Aeronautical Repair Station Association

Modernize and Minimize

SM-WebNovember 2012 – In times of uncertainty limiting unnecessary actions or reactions is essential to survival. Unfortunately, government survival seems to depend upon creating bureaucracy.

The Association provided substantive comments to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on part 145. The most disheartening aspect of responding to the proposal was the agency’s lack of corporate knowledge.

Part 145 rulemaking activities date back to the late 1980’s for cripes sake; the attempts to “modernize” the regulations governing more than 80 percent of the maintenance performed have always been behind the curve.

For example, the NPRM was the agency’s second attempt to change the repair station rating system. Both attempts were overcomplicated and missed essential elements of international standards and business relationships. The controversy over “capability lists” is a red herring for both industry and the agency. The regulations do not allow any person to perform work without the proper housing, facilities, equipment, personnel and data. At any point, the FAA can demand to see the system used and determine whether the work was performed in an appropriate manner. The bug-a-boo that repair stations will be “virtual” or habitually work outside their ratings evidences a failure to understand how part 43 dictates the extent and nature of all maintenance, preventive maintenance and alteration.

I nstead of grandfathering all certificates and taking its time to review submissions and issue new ratings and approvals, the agency proposed to terminate all part 145 certificates on a day certain. It threatened that if persons waited until the last moment to submit an application for a new certificate under the new requirements, their certificate would expire. The FAA has issued letters for almost two years placing “new” repair stations in a queue because the agency has no resources to process the applications. How can it possibly issue over four thousand new certificates even if it started today?

ARSA expressed its vehement opposition to separating Operations Specifications from the air agency certificate, the attempt to prevent “bad actors” and the requirement to request permission to surrender a certificate. These proposals are based on laudable goals, but will create bureaucratic delays for no discernible or enforceable results.

ARSA hopes the agency will take this opportunity to make substantive adjustments to its proposal and produce a rule that modernizes part 145 while minimizing bureaucracy.

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November 1st, 2012




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