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May 2014

the hotline 1984


Table of Contents

Sarah Says
Latest News
ARSA Works
Legal Briefs
ARSA on the Hill 
Regulatory Outlook 
Quality Time 
Membership
Regulatory Compliance Training
AVMRO 
International News
Upcoming Events



Sarah Says: The Balancing Act

By Sarah MacLeod, Executive Director

The world is served by aviation; indeed, some areas are only accessible by air. That means civil aviation designers, manufacturers, operators and maintainers have to be aware of the international market (or be forever beholden to the whims of “local” customers). The importance of aviation was recognized by most nations when the International Civil Aviation Organization  (ICAO) was created. That organization was born to standardize the safety and security of air travel across and among the countries that agreed to be bound by its standards and recommendations. The importance of vetting international aviation safety and security measures through ICAO has been overtaken by the politics of some of those same nations, which is reflected in legislative mandates.

Under the banner of protecting jobs, safety and security, individual nations attempt to curtail the business of aviation by imposing a unique take on the minimum standards demanded by the ICAO and imposed by the aviation authority of the particular country. The demand for foreign repair station drug and alcohol testing regulation imposed on the Federal Aviation Administration by the United States Congress is a perfect example of lawmakers not understanding the obligations this nation already has to ICAO, let alone the importance of international sovereignty.

Drug and alcohol use and abuse is not something that ARSA supports; rather, the association seeks to balance the need for government-imposed standards on maintenance organizations against the international aspects of its members’ businesses.

In the case of drug and alcohol testing regimes, the association spent considerable time and money questioning the agency’s need to impose testing at “any tier in the maintenance contract.” ARSA’s premise was rather simple, the original rule was not supported by evidence that drug and alcohol misuse in the maintenance industry ever caused or was even remotely related to improper work, therefore, pushing unnecessary and complicated regulations to persons that may or may not even be in the aviation industry was even more unsupportable. (ARSA also found it particularly irritating that designers and producers of aircraft did not have to be tested, nor do mechanics in any other mode of transportation.) Now, ARSA is questioning the ability for the agency to impose those testing standards on other nations’ citizens through United States regulations and seeking industry input to help prevent such overreach.

To require the testing of any individuals working on U.S. controlled aircraft goes beyond safety; it touches on privacy and individual rights of another country’s citizens. It is certainly recognized by all that when in another country, one must obey that nation’s laws (unless one has diplomatic immunity), it is another thing altogether to have individual rights impacted by a foreign authority while in one’s own country.

ARSA believes the industry achieved a balance with government when ICAO was established; that organization has not set a standard for testing individuals for drug and/or alcohol use/abuse on its signatories (countries that agreed to be bound by its requirements). To ensure a constant balance of international aviation safety and security with sovereign and individual rights within an active economic sector, the association will continue to work with ICAO, IATA, EASA, TCCA and other international organizations in developing positions.

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Latest News

Getting ARSA Off the Hill

By ARSA Staff

Each month, our Vice President of Legislative Affairs Daniel Fisher provides an update about congressional advocacy in ARSA on the Hill. The work that we do on behalf of the industry here in Washington is vital, but it is just one part of the total engagement. It is equally important that we get them off Capitol Hill, out of the nation’s capital and into your facilities.

There is no stronger or more effective advocate for your company and industry than you. By hosting lawmakers (or candidates), you show them why your business is an essential part of the local economy and your employees are valuable members of the community. “All politics is local” and nothing shapes national policy as effectively as showing its impact back at home.

Some quick stories of members showcasing their facilities in May:

HEICO
MIAMI — On Friday, May 16, Representative Mario Diaz-Balart visited HEICO’s Component Repair Group. Diaz-Balart toured the Accessories and Structures facilities, observing their daily operations. Most importantly, he was able to meet the people who make it all happen. From senior executives to shop floor technicians, the team showed the face of a valuable constituency.

“ARSA provided us with this opportunity,” said Nestor Rodriguez, director of quality assurance, who used March’s Legislative Day to plan and schedule the visit. “During Rep. Diaz-Balart’s visit to our facility we demonstrated the importance of being an FAA-approved subcontractor to the airlines and how we work together with both the customer and regulatory authorities to maintain and improve air safety.”

Good safety is good business. Through constant interaction — facility visits, Hill meetings, and constituent services — lawmakers will understand that repair stations should operate free from congressional micromanagement in an environment that fosters growth. This wasn’t Diaz-Balart’s first visit to an ARSA member location; last year, he toured Barfield Inc.’s Miami location.

HAICO

From left to right:  Maikel Barreto, fuel-shop technician; Mario Diaz-Balart, congressman; and Edwin Bonilla, fuel-shop technician.

Fortner Engineering
Glendale, Calif. — On Thursday, May 29, Tony Strickland stopped by Fortner Engineering for a facility visit and ARSA PAC check delivery. Strickland, an experienced state legislator, is the presumptive Republican candidate for California’s 25th congressional district. The visit allowed him to see a local business that serves a global industry.

“Tony was very receptive to who we are and what our industry does,” said Gary Fortner, vice president, engineering and quality control. “It’s nice to have good friends in Washington but even better when you can build relationships here at home before they head to DC. In the end, we were able to show who we are in a direct, personal way.”

For Fortner, the visit was an opportunity to educate an aspiring lawmaker. By engaging candidates, repair stations make themselves a key part of the election process.

Fortner

From left to right:  Gary Fortner, Tony Strickland

Bring the Hill to You
ARSA works to help you engage current lawmakers while educating future ones. Contact Christian A. Klein and his legislative team to schedule a congressional or candidate visit today.

 

Showing Appreciation for Bonus Depreciation

By ARSA Staff

On May 29, the House Ways and Means Committee approved legislation (H.R. 4718)  to make permanent 50 percent bonus depreciation for capital investments, such as equipment purchases.

ARSA joined a cross-section of industry groups endorsing the legislation introduced by Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio).

“ARSA commends Congressman Tiberi and his colleagues for moving forward on legislation to make 50 percent bonus depreciation permanent,” said ARSA’s Vice President of Legislative Affairs Daniel B. Fisher. “H.R. 4718 will add certainty to the tax code while encouraging business investment, leading to job creation and economic growth.”

H.R. 4718 now awaits House floor consideration.  Last month, the Senate Finance Committee approved the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform & Efficiency Act (EXPIRE Act), which includes a two-year extension of 50 percent bonus depreciation for qualified property purchased and placed in service before January 1, 2016.

 

Technical Data Final Order Fails to Bring Clarity

By Ryan Poteet, Staff Attorney

Last June, ARSA submitted comments to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) draft order 8300.X that provided guidance for the approval of technical data associated with major repairs or alterations. ARSA’s comments pointed out the order’s inconsistencies with Advisory Circular 120-77, the FAA’s response to a letter submitted under the Consistency and Standardization Initiative (CSI) by Erickson Air-Crane, Inc., and Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

On April 18, 2014, the FAA issued Order 8300.16 without resolving these inconsistencies; it continues to use different definitions of technical and substantiating data than those provided in AC 120-77. While some AC 120-77 definitions are in an appendix, the chapter discussing these terms makes no reference to the appendix. Indeed, the Consistency and Regulatory Interpretation (CRI) Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) recommended the FAA refrain from using multiple definitions of the same term in different guidance documents because of the potential ambiguity it creates.

