Return to Membership > ASA Member Bulletin - Oct 2017 - FAA Transitioning Limited DARs to Full-Function DARs

ASA Member Bulletin - Oct 2017 - FAA Transitioning Limited DARs to Full-Function DARs

Today, the FAA issued a memo that permits the limited designated airworthiness representatives (DARs) [commonly known as DAR-56s] to transition to normal DARs with function code 19 privileges. This is a major achievement for ASA's members!

The Guidance

The new FAA guidance is known as Memo Number AIR-600-17-6F0-DM08. This memo permits current DAR-56 privilege holders to apply for function code 19 privileges.

The reason for this change is to resolve certain limitation that the FAA now believes are unnecessary. The first unnecessary limitation involves the date of receipt of the parts. DAR-56 privilege holders can only issue 8130-3 where the parts were received by November 1, 2016. This date was arbitrary, and did not to address the fact that production approval parts are still entering the system from manufactures who do not issue 8130-3 tags. Transitioning to function code 19 will eliminate this date restriction.

The second issue this resolves is that the DAR-56 program only permits tagging of a very limited slice of parts. A much broader swath of parts are eligible for 8130-3 tags under current FAA policy. Function code 19 permits tagging of parts with adequate evidence that they were created by a production approval holder, and have suffered neither damage nor degradation since release from the production approval holder's quality system. While this category is subject to FAA guidance, it is still broader than the very narrow limits associated with DAR-56.

The deadline to apply for a smooth transition is 90 days from the date of the memo (Tuesday, 2 January, 2018).

The Process (for DAR 56 holders)

If you currently hold DAR 56 privileges, then you should apply to your local ("geographic") Manufacturing Inspection District Office (MIDO) for appointment as a DAR-F with function code 19. You can find your geographic MIDO on the FAA's website. Using the "select the state" function at the bottom of the page (but above the blue footer), enter your state where you operate and find which MIDO is your geographic MIDO. 

Then, apply to your geographic MIDO using the on-line Designee Management System tool.

In order to be appointed as a DAR-F under this program an applicant must meet the minimum qualifications provided in FAA Order 8000.95. Look within 8000.95 for the criteria - specifically in Volume 1, Chapter 2 and in Volume 8, Chapter 2.

There is one significant difference from the standards found in FAA Order 8000.95 and the transitioning DAR 56s. That is the experience provision. Under the FAA memo, the applicant who has applied for a timely transition from DAR 56 privileges does not need to meet the normal 36 month experience requirement. Instead, the applicant must

"[h]ave a minimum of 12-months actual working experience for the accredited distributor under the quality system at the accredited distributor location(s), specifically:

a. Experience in either receiving inspection and/or quality assurance processes; and,

b. Experience reviewing documentation and/or part markings which can be used to verify that parts and articles are traceable to the PAH."

Application checklist:

  • Identify your geographic MIDO;
  • Complete the required FAA training (you will need to submit the training certificate as part of your application package);
  • Obtain a letter of reference from the accredited distributor (signed by someone who can represent the business); a sample can be found in attachment 1 to the memo;
  • Ensure that your application details match those already filed for you under the DAR-56 program;
  • Apply through the DMS system, and include:
    • Evidence of completion of the required FAA training;
    • The letter of reference from the accredited distributor;
  • Notify FAA Headquarters that you currently hold function code 56 privileges and that you have filed an online application seeking function code 19 privileges. Perform this notification by ending an email to the AIR-6F0 mailbox at AIR-6F0 will notify the appropriate MIDO of the application, and let them know that it is subject to the provisions of the policy memo.

Once this process is complete, if the FAA reviews your package and finds that you can be transitioned to function code 19, then they will cancel your DAR 56 privileges and assign function code 19 privileges for issuing 8130-3 tags. Don't just rely on this checklist - be sure to study the policy memo!

Once you get the new function code privileges, you should expect that you will be limited to only exercising the privilege at the accredited facilities of the AC 00-56 accredited distributor. This is not a "portable" credential, because it relies on the distributor's AC 00-56B system as part of the basis for knowing that the part is in an appropriate condition to receive an 8130-3 tag.

The Process (for others)

We advised all of our members to obtain DAR-56 privileges. But we recognize that some members did not follow this advice. We also recognize that some function code 56 holders may allow the 90 day period to come and go without filing their application to transition.

If you do not hold DAR-56 privileges, or if you waited too long, then there is still a path!

The new guidance permits other persons to apply for function code 19 privileges under the terms of the memo; however such applicants are not entitled to the same presumptions enjoyed by transitioning DAR-56 holders. If you fall into this category, then you will only be considered if the MIDO can independently establish that the FAA has a need and ability to manage the delegation; this means that you are going to need to convince the MIDO! You also need to meet conditions that are comparable to those imposed on DAR 56 applicants.  You will still benefit from the alternative experience requirement (12 months experience with the quality system of the accredited distributor).

What About Export Tags?

The FAA has been transitioning away from a distinction between "domestic tags" and "export tags." They took a major step toward that goal when they issued the memo guidance that explained that 8130-3 tags were no longer allowed to say the word "export." For a full discussion of this change, please see our blog post on the subject.

This transition is consistent with international practice, which typically does not distinguish between an "export tag" and a "domestic tag."

So the future of the 8130-3 tag is that all tags will look the same - whether they are intended for domestic use or non-US use - and there will be no visible difference in the tag for exports. The exporter is expected to address the special import conditions of the importing nation. This has been FAA policy for some time, with export compliance obligations falling on the exporter and not on the DAR.

For newly transitioned DARs who are permitted to issue domestic tags under function code 19, this means that the tags will be useful for exports as well as for domestic transactions.