2015 – Edition 8 – September 3

the hotline 1984

Table of Contents

Sarah Says

Hotline Features

ARSA Works

Legal Briefs

ARSA on the Hill

Regulatory Outlook

Quality Time



AVMRO News Portal

Upcoming Events

Sarah Says

The Conductor’s Baton

By Sarah MacLeod, Executive Director

“ARSA is the voice of the aviation maintenance industry.”

It’s a fair – and often repeated – illustration of the association’s role on behalf of repair stations: the body that will speak truth to power. When it engages regulators, legislators or bystanders, ARSA elucidates the perfect intersection between business and government. One voice. One message. One purpose.

In reality, though. ARSA is not a single voice. It can’t be; a lone note is clear but it’s also easily lost in the cacophony of talking heads and blowing wind in the halls of government. To be successful, ARSA is a conductor of voices – yours.

To tell the story of aviation maintenance, the association painstakingly develops valuable resources. Through web portals, action sites and media tools, our regulatory, legislative and communications teams have built an infrastructure (call it the performance hall) for repair stations to join the chorus:

The aviation maintenance information portal – which includes information about the industry and details about careers – is the go-to resource for policymakers and the general public.

You Can’t Fly Without Us

The seven-minute industry documentary was developed to run on public television stations across the United States to introduce viewers to the men and women who keep the world safely in flight. Share it with your employees, customers, friends, relatives. In other words, use it to spread the word about aviation maintenance.

Data and Advocacy Resources

The association’s economic data center is full of reports, references and graphics to help quantify the industry’s impact on the lives and livelihoods of people across the world.

A direct conduit to American elected officials; in a single visit you can review key legislative issues and demand action from Washington.

Regulatory Issue Pages

A constantly-growing repository of information, guidance and templates on the big issues this industry has faced for years.

ARSA Works

The continuously-updated record of the association’s regulatory engagement on behalf of the industry; see what ARSA has done to make your relationship with the FAA professional and productive.

Ask ARSA First!

Call it the best hotline in the business—answers to member questions in real time. Your questions, tips and requests are often the stepping off point for good work. Ask us generic regulatory compliance questions, tell us what matters to you and what good is and can be done on your behalf.

Every one of these sites, pages and tools was built for your use – master topics, engage officials, share links, screen videos. ARSA has written the music, built the stage and wired the microphones. When it waves the conductor’s baton, your harmony will carry.

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Hotline Features – Aviation Career Matchmaker

By Brett Levanto, Vice President of Communications


On Aug. 26, ARSA announced the launch of, a web-based recruitment tool that will help the aviation community find technically skilled applicants to keep the world safely in flight.

The site is the product of a partnership between ARSA and RealMatch, an online-recruiting services provider. Through TheJobNetwork™, North America’s largest network of job sites, will allow aviation businesses to reach millions of job seekers on the web and through social media. Unlike many other job sites, matches jobs and candidates based on their technical skills, which will open the door for technicians from other industries to find and begin careers in aviation.

“ARSA’s members have consistently cited the skilled worker shortage as the greatest strategic threat to the maintenance industry,” ARSA Executive Vice President Christian Klein said. “As the aviation market keeps expanding – Boeing’s 2015 Outlook forecasts more than one million new jobs to fill in the next 20 years – will help repair stations and other aviation employers compete for technical talent.”

In addition to broader advocacy for improving workforce policy – including collaboration with the Aviation Technician Education Council and membership on the STEM Education Coalition’s Leadership Council – ARSA is providing as a service to both employers and aspiring aviation professionals.

“Whenever you board a plane or pick up a loved one at the airport, you depend on the good work of countless men and women,” said Brett Levanto, ARSA’s vice president of communications. “Many of us will never meet the aviation professionals in whom we place our trust, but ARSA is launching this site for them. will help aviation businesses and applicants spend less time searching for a job and more time doing one. It’s a worthy cause, because we can’t fly without them.”

For more information about aviation maintenance careers, visit ARSA’s career center. To learn more about the industry, visit the association’s information portal at

Administration’s Pre-Labor Day Pro-Labor Policy Rollout

By ARSA Regulatory Staff

In an Aug. 27 ruling against the waste management firm Browning-Ferris, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) redefined the employee-employer relationship, making it harder for companies with franchises and independent contractors to avoid offering protections and benefits. It will also give unions more negotiating power and make contracting companies more vulnerable to legal action.

In the decision, the board determined that Browning-Ferris should be considered a “joint employer” with a staffing agency contracted to support its California recycling facility. Under this new status, the company could be pulled into collective bargaining negotiations or held liable for labor violations committed by the direct employer.

For repair stations that contract services – from janitorial support to food service – joint employer status would mean additional litigation, employee unionization and the use of “economic weapons” such as pickets and protests. Before the NLRB ruling, companies using contracted services were insulated from such hazards. If left unaddressed, the new standard could place companies in danger of these labor issues whenever they haveindirect or unexercised potential control over a contract employee.

Updating white-collar exemption
In other labor news, the Department of Labor (DOL) requested comments on its proposed rule to extend overtime protection to millions of white collar workers. A final rule is expected in 2016.

