“100-percent Replacement” Makes 1-percent Progress
On Aug. 9, the FAA ended ARSA’s two-year wait for a response to its request to the Regulatory Consistency Communications Board (RCCB) for clarity regarding the right of repair stations to replace 100 percent of an article while performing maintenance. For the most part, this “interim response” merely restated and “acknowledged” the association’s description of the issue.
“FAA regulations do not specify the amount of parts that may be replaced on an article during a single maintenance visit,” the RCCB said in its response, echoing the argument made in ARSA’s initial submission. “Accordingly, the FAA will actively explore developing guidance and whether a legal interpretation is appropriate.”
The status update, which did not claim to be the final word on the issue from the RCCB, did little to enhance consistency in regulatory communications but at least confirmed the FAA’s alignment with industry on the base issue.
To read the complete interim response, click here.
To read the association’s 2017 submission, click here.
July 11, 2017
Update: On July 11, the FAA responded via email to ARSA’s June 29 request for clarity on the ability of repair stations to replace 100 percent of an article while performing maintenance. The agency’s Regulatory Consistency Communication Board (RCCB), to which the request was submitted, “has carefully evaluated [the] issue and determined it will be accepted by the RCCB for resolution.”
ARSA Asks RCCB to Clarify Guidance on 100 Percent Replacement
July 6, 2017
Previous agency attempts to determine when a particular action is manufacturing, thus requiring a production approval, are not supported by a plain read of regulations. “The regulations do not directly or indirectly prohibit the replacement of all parts in an article during a single maintenance visit,” the submission said. “There are no limits on the number of parts that can or should be replaced during a maintenance action.”
The request cites the definitions of “maintenance” and “repair” under § 1.1 and their relation to the term “replacement of parts.” It also addresses the prohibition against the reuse of § 45.11 identification plates. Based on a plain reading of these definitions as well as parts 21 and 43 and a review of existing agency guidance, ARSA informed the RCCB that both the Aircraft Certification and Flight Standards services should provide clear direction on how compliance can be shown.
The FAA created the RCCB based on recommendations of the Consistency of Regulatory Interpretation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (CRI ARC). The board’s goal is to provide clarification to FAA personnel, certificate/approval holders and applicants on issues that span the jurisdiction of multiple FAA divisions. In this case, it can provide sensible instruction on the duties and obligations of maintenance providers when performing part replacement.
To read the full submission, click here.
To learn more about the RCCB and ARSA’s recommendations for its development, visit ARSA.org/rccb.
To see all of the ways ARSA works as the voice of the aviation maintenance industry, visit the ARSA Works page.