ICAO ANNEX 8
Airworthiness of Aircraft
|Publication Date:||1 January 2018|
Standards and Recommended Practices for the Airworthiness of Aircraft were adopted by the Council on 1 March 1949 pursuant to the provisions of Article 37 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago 1944) and designated as Annex 8 to the Convention.
The Annex contained, in Part II, general airworthiness procedures applicable to all aircraft and in Part III, minimum airworthiness characteristics for aeroplanes provided, or to be provided, with certificates of airworthiness classifying them in an established ICAO category. Part I contained definitions.
At its fourth session, the Airworthiness Division collaborating with the Operations Division made recommendations concerning the use of a performance code as an alternative to the one contained in the Annex, in which the climb values had the status of Recommended Practices. Further, the Airworthiness Division made recommendations concerning certain aspects of the certification in ICAO categories. As a result of those recommendations, the Council approved the incorporation of the alternative performance code as Attachment A but stated its belief that since agreement had not yet been reached on Standards covering performance, there existed no basis for certification in ICAO Category A. It urged the Contracting States to refrain from such certification pending the becoming effective of Standards on performance or until such time as the Council decides on the basic policy on airworthiness.
The Assembly at its seventh session (June 1953) endorsed the action already taken by the Council and the Air Navigation Commission to initiate a fundamental study of ICAO policy on international airworthiness and directed the Council to complete the study as rapidly as practicable.
In pursuing such study, the Air Navigation Commission was helped by an international body of experts designated as the "Airworthiness Panel", which contributed to the preparation of the work of the Third Air Navigation Conference.
As a result of these studies, a revised policy on international airworthiness was developed and it was approved by the Council in 1956. According to this policy, the principle of certification in an ICAO Category was abandoned. Instead, Annex 8 included broad Standards which defined, for application by the competent national authorities, the complete minimum international basis for the recognition by States of certificates of airworthiness for the purpose of the flight of aircraft of other States into or over their territories, thereby achieving, among other purposes, protection of other aircraft, third persons and property. It was considered that this met the obligation of the Organization under Article 37 of the Convention to adopt International Standards of airworthiness.
It was recognized that the ICAO Standards of airworthiness would not replace national regulations and that national codes of airworthiness containing the full scope and extent of detail considered necessary by individual States would be necessary as the basis for the certification of individual aircraft. Each State would establish its own comprehensive and detailed code of airworthiness or would select a comprehensive and detailed code established by another Contracting State. The level of airworthiness defined by this code would be indicated by the Standards, supplemented, if necessary, by Acceptable Means of Compliance.
In application of those principles, the Annex was declared as constituting the minimum standards for the purpose of Article 33. It was also recognized that the Annex might, at the time of adoption, not include technical Standards for all classes of aircraft or even for all classes of aeroplanes, if the Council felt that no technical Standards were required at that time to render Article 33 operative. Furthermore, adoption or amendment of the Annex declared to be complete for the purpose of Article 33 did not constitute the end of ICAO's work in the airworthiness field, as there was a need to continue international collaboration in airworthiness matters.
A revised text for Annex 8 consistent with the above principles was prepared on the basis of the recommendations made by the Third Air Navigation Conference (Montréal, September-October 1956). Part III of the Annex was limited to broad Standards stating the objectives rather than the methods of realizing those objectives. However, to indicate by examples the level of airworthiness intended by some of the broad Standards, specifications of a more detailed and quantitative nature were included under the title "Acceptable Means of Compliance". These specifications were intended to assist the Contracting States in the establishment and application of comprehensive and detailed national airworthiness codes.
To adopt a code giving an appreciably lower level of airworthiness than that given in an Acceptable Means of Compliance was considered to be a violation of the Standard supplemented by that Acceptable Means of Compliance.
The revised text for Annex 8 was included in the Fourth Edition of the Annex, which superseded the First, Second and Third Editions.
Another recommendation of the Third Air Navigation Conference led to the establishment by the Council in 1957 of the Airworthiness Committee, consisting of airworthiness experts with broad experience and selected from those Contracting States and International Organizations willing to contribute.
