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ARSA Suggests Changes to NTSB Certificate Review Actions

ARSA submitted comments to a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) regarding the rules of practice in air safety proceedings. ARSA’s comments propose changes that would bring balance to FAA certificate actions by giving a repair station greater ability to defend itself in the face of agency actions, when appealed to the NTSB.

ARSA suggests that the board remove language from the existing rules requiring the NTSB law judge to assume the truth of the FAA’s allegations in an “emergency” action against a certificate holder. Challenges to the agency’s determination of an emergency are all but impossible due to the requirement. Since revocations have immediate effect, certificate holders deserve the ability to challenge the basis used to reach the conclusion that a matter is an emergency.

The Association also recommends changes to the FAA’s allegations of a “lack of qualifications,” when it comes to dismissing a stale complaint. In an FAA certificate action, an accused party can have allegations dismissed if the agency fails to take any action against the accused for more than six months, unless a lack of qualifications is alleged. As a result, the FAA can avoid a dismissal for staleness by simply including an allegation of lack of qualifications. To correct this issue, ARSA suggests that the NTSB simply eliminate a lack of qualification from precluding a dismissal for staleness.

If adopted, ARSA’s comments would bring justice to the NTSB adjudication process and provide a check on government bureaucracy.

~~~ posted 4/11/12 ~~~



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