DAOD 2015-3, Release to Service – New and Modified Aircraft, Including Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Table of Contents
Date of Issue: 2020-12-23
Application: This DAOD is a directive that applies to employees of the Department of National Defence (DND employees) and an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF members).
Approval Authority: Chief of the Air Force Staff (C Air Force)
Enquiries: Director Air Readiness (D Air Rdns)
aeronautical product (produit aéronautique)
Any aircraft, aircraft engine, aircraft propeller or aircraft appliance or part, or the component parts of any of those things, including any computer system and software. (subsection 3(1) of the Aeronautics Act)
Any machine capable of deriving support in the atmosphere from reactions of the air, and includes a rocket. (subsection 3(1) of the Aeronautics Act)
A standard of safety demonstrating that an aeronautical product is fit and safe for flight in its intended role, in conformance with its approved type design and manufacturing and maintenance standards, when operating within its design limits. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 696230)
commencement of operational service (début du service opérationnel)
The point at which the development and/or evaluation phases of a new or modified weapon system have been completed and personnel other than dedicated test and evaluation personnel begin using it, although test and evaluation may still be occurring. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 43958)
force generator (responsable de la mise sur pied d'une force)
A commander responsible for organizing, training and equipping forces for force employment. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 41471)
investigative airworthiness (enquête sur la navigabilité)
A standard of safety achieved through the conduct of independent investigations of aviation-safety-related occurrences and monitoring under the DND/CAF Airworthiness Program to identify safety deficiencies.
Note: The term “aviation-safety-related occurrence” refers to a strictly military aviation accident or incident investigated under Part I of the Aeronautics Act or a military-civilian occurrence investigated under Part II of that Act. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 32411)
military-civilian occurrence (accident militaro-civil)
a) any accident or incident involving
(i) an aircraft operated by or on behalf of DND, the CAF or a visiting force, or an installation operated by or on behalf of any of the above that is designed or used for the manufacture of an aircraft or other aeronautical product, or that is being used for the operation or maintenance of an aircraft or other aeronautical product, and
(ii) a civilian; or
b) any situation or condition that the Airworthiness Investigative Authority has reasonable grounds to believe could, if left unattended, induce an accident or incident described in paragraph (a). (Subsection 10(1) of the Aeronautics Act)
operational airworthiness (navigabilité opérationnelle)
A standard of safety for air operations and aeronautical products as they relate to flying operations.
Note: The term applies collectively to all operational aspects of airworthiness related to the conduct of flying operations (including aerospace control, aircraft utilization, aviation weather, aerodromes, operator, controller and maintainer training and proficiency), in addition to compliance with airworthiness policies, regulations, orders and standards. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 41429)
release to service (autorisation de mise en service)
A declaration that an aircraft is airworthy and ready for the commencement of operational service to support CAF force posture and readiness requirements. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 696202)
technical airworthiness (navigabilité technique)
A standard of safety for an aeronautical product as it relates to product design, manufacture, maintenance and material support.
Note: The term applies collectively to those technical airworthiness aspects of the product's conformity with its approved type design, manufacture, and maintenance standards, and the product's operation within its design limits. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 41446)
unmanned aircraft system (système aérien sans pilote à bord)
A system whose components include the unmanned aircraft, the supporting network and all equipment and personnel necessary to control the unmanned aircraft. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 44145)
weapon system (système d'arme)
A combination of one or more weapons with all related equipment, materials, services, personnel and means of delivery and deployment (if applicable) required for self-sufficiency. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 5631)
|Abbreviation||Complete Word or Phrase|
|AA (AN)||Airworthiness Authority|
|AC (Aut N)||airworthiness clearance|
|AFO (OFA)||Air Force Order|
|AIA (AEN)||Airworthiness Investigative Authority|
|FG (RMPF)||force generator|
|IAC (Aut EN)||investigative airworthiness clearance|
|ISS (SES)||in-service support|
|IT (TI)||information technology|
|L1 (N1)||level one advisor|
|L2 (N2)||level two advisor|
|OAA (ANO)||Operational Airworthiness Authority|
|OAC (Aut NO)||operational airworthiness clearance|
|PAC (Aut PN)||provisional airworthiness clearance|
|PIAC (Aut PEN)||provisional investigative airworthiness clearance|
|POAC (Aut PNO)||provisional operational airworthiness clearance|
|PTAC (Aut PNT)||provisional technical airworthiness clearance|
|RCAF (ARC)||Royal Canadian Air Force|
|RE (AEP)||readiness endorsement|
|RTS (AMS)||release to service|
|SPFP (PVFP)||specific purpose flight permit|
|TAA (ANT)||Technical Airworthiness Authority|
|TAC (Aut NT)||technical airworthiness clearance|
|UAS (UAS)||unmanned aircraft system|
4.1 In this DAOD:
- “aircraft” includes a UAS unless the context requires otherwise; and
- “FG” includes an L1 who may procure and operate a UAS.
4.2 The Aeronautics Act is the legal foundation for military aviation safety. Ensuring the airworthiness of military aeronautical products contributes significantly to the objective of military aviation safety.
4.3 The aim of the RTS process set out in this DAOD is to ensure the airworthiness of any aircraft that enters operational service or has undergone any major upgrade resulting in a substantial change to the technical or operational nature of the original AC.
4.4 Subject to paragraph 4.5, an RTS must be approved by the Comd RCAF as the FG for all manned aircraft, Class I and II UAS generated by the RCAF and all Class III UAS, and by other FGs for Class I and II UAS generated by their commands:
- prior to the commencement of operational service of the aircraft; and
- following the completion of a major upgrade project that results in a substantial change to the technical or operational nature of the original AC.
