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Amend or New: Nuance Lost

ARSA’s second attempt to achieve clarity as to what the agency would consider an application for an “amended” versus “new” certificate under the regulations has failed. While the agency is clear the choice is in the hands of the “new owner,” the nuances remain unexplained.

The association attempted to draw the line logically: If the “new” repair station owner wants a “new” certificate number, it would apply for a new certificate. Whereas if the new owner wished to keep the same certificate with the same number, it would apply for an amended certificate. Unfortunately, the agency failed to understand the question vis-à-vis its guidance and internal processes of issuing and amending “current’ certificates and merely responded that the agency will leave it up to the “new” owner.

It is hard to see how a new number isn’t a new certificate under the agency’s current regime. Regardless, ARSA strongly recommends persons selling repair station assets not be as languid in assessing which application is appropriate.

Previously from ARSA

7/22/15 - Amend or New: Vagueness Persists

July 22, 2015

The FAA’s July 20 response to ARSA’s request for clarity regarding a new owner’s requirement to apply for an amended or new certificate when it obtains a repair station’s assets was less than lucid.

The association is attempting to obtain clear guidance on when the new owner of a repair station’s assets needs to apply for an amended or new certificate if it wishes to continue as a repair station. ARSA believes a bright line exists: When the new owner wishes to obtain a different certificate number, a new application must be filed.

If, on the other hand, the new owner wishes to keep the same certificate and merely amend the ownership and name, an application for an amended certificate would be submitted. In either event, if the housing, facilities, equipment, materials and key personnel do not change, processing the application should be swift.

Stay tuned as the association continues to seek clarity on this issue.

2/2/15 - ARSA to FAA: “Or New” Unacceptable


February 2, 2015

On Jan. 29, ARSA asked the FAA to clarify when the new owner of a repair station can apply for an amended versus a new certificate.

The change to the repair station rule, which became effective Nov.10, 2014, revised Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) section 145.57(b). That section states the new owner of repair station assets “…must apply for an amended or new certificate in accordance with § 145.51.” (Emphasis added).

The addition of the words “or new” was not even mentioned in the notice of proposed rulemaking, but the FAA reasoning is that “[t]he revision clarifies that a new owner will need to apply for a new certificate only if the new owner chooses to operate as a repair station.”

The change was totally unnecessary, and creates confusion rather than clarity. While ARSA appreciates that a repair station certificate cannot be transferred, amending one takes fewer resources for both industry and agency. Considering the current waiting time for a new certificate can be up to two-years, any uncertainty regarding the application is unacceptable.

Along with its letter, ARSA submitted suggested changes to guidance material. The association asked the agency make clear an application for a new certificate is only required where the new owner opts for a new certificate number. And even then, the processing interval should depend upon the changes the new owner makes to the location, housing, facilities, equipment and personnel.

To see all the ways ARSA works on behalf of the aviation maintenance industry, visit the ARSA Works page.



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