Currently the Fair Labor Standards Act requires a two-part test to exempt an employee from overtime pay. To qualify, the employee must earn $23,660/year and pass the “duties test” to determine if their job is “white collar.” The new proposal increases the salary threshold to $50,440/year with a built-in annual increase and requests feedback on the duties test in its current form.

Learn more about the DOL’s proposed changes to overtime pay eligibility and click here to submit comments by Sept. 4.

Help Maintenance Prosper Through FAA Reauth

By ARSA Communications Staff

As the FAA’s current authorization bill (the FAA Modernization & Reform Act of 2012) enters its final days, Congress will return from August recess with a mess of competing priorities. Help your lawmakers understand the importance of the FAA’s authorization and ensure they take action to bolster the health of the aviation maintenance industry.

During the last FAA reauthorization cycle, the aviation maintenance industry was forced to combat attempts to unnecessarily micromanage aviation businesses. While many of these proposals were held at bay, once a bad idea is introduced in Washington it never really goes away. Maintenance providers need a new FAA bill that balances safety with protecting operational freedom.

Visit today and tell your lawmakers to allow the aviation community to grow and prosper. Once your letters are sent – it only takes minutes – visit to see the many ways you can get involved.

Congress’ Homework: Reauthorize Education Trio

By Josh Klein, Communications Intern

Congressional inaction and its occasional distraction have delayed the reauthorization of three key pieces of education legislation: the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the Higher Education Act (HEA) and the Carl D. Perkins Perkins Act. In order to build and maintain a strong workforce, industry must be supported by education policy that ensures high school, college, technical school and community college graduates have employable skills.

Get to know the bills:

Commonly referred to as No Child Left Behind, ESEA accounts for $60 billion in federal education funding and is the primary law governing K-12 education in the United States. It does this largely by setting federal standards for testing and accountability for failing schools. While both the House and the Senate have passed reauthorizations of ESEA, they unfortunately haven’t settled on a single bill. The House’s bill also contains a provision on portability – the ability of funding to “follow” students to the school of their choice – which would likely draw opposition from Democrats and a veto from the White House.

The Higher Education Act supports college affordability and seeks to make schools more accountable to graduation rates and job prospects which is good for students as well as employers, but since 2008 there have only been extensions with no new long-term reauthorizations – a theme of all three pieces of education legislation. Unfortunately, policy limitations prevent many technical training programs from dipping in to the large pot of grands and other funding assistance designed to help student pay for education.

The Perkins Act is designed to support career and technical education (CTE) programs through grants to states. It has come under fire in recent years as being out of touch with the needs of the modern workforce, especially with regards to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

Looking Ahead
While there has been significant action on ESEA, the conference period required for the House and Senate to agree on a single bill could be lengthy. Less progress has been made on the other bills. Both the House and Senate are currently holding hearings on HEA reauthorization but as of yet neither chamber has agreed to any legislation. Serious discussion of the Perkins Act will likely fall in line behind the other two bills.

[For reference, download the STEM Education Coalition’s reference guide on these three bills.]

Here’s what you can do to take action on technical workforce issues:

ARSA Remembers: Dr. Thomas Accardi (1953-2015)

By ARSA Communications Staff

Dr. Thomas C. Accardi – the life-long aviator and public servant – passed away on Aug. 14.

Dr. Accardi earned his pilot’s license at 17 and flew as a commercial pilot before joining the FAA. During his agency career, he served as director of Flight Standards in Washington, D.C. and director of Aviation System Standards in Edmond, Oklahoma. He retired in 2011 after 33 years of federal service.

“Tom served the public during some very difficult times when the FAA was often caught in the middle of highly-publicized labor disputes,” remembered Marshal S. Filler, ARSA’s managing director and general counsel. “While he was fair-minded in his approach to those issues he never wavered from his responsibility and was a relentless advocate for aviation safety.”

Dr. Accardi is survived by a large family including his wife, Deborah, and their two daughters and granddaughter. He also leaves behind the legacy of his long commitment to the safety of aircraft crews and passengers around the world.

To read the full obituary and express condolences, please click here.

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ARSA Works

To see all the ways ARSA works as the voice of the aviation maintenance industry, visit our ARSA Works page.

Industry Still Fighting for Right to Surrender

By Laura Vlieg, Regulatory Affairs Manager

On Aug. 31, a coalition of aviation trade associations continued its efforts to reinstate the right of repair stations to voluntarily surrender their certificates. After first calling in January for the removal of the requirement for the FAA to “[accept] for cancellation” surrendered certificates, the groups have returned to the effort in response to the agency’s July 13 denial of that original petition.

“Bad policy cannot justify bad rulemaking,” the petition extolled, noting the agency’s misinterpretation of its legal authority to issue, modify, amend and revoke certificates. In zealous pursuit of “bad actors” and misplaced fear that a surrendered certificate could equate to an escape clause for persons under investigation, the agency has promulgated a bad rule.

In response, the association and its allies will continue to pursue guaranteed rights for all certificate holders. In addition to ARSA, the Aug. 31 petition for reconsideration was supported by the Aerospace Industries Association, the Aircraft Electronics Association, the Aviation Suppliers Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International, the Modification and Replacement Parts Association, the National Air Carrier Association and the National Air Transportation Association.