Present policy on international airworthiness. There had been some concern about the slow progress that had been made over the years with respect to developing supplementary airworthiness specifications in the form of Acceptable Means of Compliance. It was noted that the majority of the Acceptable Means of Compliance in Annexes 6 and 8 had been developed in 1957 and were therefore applicable to only those aeroplane types operating at that time. No effort had been made to update the specifications in these Acceptable Means of Compliance nor had there been any recommendations from the Airworthiness Committee for upgrading of any of the Provisional Acceptable Means of Compliance, which had been developed as potential material for full-fledged Acceptable Means of Compliance. The Air Navigation Commission therefore requested the Airworthiness Committee to review the progress made by it since its inception with a view to determining whether or not desired results had been achieved and to recommend any changes to improve the development of detailed airworthiness specifications.
The Airworthiness Committee at its Ninth Meeting (Montréal, November/December 1970) made a detailed study of the problems and recommended that the concept of developing airworthiness specifications in the form of Acceptable Means of Compliance and Provisional Acceptable Means of Compliance be abandoned and a provision be made for an airworthiness technical manual to be prepared and published by ICAO to include guidance material intended to facilitate the development and uniformity of national airworthiness codes by Contracting States.
The Air Navigation Commission reviewed the recommendations of the Airworthiness Committee in the light of the history of the development of the airworthiness policy approved by the Council in 1956. It came to the conclusion that the basic objectives and principles on which the ICAO airworthiness policy had been based were sound and did not require any significant change. It was also concluded that the main reason for the slow progress in the development of airworthiness specifications in the form of Acceptable Means of Compliance and Provisional Acceptable Means of Compliance was the degree of mandatory status to the former implied by the following statement included in the Forewords of the Fourth and Fifth Editions of Annex 8:
"To adopt a code giving an appreciably lower level of airworthiness than that given in an Acceptable Means of Compliance would be a violation of the Standard supplemented by that Acceptable Means of Compliance."
Several approaches were examined by the Air Navigation Commission to eliminate this difficulty. Finally, it came to the conclusion that the idea of developing airworthiness specifications in the form of Acceptable Means of Compliance and Provisional Acceptable Means of Compliance should be abandoned and ICAO should declare that the States' obligations, for the purpose of Article 33 of the Convention, shall be met by their compliance with the broad Standards in Annex 8 supplemented, as necessary, by airworthiness technical guidance material, devoid of all mandatory implications or obligations. Also, the requirement that each Contracting State should either establish its own comprehensive and detailed code of airworthiness or select a comprehensive and detailed code established by another Contracting State should be retained.
The Council on 15 March 1972 approved the above approach to form the basis for the present policy of ICAO in the field of airworthiness. According to this policy:
a) the objective of international airworthiness Standards is to define, for application by the competent national authorities, the minimum level of airworthiness constituting the international basis for the recognition by States, under Article 33 of the Convention, of certificates of airworthiness for the purpose of the flight of aircraft of other States into or over their territories, thereby achieving, among other things, protection of other aircraft, third parties and property;
b) the Standards developed to meet the objective stated in a) are considered by the Council as meeting, in the necessary scope and detail, the obligations of the Organization under Article 37 of the Convention to adopt International Standards of airworthiness;
c) international airworthiness Standards adopted by the Council are recognized as being the complete international code necessary to bring into force and effect the rights and obligations which arise under Article 33 of the Convention;
d) the technical airworthiness Standards in Annex 8 shall be presented as broad specifications stating the objectives rather than the means of realizing these objectives; ICAO recognizes that national codes of airworthiness containing the full scope and extent of detail considered necessary by individual States are required as the basis for the certification by individual States of airworthiness of each aircraft;
e) to assist States in applying the Standards of Annex 8 and in developing their own comprehensive national codes in a uniform manner, detailed guidance material shall be developed and published expeditiously in the working languages of the Organization.
The Council also approved the issuance of the airworthiness guidance material under the title of Airworthiness Technical Manual. It was understood that the guidance material will, before issuance, be examined by the Air Navigation Commission. It will, however, have no formal status and its main purpose would be to provide guidance to Contracting States in developing the appropriate airworthiness requirements mentioned in 3.2.2 of Part II of the Annex.
