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Repair Station Security Resources

On Aug. 15, ARSA released a Repair Station Security Fact Sheet as a resource for the media, policymakers and the general public understand the rules applicable to FAA-certificated maintenance facilities.

The fact sheet should be utilized by the maintenance community and other interested stakeholders alongside the association other security related resources:

Repair Station Security Resources

Fact Sheet Compliance Checklist
Online Training

To review past coverage of ARSA’s engagement with the TSA on security issues, review the content below.

ARSA engagement with the TSA...

6/23/16 - Security Rule Training - Unlimited Viewing for 90 Days

June 23, 2016

This session covers the requirements set forth in the Transportation Security Administration’s repair station security rule. Learn from Daniel B. Fisher – who serves the maintenance community on TSA’s Aviation Security Advisory Committee – how to stay compliant with mandatory security responsibilities.

TSA’s Repair Station Security Rule – Effectively Complying with the Regulation

On-Demand – Available Anytime

Click here to register and get access for 90 days.

Registration for this session includes:
  • Access for 90 days to the on-demand recording – unlimited viewings.
  • Digital copies of the presentation and all reference material with links to relevant resources and citations.
  • A certificate upon completion of the class (including any test material).

The association’s training program is provided through Obadal, Filler, MacLeod & Klein, P.L.C., the firm that manages ARSA. To go directly to OFM&K’s online training portal, visit PotomacLaw.inreachce.com. To learn more about the association’s training program and see course availability, visit arsa.org/training.


ARSA-onlinetraining

6/22/15 - ARSA on New TSA Administrator - Good Security is Always Good Business

June 22, 2015

Daniel B. Fisher, vice president of legislative affairs for the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), released the following statement after the Senate voted on June 22 to confirm Coast Guard Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger as the new administrator of the Transportation Security Administration:

“ARSA congratulates Peter Neffenger on his confirmation to lead the Transportation Security Administration. As TSA continues the repair station security rule’s implementation, the aviation maintenance industry looks forward to working with the agency to ensure it understands that for ARSA members good security is good business regardless of government oversight.”

7/28/14- TSA Agrees with ARSA on Repair Station Security Rule

July 28, 2014

On July 28, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued long-promised guidance adopting ARSA’s position regarding when an on-airport repair station is responsible for large aircraft on its property under the new aircraft repair station security regulation.

In response to a Feb. 24 ARSA inquiry, the agency clarified that a “repair station is responsible for large aircraft when the repair station has authority over the aircraft, contractual dominion or control of the aircraft, or when the repair station knows or should know that a large aircraft has been tendered to them by an aircraft owner or operator.”  Furthermore, TSA explained that it “considers the repair station to be responsible for the large aircraft until the aircraft owner or operator has taken delivery and/or control of the aircraft.”

After the final regulation’s release, TSA originally determined a repair station is responsible for all large aircraft “on its ramp or property,” regardless of who had dominion or control of the aircraft, ignoring TSA-mandated aircraft owner/operator responsibilities.

“We commend TSA for adjusting its guidance to reflect operational realities and the agency’s own requirements and practices,” said ARSA’s Vice President of Legislative Affairs Daniel B. Fisher.  “Conflicting security requirements create inefficiencies and undue burdens while causing confusion for everyone involved. We look forward to a continued dialogue with TSA on implementation and compliance with the repair station security rule.”

6/13/14 - ARSA: Industry Waiting Too Long for Security Rule Clarification

June 13, 2014

ARSA’s engagement with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) concerning the repair station security rules continued as the association pushed the agency for an answer to a previous inquiry and long-promised guidance.

In a June 12 letter, ARSA’s Vice President of Legislative Affairs Daniel Fisher urged the agency to promptly respond to prior correspondence regarding when a repair station assumes dominion and control of a large aircraft under the rule. Additionally, Fisher requested TSA release official guidance and a “question and answer” document addressing key nuances with the regulation’s implementation.

“Our request takes on particular urgency since the agency is conducting audits and inspections of domestic and foreign repair stations despite key outstanding issues and questions surrounding the final rule,” Fisher wrote.

6/14/2013 - Clock Strikes Zero: TSA Once Again Misses Deadline

June 14, 2013

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) once again failed to meet its deadline to finalize the repair station security rule, expected by today. TSA’s inaction means the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) still faces a moratorium on certificating foreign aviation repair stations, plaguing the industry since 2008.