In addition, one of the fundamental principles explained in the FAA’s CSI letter is the distinction between the performance standards in part 43.13(a) — requiring work be performed using “methods, techniques, and practices acceptable to the [FAA]”— and technical data (i.e., engineering information). Nevertheless, Order 8300.16 continues to use the term “acceptable data” interchangeably with “acceptable methods, techniques and practices.”

ARSA suggested the FAA remove various items from a table listing potential sources of data relevant to major repairs or alterations because they were contrary to the FAA’s CSI letter and Title 14 CFR. While the FAA failed to remove these items, it did incorporate ARSA’s comments into a note to the table. The note indicates that maintenance manuals and certain supplier manuals developed using part 21 technical data remain FAA-approved. As such, unless there is a deviation from the maintenance manual when performing a major alteration or repair, the technical data supporting the action does not require re-approval by the FAA.

ARSA will continue to work with the FAA to provide consistent guidance on this issue.

To view ARSA’s past regulatory advocacy efforts for the aviation maintenance industry, visit www.arsa.org/arsa-action.

 

ARSA Soliciting Input from Global Community

By ARSA Staff

On March 17, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to collect information to draft regulations regarding controlled substance and alcohol testing of part 145 repair station employees located outside the United States. To help in the preparation of comments as well as to gather information about current industry practices, ARSA is soliciting input via a survey of potentially affected repair stations.

The rule-making being considered would require employees of FAA-certificated foreign repair stations and other maintenance providers who perform safety-sensitive work on U.S. air carrier aircraft to be subject to a drug and alcohol testing program, which would have to meet FAA standards and be consistent with the applicable laws of the country where the repair station is located.

Companies that have part 145 certificated repair stations outside of the United States and Canada should respond to the ARSA survey and ensure it reaches the widest possible audience. The survey can be found at:

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1635615/FAA-Drug-and-Alcohol-Testing

With the industry’s help, ARSA can work to ensure that international law is respected, burdensome testing requirements are avoided and that international businesses can continue their vital work with minimal interference.

To view our continuing coverage of this issue, please click here.

 

CASA Resources: “Human Factors”

By Brett Levanto, Operations Director

ARSA staff continually search for resources, guides and tools that might be useful for our members as they work to ensure global aviation safety. This installment comes from the Land Down Under via the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Human Factors
The term human factors refers to a wide range of issues that affect how people perform tasks in various environments. Whether a technician is performing line maintenance, a comprehensive avionics check or at home preparing dinner for family, there are a variety of social and personal skills that complement the necessary technical acumen for appropriately completing their work.

By fully exploring and understanding the human capabilities and limitations involved in maintenance operations, your business can develop the best possible fit between your people and the technical systems in which they work.

CASA Resources
CASA’s Human Factors for Engineers resource kit contains a series of guides, workbooks and videos designed to provide a strong focus on human factors training within the aviation environment. This content includes:

  • A variety of useful models (including PEAR—People, Environment, Actions, Resources) for managing human factors in maintenance
  • A series of practical examples
  • International regulatory requirements (including FAA documents),
  • Strategies for mitigating problems

Praise from the FAA
Recently the Federal Aviation Administration’s chief technical and scientific adviser, Dr. Bill Johnson, praised CASA’s human factors training resources. “I have never seen a more professional and comprehensive package,” Johnson said. “It is the new international yardstick (or metric ruler) by which other human factors training programs will be measured.”

To access the resource kit: click here.
To access CASA’s full list of online offerings: click here.

Excerpt from CASA’s Human Factors Resource Guide for Engineers:

Using the ‘Rule of three’ in the field
One of the company’s Cessna 31Os has encountered a propeller control problem en route and has diverted to an intermediate field for a precautionary landing. The pilot reports that the aircraft has diverted and is now AOG. The company has dispatched you and the maintenance supervisor to sort out the problem. The passengers have been picked up and delivered to their destination in the spare aircraft. The chief pilot wants the aircraft repaired and returned to base as soon as possible the following day to pick up a charter the following evening.

The aircraft requires a prop change. It’s been a long day and you and the maintenance supervisor are approaching the end of your duty limits – a situation classified as ‘amber’ (use caution).The aircraft is parked in the open beside the aero club hangar. The weather has turned very blustery and a rain cell is approaching – again, amber. The sun is about to go down and although you have powerful hand-held torches (flashlights), the lack of lighting could cause difficulties with the prop change – amber.

Three ambers mean STOP. You now need to re-assess the situation. What options are there?

  • When is the aircraft actually required back at base?
  • Can you delay the task until the weather improves?
  • Can the prop change wait until first light tomorrow?
  • Is it possible to contact the on-site aero club to request the use of their hangar?

After you have reviewed the options, you have to decide how you will manage the risk. That answer depends on the context.

Your inquiries reveal that the spare aircraft can actually pick up tomorrow afternoon’s charter; and the president of the aero club has offered the aero club hangar for you to complete the prop change. Rather than just “getting on with it”, stopping, taking the time to find out more and review your options now substantially reduces the risk level associated with the task.

 

ARSA’s MacLeod Engages International Audience

By ARSA Staff

Executive Director Sarah MacLeod joined other international aviation stakeholders at the 2014 Global MRO Procurement Expo. MacLeod participated with panelists from the Royal Aeronautical Society, the WMG Academy for Young Engineers and Rolls-Royce to explore the topic: “furthering the role of women in the commercial aviation after market.”

The panel’s focal points included case studies from successful women in the aviation industry as well as a discussion of key opportunity areas for those starting their careers and the importance of role models and champions. MacLeod’s career continues to be its own case study in business success, not only through her direct stewardship of ARSA but also in broader industry engagement.

MacLeod was instrumental in ARSA’s founding in 1984 and has spent her career on the forefront of aviation regulatory issues – working incessantly to find the right mix between government oversight and industry responsibility. She has joined and led panels and working groups, lectured to and trained stakeholders, and been a legal advocate for businesses with their civil aviation authorities. All of this experience makes her an invaluable resource for those striving to grow their own careers.

ARSA’s leaders work tirelessly to engage with industry members and allies through public events and engagement. For more information, please visit our industry events page.

 

ARSA Remembers: Jim Oberstar (1934 – 2014)

By ARSA Staff

ARSA was sad to learn of the passing of former House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) on May 3.

Oberstar, a lifelong transportation advocate, represented Minnesota’s 8th congressional district for 18 terms from 1975-2011. Dubbed “Mr. Transportation” by his colleagues, he began his career as an aide to his hometown congressman, John Blatnik (D-Minn.), then-chairman of the House Public Works Committee (now known as the House Transportation and Infrastructure [T&I] Committee). Oberstar himself served as T&I chairman from 2007-2011, solidifying his reputation as an ardent supporter of infrastructure investment and a transportation policy expert. Even after leaving Congress, Oberstar remained engaged in transportation policy, speaking frequently about key issues.

“The transportation community has lost a great advocate and leader,” said Daniel B. Fisher, ARSA’s vice president of legislative affairs. “While we didn’t always agree, Chairman Oberstar was always respectful, passionate, and open to hearing other points of view. Nobody knew transportation better than him.”

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ARSA Works

To see all the ways that ARSA is working as the voice of the aviation maintenance industry, visit our ARSA Works page.

