Airworthiness Directives (ADs) are legally enforceable regulations issued by the FAA in accordance with 14 CFR part 39 to correct an unsafe condition in a product.

Hence when an AD is issued, owner must comply with the AD within the stated time period in order to remain airworthy. This compliance ,of course, come with some cost. Who pay for this cost of compliance? Owner of the plane? Manufacturer? Or they somehow share the cost?

  • $\begingroup$ possible duplicate of What is an Airworthiness Directive? $\endgroup$
    – NathanG
    Jun 12, 2015 at 3:16
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    $\begingroup$ @NathanG: The OP asks for who pays" not for what is it. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Jun 12, 2015 at 4:56

2 Answers 2


It depends on the agreements between the operator/owner of the aircraft on one side and the manufacturer of the aircraft and its suppliers on the other side.

Often there will be some form of compensation involved if an AD is issued when that AD is addressing non-compliance with regulations / standard in effect when the aircraft was produced. Normally there is some time limited warranty covering the costs of ADs at least partially.


The cost of complying with an AD falls on the owner/operator of the aircraft. Failing to comply with an AD renders the aircraft unairworthy. It also could incur FAA penalties, but more importantly, it could result in structural damage or failure, and in some cases ultimately cause a fatal accident.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ And as mentioned in the linked question, using an unairworthy aircraft voids the insurance policy. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Jun 12, 2015 at 4:59
  • $\begingroup$ He did not as for the void insurance claim $\endgroup$ Jun 12, 2015 at 5:05
  • $\begingroup$ voretaq7's comment below the selected answer: "Failing to comply with an AD has one other critical impact: It renders the aircraft unairworthy. Aside from the regulatory implications, most insurance companies void coverage". Actually it could void the policy. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Jun 12, 2015 at 5:14
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    $\begingroup$ The operator is responsible for complying with it. But wouldn't the expense be covered by some kind of warranty most of the time? $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Jun 12, 2015 at 6:51
  • $\begingroup$ @JanHudec That depends on the problem, the manufacturer, and the aircraft. The FAA issued AD 2013-02-13 requiring inspection of the control cables on Piper PA28-family aircraft for corrosion. Many of the affected aircraft are over 30 years old - it would be unreasonable to expect Piper to pay for this inspection on an aircraft that hasn't been near the factory in decades. Conversely Boeing may offer some compensation for ADs on a 20-year-old 737. $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Jul 22, 2015 at 20:08

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