A text for Annex 8 consistent with the policy on international airworthiness, approved by the Council on 15 March 1972, was developed by the Air Navigation Commission.
Table A shows the origin of amendments together with a list of the principal subjects involved and the dates on which the Annex and the amendments were adopted by the Council, when they became effective and when they became applicable.
On 6 June 2000, the Air Navigation Commission reviewed the recommendation of the Continuing Airworthiness Panel and the Airworthiness Study Group, in light of the introduction of the type certification process, to introduce the Type Certificate concept. It came to the conclusion that this internationally used and known certificate was already introduced in the Airworthiness Technical Manual (Doc 9051) and that its introduction complements the type certification process, making the text of Annex 8 consistent with its international airworthiness use.
It was further noted that the State of Registry, which is in charge of the issuance or validation of Certificates of Airworthiness by virtue of Article 31 of the Convention, and the State of Design may be different States, with separate functions and duties, and two independent responsibilities. Accordingly, the requirements governing the issuance of Type Certificates in accordance with applicable provisions of Annex 8 are not part of "the minimum standards" which govern the issuance or validation of Certificates of Airworthiness, and lead to the recognition of their validity pursuant to Article 33 of the Convention.
On 7 October 2003, the Air Navigation Commission reviewed the recommendations of the Airworthiness Panel and in light of the observation that small aircraft of a maximum certificated take-off mass greater than 750 kg but not exceeding 5 700 kg are more engaged in international air navigation, it agreed to include in the Annex, for the first time, airworthiness Standards for small aeroplanes, making the text of Annex 8 consistent with its international use.
On 21 November 2013, the Air Navigation Commission reviewed the recommendations of the Airworthiness Panel and in light of the observation that small aircraft of a maximum certificated take-off mass below 750 kg are more engaged in international air navigation, agreed to amend, with an applicability of 7 March 2021, the Annex airworthiness Standards for small aeroplanes, removing the lower take-off mass limit of Annex 8 consistent with its international use.
The applicability of the Standards is indicated in 1.1, 2.1, 3.1, 4.1 and 6.1 of Part II, in 1.1 of Parts IIIA, IIIB, IVA, IVB, VA, VB, VI and VII. The dates were established so as to take account of the provisions of Article 41 of the Convention. However, the Council has recommended that, as far as practicable, earlier dates be applied.
Related Standards of Annex 6, Part I. Chapter 5 of Annex 6, Part I, dealing with aeroplane performance operating limitations, contains Standards that are complementary to the airworthiness Standards of Annex 8. Both state broad objectives. The Standards of Annex 6, Part I, Chapter 5, are supplemented by guidance material in the form of green page attachments which indicate by examples the level of performance intended by the Standards.
The Council has urged Contracting States not to impose on visiting aeroplanes operational requirements other than those established by the State of Registry, provided those requirements are not lower than the Standards of Annex 6, Part I, Chapter 5 as amended by Amendment 2, and 2.2 of Parts IIIA, IIIB, IVB, VA and VB of Annex 8.
Action by Contracting States
Notification of differences. The attention of Contracting States is drawn to the obligation imposed by Article 38 of the Convention by which Contracting States are required to notify the Organization of any differences between their national regulations and practices and the International Standards contained in this Annex and any amendments thereto. Contracting States are invited to keep the Organization currently informed of any differences which may subsequently occur or of the withdrawal of any differences previously notified. A specific request for notification of differences will be sent to Contracting States immediately after the adoption of each amendment to this Annex.
Use of the text of the Annex in national regulations. The Council, on 13 April 1948, adopted a resolution inviting the attention of Contracting States to the desirability of using in their own national regulations, as far as practicable, the precise language of those ICAO Standards which are of a regulatory character and also of indicating departures from the Standards, including any additional regulations that are important for the safety or regularity of air navigation. Wherever possible, the provisions of Part II of this Annex have been written in such a way as would facilitate incorporation, without major textual changes, into national legislation. The provisions of Parts IIIA and IIIB of this Annex, on the other hand, are applicable to aeroplanes through the medium of national codes more comprehensive and detailed than the Standards, so that the Council Resolution of 13 April 1948 does not apply to Parts IIIA and IIIB.