Showing You How ARSA Works

By Brett Levanto, Operations Director

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

The infamous brain teaser has given many would-be philosophers headaches. At ARSA, there is a more important question:

If a trade association works on behalf of its members every day, but doesn’t show them how to make the most out of their membership, is it really working?

ARSA provides resources and education for members, key aviation stakeholders, and the general public on a variety of complex regulatory and business issues. This is how the association ensures that the aviation maintenance industry has the knowledge and capability to safely navigate a hazardous environment.

It is equally important that ARSA regularly reminds members how we work. What fundamental activities do we perform on behalf of those who have joined with us? What benefits do we secure for you?

On May 15, Executive Director Sarah MacLeod participated in Chromalloy’s Annual Quality Summit. She reminded participants — all of whom have complete access to the association’s member resources — how ARSA works for them and how they can make it work for themselves.

Take a look at the ARSA Works Presentation.

Part of ARSA’s purpose is to make sure that all of our members get the best from us. Contact our office today to talk about having the association come to you; read the hotline for updates on ARSA’s current work for you.

And remember, when you have a regulatory or legal question: CALL US FIRST!

Going somewhere? Take the ARSA Works Information Sheet with you.

 

Back to ARSA’s Future

By Brett Levanto, Operations Director

There was a popular movie released in 1985 about time travel; you might remember it. While the film didn’t choose to address aviation — a flying car in the last sequence doesn’t count — its year feels like a fitting destination for some ARSA time traveling. Let’s take a peek back at this very publication in December of 1985.

For the past 30 years, this association has used every means available to educate its members, inform the public, and communicate with government about the aviation maintenance industry. Then, as now, we have always sought to trumpet our successes and highlight every way that we have made things better for our members.

In the best of cases, we can simply step aside and let our members tell the story for us. In December of 1985, we did just that. Let’s look back:

ARSA-OldHotlineBannerFull-20140603

Members Speak Out (December 1985)

We have been telling prospective new members as well as existing members how we felt they could benefit by joining ARSA. All of these “good things” which we say we can do for you, may seem vague and uncertain and perhaps you have considered such problems not really “my problems”.

Rather than repeat a list of typical items on which we feel ARSA can be effective, we would like to reprint a portion of a letter received from one of our members detailing his experience in a particular issue which was brought to our attention. We quote from his letter:

“We were in the process of expanding our powerplant repair station operations to include crankcase repairs when the FAA put a halt on our operations. They advised us to go through ‘Engineering’ to obtain official approval for such repairs.

However, our region couldn’t handle our request for approval because of lack of expertise in this field. In fact, some engineers in our region never heard of welding or repairing of crankcases and even said it would be better if I bought out another business that already had approval for that repair.

That’s when I called ARSA. I received your letter about the time I was ready to call my Congressman.

ARSA was on the problem immediately, and in fact, we were cutting through red tape in weeks. … ARSA’s persistence in finding us the ‘right’ people in the FAA to deal with won out. … We now have our approval.

That’s why I think that ARSA is a must for anyone in the repair station business in general aviation. At least, we now have knowledgeable spokesmen on our side to help us form ONE FAA with the same rules and guidelines for everyone.

Thank you again, ARSA, for your consideration and promptness in dealing with this matter.

(signed)

George Czarnecki ,
President Central Cylinder Service, Inc.
Repair Station No. 312-9”

[View the edition here.]

Sound familiar? There is certainly more work to be done, but ARSA’s commitment to finding the “right” people and getting the “right” answers is as steadfast today as it was 29 years ago.

Central Cylinder Service is still an ARSA member. Learn more about them at http://www.centralcylinder.com/.

 

How We Stand

By Brett Levanto, Operations Director

ARSA has a proven track record of standing up and zealously searching for the right answers—be that from the government or from industry. Unfortunately, it’s easy to misinterpret our engagement as opposition instead of what it really is: equal accountability for aviation safety.

A long time FAA aviation safety inspector recently shared the evolution of his opinion:

“It’s funny that I used to think that you just … took pleasure in slamming the FAA. That opinion changed. Now I know that you take pride in slamming the FAA, but only when [it] need[s] slamming or need[s] to be challenged, which of course is quite often. But as a result of your work the giant bureaucratic organization is forced to do the right thing, and this always yields support to repair stations as well as maintenance airmen. I applaud you and the staff of ARSA for the great work you do.”

Members recognize that the association will take a position on broad, complicated issues and hold fast for the good of all. ARSA’s work on the instructions for continued airworthiness (ICA) issue is an excellent example where the association is representing the entire industry, not any particular company—availability of essential continued airworthiness information is a regulatory backbone for aviation safety.

ARSA Works
The association’s persistence is on display in a letter to an aviation safety inspector clarifying the need for repair stations to provide part-specific training.

This isn’t the first time the association is addressing this specific issue; in 2013 the FAA provided assurance that ARSA was “… correct [that there] is no requirement for ‘Manufacturer Training’ on specific part number/dash number articles.” The agency also issued an internal memorandum.

Case closed.

Unfortunately, the plain language of the regulations, the letter and internal memorandum are apparently being disregarded possibly due to a December 2013 memorandum from John Duncan broadly declaring many perfectly good guidance documents void. The association reminds the inspector that the language of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) remains unchanged: the rules do not require part-specific training from manufacturers.

So once again the association has stepped up in an outspoken manner by requesting accountability in the sensible and consistent application of regulation. Whether or not guidance material covers a specific issue does not rule the situation, 14 CFR does. If the inspector believes our request is misdirected, we have asked for a reasoned and safety-oriented exchange. We will continue to champion reason instead of partiality in our actions.

We do not seek conflict; nor do we avoid it. We will act on behalf of aviation safety, with particular emphasis on the aviation maintenance industry, our member requirements, and the government’s obligations.

And on our good days, we’re all forced to do the right thing.

 

“…As a result of your work the giant bureaucratic organization is forced to do the right thing, and this always yields support to repair stations as well as maintenance airmen. I applaud you and the staff of ARSA for the great work you do.”

 

ARSA Keeps on FAA for Parts Identification Guidance

By ARSA Staff

On May 21, ARSA submitted a follow-up letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requesting guidance regarding the identification that should be referenced in maintenance records when more than one production approval holder number is applied to a part. The association first contacted the FAA about this matter in October 2011. Within a month of that initial submission, the agency expressed shared concern regarding the presence of multiple part numbers. Although the FAA said it planned to review and revise affected policy and guidance as necessary, no such updates were made.

In its new letter, ARSA recommended that the FAA issue the association’s draft joint Information for Operators (InFO), which outlines an acceptable method of (1) recording part numbers in an article’s maintenance record consistent with Order 8130-21, and (2) listing articles by part number on a limited rated part 145 repair station capability list. In all cases, the maintenance provider must be able to recognize the part marking and place correct identification on the § 43.9(a)(4) approval for return to service.

Staying on top of issues like this over the long term is just another example of how ARSA works. To see all the ways that ARSA is working as the voice of the aviation maintenance industry, visit our ARSA Works page.

 

ARSA Demands Further FAA Scrutiny of Housing Requirements

By ARSA Staff

On May 19, 2014, ARSA received a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) response to the letter jointly submitted by ARSA and AJETON Inc. under the agency’s Consistency and Standardization Initiative (CSI). The CSI requested the FAA clarify that repair stations seeking or holding a limited airframe rating with only a line maintenance authorization are not required to provide “exclusive” hangar access.

