CAA Survey on Maintenance Programmes
Through Monkeychops, or whatever the company is called, the CAA have sent out a survey form enquiring what type of Maintenance Programme balloons are using. The survey has been sent to individual owners and does not identify the balloon. There are moves afoot to introduce new Maintenance Programmes called ‘Self Declared Maintenance Programmes’ (SDMP) for balloons up to 120,000 cu ft by the end of May. Easy Balloons have been issuing the ‘new style’ SDMPs for recent transitions, new balloons and when the original ‘Approved Maintenance Programme’ (AMP) needs updating (or has gone walkies).
Unless we have specifically informed you that you have an SDMP then you have the old AMP. The Survey isn’t mandatory so if you choose not to respond then no worries. We expect that the CAA are just trying to establish how many owners have complied already. The current situation with regards to the CAA, balloons and SDMPs is confusing to say the least and although we are awaiting clarification from the CAA we will continue to replace AMPs with SDMPs should an update be required. Please note that they must be signed to be valid and without a correct Maintenance Programme, of any type, your Certificate of Airworthiness could be invalid.
The whole question of Maintenance Programmes for balloons has been a bone of contention for years and the BBAC has been trying hard to get private balloons upto 120,000cu ft exempted from the EASA regulation but the process has a way to go. The BBAC is recommending no action be taken for the moment. We are inclined to err on the side of caution and will continue to issue new SDMPs as we go. Any problems please drop me a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org