ARSA RSS Feed ARSA LinkedIn
Ask ARSA Online Portal

ARSA Condemns FAA’s Rulemaking by Fiat

Update – Aug. 28, 2015: The FAA issued a second SNPRM soliciting comments on agency-provided supporting documentation. While the association did not submit specific comments on the second SNPRM, it maintains that the agency is required to support its rulemaking with verifiable technical data, which it has thus far failed to do.


On Feb. 23, ARSA continued its opposition to the FAA’s flagrant disregard of basic requirements for promulgating regulations. The neglect of its responsibilities is particularly troublesome when unsafe conditions are alleged. The association again requested the immediate withdrawal of the proposed rulemaking.

The proposed Airworthiness Directive (AD) requires a phased replacement of cylinders used on certain engines manufactured by Continental Motors, Inc. ARSA’s comments point out the FAA continued to ignored its statutory duties under the Administrative Procedure Act and Data Quality Act, as well as the agency’s own internal guidance for satisfying those obligations.

“The FAA has completely failed to provide the substantive basis for the rule or explain why such a factually deficient administrative record supports the issuance of a far reaching safety directive,” said Ryan Poteet, ARSA’s regulatory affairs manager. “The agency was asked to provide the data on which it relies, but instead has doubled down and pushed through without supporting information. It seems to think that it can pass a rule simply by saying it can pass a rule.”

ARSA’s comments detail how the FAA’s failure to comply with its statutory obligations has stymied public participation, the lynchpin to rulemaking. Commenters are forced to speculate on the agency’s justifications and to provide every reasonable explanation for why the rule should not be issued. The failure to provide supporting data not only makes it impossible for the public to engage in the rulemaking process, it demonstrates that the agency has failed to consider all relevant evidence required to reach an informed, well-reasoned conclusion.

“In a heavily regulated industry, all certificate holders are negatively impacted when a government agency ignores the law,” Poteet said. “The FAA cannot be allowed to issue the most important type of safety rule, an AD, based on nothing more than speculation and conjecture; it must be reminded that it cannot regulate by fiat.”

ARSA’s comments are available at http://arsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/ARSA-Comments_to_SNPRM-FAA-2012-0002-20150-20150223.pdf.



More from ARSA

How’s Marshall?

On July 8, ARSA Managing Director & General Counsel Marshall S. Filler underwent successful heart surgery. His ongoing recovery has included the usual challenges associated with major surgery. As he…Read More

Anti-Viral Measures

For the use of its members and the larger aviation community, ARSA is maintaining this page as a resource for virus-related updates on policy initiatives and business needs. Please bookmark…Read More

DOT Reopens Jobs Program Applications

To keep tabs on all of ARSA’s work related to the current pandemic, visit arsa.org/anti-viral-measures. On July 26, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced it will re-open applications for the…Read More

FAA to Restart Global Leadership Meeting

On July 20, the FAA announced plans to host its 8th Annual Global Leadership Meeting in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 22-23. The event will have both in-person and online attendance…Read More

Lawmakers Explore Aviation Workforce Diversity

The House Aviation Subcommittee held a hearing July 20 to discuss enhancing diversity in the aviation workforce. The witnesses were (click a name to download their written testimony): Rebecca Lutte,…Read More
ARSA