4.5 Some aircraft, particularly UAS, may have multiple FGs involved in developing and implementing a process for achieving RTS. In those cases, a primary FG must assume responsibility for approving RTS on their combined behalf.
4.6 C Air Force as the AA is the approving authority for any exceptions related to the RTS of aircraft. D Air Rdns should be contacted for information concerning conditions for RTS exceptions.
5.1 The achievement of RTS of an aircraft requires the granting of both an AC and an RE.
5.2 C Air Force as the AA grants an AC based on an OAC, a TAC and an IAC as provided by the OAA, the TAA and the AIA, respectively. Once the AC is granted, the completed AC report is provided by D Air Rdns to the FG.
Note – For the consistency of airworthiness terminology in DND and CAF airworthiness publications, the French term used for “Airworthiness Investigative Authority” (AIA) is "Autorité des enquêtes sur la navigabilité” (AEN), not "Directeur des enquêtes sur la navigabilité” as set out in the Aeronautics Act.
Provisional Airworthiness Clearance
5.3 There may be instances when an AC is required before the full OAC, TAC and/or IAC can be issued. If the AA is satisfied that sufficient operational, technical and investigative airworthiness provisions are in place, e.g. POAC, PTAC and PIAC, a PAC may be granted. The PAC must:
- be supported by a detailed written review of airworthiness requirements; and
- identify a timeline for completion of the full AC.
5.4 The FG grants RE based on operational, project and/or program requirements, as applicable, and ISS requirements. Examples of RE components and key criteria for readiness are found in the table to paragraph 5.5. Project management offices may find additional information on key measures in the Project Approval Directive.
5.5 The following table identifies examples of RE components and key criteria for readiness:
|RE Components||Key Criteria for Readiness|
5.6 Certain UAS may require other forms of RE, such as when the UAS forms part of a larger system of systems having their own readiness or project closeout requirements, or both. If so, the FG must ensure that the applicable readiness criteria of the UAS are satisfied prior to the declaration of initial operational capability.
Determination of the RTS Process
5.7 Once the FG receives the AC or PAC and approves the RE, the FG determines the RTS process in accordance with their project closeout or similar process.
5.8 RCAF RTS boards must be conducted in accordance with AFO 8001-2, Release to Service – New and Modified Aircraft Fleets.
5.9 RTS boards of other FGs must adopt a similar format in concert with the project closeout of their respective weapon system.
5.10 The completed RTS report must be retained by the FG, with a copy distributed to D Air Rdns for registration and oversight as part of the DND/CAF Airworthiness Program (see DAOD 2015-0, Airworthiness, and DAOD 2015-1, DND/CAF Airworthiness Program).
6.1 DND employees and CAF members must comply with this DAOD. Should clarification of the policies or instructions set out in this DAOD be required, DND employees and CAF members may seek direction through their channel of communication or chain of command, as appropriate. Managers and military leaders have the primary responsibility for and means of ensuring the compliance of their DND employees and CAF members with this DAOD.
Consequences of Non-Compliance
6.2 DND employees and CAF members are accountable to their respective managers and military leaders for any failure to comply with the direction set out in this DAOD. Non-compliance with this DAOD may result in administrative action, including the imposition of disciplinary measures, for a DND employee, and administrative or disciplinary action, or both, for a CAF member. Consequences of non-compliance may also include one or more of the following:
- cancellation of an approved AC or RTS, or both;
- the withdrawal of any authority or responsibility provided to a DND employee or CAF member under DAOD 2015-0, DAOD 2015-1 or this DAOD; and
- imposition of liability on the part of Her Majesty in right of Canada, DND employees and CAF members.
Note – In respect of the compliance of DND employees, see the Treasury Board Framework for the Management of Compliance for additional information.
7.1 The following table identifies the responsibilities associated with this DAOD:
|The, a or an …||is or are responsible for …|
|C Air Force as the AA||
|Comd RCAF as an FG||
|D Air Rdns||
Acts, Regulations, Central Agency Policies and Policy DAOD
- Aeronautics Act
- Framework for the Management of Compliance, Treasury Board
- DAOD 1000-8, Policy Framework for Safety and Security Management
- DAOD 2015-0, Airworthiness
- DAOD 2007-0, Safety
- DAOD 2015-1, DND/CAF Airworthiness Program
- DAOD 2015-2, Airworthiness Investigations, Reports and Privilege
- CANFORGEN 220/15, Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) Activities
- Ministerial Direction Regarding DND/CF Airworthiness Program, 16 September 1998 (available in English only)
- Ministerial Airworthiness Direction, 18 July 2005 (available in English only)
- Ministerial Designation and Direction – Airworthiness Investigative Authority, 26 January 2015
- CDS Order – TAA Designation and Delegation, 20 December 2005
- CDS Order – AA Designation and Delegation, 28 July 2008
- CDS Order – OAA Designation and Delegation, 17 December 2013
- CDS Order – Delegating Airworthiness Functions to AIA, 2 February 2015
- Chief of the Air Staff – Designation of Aerospace Medical Authority, 8 September 2006
- Chief of the Air Staff and Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel) - Designation of Flight Test Authority, 24 July 2012 (available in English only)
- A-GA-005-000/AG-001, DND/CAF Airworthiness Program
- A-GA-135-001/AA-001, Flight Safety for the Canadian Armed Forces
- A-GA-135-003/AG-001, Airworthiness Investigation Manual
- B-GA-104-000/FP-001, Operational Airworthiness Manual
- C-05-005-001/AG-001, Technical Airworthiness Manual
- Project Approval Directive
- AFO 8001-2, Release to Service – New and Modified Aircraft Fleets
- Airworthiness Program, D Air Rdns intranet site
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