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Why can’t Non-Essential Furnishings (NEF) items simply be incorporated into the Minimum Equipment List (MEL)? I understand that an NEF is part of an MEL but what limits the items on an NEF from being placed on the MEL itself and getting rid of the NEF all together? I have heard the MEL items are components and systems but have not found that verbiage myself. If we didn’t have an NEF list we would still be limited from flying with things that aren’t essential to the safety of flight. (I.e broken coffee pots, toilet paper holders etc.). So I understand that NEF items aren’t safety of flight but in terms of grounding an aircraft they’re just as important. So why can’t they just not be out in the MEL? AC 91-67,Pl-34

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not 100% but I suspect: MEL is regulatory, NEF is purely company policy. So by keeping it separate, it makes it a lot easier for the company to take things off the NEF. $\endgroup$ Jul 11, 2021 at 13:12
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    $\begingroup$ Also, the process for what you do when something on the main MEL is broken somewhere without maintenance facilities may be very different from if something on the NEF is broken. $\endgroup$ Jul 11, 2021 at 13:18
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    $\begingroup$ This question would be greatly improved by explaining your acronyms and/or the context in which they're used. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Jul 11, 2021 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ User1937198- That seems like it would be the most plausible answer to me as well but why is the NEF part of the MEL then? $\endgroup$
    – Wes
    Jul 11, 2021 at 17:52

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I think you kind of answered your own question.

Non-Essential Furnishings do not belong in an MEL because the presence or not of the items has no safety impact and therefore there is no safety analysis performed or required.

All of the items in the Master MEL that the OEM publishes have gone through a safety analysis to determine the risk associated with dispatch with a component or system inoperative, including follow-on failure effects, etc, to establish that a minimum safety level is maintained. As well there are maintenance and/or operational procedures associated with the MMEL items. No such procedures needed for coffee pots.

So adding NEF items to the MMEL is pretty much pointless and a considerable amount of un-necessary hassle for the OEM.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so very very much John! That makes sense to me! I appreciate people like you who have vastly more knowledge than me taking the time to share insight and that knowledge with me! $\endgroup$
    – Wes
    Jul 11, 2021 at 19:23
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks. It's worth noting that the sole purpose of the MMEL in the first place is to increase dispatch reliability. When a type is certified, the OEM will spend the follow-on years trying to add items to expand it. Each item added will add some small fraction to the airplane's dispatch reliability. The industry DR standard is 99% of flights leave within 15 min. A plane may have a DR of 97.7, and adding component or subsystem X to the MMEL might improve that to 97.8. Eventually all the items add up, and you're there. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Jul 11, 2021 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ That’s one thing that I certainly had no idea of is dispatch reliability. Thank you for that! $\endgroup$
    – Wes
    Jul 11, 2021 at 21:14
  • $\begingroup$ How does adding to the list improve reliability? Unless it is replacing a less reliable component, mathematically the more items on your list the lower your probability that each will be 100%. $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2022 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelHall Reliability refers to the fleet's dispatch reliability, the global on-time departure rate (on-time being leaving the gate within 15 min). An item added to the MEL turns failures that would cancel a flight into delays (say, removing a part and installing a blanking plate, which may take you past 15 in but at least you get away), and failures that would cause a 15min+ delay into on-time departures. A servo may break constantly, causing endless delays and cancellations, but adding it to the MEL,it still breaks all the time, but it doesn't result in departure delays/canx when it does. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Aug 15, 2022 at 15:59

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