Amend or New: Nuance Lost

By ARSA Regulatory Staff

ARSA’s second attempt to achieve clarity as to what the agency would consider an application for an “amended” versus “new” certificate under the regulations has failed. While the agency is clear the choice is in the hands of the “new owner,” the nuances remain unexplained.

The association attempted to draw the line logically: If the “new” repair station owner wants a “new” certificate number, it would apply for a new certificate. Whereas if the new owner wished to keep the same certificate with the same number, it would apply for an amended certificate. Unfortunately, the agency failed to understand the question vis-à-vis its guidance and internal processes of issuing and amending “current’ certificates and merely responded that the agency will leave it up to the “new” owner.

It is hard to see how a new number isn’t a new certificate under the agency’s current regime. Regardless, ARSA strongly recommends persons selling repair station assets not be as languid in assessing which application is appropriate.

ARSA Works: FAA Affirms Part Recovery Rights

By Brett Levanto, Vice President of Communications

On Aug. 25, the FAA affirmed ARSA’s contention that a repair station’s rating allows it to make “continue-in-service” determinations on internal or attached articles.

The acknowledgement came in response to a July 9 letter sent by the association to the Aircraft Maintenance Division regarding the removal and reinstallation of components – a practice also affectionately referred to as “salvaged part,” “cannibalized part,” “serviceable part” or “part recovery.”

The original letter was initiated after a member received a letter of investigation questioning the repair station’s utilization of a recovered parts procedure. In it, ARSA asserted the right of certificated entities to review, visually inspect, check or test sub articles to determine if they are “serviceable as removed” from a top assembly. Once this assessment is made, ARSA contended, the part can be used in any assembly under maintenance or placed into stock.

In its response, the FAA agreed: “The privileges and limitations of repair stations, under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) sections 43.3(e), 43.7(c) and 145.201, allow for the performance of maintenance on all articles for which they are rated.” Holding ratings for “top assembly” articles, the agency continued, signifies qualification to maintain all “sub-articles.” Based on this foundation, the response concluded that repair stations can implement procedures to perform inspections, tests and other maintenance in compliance with part 43 on sub-articles and place them in stock for future use.

To read the complete response, click here.

ARSA Joins Industry on ICA Extension Request

By Ryan Poteet, Regulatory Affairs Manager

On Aug. 25, a coalition of aviation trade associations requested an extension of the comment periods for both of the FAA’s draft documents addressing Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA).

The agency had already denied ARSA’s Aug. 14 request for a 90-day extension, so the association joined with its industry allies on a non-specific request for extension. Aerospace Industries Association, Airlines for America, the Aircraft Electronics Association, the Cargo Airline Association, the National Air Carrier Association, the National Air Transportation Association and the Regional Airline Association also signed.

“As you know,” the coalition’s request explained, “the issuance of guidance regarding Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA) is a complicated issue that the Aviation Safety Organization (namely, Aircraft Certification and Flight Standards Service) has struggled with for more than 30 years.” Considering that complication as well as the importance of the issue, the industry representatives requested the extension on behalf of  the thousands of regulated entities – design and production approval holders as well as repair stations, air carriers and general aviation operators – the documents will impact.

ARSA’s Fisher Appointed to TSA Advisory Committee

By ARSA Communications Staff

On Aug. 14, Peter Neffenger, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), appointed Daniel B. Fisher to serve a two-year term representing “aeronautical repair stations” on the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC).

The ASAC provides advice to the TSA administrator on aviation security matters, including the development, refinement and implementation of policies, programs, rulemakings and security directives pertaining to aviation security. The committee is composed of individual members representing private sector organizations affected by aviation security requirements.

Fisher is a senior legislative associate with Obadal, Filler, MacLeod & Klein, P.L.C. and ARSA’s vice president of legislative affairs. He has significant experience working with repair stations around the world on issues important to the industry, including security and safety-related legislative and regulatory issues. Specifically, since the repair station security rule’s release, he has worked with ARSA members, TSA officials and members of Congress on implementation and compliance.

Established in 1989 following the Pan Am flight 103 terrorist attack, the ASAC was made a permanent group within TSA following the Aviation Security Stakeholders Participation Act’s enactment in 2014. Thanks to Fisher’s encouragement, the new law also mandated committee representation for “aeronautical repair stations” – a role the policymaking veteran was poised to fill.

“It’s an honor to represent repair stations, which I do on the association’s behalf every day,” Fisher said. “Appointment to the ASAC is chance to continue that work in a new and important way. Since all repair stations fall under TSA jurisdiction [as a result of the repair station security rule], the international aviation maintenance industry needs a seat at the table as important security matters are considered. Now I get to fill that seat and work with the agency to continue its risk-based security approach and ensure government oversight strikes the right balance between safety, security and operational freedom.”

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Legal Briefs

This material is provided as a service to association members for educational and informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice and is not privileged or confidential.