During a March 14 oversight hearing before the House Transportation Security Subcommittee, TSA Administrator John Pistole confirmed that the rule was under a mandatory 90-day examination period by the Office of Management & Budget after work was completed by TSA and the Department of Homeland Security. In response, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) launched a countdown clock to ensure TSA is held accountable to the most recent deadline. ARSA is now working with Congress to resolve the issue.

“Time after time TSA misses its deadlines and the only ones paying the price are aviation maintenance companies seeking to expand internationally,” said Christian A. Klein, ARSA’s executive vice president. “We have maintained from the beginning that mandating repair station security rules were a solution in search of a problem. TSA’s inaction after nearly a decade shows that security was never truly an issue.”

“The aviation maintenance industry is done sitting by and hoping the government will follow Congress’ ill-advised directive – we’re taking action to ensure our businesses can build and grow their markets,” said ARSA Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel B. Fisher. “The ban is costing U.S. companies millions of dollars in lost revenues, stifling domestic growth and job creation that would support overseas expansion. Congress created this problem and now it should fix it.”

In 2003, Congress first mandated TSA finalize repair station security rules. After years of inaction, in 2007, lawmakers once again required the agency to complete work on the regulations, prohibiting the FAA from approving new foreign repair stations after Aug. 3, 2008 if TSA didn’t comply.

For more on the history of Congress’ repair station security rules mandate and ARSA’s “Lift the Ban” campaign, visit http://arsa.org/legislative/issues/aviation-policy/lift-the-ban/.

1/22/13 - ARSA Surveys Impact of TSA Inaction

January 22, 2013

The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) has launched a new survey to measure the impact of the ban on new foreign repair station certificates.

Congress prohibited the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from acting on foreign repair station certificate applications submitted after Aug. 3, 2008 because the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had not finalized repair station security rules. The ban is an unprecedented example of punishing industry for a federal agency’s inaction. U.S. aviation companies are barred from tapping into rapidly expanding overseas markets, which is hindering job creation and growth at home.

“ARSA members are paying the price for bureaucratic foot-dragging and a poorly thought-out policy,” said ARSA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Daniel Fisher.

The latest ARSA survey is a follow up to one conducted in fall 2011. That survey found that the prohibition was hurting small to medium sized businesses in the United States, preventing growth and costing American companies millions of dollars in lost revenues. ARSA will share the data with policymakers as part of the Association’s ongoing lobbying campaign to lift the ban.

Note: This survey closed at 5:00 p.m. EST on Feb. 15, 2013.

6/12/12 - TSA Responds to Congressional Inquiry on Foreign Repair Station Ban

June 12, 2012

The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) is diligently working toward completion of the long-awaited repair station security rule, according to the agency’s response to correspondence from House Transportation Security Subcommittee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.).

In late March, the lawmakers met with senior TSA officials and delivered a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano expressing their frustration that a rulemaking mandated in 2003 was still pending. Reps. Rogers and Walberg also requested regular Subcommittee briefings on the agency’s progress and that TSA finalize the regulation before the end of the year.

ARSA has been working closely with lawmakers and the TSA to finalize new repair station security rules so that the FAA can once again issue new foreign repair station certificates. Industry has been penalized too long for government inaction. To encourage your representatives to support this important effort visit ARSAaction.org.

6/11/12 - House Penalizes DHS for TSA’s Inaction

June 11, 2012

On June 7, the House sent a clear signal that the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) failure to finalize a repair station security rule is unacceptable when it approved the fiscal year 2013 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill (H.R. 5855).

The legislation withholds $5,000,000 for use by the department’s General Counsel’s office until a final rule for aircraft repair station security is published. In the House Homeland Security Committee’s report accompanying the legislation, lawmakers expressed concerns about TSA’s inaction stating “failure to act has inhibited the ability of industry to compete in the global market place.” Despite TSA’s claim that it will complete the security rules by the end of the year, committee members withheld the funding because “based on past performance, the Committee has little confidence that TSA and DHS will meet this deadline.”

ARSA continues to urge lawmakers to press TSA to finalize the rule so that the FAA can once again do its job and issue new foreign repair station certificates.

