2019 – Edition 6 – July 5

the hotline 1984

Table of Contents

Note: The order of material varies in hotline emails, but is always presented the same on this landing page. Readers scrolling through content on or printing this page will find it organized consistent with the table of contents.

Sarah Says
ARSA Works
Legal Brief
ARSA on the Hill

Getting Facetime
Industry Calendar

Sarah Says

Out of the Clouds

By Sarah MacLeod, Executive Director

A review of this year’s agenda for the “International Safety Conference,” co-hosted by the FAA and EASA, establishes the “high level” nature of the gathering. This was not always the case; these meetings started taking place well before the EASA was created. “Back in the day”, their purpose was for the European collaboration on developing common aviation safety standards, known euphemistically as the Joint Aviation Authorities’ (JAA) regulations (JARs). Although the JAA had no “real” power, its primary representatives and the FAA international branches began “harmonizing” their respective regulations some twenty or thirty years ago.

The first meeting I remember attending was in Boston sometime in the early 1990s; that meeting had little “high level” panels or discussions. In those days, the industry and the government representatives were “in-the-weeds” developing acceptable regulatory language and guidance material. The representatives from the agencies were intimately familiar with each other’s regulatory language and had appreciation for the different legal systems. Equally knowledgeable and dedicated industry representatives helped form the basis for a realistic and workable system that could lead to mutual recognition through more and more sophisticated bilateral aviation safety agreements.

The tenor of the gathering has naturally changed as EASA was created and has matured and other civil aviation authorities are becoming more involved. The latest conference is evidence that the gathering must transform. It is extremely important that the industry hears and understands the direction of the agency from the highest levels. It is equally important that there be serious and productive in-the-weeds opportunities to deal with the unintended consequences of the JAA foundation becoming reality.


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ARSA Works

Act Now

Association members, allies and industry colleagues must support ARSA’s current initiatives to improve aviation policy. Here’s your to-do list for July 2019 (click each page link for more information and instructions):

Protect yourself against hostile interests on Capitol Hill…

Unions Organize: Prepare for Anti-Repair Station Legislative Blitz

Get involved in the regulatory reform process…

SBA Pandemic Guidance Materials

Help bring FTC’s “Nixing the Fix” initiative to bear on maintenance manual availability…

Consumer Repair Restrictions Mirror Aviation Issues


Writing a Letter to Prevent a Letter

On June 26, ARSA delivered a follow up letter to the FAA regarding a 2018 request that the agency withdraw all references from its guidance materials requiring applicants for repair station certificates to submit a “letter of compliance.”

Having not yet received a response on the matter, ARSA Vice President of Operations Brett Levanto delivered the reminder on behalf of the association as well as its partners at the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA). Ric Peri, AEA vice president of government and industry affairs, signed on to the original letter with ARSA Executive Director Sarah MacLeod. In his follow up, Levanto noted that Peri and MacLeod are currently co-chairs of ARAC’s Part 145 Working group tasked with aligning agency guidance with the language of the repair station rule.

To read the follow up letter, which includes the original submission, click here

To review ARSA’s coverage of the May 2018 letter, visit


Continuing Call for Competency in Part 147

On June 17, ARSA joined thirteen of its aviation allies on joint comments to the supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) related to 14 CFR part 147.

The coalition echoed comments previously submitted by the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), asking the agency to reconsider prescriptive terms and pushing for an outcomes-based approach to its regulatory oversight of aviation maintenance technician schools (AMTS). The group reiterated the need for a simplified approach to dual enrollment programs and deference to Department of Education requirements for matters concerning the quality of education.

“Fixing 147 is an industry imperative,” the letter said. “Handicapping our schools burdens both graduates and employers. Give us the flexible and dynamic rule needed to ensure we can educate the future workforce by the best means necessary.”

In addition to ARSA, the following organizations signed the letter:

Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
Aerospace Maintenance Council
Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association
Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association
Airlines for America
Aviation Technician Education Council
Cargo Airline Association
International Air Transport Association
National Air Carrier Association
National Air Transportation Association
National Business Aviation Association
Professional Aviation Maintenance Association
Regional Airline Association

To read the joint comments, click here.


Study Finds U.S. Companies Serving Global Aviation Customers

The U.S. maintenance sector is increasing its capability to serve the growing, global aviation industry. Seventy-three more FAA-certificated repair stations in the United States are approved by regulators to serve European customers than were at this time last year and the total number now exceeds 1,500, a new analysis by ARSA shows.