The agency again denied the request by determining “it would be contrary to [its] guidance.” Following its earlier practice in this matter, the agency did not provide information supporting the CSI principles for a “clear explanation of the requirements, alternatives, and possible outcomes associated with [the] request” or “a clear explanation of [its] decisions.”

ARSA and AJETON quickly addressed the denial by pointing out that the local office had already made its position clear, that the request had even been denied by the next level—the region—and therefore it was incumbent upon the Director of Flight Standards Service to perform a review of the situation. The primary purpose of the CSI process is to ensure the consistent application of the agency’s rules and guidance. The process requires the FAA to justify its actions by providing a thorough analysis of the issue and enforcing the regulations. In this case, that standard of review has not yet been met.

To see all the ways that ARSA is working as the voice of the aviation maintenance industry, visit our ARSA Works page.

 

FAA Final Inspection Guidance Needs Further Review

By ARSA Staff

On May 14, ARSA submitted a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requesting it correct parts of Order 8900.1 that purportedly requires persons performing final inspections be certificated under part 65. This guidance is incorrect and fails to recognize the regulatory distinction between performing a final inspection and approving the work on an article for return to service. ARSA addressed this issue back in November 2010 but the erroneous guidance remains despite the 2013 and 2014 revisions to Order 8900.1.

The regulations clearly demonstrate that the final inspection and “maintenance release” are two separate and distinct activities. This issue almost never arises because most of the time, persons performing the final inspection are also qualified to issue the approval for return to service; however when a repair station separates these activities, confusion ensues. The regulations certainly make the separation and Order 8900.1 should be revised accordingly.

To see all the ways that ARSA is working as the voice of the aviation maintenance industry, visit our ARSA Works page.

 

New Technical Data Final Order Fails to Bring Clarity

By ARSA Staff

ARSA joined its member, Metal Improvement Company LLC  in submitting a letter under the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Consistency and Standardization Initiative (CSI) regarding (1) a repair station’s ability to develop and use work instructions and (2) the exact requirements for accessibility of relevant maintenance data during the performance of maintenance functions.

The Miami Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) and the FAA’s Southern Region Office previously determined that the use of internally developed work instructions, even with only minor differences from manufacturer information, was unacceptable without prior FAA approval. The local and regional offices also determined personnel must have “physical possession” of the manufacturer’s maintenance data even if it was not relevant to the work being performed.

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) states repair stations must ensure maintenance functions are performed in accordance with part 43. The agency has repeatedly clarified (e.g., Order 8900.1 and AC 120-77) that work instructions are acceptable as long as they return the article to its original or properly altered condition. Pre-approval is unnecessary unless the instruction results in a major repair or alteration.

2010 legal interpretation from the FAA acknowledged that part 145.109(d) only requires manufacturer’s technical data to be “accessible” and that there will be instances when it will not be used. Additionally, “physical possession” is certainly not required when the repair station’s work instructions contain all of the elements for performing the work in compliance with part 43.

The CSI requests that the FAA confirm that repair stations may create work instructions for its technical personnel and that the manufacturer’s maintenance data need only be “accessible” when relevant work is being performed. The CSI letter recommends that the FAA issue an advisory circular that elaborates on the development and use of work instructions based on parts 21, 43 and 145.

To see all the ways that ARSA is working as the voice of the aviation maintenance industry, visit our ARSA Works page.

ARSA-NoBS-HalfPage-20140121

Legal Briefs

International Resources: Advocate Global Growth

By Daniel Fisher, Vice President of Legislative Affairs

Regardless of your location, international aviation issues impact your business daily. Gone are the days where maintenance companies can ignore global aviation policy issues. Flight paths are not confined by international borders and repair stations have to find ways to work wherever wheels touch down.

In this global world, it’s important to be familiar with the bodies and processes that facilitate international aviation services.

ICAO: Aviation’s International Watchdog
There is a delicate balance between aviation safety and the rights of autonomous countries and their citizens. Indeed, it’s exactly why after World War II, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) formed.

On Dec. 7, 1944, representatives from 52 countries met in Chicago to sign a treaty — the Convention on International Aviation. The purpose of the Chicago Convention (as the treaty is now known), was to ensure that civil aviation “developed in a safe and orderly manner and that international air transport services may be established on the basis of equality of opportunity and operated soundly and economically.”

ICAO is the heart of the treaty; it was created in 1947. Later that year, it established an official relationship with the United Nations that allows each entity to participate in the other’s activities to accomplish the goals of the Chicago Convention and the United Nation’s Charter. In order to become a member of ICAO, a country must ratify the Chicago Convention, which means the nation agrees to be bound by the established processes. There are currently 191 “Signatory (Member) States” (or “Contracting States”).

ICAO has three main bodies: the Secretariat, the Assembly, and the Council. The Secretariat runs the organization on a day-to-day basis (the current head is Secretary General Raymond Benjamin (France)). The Assembly, made up of the Signatory States, meets once every three years to set the organization’s overall agenda. The Assembly also elects the 36 member nations to the Council, the organization’s governing body. The Council President is currently Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu (Nigeria).

The Council adopts standards (“annexes”) to support the Chicago Convention. The Member States are given a period of time to notify the body of any concerns that they might have with a new standard. If there are no significant objections, it goes into effect. After an annex has been adopted, member states incorporate it into their own national laws and regulations. If a nation does not, it must file a “difference” with ICAO to put other countries on notice that it will not comply with the particular standard.

There are currently 19 annexes, containing standards and recommended practices, ranging from “rules of the air” to environmental protection (recommended practices are not required to be adopted into law by member states but are often precursors to standards). ICAO does not act as an enforcement authority. Instead, member states pledge to adhere to the duly adopted standards by establishing civil aviation regulations within their sovereignties, in concurrence with the Chicago Convention annexes.

Nonetheless, ICAO serves as an important intermediary to prevent intrusions into an autonomous country’s laws and regulations by encouraging standardization. As the aviation industry’s global nature persists, ICAO’s mandate must continue to ensure uniformity and efficiency without regard to domestic politics.

BASAs: Aviation’s International Handshake
Bilateral aviation safety agreements (BASAs) are country-to-country arrangements that allow cooperation between regulators in areas including design, production, flight operations, environmental certification and maintenance. These agreements contribute to growth in aviation services by dramatically reducing regulatory compliance costs, making government oversight more efficient, and helping aerospace interests grow and compete globally.

A 2011 ARSA study examined the economic impact of existing maintenance BASAs on certificated repair stations.[1]

The report found it costs repair stations significantly more (almost three times as much) to become certificated by “foreign” CAAs when the home country does not have a BASA. The study determined that initial FAA certification of a repair station located in the United States on average costs a little over $15,000. Approval by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for U.S. facilities costs slightly less (around $11,500). EASA certification is less expensive because the EU’s BASA with the United States allows the FAA certificate to serve as the basis for EASA approval and the EASA certificate to underpin the FAA approval. By contrast, the cost for a repair station in the United States to be certificated by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is more than $30,000.

Additionally, BASAs help make repair stations more profitable. On average, FAA certification renewal costs consume two cents of every dollar generated by the part 145 certificate, while EASA renewal consumes about four cents. By comparison, renewing a CAAC certificate consumes 16 cents of the average revenue dollar generated. In addition, non-BASA certificates typically generate lower revenues (relative to BASA business). High certification costs obviously make the work more expensive – and less profitable – for the repair station.

