LOPA stands for “Location of Passenger Accommodations”, which is basically an engineering drawing of the interior design of an aircraft.
The LOPA is an engineering diagram of the aircraft’s cabin interior that includes, but is not limited to, locations of passenger and flight attendant seats, emergency equipment, exits, lavatories, and galleys. It leads the reviewer through the interior design/layout and is the document that certifies the interior components and installation.
When an airline wants to change the interior configuration of the cabin, they have to get hold of ‘STC’ (Supplemental Type Certificate) issued by the corresponding aviation authorities before it can be implemented. The configuration is presented in LOPA. LOPA includes Emergency Equipment Drawing (By regulations) too.
Meanwhile, by HKCAD regulations: ‘MAPSC’ Maximum Approved Passenger Seating Configuration and ‘MCPSC’ Maximum Certificated Passenger Seating Capacity are the must on the aircraft flight manual, a ‘LOPA’ is required as part of it for the certified seat config for take-off and landing (HKAR-1). They differ by:
MAPSC is required for Certificate of airworthiness, stressing on Airworthiness/Operational Requirement
MCPSC is required for Type certification
Here is an example of LOPA
Interesting fact! For HKCAD, they charge HKD 266800 for “the cost of making the investigations”. (Hong Kong Air Navigation (Fees) Regulations (CAP. 448 sub. leg. D), Schedule, paragraph 9) for each application of STC.
Amazing how a website specifies on seat plans! http://www.seatguru.com/