FAA Adopts ARSA’s Recommendations in New Order
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released Order 8300.14, Repair Specification Approval Process, which defines the responsibilities of FAA personnel and designees in approving specifications for major repairs. Repair specifications are repairs developed by maintenance providers that are not covered by maintenance data available from the manufacturer. The Order defines the procedures for FAA review of repair specifications and what is expected from applicants.
It incorporates many of the suggestions presented by ARSA in a letter to the FAA. That letter requested that the agency create comprehensive guidance for repair stations that develop their own maintenance processes (repair specifications).
The new Order delineates the different responsibilities of applicants, local Flight Standards District Offices (FSDOs), the Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) and Designated Engineering Representatives (DER) during the development, review and approval process.
Once an applicant (most likely a repair station) determines a repair specification is appropriate, it must develop the data necessary to substantiate the repair and submit it to the local FSDO for review. The FSDO must review the application and coordinate with the ACO for technical review and approval of the substantiation data. The FSDO does not coordinate with the ACO however, if the repair station uses an appropriately rated DER to approve the technical data. When the data has been approved by the FAA through either the ACO or DER, the FSDO must then evaluate the repair station’s capabilities to perform the repair appropriately. The FSDO must determine that the repair station has the appropriate housing, facilities, equipment and personnel. If the FSDO determines that the capabilities exist to make repairs in accordance with the specification, the Aviation Safety Inspector will sign the repair specification and add it to the repair station’s Operations Specifications.
ARSA is encouraged that the FAA incorporated many of its suggestions into the final Order. The agency did stop short of allowing repair stations to develop similar alteration specifications and, in addition, failed to implement specific timelines for the review and approval process as ARSA suggested.
A copy of ARSA’s letter may be found here.