The key is to ensure the agreements — and the sovereignty of participating nations — are respected. Industry should encourage governments to enter into BASAs and to respect current international agreements.

Starting at Home
Knowing the tools for international cooperation is important. Your company must become an advocate; work with your lawmakers and stakeholders to ensure that ICAO remains the international body envisioned in the Chicago Convention and bilateral agreements smooth out turbulence in the international marketplace.

Take the next step—let ARSA show you how to work with your own government to tend to international aviation issues:

(1) Complete ARSA’s global drug and alcohol testing survey on the FAA ANPRM with broad international ramifications;
(2) Visit ARSA’s resources page to learn more about CAAs and international aviation resources; and
(3) Keep ARSA informed about international issues impacting your company.

[1] For the complete study see “Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreements: Reducing Costs for the Aviation Industry”, found on ARSA’s website at the following link: http://arsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/ARSA-BASAs-ReducingCostsForTheAviationIndustry.pdf

 

ARSA on the Hill

By Daniel Fisher, Vice President of Legislative Affairs

In May, ARSA continued its focus on political activities and the 2014 midterm elections. With many lawmakers retiring at the end of the year, the association is emphasizing engaging new candidates running for open congressional seats.

As such, ARSA co-hosted industry meetings for two front-runners expected to win this fall — Republicans Tony Strickland in California’s 25th congressional district and Mike Bishop in Michigan’s sixth congressional district.  Both candidates are attempting to succeed current committee chairmen and have received the endorsement of their potential predecessors.

ARSA’s legislative team also coordinated a facility visit for Strickland with Fortner Engineering in Glendale, California. During the meeting, ARSA Board Member Gary Fortner educated the candidate about the aviation maintenance industry’s economic impact in Southern California and the important contributions repair stations make to aviation safety (to learn more, see this month’s the hotline article on congressional and candidate visits). During the visit, Fortner presented Strickland with support for his campaign from both ARSA PAC and Sequa-Chromalloy PAC.

Facility visits are an integral part of ARSA’s political program; it allows policymakers to see firsthand the important role our industry plays in ensuring aviation safety and the impact repair stations have on the local economy. Additionally, it showcases your company!  Please contact ARSA’s Legislative Affairs Office for more information about setting up a visit.

To learn more about ARSA PAC’s political endeavors, you must first provide solicitation consent. Giving consent just allows ARSA to communicate with you about the PAC; it does not obligate you to do anything. Federal election law requires ARSA members to give prior approval before ARSA PAC can provide more details about its political activities.

To give ARSA PAC your consent to be solicited for contributions, please visit http://arsa.org/legislative/about-arsa-pac/

ARSA PAC would like to recognize the following industry leaders who made personal contributions this year to the association’s political program.

2014 ARSA PAC Contributors (as of May 28)

Washington Team ($500)

  • David Albert, Sequa/Chromalloy
  • Marshall Filler, ARSA
  • Gary Fortner, Fortner Engineering
  • Christian A. Klein, ARSA
  • Bill Perdue, Sonico, Inc.
  • Jim Perdue, Sonico, Inc.
  • Sarah MacLeod, ARSA

Part 145 Club ($145)

  • Basil Barimo, NORDAM
  • Daniel B. Fisher, ARSA
  • Gary Jordan, Jordan Propeller Services, Inc.
  • David Latimer, TIMCO
  • Roger Reynolds, Aircraft Electric Motors, Inc.
  • Jennifer Weinbrecht, Component Repair Technologies, Inc.

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Regulatory Outlook

Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed by contributing authors do not necessarily state or reflect those of ARSA, and shall not be used for endorsement purposes.

The Economics of Regulation Part II: Lost Opportunities

By Andrew Langer, President, The Institute for Liberty, 1250 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 200 Washington, DC 20036 © 2014 Andrew Langer ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

In the previous piece on regulatory costs, we discussed overall direct regulatory impacts on the economy.  Direct regulatory cost measurement has been a standard tool for arguing for or against the adoption of a particular regulatory proposal for a number of years.

The problem, of course, is that direct regulatory costs are only part of the picture and a distorted part at that.  Assessing such costs is half of what are called “cost benefit analyses,” the other half being the so-called “benefits” of a regulation. These are sometimes assessed as resultant economic benefits, for instance, of a more healthy population but at other times are the supposed economic benefits of the regulation itself — industries that are created as a result of the regulation.

Proponents of regulation regularly tout regulatory-based industries (environmental consultants, for instance, or occupational safety consultants, or even people skilled in navigating the evermore complex maze of human resources regulations).  Unfortunately, this is not real job creation in the traditional sense.  Economists refer to this as the “broken window theory” of economics.  The idea is simple:  some economists argue, earnestly, that a child running through a shopping center breaking windows is producing an economic benefit, since those whose windows are broken will, in turn, have to buy new windows — putting money in the pocket of window makers and installers and so on.

The problem, of course, is that proponents of this theory ignore the possibility that the business owner might have had other plans for the money he had to spend on the broken window and that the opportunity to spend that money is now, quite literally, “out the window.”

Yes, this is a simplification of the concept of “opportunity costs,” but the measurement of such costs is an essential element of any business — it helps the business owner to prioritize decisions, both in the long and short term.

It also paints a more accurate picture of monetary costs of regulation.  In terms of direct costs, for example, a regulation’s impact on a worker’s time (we will discuss time in the next article) is merely assessed at what the business might otherwise pay that worker.  So assuming for a moment that a worker’s time might cost $20 per hour, that business might otherwise bill out that worker’s time at $100 per hour — the real measurement of the loss.

From a macroeconomic perspective, the assessment of opportunity costs vis a vis regulatory impacts on the U.S. economy as a whole has been elusive.  That changed with the publication in June 2013 of “Federal Regulation and Aggregate Economic Growth” by economists John Dawson of Appalachian State University and John Seater of North Carolina State University in the Journal of Economic Growth.  In their study, they use a “macrodynamic” model (i.e., how regulations and the commensurate lost opportunities change business behavior, and in doing so change U.S. economics) and conclude that the current $2 trillion in annual direct regulatory costs (using the same numbers from the U.S. Small Business Association study cited in the previous piece) actually costs the American economy $38.8 trillion in lost GDP.

In their analysis, Seater and Dawson essentially say that in a zero-regulation environment, our economy would be more than three times as large as it is today — and that regulatory costs are vastly understated.  If we use a dollar-for-dollar formula, we can take a regulation’s costs, as stated by an agency, and multiply them by nearly 20 — 19.4 —  to get a far more accurate picture of the regulation’s impact because of the lost opportunities of that regulation itself.

Now, nobody is saying that America ought to exist in a regulation-free economy.  But, what this points us to is that massive economic gains could be had from modest regulatory reforms.  When using direct economic cost numbers, we have concluded in the past that every 10 percent reduction in direct regulatory costs could produce 6 million jobs.  But by using the Seater and Dawson study, a 10 percent reduction in regulation would add an additional $3.8 trillion to the economy and (using proxy data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on job creation and regulatory costs) potentially create 16 million jobs!

The time has come to start using the cost of lost opportunities due to regulation, and not just direct regulatory impacts, as a method of assessing the true impact of regulations on the American economy.

The Institute for Liberty is a Washington, DC-based advocacy organization focusing on the American regulatory state. Andrew Langer has testified before Congress nearly two-dozen times on regulatory issues.