Supreme Court Ruling Portends Future Battle Over Agency Guidance

By Ryan Poteet, Regulatory Affairs Manager

This has been a blockbuster term at the Supreme Court, with Obamacare and same-sex marriage center stage. However, it’s a less sexy administrative law case that should attract the attention of the aviation maintenance community: Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association.[1]

The Administrative Procedures Act[2] (APA) requires federal agencies to give notice and an opportunity to comment on legislative rules (i.e., regulations) that will have the force and effect of law. When an agency issues guidance explaining how it construes or intends to enforce a regulation, the APA imposes no such requirement because these “interpretive rules” have no binding legal effect. However, since 1997 a judge-made procedural rule—known as the Paralyzed Veterans[3] doctrine—forced agencies to use rulemaking procedures when issuing an interpretation of a rule that conflicted with one previously adopted. Industry stakeholders used this doctrine to object to improvident and potentially damaging new constructions of a regulation, but for the Supreme Court Paralyzed Veterans stretched the APA’s protections too far.

This is how it used to work: An agency would issue a regulation and then issue a notice, order or some other guidance document, “interpreting” the regulation. At some later date, the agency would issue new guidance that deviated from the first. The Paralyzed Veterans doctrine required notice and public comment before the agency could issue the new interpretive rule (i.e., guidance).

In Perez, the Supreme Court held that the APA does not impose notice and comment requirements for “interpretive rules” because they do not carry the “weight of law.” The Court explained that the APA represents the “maximum procedural requirements” Congress was willing to impose on agencies. Since notice and comment were not required when issuing interpretative materials in the first instance, courts could not require it when they are revised.

The Department of Transportation (DOT)—including the FAA—recognizes that compliance with its regulations and guidance is expensive; it therefore seeks and responds to public comments on any “economically significant” guidance.[4] Even for less significant guidance documents, DOT actively encourages public comments. Nothing in the Court’s holding suggests DOT will move away from that policy with respect to interpretive rules. Indeed, this confirms what industry has long held—the FAA does rulemaking through policy.

The agency’s use of interpretive rules to enforce its regulations is expressly stated a recently issued order describing the FAA’s new “Compliance Philosophy.”[5] The “new” philosophy recognizes enforcement action may not be necessary when deviations from “regulatory standards” occur because of “flawed procedures, simple mistakes, [a] lack of understanding, or diminished skills.”[6] While this policy is great for certificate holders, the problem is that the agency uses its own guidance—not the regulations—to determine regulatory standards. For example, strong enforcement action is required when there are “intentional or reckless deviations from regulatory standards, as defined in the Agency’s safety oversight guidance.”[7] The FAA’s focus on enforcing agency guidance as a regulatory standard is further demonstrated by the restructuring of Chief Counsel’s Office to give the Assistant Chief Counsel the authority to review enforcement actions for “consistency with agency policy and objectives.”[8]

This repeated emphasis on enforcing regulatory standards that are defined by agency guidance—not the regulations themselves—is problematic. The Perez decision makes clear that use of “interpretive rules” to compel compliance circumvents the APA’s most basic procedural requirements.[9] Furthermore, the Court’s reaffirmation that interpretive materials are not binding reminds us that they are vulnerable to attack as an invalid regulation when they impose new substantive obligations. This makes it essential for the aviation industry to take advantage of the FAA’s practice of giving the public time to comment on draft guidance documents.

Commenting on proposed guidance is a way for stakeholders to challenge agency actions. Comments must include both substantive and procedural arguments to demonstrate that the agency’s action is unjustified, exceeds its authority, or imposes new substantive requirements. Through comments, industry stakeholders can establish that an agency’s guidance is nothing more than a veiled attempt to circumvent the APA.

Perez is an important case because it sets the stage for the Court to grapple with the rapidly expanding use of guidance documents on regulated parties. Paradoxically, a case that strikes down an industry-friendly procedural rule might lead the Court to reevaluate the judiciary deference to agency actions and breathe life into the APA’s procedural protections.

[1] Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Ass’n, 135 S.Ct. 1199 (2015).

[2] 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.

[3] Paralyzed Veterans of Am. v. D. C. Arena L. P., 117 F. 3d 579 (D.C. Cir. 1997).

[4] See Office of Mgmt. & Budget, Executive Office of the President, OMB Bull. No. 07-02, Final Bulletin for Agency Good Guidance Practices (2007).

[5] FAA Order 8000.373, Federal Aviation Administration Compliance Philosophy (June 26, 2015).

[6] FAA Order 8000.373, ¶ 4(d)-(e).

[7] FAA Order 8000.373, ¶ 4(f) (emphasis added).

[8] FAA Notice 1100.357, Office of Chief Counsel Realignment (AGC), ¶ (k)(1) (June 10, 2015).

[9] See Perez, 135 S.Ct. at 1210 (Alito, J., Concurring); Perez, 135 S.Ct. at 1211(Scalia, J., Concurring); Perez, 135 S.Ct. at 1213 (Thomas, J., Concurring).

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ARSA on the Hill

Does Your Congressman Know Your Name?

By Daniel Fisher, Vice President of Legislative Affairs

Business success in a regulated industry depends on building relationships. Whether with inspectors, FAA officials or elected leaders, making sure key people know your name is an important step to ensure constructive dialogue and productive government dealings.

So, does your congressman know your name?

If not, you can change that; there are a number of ways to engage with lawmakers and demonstrate the impact repair stations have on the economy and on the world of aviation safety. Here are two ways ARSA members took advantage of the August congressional recess to represent their companies and the broader industry with lawmakers in settings outside of Washington, D.C.

