ARSA Stands Up for FAA Stakeholder Engagement, Delegation
In an April 24 letter to leaders of the House Transportation & Infrastructure and Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committees, the association expressed its concerns about statements and proposals by members of Congress amid increased attention to certification of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, particularly those related to the FAA’s delegation rules and industry participation on government stakeholder panels.
ARSA said it disagreed with suggestions, including that by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) that Boeing should be excluded from FAA’s Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) because of the ongoing investigation into the recent accidents.
“Engagement through panels and stakeholder bodies supports the continuous improvement of the regulatory system. Having all stakeholders at the table ensures that all necessary data, consequences and alternatives are considered and that proposed rules are consistent with the law, technical and engineering realities and the safety objectives we all share,” ARSA wrote.
The association’s letter also highlighted the benefits of delegation, which has come under intense scrutiny in the wake of MAX accidents. ARSA pointed out that the FAA has used delegation in various forms for almost a century with full buy-in from Congress. Federal law gives the agency the power to delegate to a qualified private person a matter related to issuing certificates, or related to the examination, testing and inspection necessary to issue a certificate on behalf of the FAA Administrator.
“In encouraging – and providing a statutory framework for – delegation, Congress was acting wisely and in recognition of the fact that the FAA has limited resources to regulate a dynamic, growing industry,” ARSA wrote.
“No one would argue the FAA is perfect or that its rules and policies could not be improved,” ARSA said. “However, unless Congress is prepared to dramatically increase the agency’s resources – and to continue to increase those resources as the industry grows in the years ahead – the integrity of stakeholder bodies must be protected and the delegation system must be maintained and enhanced to allow the FAA to leverage industry expertise.”
To read the complete letter, click here.