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Final Documents/Your Two Cents

This list includes Federal Register publications, such as final rules, Advisory Circulars, and policy statements, as well as proposed rules and policies of interest to ARSA members. To view the list, click here.

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Quality Time

Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed by contributing authors do not necessarily state or reflect those of ARSA, and shall not be used for endorsement purposes.

Import Requirements – Piles of Paperwork

By Jason Dickstein, Attorney at Law, 2233 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007. © 2014 Jason Dickstein ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This is the fourth in a series of articles discussing import into the United States of aircraft parts. Last month we discussed some of the exceptions that drive some aircraft parts to unexpected places in the harmonized tariff code. This month we will examine the actual import requirements that apply once we have figured out the applicable harmonized tariff code.

Import is different from export. The regulating agencies are different and the regulations are different. Those who frequently export articles are no doubt familiar with the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), and the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Control (DDTC). In the case of import, however, one deals primarily with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) (and in limited cases, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives). Thus it is important to make sure that you are applying the correct import laws to your imports.

In this article, we will discuss the entry process.

When you are importing goods into the United States, you (as importer) are required to declare the value, classification, and rate of duty applicable to each article. A common mistake among aviation industry is to misclassify the parts. In previous articles we discussed the use of the Harmonized Tariff Codes, and some of the exceptions that are applicable to repair stations.

Once you know the appropriate Harmonized Tariff Code of the imported part, you can look up the expected tariff using the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, published by the U.S. International Trade Commission. The tariff is expressed as a percentage of the value of the goods (e.g., 3.3 percent) and will almost always be found under Rate of Duty Column 1. Column 1 is divided into “General” and “Special” rates. The “General” rate applies to goods from countries of origin with which the U.S. maintains ordinary trade relations. The “Special” rate applies to goods from those countries with which the U.S. has a special trade relationship. For instance, the designation “CA” under the “Special” column would indicate a special tariff for goods from Canada, under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

After determining the applicable tariff, the next step is to actually procure the goods. When an import reaches the United States, the importer must file entry documents for the shipment with the port director at the port of entry. Goods imported into the United States are not considered legally entered until the CBP has examined and authorized the goods and the appropriate duties have been paid. It is the importer’s responsibility to make arrangements for examination and release of goods.

What is actually required of an importer to make arrangement for entry of his or her goods? First, evidence of right to make entry must be provided. For our purposes, an air waybill may be used for goods entered by air, and could serve as evidence of the right to make entry. In other cases, a bill of lading may be used.

The importer must also file the proper documentation to allow a determination that the goods may be released, as well as stating information about duty assessment and statistical data. Within 15 calendar days of the shipment’s arrival at the U.S. port you must provide certain entry documents required by the port director. These may include an entry manifest (CBP Form 7533), evidence of the right to make entry (such as an air waybill), a commercial or pro forma invoice, packing lists, and other documents to determine admissibility as necessary. Further, a bond must be posted with CBP to ensure that all necessary duties, taxes, and fees will be paid. A bond may be secured through a U.S. surety company.

The CBP will use the information provided to review and inspect the shipment (unless they determine it is unnecessary to do so) in order to determine whether the goods may be legally permitted into the United States. They will also use the documentation to determine whether the importer has posted the correct bond amount to cover all applicable duties and other costs.

Finally, to complete the release of goods, within 10 business days of arrival, the importer must complete and provide an entry summary (CBP Form 7501). The entry summary is also used for those goods that are to be released from CBP custody at the time of entry.

It has probably become apparent that a significant amount of paperwork (and a corresponding margin for error) exists in the import process. CBP recommends providing at least eight working hours (or one business day) for document processing. Further, importers should make sure they have a record keeping system in place, as importers are required to retain CBP records and entry documents for five years from the date of entry.

If all this seems a bit complicated to you, you are not alone. If you plan on importing, your paperwork processing can be eased considerably by using CBP’s Automated Broker Interface (ABI) program, available through the Automated Commercial System on the CBP website. For those who are inexperienced or infrequent importers, CBP suggests considering hiring a customs broker to assist you in getting your goods through.

This series is meant to support the ARSA community, so if you have questions, please feel free to email them to us at Jason@washingtonaviation.com. We would love to have your questions help drive topics for future articles (please be sure to let us know whether you are suggesting topics for future articles or seeking legal advice so that we do not inadvertently treat your inquiry the wrong way!).

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Legal Waypoints: Strict Adherence to Procedures – GoJet v. FAA Case Study

By Steven E. Pazar, Attorney at Law, 11 Carriage House Lane, Boxford, Massachusetts 01921. © 2014 Steven E. Pazar ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A recent decision involving a certificate holder’s manual and the FAA’s Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Procedure (VDRP) illustrates how essential it is to follow each and every step in a required process. The case, GoJet Airlines LLC v. Federal Aviation Administration, was decided March 4, 2014 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.

The facts involve the certificate holder’s failure to make an appropriate maintenance entry during the repair of a main landing gear assembly. A gear pin to lock the landing gear was installed without the airline’s required note that it needed to be removed before flight. Subsequently, the gear pin remained installed, the landing gear did not retract on takeoff and fortunately, the aircraft returned to the departing airport without incident.

The airline argued that it did not commit violations of 14 CFR § 121.153(a)(2), which prohibits operating an “unairworthy” aircraft, or 14 CFR § 91.13(a), which prohibits operating an aircraft in a “careless or reckless” manner so as to endanger the life or property of another. The type design for the CRJ-700 required all landing gear to be operable, or in this instance, retractable. The certificate holder cited testimony that the aircraft could be flown safely with the landing gear pins in place as in use of a Minimum Equipment List (MEL) flight operation. The FAA noted that an MEL was neither requested nor approved and as such the aircraft was operated outside of its certificate configuration. This by definition means the aircraft is “unairworthy” because it did not conform to the type certificate. The court agreed and cited Copsey, 993 F.2d at 739, in concluding that “airworthiness does not mean flyability.”

Proper aircraft maintenance requires attention to detail; it is essential not only in the actual performance of tasks but in the associated records. Checklists and other entries are part of an approved system of checks and balances to ensure that the work performed is compliant with the approved maintenance procedures. This system drives all its participants toward decreasing nonconformities that impact airworthiness. The airline’s own procedures indicated it believed the removal of the pin was essential to proper maintenance making it easy for the judge to side with the agency.

The record also indicates that the airline used the VDRP to self-disclose the incident and submitted the required proposed comprehensive fix to the FAA for review. However, the FAA rejected the proposal indicating that it:

[D]oes not preclude recurrence of this violation. The mechanic involved knew of the [General Maintenance Manual] requirement to make a logbook entry stating the landing gear pin was installed prior to this incident, and yet still forgot to make the entry.  … The comprehensive fix should prevent the same mechanic, or any other mechanic, from forgetting to make the logbook entry and subsequently forgetting to remove the gear pins following maintenance.

The FAA inspector suggested a “pin-removal checklist” be added to the maintenance manual; however, the certificate holder neither adopted the suggestion nor proposed an alternative within the VDRP stipulated deadline. Further, the airline failed to avail itself of a “next level” review available through the program.

