Master minimum equipment list
In aviation, a Master Minimum Equipment List, or MMEL, is a categorized list of on-board systems, instruments and equipment that must be operative for flight. Specific procedures or conditions may be associated with operation of the relevant item. It is considered by default that any equipment or system which is not included in the MMEL may be temporarily inoperative yet allowing the aircraft to fly. The MMEL is defined on a per aircraft model basis.
Under the provisions of Article 41 of the ANO 2009 no aircraft registered in the United Kingdom may commence a flight if any of the equipment required by or under the Order is not carried or is not in a fit condition for use, unless a Permission to do so has been issued by the CAA. Similarly, EU-OPS 1.030/JAR-OPS 3.030 states that an operator shall establish for each aeroplane, an MEL approved by the CAA that will be based upon the relevant MMEL accepted by the CAA. In addition, an operator shall not operate an aeroplane other than in accordance with the MEL unless permitted by the CAA.
MEL (Minimum Equipment List): MEL is based upon the MMEL (Master Minimum Equipment List). MMEL is defined on a per aircraft model basis. MEL is prepared by the operator by taking reference of the MMEL keeping in mind the type & number of equipment installed. Initial issue of the MEL & its subsequent revisions will be approved by competent authority.
The philosophy behind MEL is to authorize release of flight with inoperative equipment only when the inoperative equipment does not render the aircraft unairworthy for the particular flight to avoid revenue loss to the operator & discomfort to the passengers.
Limitations, procedures and substitutions may be used to provide conditions under which the inoperative equipment will not make the operation unsafe or the aircraft unairworthy. This is not a philosophy which permits reduced safety in order to fly to a base where repairs can be made, but rather a philosophy which permits safe operations for a take off from a maintenance base or en-route stop.
MEL need not include items like wings, flight controls, complete engines, landing gears etc., the airworthiness and correct functioning of which is absolutely necessary before any flight. It may also not include items like galley equipment, entertainment systems, passenger convenience equipment, which do not affect the airworthiness of an aircraft. All items which affect the airworthiness of aircraft or safety of those carried on board and are not included in MEL are not necessarily required to be operative.
Minimum equipment lists are issued to specific aircraft and specific operators. In order to use a minimum equipment list, that specific company must receive a letter of authorization from the National aviation authorities of the countries where the aircraft will operate.
- When operating any turbine-powered aircraft such as jets or turboprops.
- When operating under part 135 (Commuter and on-demand operations)
- When operating under part 125 (Non-airline large aircraft operations)
- "Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL)". Federal Aviation Administration. 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
- "JAR-MMEL/MEL" (PDF). European Aviation Safety Agency. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
The MMEL is a document that lists the equipment which must be under any condition operative, subjected to certain conditions, for maintaining an acceptable level of safety as intended in the applicable JAR or equivalent Requirement. Each MMEL is specific to an aircraft type. All items related to the airworthiness of the aircraft and not included in the list can be inoperative temporarily while yet allowing a safe flight.
- "Publications - Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL)". FAA. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
- "MMELs". EASA. Retrieved 2011-02-03.