What is AR in Aviation? (Airworthiness Review)

When it comes to aircraft safety, airworthiness plays a crucial role. Airworthiness refers to the condition in which an aircraft complies with the established design and operational standards, ensuring that it is safe to fly. In order to maintain this safety, airworthiness reviews are conducted periodically to assess the ongoing suitability and compliance of an aircraft.

The airworthiness review, often abbreviated as AR, is a comprehensive evaluation of an aircraft’s condition and records, covering all its aspects, from structural integrity to maintenance history and adherence to regulations. This review is conducted by qualified personnel, such as aviation regulators or designated airworthiness review specialists (DARs), to ensure that all safety requirements are met.

During an airworthiness review, several key factors are examined to determine the aircraft’s continued airworthiness. These factors include:

  • Aircraft documentation and records
  • Structural integrity
  • Maintenance history and compliance
  • Modifications and repairs
  • Systems and equipment
  • Operational limitations and restrictions
  • Compliance with regulatory requirements

The Importance of Airworthiness Review

Airworthiness reviews are crucial to maintaining the safety and integrity of the aircraft. These reviews are conducted at regular intervals, typically every 12 to 24 months, depending on the aircraft’s type and usage. They ensure that the aircraft is in compliance with regulations, standards, and manufacturers’ recommendations.

One of the key aspects of an airworthiness review is the examination of aircraft documentation and records. These documents provide a comprehensive history of the aircraft, including maintenance performed, repairs conducted, and modifications made. By reviewing these records, any potential issues or discrepancies can be identified and addressed, ensuring that the aircraft remains airworthy.

The Process of Airworthiness Review

The airworthiness review process involves several steps to thoroughly assess the aircraft’s condition and compliance. Here is a brief overview of the typical process:

The Initial Preparation

Before the physical inspection begins, the review team gathers all the relevant documents and records related to the aircraft. This includes the aircraft’s maintenance logbooks, airworthiness directives (ADs), service bulletins, and other related documents.

Additionally, the review team may also review the aircraft’s previous airworthiness review report to identify any outstanding or recurring issues that need attention.

The Physical Inspection

Once the necessary documents are collected, the physical inspection of the aircraft begins. This inspection covers all areas and components of the aircraft, including:

  • Fuselage
  • Wings
  • Tail section
  • Landing gear
  • Engines
  • Avionics
  • Systems

During the inspection, any visible damage, signs of wear and tear, or non-compliant modifications are noted. The aircraft’s records are cross-checked with the physical inspection findings to ensure compliance and accuracy.

The Compliance Verification

Once the physical inspection is complete, the compliance verification process begins. This involves comparing the aircraft’s records, including maintenance actions and modifications, with the applicable regulatory requirements and manufacturer’s recommendations.

The review team ensures that all mandatory inspections, scheduled maintenance, and necessary repairs have been properly documented and performed. This ensures that the aircraft is in compliance with all necessary regulations.

The Airworthiness Decision

Based on the findings of the inspection and compliance verification, the review team makes an airworthiness decision. This decision can fall under one of three categories:

  • Continued Airworthiness: The aircraft meets all the necessary requirements and can continue to operate without any additional actions.
  • Conditional Airworthiness: The aircraft requires specific actions or repairs to maintain its airworthiness, which must be addressed within a designated timeframe.
  • Suspended Airworthiness: The aircraft does not meet the necessary requirements and is temporarily grounded until the non-compliant issues are rectified.

Based on this decision, the necessary steps are taken to either ensure continued airworthiness or rectify any issues found during the review.


Airworthiness reviews play a fundamental role in aviation safety. By regularly assessing the condition and compliance of aircraft, these reviews ensure that they meet the required standards for safe operation. The comprehensive evaluation of an aircraft’s documentation, physical condition, and compliance verification provides aviation authorities and operators with the assurance that the aircraft remains airworthy.

With airworthiness reviews, aviation safety can be maintained, minimizing the risks associated with flying. By adhering to the established airworthiness standards, aircraft can continue to operate safely and reliably, providing passengers with peace of mind during their travels.

For More: What is AMO in Aviation? (Approved Maintenance Organization)