Industry Roundtable

On Aug. 17, Gary Fortner of Fortner Engineering attended a Business Strategy Roundtable hosted by Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.). Fortner was connected to Rep. Cardenas’s office as a direct result from an ARSA California outreach meeting attended by a congressional staffer. Discussion topics included the health of the manufacturing sector and the technical workforce shortage.

“By attending the roundtable with Rep. Cardenas and business leaders from the area, I made aviation maintenance part of the conversation,” Fortner said. “From this point forward, ARSA and Fortner Engineering will be resources for Cardenas if he needs to learn more about aviation issues and the work repair stations perform.”

Facility Visit

SONICO Vice President and ARSA President Jim Perdue welcomed Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) to his Moses Lake location on Aug. 25. Rep. Newhouse addressed Sonico’s executive team, toured the facility, and watched You Can’t Fly without Us, the ARSA produced aviation maintenance industry documentary. Perdue emphasized the importance of Export-Import Bank renewal and the need for Congress to resist placing unnecessary burdens on repair stations.

“At ARSA’s recommendation, Congressman Newhouse visited SONICO for the first time, something we did routinely with his predecessor former Rep. Don Hastings.” Perdue said. “We spoke about the global nature of the aviation maintenance industry and the impact congressional mandates can have on small businesses like SONICO. All ARSA members should take the time to host a  facility visit.  There’s no better way to educate elected officials than showing them firsthand what repair stations do on a daily basis.”

Additionally, ARSA arranged a visit for Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Texas) to Advantage Aviation Technologies (AAT) in Dallas. The company’s owner, Debbie MacDonald, welcomed Rep. Veasey to allow him and his staff to get a firsthand look at her MRO and manufacturing business.

As an industry leader, there are a few relationships more valuable than with your elected officials. At the local, state or national level, the story of aviation maintenance – and the businesses that perform it – is captivating. The work is essential to safety of global transportation and vital to the lives and livelihoods of countless citizens.

ARSA plays a role in all forms of congressional engagement and can help your company get involved too. If you’re interested in building relationships with your lawmakers, ARSA’s legislative staff will put you in contact with the right people and provide resources and insight before your meeting or facility visit. Follow in Fortner, Sonico and AAT’s footsteps – ensure your congressman knows your name and contact ARSA today.

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Regulatory Outlook

Petitions Issue Page – Redress Your Aviation Grievance

By Laura Vlieg, Regulatory Affairs Manager

Engaging with the government is not always easy, but persistence is key to aviation safety and business success. Contrary to what you may think, angry mobs with pitchforks don’t form over compliance issues. Even more importantly, anger, mobs and pitchforks have very little impact on the highly-regulated civil aviation industry. There are more modern and civilized tools for righting regulatory wrongs.

Any person who is affected by the FAA’s regulations – codified in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) – may petition for either exemption from an existing rule, or for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule. These are known as petitions for exemption and petitions for rulemaking. If either of these types of petition is denied, the petitioner may seek reconsideration. The process for submitting these petitions is outlined in 14 CFR part 11.

No matter the outcome, petitioning for rulemaking or exemption can be a meaningful way to implement change or call attention to a matter. When the existing regulatory framework doesn’t allow a particular action or inaction, consider asking for a change in the rule, or for exemption from it.

Learn more about the process of petitioning for rulemaking or exemption and access templates, examples and other resources on ARSA’s petitions issue page.

Final Documents/Your Two Cents

This list includes Federal Register publications, such as final rules, Advisory Circulars and policy statements, as well as proposed rules and policies of interest to ARSA members. To view the list, click here.

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Quality Time

I Need a DER – Or Do I?
Part VI – Coordinating With the DER; Completing the Package

By Peter Lauria, Principal, JT Consulting, LLC  © 2015 Peter Lauria ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The previous articles have covered varying aspects of the decision making process involved with a major repair:

(1.) Repair vs replace: which is the best option when damage is noted on an article in your shop or facility?
(2.) The major/minor determination: the distinctions between repairs and alterations, and between major repairs and minor repairs.
(3.) History and types of delegations: how the FAA arrived at delegating some of its engineering functions and which functional areas are delegated.
(4.) Selecting and contacting a DER: which DER(s) might be the best fit for approval of a major repair, based on the DER’s specialty, location and delegated areas?
(5.) Developing the data package: a short summary of the three types of data in a complete package, and guidance for developing the package.

What is next?

Initial Coordination

Assuming you have an article in need of repair, you are in some stage of assembling the data for the repair and you have contacted one or more DERs, this would be a good time to discuss what the scope of the DER’s role in the project will be.

Some questions to ask yourself (or the DER will ask you):

(1.) Do you have a complete, ready-to-approve package, with descriptive, repair and substantiation data, pass/fail (inspection) criteria and regulatory references?
(2.) Will you be requesting the DER’s assistance in generating and/or reviewing some or all of the data?
(3.) Are you somewhere in between (1) and (2)?
(4.) Does the DER have delegation in all the functional areas (see part IV) required to approve all aspects of the project? If not, will other DERs need to be brought into the project to approve certain aspects as well?
(5.) Have you and the DER agreed on a rate for the DER’s time, or signed a contract?