While the Federal Aviation Administration seeks to encourage the prompt reporting of identified nonconformities by certain certificate holders through its VDRP, the program must be strictly followed by the certificate holder. The advantage to self-disclosure is that the certificate holder will be issued a “letter of correction” rather than a “civil penalty action.” The incentive is simple – encourage self-disclosure by those most likely to detect errors in exchange for a reduced regulatory penalty so the issue can be remedied quickly. This case study illustrates that not following a certificate holder’s written procedures and the VDRP to the letter only creates an easier target for punishment!

The VDRP is laid out in Advisory Circular 00-58B Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program.

Steven counsels businesses operating in high-risk industries – including aviation – he provides templates, tools and training that will improve contracting efficiency, close deals faster and control costs.

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Membership

Member Spotlight: Coopesa – San Jose, Costa Rica

coopesa

Located in beautiful Costa Rica, Coopesa was founded in 1963. Working primarily in maintenance, repair and overhaul of commercial narrow-body aircraft, the company possesses a total of 12 international licensees, allowing them to operate in countries throughout Central and South America. The main components of their customer base include carriers, leasing and financial corporations.

Today, Coopesa’s 750 highly-skilled employees ensure outstanding products and services in the industry through a proactive approach to essential technical and commercial changes in today’s evolving business. Airframe maintenance services include a thorough offering of interior and exterior capabilities. In addition to serving the world with their aptitude in aviation maintenance, Coopesa also values preserving our irreplaceable environment.  Their innovative approach increases rational use of resources, ensuring adequate use of water and energy, as well as proper handling of wastes, developing appropriate plans in case of emergencies and instilling the value of the importance of environmental awareness in all employees.

With their Latin American location and access to multiple international opportunities, Coopesa is a true embodiment of the international aviation maintenance industry. Their quality assurance department is responsible for complying with each civil aviation authority, including the FAA and EASA.

“ As a company outside of the United States operating in all latitudes of the Western Hemisphere, the ability to stay consistently in the loop with the worldwide civil aviation maintenance industry through ARSA is invaluable,” said Quality and Safety Director, Warner Calvo. “Coopesa plays a role in maintaining Costa Rica’s prosperity based on international connections and is grateful to ARSA for helping to enable these options. “

Coopesa has been an ARSA member for 18 years, joining in 1996.

For more information, visit http://coopesa.com/.

Are you an ARSA member who would like to be in the “Member Spotlight?” If so, please contact Brett Levanto at brett.levanto@potomac-law.com

 

Have You Seen This Person?

Each month, the hotline spotlights key regulatory, legislative, and business leaders making important contributions to the aviation industry. This month we look at Raymond Benjamin, ICAO.

Secretary General Raymond Benjamin, International Civil Aviation Organization

benjamin_icaoThe International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) appointed Raymond Benjamin to his second three-year term as the secretary general on Aug. 1, 2012.

Benjamin serves as CEO of the Office of the Secretary General and as head of the Secretariat within ICAO. In this role, he provides leadership to a specialized global staff of international civil aviation employees and manages the central and regional offices of the organization.

The other side of Benjamin’s work concerns directly working with the Council, a body composed of 36 member states elected by the Assembly, which is in turn comprised of all member states of ICAO. Through established policies he carries out duties assigned to him by the Council and keeps them up to date through periodic reports on progress of Secretariat activities.

Benjamin joined ICAO after working as special adviser to the Joint Aviation Authorities Training Organization and to the European Aviation Security Training Institute. He has also served as the executive secretary of the European Civil Aviation Conference for 13 years. Born in Egypt and a French citizen who has spent his career in service of global aviation interests, Benjamin is a true international exemplar.

ICAO is a UN specialized agency, created in 1944 upon the signing of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) formed to develop international Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs). These SARPs are used by the Convention’s 191 Signatory States to create national aviation regulations, allowing over 100,000 daily flights to operate safely and efficiently in every region of the world. ICAO headquarters are in Montreal.

To learn more, visit icao.net or refer to the selection of international content in this month’s the hotline.

 

Take Advantage of ARSA’s Members Getting Members Program, Get 10 Percent Off on Membership Dues

The best form of advertising is word of mouth. Use the Members Getting Members Toolkit to recruit an ARSA member and your company will receive a discounted membership rate for your next membership term. Get more information at http://arsa.org/membership/members-getting-members/

Target Your Message: Advertise Today in ARSA’s Newsletters and Website!

ARSA recently updated its menu of advertising opportunities for arsa.org, the hotline and the ARSA Dispatch. Take advantage of these great opportunities today to showcase your company, a new product or event. For more information go to http://arsa.org/advertise/.

Exhibit, Sponsor the 2015 Repair Symposium

As the maintenance industry’s top event devoted exclusively to regulatory compliance, the ARSA Symposium attracts a highly qualified professional audience. Use this opportunity to promote your company while showing support for ARSA. Get more information at http://arsa.org/news-media/events/arsa-symposium/arsa-annual-repair-symposium-sponsorship/

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A Member Asked…

Q: In cases where an article comes without identification, we request the removal tag from the aircraft and transfer the information such as part and serial numbers to a custom-made identification label. In the event that no removal tag was available and the customer sent the article with a no serial number (NSN) indication, we then request a letter from the customer assigning a serial number by their quality control procedures.

We added this procedure into our Quality Control Manual (QCM) and presented it to the FAA; however, our Principal Avionics Inspector (PAI) did not accept the procedure. Instead, he wants us to get in touch with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and only use the identification plate listed in the Illustrated Parts Catalogue (IPC) of the component maintenance manual (CMM) rather than our custom-made label. We state in the QCM that we will place information such as: Manufacturer, Part Number, Serial Number and TSO on the custom label.

Can we use a custom-made label instead of the “OEM ID plate” listed in the IPC?

A: ARSA members have had issues with individual inspectors on this issue several times. Therefore the association requested and obtained this letter from AFS-300 which indicates that an Advisory Circular (AC 43-213A) on this very subject was updated to clarify the fact that a maintenance provider can re-identify an article during 14 CFR part 43 operations.

Obviously, following the AC is an acceptable procedure for showing compliance with the requirements of a regulation; whether the local inspector finds it so is a different matter altogether. ARSA strongly recommends that its members ensure the regulation and the agency’s own advice on this issue is put on the record with the particular inspector (and/or supervisor, Flight Standards District Office manager, etc.). The company should write a polite letter to the individual pointing out the agency has indeed found repair station re-identification an acceptable practice as explained in the AC. You acknowledge that the agency recommends contacting the manufacturer (see paragraph 6.c.2), but the FAA’s regulations does not require that action; indeed, except in limited (no pun intended) circumstances, no part marking is even required (see paragraphs 6.a.(1)(a)-(c)). The letter should reflect the company’s desire to comply with the regulations; if the inspector has another rule that s/he thinks is applicable, that person should please let you know so the specific issue can be addressed.

 

Check Out ARSA’s Library of Recorded Webinars and Online Training Classes

ARSA is pleased to announce that recorded online training classes and webinars are now available for member purchase. Check back often as courses will be continually added. Read more at http://arsa.org/training-2/online-training/.

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Welcome New Members

Regulatory Compliance Training

Test your knowledge on § 145.153 ratings.

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AVMRO

ARSA strives to provide resources to educate the general public about the work of the association’s member organizations; should you need to provide a quick reference or introductory overview to the global MRO industry, please utilize AVMRO.ARSA.org.