1/11/12 - TSA Content with Certification Ban

January 11, 2012

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has no plans to request congressional removal of the FAA prohibition on the certification of new foreign repair stations, Administrator John Pistole told ARSA. In a January 4 reply to ARSA’s November 2011 letter detailing the ban’s negative consequences for the aviation industry, Pistole ignores the economic impact of TSA’s inaction and reiterates the agency’s earlier response that it won’t finalize repair station security rules until at least the fourth quarter of 2012. The TSA’s failure to complete the regulation is troubling given the detrimental impact the delay has imposed upon industry and the fact that it is more than eight years overdue in producing this congressionally mandated rule. The agency’s response indicates that it is content with the delay and in no hurry to fulfill its duty. Though Pistole stated that the TSA will not urge lawmakers to permit the FAA to once again certificate new foreign repair stations, he did note that the agency would cooperate if Congress decided to do so. Pistole’s response underscores the need for continued pressure urging Congress to stop penalizing industry for the inaction of a government agency.

House Committee Seeking Stories Highlighting Impact of Foreign Repair Station Ban

The House Homeland Security Committee is requesting letters from U.S. companies detrimentally impacted by the ban on FAA certification of new foreign repairs stations.

As part of its “Lift the Ban” campaign, ARSA’s legislative team continues to meet with congressional leaders regarding TSA’s failure to finalize repair station security rules and the subsequent FAA foreign repair station certification moratorium. The “Lift the Ban” survey results were useful in providing a snapshot of the ban’s effect on the aviation maintenance industry; however, the committee is looking for more specifics including job loss numbers, lost revenues, and other information detailing the economic impact the ban is having on U.S. companies.

12/22/11 - TSA in No Hurry on Security Rule

December 22, 2011

In a letter to aviation industry groups, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John Pistole stated the agency does not plan to release its repair station security rule until fourth quarter 2012 at the earliest.

Pistole’s letter comes in response to a Nov. 22 coalition letter from 20 aviation associations and companies (including ARSA) to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano expressing concern with the TSA’s nearly decade long delay in producing a rule.

The continued delay reinforces the necessity of ARSA’s “Lift the Ban” campaign to spur congressional action to eliminate the prohibition on FAA certification of new foreign repair stations. Congress imposed the ban to punish the agency for not meeting its 2003 obligation to produce a rule, but rather than encourage the agency to act, the ban has only punished the aviation maintenance industry and undermined its growth.

Furthermore, the TSA’s inaction shows that the agency does not consider repair stations to be a realistic security threat, but is rather choosing to focus its resources on areas it considers a greater danger.

While ARSA agrees that repair stations pose a miniscule security risk, the fact remains that without the rule, or an act of Congress to lift the ban, repair stations will continue to suffer.

House Committee Seeking Stories Highlighting Impact of Foreign Repair Station Ban

The House Homeland Security Committee is requesting letters from U.S. companies detrimentally impacted by the ban on FAA certification of new foreign repairs stations.

As part of its “Lift the Ban” campaign, ARSA’s legislative team continues to meet with congressional leaders regarding TSA’s failure to finalize repair station security rules and the subsequent FAA foreign repair station certification moratorium. The “Lift the Ban” survey results were useful in providing a snapshot of the ban’s effect on the aviation maintenance industry; however, the committee is looking for more specifics including job loss numbers, lost revenues, and other information detailing the economic impact the ban is having on U.S. companies.

Tell your story! Click here and follow these instructions:

  • Save the pre-written Word document as a file on your computer.
  • Complete the pertinent details of the letter (which are in bold).
  • Add any other details that help tell your company’s story.
  • Place the message on your company’s letterhead.
  • Scan and send to arsa@arsa.org so we can compile and deliver to the committee.

11/22/11 - ARSA Urges TSA on Security Rules

November 22, 2011

On Nov. 22, ARSA told the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that its long-term failure to issue repair station security rules is hindering growth and job creation in the aviation maintenance industry.

In addition to joining its industry allies on a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urging the department to complete repair station security rules by Dec. 31, ARSA issued its own request to TSA Administrator John Pistole to ensure air carriers and manufacturers are no longer hampered by their inability to perform maintenance worldwide under American rules.

Citing its recent survey of aviation maintenance leaders, ARSA warned that TSA’s inaction and the ensuing congressionally imposed ban on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) certification of new foreign repair stations is preventing U.S. aerospace companies from tapping into rapidly expanding overseas markets.