Discussing these points early in the project will help the process. It is also useful to find out what expectation the DER has for an “approvable” package.  Details could include:

  • Any prior approved data related to that type of repair, if available.
  • If you have not worked together previously, your repair station certificate and ratings and/or limitations.
  • If the DER will help create the data package, what information will he/she need.
  • Is a site visit to review the repair or your capabilities warranted?

Continued Coordination

At this point, the DER will begin reviewing and/or continue development of the repair package.  You may be asked to provide additional background information (you are probably going to be more familiar with the specific article or system than the DER is), manual references or other data.  Once satisfied with the repair plan and processes, the DER will ask (or may help) you to assemble the final data package for approval.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Not all DERs are in a position to help you develop a complete repair package (see items 1through 3 above). If that is the case, ask if they can suggest someone who could help develop that data for you.
  • Be prepared for several review iterations. Even when the applicant considers a package complete, the DER will probably have several questions or concerns.
  • The DER will work with you to help ensure that your package is complete, correct and in compliance with the applicable regulations.

Completing the Package

A good data package includes descriptive, repair and substantiating data (review each of these by rereading part V of this series).  This data can include references to existing similar repairs, inspection criteria or new data consisting of calculations and analysis.

A complete package will also contain:

  • A list of applicable regulations and the method used to show compliance. Often, that is done by tying a specific section of the data package to the regulation.  (Refer to AC 21-51 for more information on showings of compliance. Although the AC does not state that major repair applicants must do a showing of compliance, it is very helpful in assuring the repair maintains the airworthiness of the product.)
  • A discussion regarding Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA). If the repair results in new ICA for the repaired part (different from those existing in the AMM, engine manual or CMM) you should provide those ICA for FAA review. If no new ICA are created, provide a statement that you have reviewed the ICA and they are still applicable to the repaired part.
  • Often, a Failure Mode & Effect Analysis (FMEA) or risk analysis is completed when making the major/minor decision. If one of those tools were utilized, be sure to provide it to the DER.
  • An engineering report or summary report. If the data is not already in a report form, a report with revision control can provide the DER with a specific document to approve. A report with revision control (revision level, date of revision, and name and signature of the approving person) ensures the data, once approved, will not be changed without proper approvals. From this approved document, work cards (if your shop uses them) or a repair order can be created based on the repair instructions in the report.

Once the DER has been satisfied that the data package is complete and correct and that the data demonstrates that the repair complies with the applicable regulations, the DER will issue a Form 8110- 3 “Statement of Compliance with Airworthiness Standards”.  If the repair is for one article, the DER will submit the original to the project FAA-ACO and send you a copy.  You can then proceed with completion of the repair.  If the project is for multiple repairs (a repair specification) the RS-DER will issue and sign the repair specification cover page in addition to the 8110-3.  You (and the DERs) would then coordinate with your flight standards inspector to get the repair specification added to your certificate.

The complete “I Need a DER – or do I?” series will be made available as a resource for maintenance providers. If you have questions regarding specific repair approvals, you can contact your FSDO or a DER.

Peter Lauria ( has over 30 years’ experience with aircraft manufacturers, test equipment manufacturers, repair stations and airlines. He is the owner and principal of JT Consulting, LLC., providing engineering consulting, DER services and ODA guidance.

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Five Steps to Career Success Through LinkedIn

By ARSA Communications Staff

For many, LinkedIn is the social media equivalent of an awkward networking event.

Awkwardness aside – and despite the lack of food or refreshments that you might find at an event – LinkedIn can be a fertile ground for growing professional contacts. In this piece from Forbes, explore basic steps for maximizing your use of the social media platform.

Click here to get started.

Personal Development – 10 Rules for Media Relations

By Christian Klein, Executive Vice President

Properly engaging the media requires the careful management of relationships. By knowing who reporters are, what they need, and how you can work with them, you will be able to ensure your office is always a part of the story. Once you are in contact with a reporter, how do you ensure the most valuable use of each other’s time?

Keep in mind that the media are not generally considered an actual target “public” for purposes of public relations. Instead, think of the media as a critical vehicle for communicating your messages to the key publics whose behavior is critical to the success of your organization: customers, regulators, lawmakers, etc. This article is a map to help you keep that vehicle traveling in the right direction.

Many of my media relations rules probably sound to you like common sense. In fact, they are. Reporters are people too and they like to be treated courteously. In most cases, treating journalists as though they are your best customer is a great way to start.

Rule 1: Get to know the media . . . and help them get to know you. Once you’ve identified the reporters who cover your industry, get to know them. If you see a story in a national media outlet dealing with contract aviation maintenance, consider contacting the author and introducing yourself. Let them know what you thought of the story. If they were wrong about something, let them know that too (politely!). Offer yourself as a source if they have questions about the industry in the future. This is particularly important given that many reporters have “beats,” or subject areas about which they write on a regular basis. For local reporters who cover transportation or business issues, offer to come to their office or to meet them for a cup of coffee to introduce yourself, your company, and your industry. You might also consider inviting them to your facility for a tour. The important thing is that you develop a positive relationship so that they come to think of you as a credible source.

