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I am performing a review of aircraft maintenance. i intend to reconcile the MMEL for airbus 320 along with the operators MEL. Based on my information, the MEL is supposed to be more restrictive than the MMEL as it considers operational hours, operating conditions and many such factors. In this case, is it OK it the MMEL and the MEL have the same item list? Shouldn't the MEL have some more items?

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  • $\begingroup$ If MEL had to have some more items, where would they come from if they were not on the MMEL? $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Jun 18 '16 at 14:27
  • $\begingroup$ It may matter if you are in the FAA world or someplace else, so you might want to clarify. In my experience the operator is free to add or remove items from their own MEL independent of the MMEL, as long as they have justification and FAA approval. The MMEL serves as a baseline just like the MPD for maintenance. Of course removing items from the MEL or making them more restrictive than the MMEL is easier to justify than adding new items or making items less restrictive. $\endgroup$ – OSUZorba Jun 18 '16 at 18:42
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    $\begingroup$ @JanHudec One example would be if the operator did an STC, like wireless internet. That STC would not be in the MMEL, but there is no reason to ground the plane over the wireless being inop. So the operator would add the wireless system to their MEL list. $\endgroup$ – OSUZorba Jun 18 '16 at 18:49
  • $\begingroup$ Check out FAA MMEL Policy Letter 34, Revision 4: fsims.faa.gov/… it does a decent job of breaking down the difference in a MEL and MMEL. $\endgroup$ – OSUZorba Jun 18 '16 at 18:54
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    $\begingroup$ @AtishNair, please note that your question does not have any answers! So there is nothing to thank for! $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Jun 20 '16 at 9:21
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I am no authority on the topic, but I'll at least try to summarise the bits from comments:

  • MEL can contain additional items not on the MMEL only if:

    • They concern after-market modifications or additional equipment and the corresponding STC permits it. Typically this includes things like IFE, wifi-routers and similar items for passenger comfort, not necessary for safely conducting the flight.

    • Sometimes it might be possible to add a normally required item if additional equipment is installed that can work as a backup, subject to overseeing authority approval.

  • MEL can omit items from the MMEL if:

    • They concern optional equipment that is not installed on the particular aircraft.

    • The operator chooses to omit them. This can be done because the associated restrictions would not allow the plane to complete the typical mission profile with that operator anyway or if the operator considers the restrictions to be too much trouble for what they are worth (e.g. would require otherwise unused procedures that would have to be trained).

If all those categories happen to be empty, the MEL will be equal to MMEL.

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  • $\begingroup$ The MMEL cannot just be used as the MEL. It had to be approved by the FAA for your specific serial number... Hence just a MEL. $\endgroup$ – wbeard52 Jul 23 '16 at 22:35

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