ARSA told the TSA that if it is impractical to finalize repair station security rules by the end of the year, the agency must work with Congress to “lift the ban” on foreign repair station certificates so that the U.S. aviation sector is no longer penalized by TSA’s failure to act.

To share the results of ARSA’s survey with your lawmakers and to encourage their support for lifting the ban on FAA certification of new foreign repair stations, visit ARSAaction.org.

11/8/11 - TSA Inaction is Hurting Growth, ARSA tells Senate Panel

November 9, 2011

“The congressionally-imposed ban on the Federal Aviation Administration’s ability to certificate new foreign repair stations is having a stifling impact on the aviation maintenance industry, ARSA told the Senate Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee in a Nov. 2 letter.” The letter is part of the Association’s Lift the Ban Campaign aimed at ending the certification prohibition.

ARSA contends that in punishing industry because a federal agency (in this case, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)) has refused to do its job, Congress has set a dangerous precedent. Citing its recent survey of aviation maintenance leaders, ARSA warns that the FAA’s inability to issue new certificates is preventing U.S. aviation companies from tapping into rapidly expanding overseas markets, thereby hindering domestic employment growth. The informal survey revealed that among a very small sample of U.S. companies, the ban is costing at least $18 million in lost revenue. More than half of the respondents indicated that they would hire new U.S.-based employees if they were able to obtain certification.

Sent to the committee in conjunction with the TSA oversight hearing, “Ten Years After 9/11: The Next Wave in Aviation Security,” ARSA’s letter highlighted the consequences of the FAA’s inability to issue timely security rules for repair stations.

To share the results of ARSA’s survey with your lawmakers and to encourage their support for lifting the ban on FAA certification of new foreign repair stations, visit ARSAaction.org.

1/19/10 - ARSA Draft Comments on TSA NPRM Available

January 19, 2010

The comment period for the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) proposed rule covering repair station security closes on Feb. 19. This rulemaking will impact all part 145 repair stations, both foreign and domestic. In preparation for the closing of the comment period, ARSA is making available a draft version of the Association’s comments to the docket. While this is not ARSA’s final submission, it provides key points that members can incorporate into their respective submissions.

Click here to read ARSA’s draft comments.

The TSA notice of proposed rulemaking is available here.

9/18/08 - Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Regulations

On December 12, 2003, the President signed into law the Vision 100—Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act. Section 611 of the Act requires TSA to “issue final regulations to ensure the security of foreign and domestic aircraft repair stations” within 240 days (by August 8, 2004).

On February 27, 2004, the TSA held a public meeting concerning repair station security, and asked the questions below. Written responses to the questions were due by March 29, 2004 to the DOT Docket Management System (docket TSA-2004-17131). TSA said that it will later propose security rules.

Exposing vulnerabilities

The Association believes that some of TSA’s questions could publicly expose repair station vulnerabilities, if any, and is deeply concerned that TSA did not afford an entirely confidential comment procedure. Both the TSA meeting and the Docket Management System are open to the public. TSA stated that it will not post confidential information to the public docket, but did not elaborate on this assurance.

TSA questions

1. What security measures are currently in place at foreign and domestic aircraft repair stations? Do you use access control, perimeter security, or identification media? What kind of employee background checks, if any, are conducted on employees prior to hiring, or periodically?

2. What security vulnerabilities do you believe currently exist at foreign and domestic repair stations?

3. What minimum standards should be in place to prevent unauthorized access, tampering, and other security breaches at foreign and domestic aircraft repair stations?

4. What does your current security system cost?

5. Should TSA regulations be tailored to the type of rating the repair station holds, number of employees, proximity to an airport, number of repairs completed, or other characteristics? If so, please explain how that could be accomplished.

6. Should aircraft operators play a role in ensuring that repair facilities maintain a secure workplace? If so, what should aircraft operators do to enhance repair station security?

7. Have you experienced security breaches at your facility? If so, what measures were instituted to prevent recurrence?

9/18/08 - Another Extension...More Time for TSA on Belated Security Rule

September 18, 2008

On May 14, the House Committee on Homeland Security unanimously passed the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Authorization Act (H.R. 2200). The bill, which now awaits action on the House floor, contains language regarding the TSA’s inaction on the issuance of a final rule on repair station security.

