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ARSA Suggests Changes to NTSB Regulations

The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) recently submitted comments to an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) from the NTSB amending regulations governing the review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate revocation actions. ARSA’s comments suggest that language assuming the truth of FAA allegations be removed from the NTSB rules.

Under current regulations, the NTSB law judge must assume the truth of the FAA’s allegations in an “emergency” action against a certificate holder. As a result, challenges to the agency’s determination of an emergency are all but impossible. Such revocations have immediate effect, and certificate holders deserve the ability to challenge the basis used to reach the conclusion that a matter is an “emergency.”

The association also suggested changes to the FAA’s allegations of a “lack of qualifications,” when it comes to dismissing a stale complaint. In an FAA certificate action, an accused party can have allegations dismissed if the agency fails to take any action against the accused for more than six months—unless a lack of qualifications is alleged. As a result, the FAA can avoid a dismissal for staleness by simply including an allegation of lack of qualifications. To correct this issue, ARSA suggests that the NTSB simply eliminate a lack of qualification from precluding a dismissal for staleness.

If adopted, ARSA’s comments to the ANPRM would bring justice to the NTSB adjudication process and provide a check on government bureaucracy.



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