Rule 2: Ask: Is it the right story for the right reporter? Before contacting a reporter, get to know what subjects they usually write about. Reading some of the past stories the reporter has written is almost mandatory if you want to develop a professional relationship with them. Nothing frustrates a journalist more than being contacted about a story that has nothing to do with the issues they usually cover. Not only are you wasting the reporter’s time, but it also tells them that you haven’t done your homework.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t contact the business reporter at your local paper to pitch a story about your company just because they haven’t written about you before, but don’t call the reporter who covers political issues in the state capital or covers the local cultural scene unless there’s a clear link to your story.

Rule 3: Be mindful of journalistic ethics. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t offer money or anything else of value to a reporter in exchange for publicity. However, you should also be aware of more subtle things that might offend a reporter’s ethics. Some newspapers have policies that would prevent their reporters from even allowing you to buy them a cup of coffee, let alone a full meal. When in doubt, ask the reporter what the rules are at the media outlet they work for. Generally, they’ll be impressed that you knew enough to do so.

Rule 4: Ask: Is it news or isn’t it? Like the rest of us, reporters and editors are busy people. Before you contact them, ask yourself whether what you’re calling about is really news. Is it the kind of story that would only be of interest to company employees or does it have relevance to the newspaper’s readers or the television station’s audience? Sometimes the difference is in how you “spin” the story. Telling a local newspaper reporter that you’ve gotten a new contract usually isn’t news; telling them that you’ve gotten a new contact that’s going to cause you to add 100 employees and undertake major facility expansion probably is.

Rule 5: Telephone etiquette is critical. Reporters live in a world of deadlines. If a reporter contacts you looking for information, get back in touch as quickly as possible. This rule applies even if you can’t or don’t want to answer the reporter’s question. The fact that you’ve taken the time to get back in touch quickly paves the way for future cooperation. If you’re initiating contact, keep in mind that newspaper reporters working on regular deadlines usually have to hand in their stories in the early evening. That means late afternoon is the worst time to call. It’s generally accepted that the best time to get in touch with a newspaper reporter (unless you’re returning a call from them) is between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., when the news day is just getting started. Knowing when to call could be the difference between having a meaningful conversation and getting a polite brush-off.

Rule 6: Develop your messages ahead of time and stick to them. It’s a mistake to shoot from the hip when dealing with reporters. Chances are that they’ve carefully thought out what they want to ask you. You should just as carefully plan what you want to tell them (We’ll talk about how to develop messages in a future article.) During interviews and press conferences, be as responsive as possible, but keep control of the message. Whenever possible, integrate your messages and themes into your response, particularly when a reporter throws you a difficult or unfair question.

Rule 7: There’s no such thing as “off the record.” As a general rule, you should never say anything to a reporter that you wouldn’t want to see in print. Some reporters will respect your wish that certain things be considered background or that statements not be attributed to you, but others won’t. Also, different reporters define “on background” and “off the record” differently. Finally, even with reporters you trust, there’s always the risk that they’ll get confused about what was on the record and what wasn’t. Assuming that everything you say is on the record will help avoid unpleasant surprises when the story is published.

Rule 8: Never say “no comment”. What’s the first thing you think where you hear “No comment” in response to a reporter’s question? You probably assume that the person refusing to comment is guilty as sin or at least hiding something. Avoid saying, “No comment” at all costs. If you don’t want to provide an answer to a reporter’s question, say something like, “I’m sorry; I don’t have anything for you on that.” It’s a much more neutral response.

Rule 9: Be an equal in the relationship. In the best case scenario, both you and the reporter have something that the other wants. You have information that they need to produce their product (i.e., the story) and they have the ability to help you get your message out. Keep the idea of equality in mind.

When a reporter calls, don’t feel that you have to submit to an interview and answer their questions right away. Ask them a few questions first: What’s the story about? What information are they looking for? What’s their deadline? Tell them you’ll give them a call back in half an hour. Use that time to get your thoughts straight and to think about what messages you want to convey. Then, call the reporter back at the time you promised. When you treat them professionally, they’ll likely treat you the same way.

Rule 10: Have a designated point of contact for media inquiries in your company. Public relations (of which media relations is a sub-segment) is about controlling the messages your target publics receive about you. Nothing undermines that goal more than having multiple people at your company conveying different messages to the same reporter. The best practice is to make a single person in your organization responsible for media relations. All inquiries from reporters should be immediately channeled to that person. Employees who answer phones should be trained to be as helpful as possible to reporters. Make sure that your employees know to get basic information, such as what media outlet the reporter works for, what the story’s about, and what the deadline is. Also be sure employees know to assist reporters with your company website and offer to send your press materials. However, make sure your people also understand not to answer any but the most basic questions for a reporter. That’s a job best left to your media relations director, who can also coordinate message development, develop and maintain your company’s crisis communications plans and train senior company personnel in how to conduct interviews.

Regulatory Compliance Training


Member Spotlight – Advantage Aviation Technologies, Dallas, Texas

By ARSA Communications Staff

Advantage Aviation Technologies is a certified woman-owned business that has been serving the aviation community for more than 25 years. An ARSA member since 2004, the repair station holds both FAA and EASA certifications and provides solutions for manufacturers and operators, including Southwest Airlines,                                                                                    Alaska Airlines, Airbus Eurocopter and Gulfstream.

