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Don’t Punish Industry for FAA Delays, ARSA Tells Congress

To see all of ARSA’s work related to FAA reauthorization, visit arsa.org/faa-reauthorization-2017.

As Congress begins the process of reauthorizing the FAA, ARSA is urging lawmakers not to punish the aviation maintenance industry because the agency has not yet finalized new rules for repair stations.

Recent FAA authorization laws have directed the agency to undertake rulemakings to extend drug and alcohol (D&A) testing to foreign repair stations and require pre-employment background investigations for all repair station employees performing safety-sensitive functions on air carrier aircraft.   For various reasons, including the complexity of the issues and potential impact on thousands of small businesses, the FAA has yet to finalize the rules.

In a letter sent to the leaders of the House Transportation & Infrastructure and Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committees on May 15, ARSA urged lawmakers to give the FAA adequate time to complete the rulemakings.  In 2008, Congress banned the FAA from issuing new foreign repair station certificates if the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) failed to issue repair station security rules.  The subsequent ban lasted until the rules were issued in 2013, causing significant economic disruptions for airlines and maintenance companies – including many from the United States – wishing to open facilities abroad.

ARSA said that instituting a new ban on repair station certificates – foreign or domestic – would make it difficult for U.S. companies to tap into foreign markets, make it harder for U.S. air carriers to operate internationally, and potentially subject U.S. facilities to retaliation by foreign aviation authorities. 

“Those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them,” ARSA Executive Vice President Christian Klein said in the letter.  “Punishing industry would do nothing to motivate executive branch action but would instead undermine growth in a globally-competitive sector of the U.S. economy, undermine the FAA’s ability to pursue reciprocal acceptance of U.S. certifications abroad, and further jeopardize the U.S. aviation industry’s global leadership.”

The letter to House T&I Committee leaders can be viewed at: arsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/ARSA-CongressionalDALetter-20170515.pdf

The letter to Senate Commerce Committee leaders can be viewed at: arsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/ARSA-SenateDALetter-20170515.pdf.



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