EASA-Approved Repair Stations – By State (Top 25)

Rank State EASA-Approved Repair Stations (#) Percentage of Repair Stations w/ EASA approval (%) Total Repair Station Employment in State
1 Florida  309 54 18,153
2 California  196 33 24,432
3 Texas  142 38 16,547
4 Arizona  67 47 5,924
5 Kansas  56 54 5,980
6 Connecticut  55 58 4,559
7 Oklahoma  49 40 11,804
7 Washington  49 45 8,642
9 New York  47 42 5,082
10 Ohio  44 34 7,183
11 Georgia  43 34 18,576
12 Illinois 40 38 3,163
13 Michigan  31 35 4,474
14 North Carolina  29 39 3,792
15 Alabama  25 45 4,754
15 Missouri  25 45 1,449
17 Tennessee  22 42 2,302
18 New Jersey  21 36 3,539
18 Indiana  21 38 2,685
18 Wisconsin  21 40 2,164
21 Massachusetts  20 36 2,103
22 Pennsylvania 19 21 2,589
23 Colorado  17 23 1,413
24 Kentucky  16 36 1,451
25 Nevada  14 42 717

ARSA found Florida, California and Texas holding firm at the top of the list as the states with the most maintenance companies approved to work on European-registered aircraft, engines, propellers and components. Arizona, Kansas, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Washington, New York and Ohio complete the top ten.

ARSA analyzed the list of FAA-certificated repair stations in the United States authorized by EASA to work on European-registered aviation products and articles. The association then correlated the data with industry employment figures developed by Oliver Wyman CAVOK. ARSA first conducted such an analysis of EASA approval holders in 2017 and continues renewing it annually.

Under international law, the state of an aircraft’s registry controls its maintenance. In order to work aviation products and articles registered to operate by a foreign civil aviation authority, a U.S. facility must be approved by that jurisdiction. A bilateral aviation safety agreement between the United States and European Union makes it easier and more efficient for U.S. facilities to obtain the necessary approval from EASA.

ARSA determined there are 1,507 repair stations with EASA approval across 47 of the 50 states, up from 1,437 last year. Overall, roughly one out of every three U.S. repair stations holds European certification. There are four states – including Connecticut, Florida and Kansas – in which 50 percent or more of maintenance facilities can perform work on European-registered aircraft or components. West Virginia, the fourth state, has a smaller aircraft maintenance industry but the highest percentage (72 percent) of EASA approval holders.

The increase in the number of U.S. EASA approval holders from last year comes despite the recent partial U.S. government shutdown. Given that FAA personnel play a central role in EASA certificates held under the bilateral agreement – it is possible for a repair station to apply for European as a “third country,” outside of the BASA’s scope – many ARSA members complained that the shutdown caused delays in the approval and reapproval process.

Nationwide, repair stations employ more than 188,700 workers. When those numbers are added to the roughly 30,300 mechanics working for airlines and the 69,200 employed in aviation parts manufacturing and distribution, the maintenance industry’s total workforce is approximately 288,200. More than 108,300 Americans are employed at maintenance companies in the top 10 states for EASA approvals.

“The data underscore the commitment of U.S. maintenance companies to expand their capabilities to serve a global customer base,” ARSA Executive Vice President Christian Klein said. “The increase in EASA approvals in the United States reflects the rising global demand for aviation maintenance services. Given their high level of technical proficiency, U.S. repair stations are well-positioned to capitalize on that demand.”

“The study underscores both the global nature of the aviation maintenance industry and how U.S. industry benefits from reducing regulatory inefficiencies across borders,” Klein said. “Increased cooperation and mutual recognition between regulators are critical to maintaining the positive trends.”

To review the ARSA-generated data, click here to download the excel file.


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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Legal Brief

Editor’s note: 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.

Regulatory Implications of Repair Station Ownership Changes

By Christian A. Klein, Executive Vice President

Change is a fact of life and business. This “Legal Brief” examines an intersection of the two by discussing issues associated with repair station ownership changes.

Any good analysis starts with a review of applicable mandates. The most directly relevant aviation safety regulation is 14 CFR § 145.57:

§ 145.57 Amendment to or transfer of certificate.

