The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) released a new directive regarding aircraft storage and maintenance rules. Following the latest update, Vietnamese airlines are prohibited from storing aircraft for more than a month to minimize safety-related risks associated with long-term aircraft storage.

If carriers want to store aircraft for more than a month, they would have to obtain special approval from the Vietnamese regulator. Otherwise, Vietnamese carriers are only allowed to ground their planes for a month and are required to rotate between in-service and stored jets every month, read the CAAV’s announcement on January 21, 2022.

The recent decision to tighten the aircraft grounding rules resulted from an increasing number of stored aircraft in the country. The new regulation was implemented to reduce safety-related risks that might appear when the aircraft is stored for long periods. Following the changes, air operators will need to determine the exact frequencies at which the jets are taken back from the storage to resume flying.

Authorities across the world have warned that aircraft that are put to long-term storage could showcase malfunctions following their re-activation. This was due to the fact that potentially, aircraft could not be properly maintained during their storage.

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Before the fatal crash, Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 was stored for nine months and was certified as airworthy in December 2020. 
 

Once a plane would be needed to be used again, it might be difficult for an airline to ensure that all necessary technical and support staff would be available to perform needed checks, argued the Vietnamese authority.