The TSA was originally tasked with creating a repair station security rule in Sec. 611 of VISION 100. TSA was instructed to issue a final rule to “strengthen oversight” for all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificated part 145 repair stations, located both domestically and abroad. The agency was afforded 240 days to issue the final rule, which elapsed without such action.

The “9/11 Commission Recommendation Act of 2007” addressed the inaction in Sec. 1616, by mandating that the TSA issue the final rule within one year of enactment of the legislation (Aug. 3., 2007). However, unlike VISION 100, the legislation contained a “punishment” if the agency failed to meet the prescribed deadline. The bill gave the TSA until Aug. 3, 2008 to issue the final rule or no new foreign repair stations would be afforded FAA-certification. Since this date is long past, and the TSA has failed to even produce a notice of proposed rulemaking, the “freeze” on initial certification of foreign repair stations has been in effect for months.

In Section 205 of the current TSA reauthorization bill, Congress once again grants a time extension to the agency to deliver a final rule, this time for an additional six months. The freeze on initial certifications will remain in effect.

ARSA remains active in pushing the agency to issue a final rule in order to lift the certification freeze. The Association continues to press the important role that foreign repair stations play in the global aviation industry and that inhibiting industry growth (by not allowing new certifications) is an ill-conceived measure that punishes private industry for government inaction.

With the current absence of a TSA administrator, agency action is not expected in the near future, despite the continued requests from Congress that have now spanned over six years.

7/24/08 - TSA to House Subcommittee: Security Final Rule Date 'Unknowable'; ARSA Submits Comments

July 23, 2008

On July 24, the House Aviation Subcommittee held a hearing entitled “Aviation Security: An Update” to gauge progress by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the execution of directives from the “Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007” (P.L. 110-53).

ARSA worked diligently in the weeks leading up to the hearing to ensure that a spotlight was cast on the TSA’s failure to comply with that law, which included a mandate that the agency issue a final rule on repair station security by Aug. 3, 2008. Since the agency will miss this deadline, a freeze will be put on Federal Aviation Administration initial certification of foreign repair stations starting August 3 (renewals of existing certificates and the processing of certificate applications submitted prior to August 3 are exempt).

The repair station security final rule issue was placed on the official hearing agenda, and Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Costello (D-IL-12) wasted no time in questioning TSA Administrator Kip Hawley on the matter when Hawley testified before the subcommittee.

When asked by Rep. Costello on the final rule’s progress, Administrator Hawley stated that the agency is working on issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (an initial step in the rulemaking process) before the end of the summer. However, the Administrator said that the date the final rule will be issued is “unknowable.” Hawley pointed to inter-agency review and commenting as a major obstacle in the issuance of the final rule. Further, Hawley stated that security measures at repair stations are already being addressed, “TSA doesn’t wait for a rule to come out to get security in place.”

Rep. Jerry Moran (R-KS-1) echoed Rep. Costello’s concerns, bringing further attention to the issue.

ARSA submitted comments to the record outlining numerous points on the issue- from the current level of security found at repair stations to the precarious precedent set by the law’s punishment of private industry for federal agency inaction to the frustration at the TSA’s failure to issue a final rule.

ARSA will continue to work on the issue and press the TSA for a final rule in an expedient manner that also ensures a fair rulemaking process.

To read ARSA’s comments please open this file.

11/21/07 - ARSA Urges Expedited TSA Action

November 21, 2007

Finding itself in the ironic position of requesting immediate rulemaking on unnecessary and potentially burdensome requirements; ARSA sent a letter to Administrator Kip Hawley of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) calling for an expedient notice for proposed rulemaking on repair station security rules. TSA must publish a final rule by Aug. 3, 2008, or the FAA will be prohibited from issuing foreign repair station certificates (with limited exceptions). This mandate results from the enacting of the 9/11 Commission Recommendation Act (Public Law 110-53), which was signed into law in early August, 2007.

ARSA emphasized that agency inaction will punish the industry and create harmful consequences. The letter stated, in part, “The Association certainly recognizes that TSA is confronted with a myriad of more pressing issues with only limited resources…However, the severe penalty necessitates immediate action.”

Click here to view ARSA’s letter.

Decades of staying on top of issues like this 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 the ARSA Works page.



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