Information concerning the national codes establishing compliance with the Annex. States are invited to notify the Organization either of the establishment or of the selection of the comprehensive and appropriate airworthiness requirements mentioned in 3.2.2 of Part II. States that establish such codes are invited to forward a copy of each with its successive amendments, and any appropriate interpretation document concerning them. States that select codes of other Contracting States to comply with 3.2.2 of Part II are invited to indicate the codes that they intend to use.
Use of the guidance material in the Airworthiness Manual (Doc 9760). Contracting States are invited to note that the material in the Airworthiness Manual is intended to guide them in the development of their detailed and comprehensive national codes with a view to introducing uniformity in those national codes. The material has no mandatory status and Contracting States are quite free to differ from it either in detail or in method. States are also not required to notify any differences that may exist between their detailed national regulations and practices and the relevant material in the Airworthiness Manual.
Status of Annex components
An Annex is made up of the following component parts, not all of which, however, are necessarily found in every Annex; they have the status indicated.
- Material comprising the Annex proper
a) Standards and Recommended Practices adopted by the Council under the provisions of the Convention. They are defined as follows:
Standard: Any specification for physical characteristics, configuration, matériel, performance, personnel or procedure, the uniform application of which is recognized as necessary for the safety or regularity of international air navigation and to which Contracting States will conform in accordance with the Convention; in the event of impossibility of compliance, notification to the Council is compulsory under Article 38.
Recommended Practice: Any specification for physical characteristics, configuration, matériel, performance, personnel or procedure, the uniform application of which is recognized as desirable in the interest of safety, regularity or efficiency of international air navigation, and to which Contracting States will endeavour to conform in accordance with the Convention.
b) Appendices comprising material grouped separately for convenience but forming part of the Standards and Recommended Practices adopted by the Council.
c) Definitions of terms used in the Standards and Recommended Practices which are not self-explanatory in that they do not have accepted dictionary meanings. A definition does not have an independent status but is an essential part of each Standard and Recommended Practice in which the term is used, since a change in the meaning of the term would affect the specification.
d) Tables and Figures, which add to or illustrate a Standard or Recommended Practice and which are referred to therein, form part of the associated Standard or Recommended Practice and have the same status.
- Material approved by the Council for publication in association with the Standards and Recommended Practices
a) Forewords comprising historical and explanatory material based on the action of the Council and including an explanation of the obligations of States with regard to the application of the Standards and Recommended Practices ensuing from the Convention and the Resolution of Adoption.
b) Introductions comprising explanatory material introduced at the beginning of parts, chapters or sections of the Annex to assist in the understanding of the application of the text.
c) Notes included in the text, where appropriate, to give factual information or references bearing on the Standards or Recommended Practices in question but not constituting part of the Standards or Recommended Practices.
d) Attachments comprising material supplementary to the Standards and Recommended Practices or included as a guide to their application.
Selection of language
This Annex has been adopted in six languages - English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish. Each Contracting State is requested to select one of those texts for the purpose of national implementation and for other effects provided for in the Convention, either through direct use or through translation into its own national language, and to notify the Organization accordingly.
The following practice has been adhered to in order to indicate at a glance the status of each statement: Standards have been printed in light face roman; Recommended Practices have been printed in light face italics, the status being indicated by the prefix Recommendation; Notes have been printed in light face italics, the status being indicated by the prefix Note.
The following editorial practice has been followed in the writing of specifications: for Standards the operative verb "shall" is used, and for Recommended Practices the operative verb "should" is used.
The units of measurement used in this document are in accordance with the International System of Units (SI) as specified in Annex 5. Where Annex 5 permits the use of non-SI alternative units, these are shown in parentheses following the basic units. Where two sets of units are quoted, it must not be assumed that the pairs of values are equal and interchangeable. It may, however, be inferred that an equivalent level of safety is achieved when either set of units is used exclusively.
Any reference to a portion of this document, which is identified by a number and/or title, includes all subdivisions of that portion.
In order to maintain a comprehensive edition of this Annex, the latest amendments have been consolidated in a new edition of the Annex. In so doing, provisions with particular applicability dates have been adjusted editorially, as appropriate.