 

AVMRO Industry Roundup

ARSA monitors media coverage on aviation maintenance to spread the word about the valuable role repair stations play in their communities by providing jobs and economic opportunities and in civic engagement. These are some of this month’s top stories highlighting the industry’s contributions.

Aircraft Parts Maker Spirit Aero’s Profit Nearly Doubles (Reuters)

Aviation Business Chooses Miramar for Customer Service Center (Sun Sentinal)

Savannah Tech Gets Federal OK to Expand Aviation Training (Savanah Now)

StandardAero Expands Cincinnati Composite Repair Cell With Addition of 30,000 Square Feet of New Composite Processing and Repair Capabilities (Aviation Pros)

Fifth Class Graduates From Aeronautics School (Herald Mail Media)

Lufthansa Technik Opens Third US Location for Aircraft Production Inspection (Aviation Pros)

Kubick Aviation Expanding in Kingsford (Second Wave Media)

Twin Commander Factory-authorized Mx Training Offered (AIN Online)

AAR Duluth Completes Service Milestone (AIN Online)

AAR Named Best Airframe MRO Provider in the Americas (Aviation Pros)

Donation of Rolls-Royce Spey Engine by Pegasus Elite Aviation to Los Angeles-Based Aviation School Enhances Curriculum for Career Training Opportunities (Aviation Pros)

Air Washington Educates Airframe & Powerplant Mechanics on Building a Global Skill Set (Digital Journal)

Embraer and SkyWest Airlines Sign Service Agreement for the E175 (Avia Time)

Dassault Tweaking Falcon 7X Fuel System, Mx Schedule (AIN Online)

Will North American Re-fleeting Reduce Its HR-related Challenges? (Aviation Pros)

Gulfstream Rides on Wings of Prosperity (AIN Online)

Lufthansa Technik Starts Innovation Boost Program (Aviation Pros)

StandardAero San Antonio Receives 2014 Texas Environmental Excellence Award for Water Conservation (Aviation Pros)

Lufthansa CEO Attended White House Talk With International Business Leaders (Air Transport News)

HEICO Corp. Reports Record Net Sales, Operating Income and Net Income for the Six Months Ended April 30, 2014 (HEICO)

AAR Expands Support of Boeing’s U.S. Army CH-47 Helicopter Recapitalization Program (AVI Trader)

US Says Employment up Slightly at Airlines (CBS)

United Airlines Celebrates Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award Honorees (Market Watch)

Triumph Group Announces Agreement to Acquire GE Aviation Hydraulic Actuation Business (Triumph Group)

Metro Aviation First to Achieve FAA SMS Level IV for Part 145 (Vertical Magazine)

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International News

EasyJet to use unmanned drones to inspect its aircraft 

EasyJet is to use unmanned flying drones to inspect its fleet of Airbus aircraft. The airline hopes to introduce the drones as early as next year following trials in the next few months.

They will be programmed to assess the carrier’s fleet of Airbus A319 and A320 planes, reporting back to engineers on any damage that may require further inspection or maintenance work.

EasyJet is working with the Coptercraft and Measurement Solutions companies as well as Bristol Robotics Laboratory on modifying existing technology so it can bring in the drones.

EasyJet’s engineering head, Ian Davies, said: “Drone technology could be used extremely effectively to help us perform aircraft checks. Checks that would usually take more than a day could be performed in a couple of hours and potentially with greater accuracy.”

Read more…

 

International Roundup

To provide more international coverage, ARSA presents a monthly roundup of world events pertaining to the industry.

Indonesia can Become an Aircraft Maintenance Center (Antara News)

Sabena Technics Signs Five-Year Integrated Services Contract with CEBU AIR (Avitrader)

Airbus Helicopters Partners with IAS for the First Maintenance Centre in Western and Central Africa to be Certified by a Helicopter Manufacturer (Airbus Helicopters)

Sunshine Avionics Receives Brazil Repair Station Certification (Wall Street Journal)

AFI KLM E&M and GMF sign major component maintenance partnership (Avitrader)

Aviation Technical Services Lands KCI Maintenance Contract with Russian Airline (Kansas City)

AJW Aviation Signs Integrated Consumables Support Contract with Italian MRO, Atitech (Avitrader)

Air Astana Signs Long Term Maintenance Agreement with JorAMCo (Avitrader)

Saab Signs E-Jet Agreement with Liebherr-Aerospace (Avitrader)

EasyJet to Use Unmanned Drones to Inspect its Aircraft (The Guardian)

Abu Dhabi’s Aviation Maintenance Industry Positioned For Growth Following Etihad Airways And Mubadala Agreement (Abu Dhabi City Guide)

Vector Aerospace Opens U.K. MRO Facility (Composites World)

Lufthansa Technik Again Receives Two ATE&M Awards (Aviation Pros)

AJW Aviation Signs 5 Year Power-by-the-hour Pool Access Agreement With Azerbaijan Airlines (Aviation Pros)

Lufthansa Technik Shenzhen Expands Service Portfolio in Asia (Lufthansa Technik)

Dassault Selects AMAC Aerospace Turkey as a Falcon Authorized Service Center (WSJ Market Watch)

BBA to Open Engine Overhaul Shop in Middle East (AIN Online)

Jet Aviation MRO Facilities in EMEA and Asia Appointed Rolls-Royce Authorized Service Centers for BR710, BR725 and Tay engines (Aviation Pros)

AeroEx Aids Operators With European Regulatory Compliance (AIN Online)

AJW Technique Wins Prestigious ‘Human Resources Award’ (AJW Group)

Airbus Helicopters to Provide Long-term Support for German Federal Police EC135 Rotorcraft (AVI Trader)

Russian Helicopters Grows Technical Service and Repair Capacity (Russian Helicopters)

EBACE – 2014 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (Airline Reporter)

Boeing Acquiring AerData to Expand Airplane Maintenance and Leasing Records Management Capabilities (Boeing)

Jet Aviation MRO Facilities in EMEA and Asia Appointed Rolls-Royce Authorized Service Centers for BR710, BR725 and Tay Engines (AVIA Time)

Lufthansa Technik’s Research Project AIRtech (Lufthansa Group)

AAR Signs New One-Year Contract to Supply Landing Gear Support for Royal Squadron Fleet (Aviation Pros)

Aristides Ponjuan to Head Aero Technologies LLC and Air-Pro LLC MRO (Aviation Pros)

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Upcoming Events

ASA Annual Conference – Washington, DC – June 15 – 17, 2014
NATA Air Charter Summit – Washington, DC – June 16 – 18, 2014
2014 FAA-EASA International Aviation Safety Conference (Marshall Filler Participating) – Washington, D.C. – June 17-19, 2014

Previous issues:

2014: Jan Feb Mar Apr
2013: Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July
Aug Sept Oct. Nov Dec.
2012: Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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  • Due Diligence is the key phrase and The Aviation DataBase® is the only source of an easy and inexpensive way to do it. Head off the legal problem before it occurs.
  • There is a user friendly and searchable copy of the Flight Standards Information Management System (FAA Order 8900.1) in The Aviation DataBase®.
  • Do you need an Aviation Regulatory Library: Over 18,000 ADs – Large & Small AC, Over 1,500 Type Certificate Data Sheets, Over 1,200 FAA Advisory Circulars.
  • Call Aviation DataSource, Inc. (800) 952-8844.You can be using The Aviation DataBase® within minutes.

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