01.03.2021 – Doc 10146, Manual on Airworthiness Approvals for Changing Aircraft Cabin Interiors. First edition, 2020.
This publication contains information for regulatory authorities to ensure the continuing airworthiness of aeroplanes in commercial operations that have been subjected to an interior modification programme which affects the aircraft airworthiness certification and potentially cabin operational safety. Interior upgrades may often require different maintenance and/or refurbishment cycles that may not be aligned with the aircraft scheduled maintenance cycle. The information in this document regarding the process for the approval of modifications may be of value to both operators and regulators for aircraft of various sizes and types.
Design standards of cabin interiors have evolved over time. Industry innovation may be ahead of existing national regulatory requirements. In addition, ICAO Standards, State of Registry regulations and associated guidance may often be misunderstood, misapplied, unclear or subjected to inconsistent interpretation by both regulators and/or the aviation industry.
Effective ongoing communications between the operator and the civil aviation authority (CAA) of the State of Registry should be a top priority during the initial planning and the performance of a cabin change/modification.
A State has a duty to satisfactorily discharge its international obligations and responsibilities for aircraft airworthiness by establishing and implementing a system of safety oversight. However, some States, particularly those still in the early stages of establishing an effective CAA, may require assistance.
The policies and procedures for approval of modifications and repairs may be different from one State to another due to differences in national aviation legislation and regulations. All States are encouraged to give maximum credit and recognition to the modification approvals granted by the State of Design or another State that has proven technical capability to avoid duplication or redundant testing, where practical, and without prejudice to their unique national requirements. Specific information regarding modifications and repairs are provided in the ICAO Airworthiness Manual (Doc 9760), Part III, Chapter 8.