (or in lieu of) a proposed or final airworthiness directive (AD) for an aircraft. The ACP has been successfully employed for airframe-related concerns for years. As a result of AOPA's efforts, the ACP was expanded to include engine- and propeller-related airworthiness issues. An important element of this official FAA process is AOPA Online, which serves as a "central hub" for distribution of airworthiness concern sheets to aircraft type clubs, and submittal of type club comments to the FAA.
The Airworthiness Concern Process is an official part of FAA policy that requires the FAA to solicit industry involvement in the development of airworthiness concerns before proposing or issuing an AD. This groundbreaking process affords aircraft owners and operators a valuable opportunity to provide the FAA input into what mitigating actions (if any) are necessary to remedy an airworthiness concern. Before ACP, the FAA had no direct link to the real-world operational and maintenance knowledge and expertise offered by aircraft type clubs and their owner/operator members. ACP provides AOPA, aircraft type clubs, and other organizations an opportunity to analyze potential concerns, verify whether or not they're actually occurring, and recommend the safest, most economically viable means of mitigation.
The Airworthiness Concern Process provides the GA community some much-needed access to the FAA's continued airworthiness process. As the GA fleet continues to age and manufacturer support continues to dwindle, increased industry participation in the development of airworthiness actions is necessary to ensure the continued operational viability of the GA piston fleet.
Updated Wednesday, July 30, 2008
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