Bilateral Agreements

What are Bilateral Agreements?

Bilateral agreements facilitate the reciprocal airworthiness certification of civil aeronautical products imported/exported between two signatory countries. A Bilateral Airworthiness Agreement (BAA) or Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) with Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness (IPA) provides for airworthiness technical cooperation between the FAA and its counterpart civil aviation authorities.

Type of Bilateral Agreements

Bilateral Airworthiness Agreements

Bilateral Airworthiness Agreements are executive agreements concluded prior to 1996 through an exchange of diplomatic notes between the U.S. Department of State and its foreign counterpart based on FAA technical recommendations. (Note: The U.S. no longer concludes Bilateral Airworthiness Agreements.)

Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement

In addition to airworthiness certification, Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreements provide for bilateral cooperation in a variety of aviation areas, including maintenance, flight operations, and environmental certification. For aircraft certification, an additional document, an Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness, is developed to address specific areas such as design approvals, production activities, export airworthiness approval, post-design approval activities, and technical cooperation.

Other Documents Related to Bilateral Agreements

Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness (IPA) are procedural documents authorized by the BASA Executive Agreement for design approval, production activities, export airworthiness approvals, post-design approval activities and technical assistance between authorities. This document defines the scope for civil aeronautical products and parts eligible for import into the U.S. and the counterpart BASA signatory country. It further defines the interface requirements and procedures between the authorities for validation, import and continued support of those civil aeronautical products and articles.

Technical Implementation Procedures (TIP) has the same purpose as an IPA. The difference is that whereas an IPA contains the implementation procedures for a BASA between the U.S. and another sovereign State, the TIP contains the implementation procedures for the Agreement between the U.S. and the European Union (EU) which represents many sovereign States. As the EU does not have the authority to administer all of the procedures that are included in an IPA, the TIP includes added procedures detailing where the Sovereign States represented in the EU retain limited responsibility.

Schedule of Implementation Procedures (SIP) is the procedural document, similar to an IPA, that is associated with some BAAs. It facilitates the approval process for aircraft and other aeronautical products being imported or exported between the U.S. and a foreign country.

Working Arrangement and Special Arrangement

  1. Within the Aircraft Certification Service (AIR), the term "Arrangement" applies to both Working Arrangement and Special Arrangement, which are synonymous terms. Either of these terms may appear within various bilateral agreements (BAs). Their inclusion and application within BAs is consistent in meaning even though the terms vary between the BAs. As BA revisions occur, and where partnering authorities agree, the difference in terminology and structure may be resolved. The title of a new Arrangement will be dictated by the associated BA.
  2. Arrangements represent an urgent or unique situation that has not been specifically addressed in the BA, but which is within the scope of the BA. Arrangements prescribe the interim provisions for various activities that are not otherwise explicitly stated in a BA. They enable the FAA and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to conduct and sustain activities that may mitigate an undue burden or further facilitate aviation safety. Arrangements are mutually agreed upon by the FAA and the CAA, and they require signatures by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service (AIR-1) and the CAA equivalent. Signatures may be accomplished through an exchange of individually signed letters or with a dual-signature cover sheet cosigned by the FAA and CAA indicating agreement with the document. Because the FAA and the CAA signature authority responsibility does not always align, either format is acceptable, depending on what the CAA requires. Changes to Arrangements require a new signatures and date.

Management Plans are working-level documents that prescribe detailed methods for achieving a technical process derived from an activity stated in a BA or Arrangement. Management Plans define the roles and responsibilities needed for coordination of activities stated in the BA or an established Arrangement. The content and duration of a Management Plan are prescribed by the requirement being expanded upon and are linked to the BA or Arrangement function that it supports. Because it is important to consider each Authority's needs and how the FAA will accommodate and document updates, Management Plans must include a section to address revisions. Management Plans are mutually agreed upon by the FAA and the CAA.

Working Procedures are a type of arrangement entered into with a foreign CAA with which the FAA has not entered a bilateral agreement. They are used to define the methods through which the FAA's Aircraft Certification Service can support another State in approving aeronautical products and articles being exported from the United States to that State.

Special Import Requirements is a document submitted to the FAA by the CAA of the importing State or jurisdiction that contains importing requirements. These documents are contained in Appendix 2 of AC 21-2.

Bilateral agreements policies & guidance

Last updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2022