Inspection Authorization (IA) Renewal: A Guide for Aviation Mechanics

Inspection Authorization (IA) Renewal: A Guide for Aviation Mechanics

Inspection Authorization (IA) Renewal

As an aviation mechanic, maintaining your Inspection Authorization (IA) is crucial for advancing your career and expanding your scope of expertise. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of IA renewal, including the requirements, activities, and timelines involved. Whether you are a seasoned IA holder or aspiring to become one, this article will provide you with the essential information you need to navigate the IA renewal process successfully.

Understanding IA Renewal Requirements

To maintain your IA, you need to fulfill specific requirements within a two-year renewal period. The renewal period starts on April 1 of each odd-numbered year and ends on March 31 of the next odd-numbered year. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandates that IA holders must complete one of the following activities during the first year of the renewal period:

  1. Four annual inspections
  2. Eight major repairs or alterations
  3. One complete progressive inspection
  4. Eight hours of training approved for IA renewal
  5. An oral test given by an aviation safety inspector at an FSDO

It’s essential to note that these activities ensure currency and maintain a consistent level of safety within the aviation industry.

CD Training Academy

CD Training Academy (CDTA) offers six hours of IA refresher credit with an online training that has received FAA acceptance towards IA renewal. This course ensures that aviation maintainers have up-to-date knowledge of relevant technology, organizational procedures, and human factor issues. This course recognizes the critical role of human factors training in maintaining safety and competency within the aviation industry.

Recognizing the busy schedules of aviation professionals, CDTA’s course has been designed and developed with flexibility in mind. The course is available online, allowing participants to access the content at their convenience. This means that technicians can engage with the material from the comfort of their own homes or workplaces, eliminating the need for travel and time away from work.

The IA Renewal Process

The IA renewal process involves providing evidence to the FAA of meeting the inspection authorization renewal requirements outlined in 14 CFR 65.93(a). As an IA holder, you must complete the activity requirement by March 31 of the first year of the two-year IA period to continue exercising the privileges of the authorization.

Step 1: Gathering Evidence

During March of every odd-numbered year, you must gather the necessary evidence to demonstrate compliance with the IA renewal requirements. This evidence can include documentation of the completed activities, such as inspection reports, training certificates, or records of completed repairs or alterations.

Step 2: Submitting Renewal Documentation

Once you have gathered the required evidence, you must submit it to the FAA for review. The preferred method of submission is through the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA), an online platform that streamlines the renewal process. Once you submit and sign your application, it will automatically be routed to the FSDO listed in your application. An ASI or AST at that FSDO will then retrieve your submitted application, complete the remainder of the process, and sign your application. IA Renewal applications will open in IACRA on February 1 of the odd year and will be processed in the month of March. The FAA will review your documentation and either approve or deny your renewal request.

Step 3: Renewal Letter Issuance

Upon approval, the FAA will issue a renewal letter that confirms the extension of your IA for the next two-year period. This letter serves as proof of your renewed authorization and should be kept in a safe and easily accessible place.

Tips for Successful IA Renewal

To ensure a smooth IA renewal process, consider the following tips:

  1. Stay Organized: Keep track of your completed activities, training certificates, and any other relevant documentation. This organization will make it easier for you to gather evidence during the renewal period.
  2. Plan Ahead: Start planning for IA renewal well in advance of the deadline. This will give you ample time to complete the necessary activities and gather the required documentation.
  3. Continuing Education: Take advantage of approved training courses that count towards IA renewal. These courses not only fulfill the activity requirement but also enhance your knowledge and skills as an aviation mechanic.
  4. Network with Peers: Connect with other IA holders to exchange ideas, experiences, and best practices for IA renewal. Their insights can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the process.

The Importance of IA Renewal

Maintaining an active IA brings numerous benefits to aviation mechanics. Firstly, it broadens your scope of experience and ability, providing a whole unique perspective on aircraft maintenance. IA holders have the authority to inspect and approve aircraft or related parts after major repairs or alterations. This responsibility is highly regarded within the industry and adds a significant feather to a mechanic’s cap.

Secondly, IA holders often perform annual inspections, a crucial task in the general aviation realm. These inspections ensure the airworthiness of aircraft and contribute to overall safety. By staying current with IA renewal, mechanics can continue performing these vital inspections and contribute to the integrity of the aviation industry.


The IA renewal process is an important aspect of an aviation mechanic’s career journey. By understanding the requirements, staying organized, and planning, mechanics can successfully maintain their IA and continue to grow their expertise. Remember, IA renewal is not only a regulatory obligation but also an opportunity to enhance your skills and contribute to the safety and efficiency of the aviation industry.

Additional Information: The IA renewal process can vary slightly depending on the specific requirements of your region or local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO). It is essential to consult with your local FSDO or FAA representative for any specific guidelines or updates relevant to your jurisdiction. While recognizing the busy schedules of aviation professionals, CDTA’s course has been designed and developed with flexibility in mind. The course is available online and you can view more information HEREAlaina, CD Training Academy


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