The Republic of Vanuatu is an island archipelago that relies on five commercial operators with around 30 domestic aircraft to connect and service the nation’s 65+ inhabited islands. CAAV’s mandated purpose is “to ensure the safety of all people who engage in, benefit from or otherwise maybe impacted by civil aviation activities within the nation’s sovereign airspace”.
It’s a rigorous process to facilitate a new aircraft onto the CAAV Aircraft Registry, and to certify renewals that ensure aircraft are fit to fly safely. It’s a responsibility that Manfred takes extremely seriously and that’s made possible with the off-site support of PASO Airworthiness Inspectors.
“To enter the aircraft register, an airline operator will apply for a Certificate of Registration from the CAAV. We check its Type Acceptance Report (TAR) design for conformity with Vanuatu requirements, which are derived from New Zealand’s . We need to certify that it can fly under different categories whether for private or public transport operations. Registration is affected after all requirements are satisfactorily met.”, says Manfred.
“The technical expertise of PASO among other functions is required specifically for physically inspecting the aircraft and make a recommendation to the CAAV Director as applicable. When anomalies or discrepancies are identified, CAAV collaborates with the operator to address as applicable.”
“In straight forward situations with an accepted aircraft type we are familiar with and an operator who can provide all the application supporting information required (such as air records, and access to the aircraft and manufacturer), this process can take a week. If it’s an unfamiliar aircraft, the process takes longer. The process is longer for first-of-type aircraft and when operators are not familiar with registration process.”
The turnaround time for renewals is usually faster. Air Vanuatu’s Boeing 737 airworthiness certificate renewal in December 2020 took three days to process with PASO’s remote certification support.
“With aircraft airworthiness renewal certificates, we do a conformity inspection involving a review of the aircraft’s 12-month maintenance history and how well they have followed and complied with the specified maintenance program as per flight cycles and flight hours. It’s a lot of record checking and cross-checking. We don’t want to compromise on safety”, says Manfred.