This month, Advantage owner Debbie MacDonald helped tell the story of aviation maintenance by welcoming U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Texas) and introducing him and his staff to the complexities of maintenance and manufacturing. (Learn more about the value of congressional engagement in this edition’s ARSA on the Hill…does your congressman know your name?)

Advantage has clearly asked itself many of the digital-identity questions posed by Lee Ann Shay of Aviation Week (see Have You Seen This Person?) and has worked to present a clear, fresh image through its website. In addition to current news items and clearly organized content, the company has a YouTube channel through which you can experience its facilities and services.

Take a moment to tour the company’s manufacturing facilities:

To get the whole story, visit Advantage’s website at

Have You Seen this Person? Lee Ann Shay

By ARSA Communications Staff

Lee Ann Shay, Chief Editor MRO, Aviation Week


As chief editor MRO, Lee Ann Shay directs Aviation Week’s coverage of the aviation maintenance industry. For repair stations, building relationships with media figures like Shay is a key first step to building a positive image – which can be invaluable for both business development and political influence.

For this edition of the hotline, Shay shared her perspectives on how companies can build a strong media product in the digital world. As you’d expect from any good journalist, most of her advice comes in the form of questions. When considering your business’ digital presence, there’s a lot you should be asking…

As companies budget for 2016, think about how your communication strategy fits into that.  Consider the following, especially if digital isn’t already a component:



What does your website say about your company?

If the latest news posted on it is from 2014 (or if it isn’t consistent in how often it’s posted) your company will not look healthy or dynamic.

When was the last time the “about” section was updated?

Are the contacts current? Do you have a direct media contact?

It’s helpful to have a “news” or “media” section that includes press releases, links to photos and a media contact. You can also link to articles in which your company is featured (but please don’t scan in articles and upload them. That violates copyrights.)

What digital images can your company provide to media? I’d encourage you to have at least a set of stock images of your key personnel and services—available in both low resolution [72 dots per inch (dpi) for websites and about 266 dpi for print publications].  In our very visual world, photos typically are an integral part of the story, message or Tweet…

What is your company’s handle? Tweeting a picture of a current milestone or innovation is a great way to rapidly get people’s attention.  The MRO community grows daily on Twitter. Follow at least #avmro and @ARSAWorks. Grow media relations by posting or retweeting relevant news and tagging journalists when appropriate.

This is a great tool to connect with other industry professionals and easily follow particular segments that interest you. Some of my favorites include Service Lifecycle Management, Aircraft Maintenance and Manufacturing, Big Think and the Aviation Week Network. Several ARSA members have LinkedIn accounts—so you can follow companies such as HAECO, AAR, AeroTurbine, Dallas Airmotive or NORDAM.

In the digital world, your web page and social media are the face show the world. Not just members of the media, but current and potential customers, business allies and policymakers will often be introduced to you through your web or social media presence.

Consider each question and suggestion presented by Shay carefully. On the web, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

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A Member Asked

Q: Does ARSA have any guidance regarding the use of the FAA Form 8130-3 on articles installed on military aircraft or articles installed on dual use aircraft?

A: There is no 14 CFR prohibition against issuing an approval for return to service (FAA Form 8130-3) on military articles as long as the maintenance record is accurate. Indeed, many Department of Defense and other government contracts are requiring an FAA Form 8130-3 for dual use and sometimes military-only articles.

In the case of a maintenance provider, an FAA Form 8130-3 is issued to comply with sections 43.3, 43.5, 43.7 and 43.9 (the last is completed by the left-hand signature “certification”). Thus, the signature is attesting that the work was performed in accordance with data acceptable to the administrator (see, sections 43.9(a)(4) and 43.13). If the article is dual use, the data acceptable to the administrator could be a technical order or something that was issued to the military for the same part. If the article is military-only, the FAA has no jurisdiction under section 43.1 since the article would not be installed on an aircraft with a U.S.-issued certificate of airworthiness.

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AVMRO News Portal

ARSA strives to provide resources to educate the general public about the work of the association’s member organizations; should you need to provide a quick reference or introductory overview to the global MRO industry, please utilize

AVMRO Industry Roundup

ARSA monitors media coverage on aviation maintenance to spread the word about the valuable role repair stations play globally by providing jobs and economic opportunities and in civic engagement. These are some of this month’s top stories highlighting the industry’s contributions.

You can explore these stories through ARSA’s Dispatch news portal.

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Upcoming Events

Industry Calendar

AIMA Africa – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – September 22-24

ACI-NA 2015 Annual Conference & Exhibition – Long Beach, California – October 4-7

ARSA Strategic Leadership Conference – Washington, D.C. – October 8

2015 Cirrus Partner Symposium – Duluth, Minnesota – October 12-15

MRO Europe – London, England – October 13-15

EASA Annual Safety Conference 2015 – Luxembourg – October 14-15

ACI 2015 Public Safety & Security Fall Conference – Arlington, Virginia – October 19-22

MRO Asia-Pacific – Singapore – November 3-5

NBAA2015 – Las Vegas, Nevada – November 17-19

Aerospace Meetings Brazil – Sao Paulo, Brazil – December 8-10


Previous editions:

2015: Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July
2014: Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July
Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2013: Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July
Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2012: Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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