(a) A repair station certificate holder applying for a change to its certificate must submit a request in a format acceptable to the Administrator. A change to the certificate must include certification in compliance with § 145.53(c) or (d), if not previously submitted. A certificate change is necessary if the certificate holder—

(1) Changes the name or location of the repair station, or

(2) Requests to add or amend a rating.

(b) If the holder of a repair station certificate sells or transfers its assets and the new owner chooses to operate as a repair station, the new owner must apply for an amended or new certificate in accordance with § 145.51. (Emphasis added.)

The requirement applies to asset purchases of the corporate entity (or individual) that applied for and currently “holds” the repair station certificate. The plain language does not apply to stock purchases (or Boeing would be constantly changing its certificates!) or financial investment changes within the corporate structure or name changes or certain corporate restructuring actions.

To provide the agency’s perspective, the FAA’s Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS) (Order 8900.1) Vol 2, Chapter 11, Sec. 7 states in relevant part that:

2-1273 AMENDMENT TO AND/OR TRANSFER OF CERTIFICATE. Sections 145.51 and 145.57 require a repair station to submit a new application in the following situations:


(B) Sale or Transfer of Assets. The privileges of a repair station certificate are not transferable. If the holder of the repair station certificate sells or transfers its assets, the new owner must apply for an amended or new certificate in accordance with § 145.51. There are occasions when repair station ownership changes without a corresponding change in location, facilities, or personnel.

(1) The inspector should recommend a new certificate number due to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and liability issues. ASIs should inform prospective owners that they may be held liable for the work performed under previous management if they keep the same certificate number. New owners must stipulate in writing that they clearly understand the potential of release of information under the FOIA before receiving permission to retain the old certificate number.

(2) If the new owner elects to retain the original certificate number, the revised Air Agency Certificate (FAA Form 8000 4) will show the original certification date in the “Date issued” field. If issuing a new certificate number, prepare a new Air Agency Certificate using the effective date of the new certificate. The “Date issued” should always reflect the original certification date for the certificate number identified on the Air Agency Certificate.

(3) A change in ownership may or may not affect the status of a satellite repair station. If the operational relationship that established a repair station as a satellite continues unchanged, a change to the certificate number may not be required. If that relationship no longer exists, the certificate number identifying the repair station as a satellite cannot be retained by the new owner.

(4) [Aviation Safety Inspectors] should contact their regional general counsel office when faced with questions concerning whether limited liability corporations or changes in stockholder ownership constitute a transfer of repair station assets.

FSIMS Vol 3, Chapter 34, Sec. 3 states in relevant part that:



(1) Change in Ownership. When only the ownership of the organization to which the certificate is issued changes, [Principal Inspectors] do not need to arrange for issuance of a new certificate number. Changes in ownership that also involve changes in economic authority, operating authority, required operating personnel, or changes in the principal base of operations may require additional certification.

FSIMS aside, there are some other potentially useful sources of insight about how the FAA treats ownership changes. The first is a 2017 FAA policy document related to Rockwell Collins’ purchase of 100 percent of B/E Aerospace’s stock in which the FAA determined that the companies’ approvals were unaffected by the transaction because, inter alia,

Each Rockwell Collins and B/E Aerospace approval holder continues to exist following the transaction. This is of importance to the FAA and is fundamentally different from acquisitions where the legal name of the entity changes, thus requiring the issuance of a new approval or the amendment or transfer of an existing approval. Additionally, no changes in the regulatory infrastructure of any Rockwell Collins or B/E Aerospace approval holder are being requested in the near term. The existing organization, housing, facilities, equipment, key personnel, data and/or required manuals and procedures remain in place and are unchanged following the transaction.

The second document is a 2012 FAA legal interpretation involving the change in ownership of a Part 147 aviation maintenance technical school (AMTS) (note, not a repair station) in which the FAA partially relied on section sign please 145.57 because art 147 didn’t address ownership changes. In that case, the FAA concluded that:

Relying on the regulations for other air agencies, a change of ownership of an AMTS does not require application for a new certificate if there has been no change to location, facilities, or personnel.

Taken together, the regulations, guidance and interpretations suggest that FAA must treat different types of “asset” transfers differently. Think of it as a spectrum: At one end you have a case where two majority owners are buying out someone who has a minority interest in a partnership (e.g., when a partner retires) and there will be no changes whatsoever to the “holder of the certificate”, i.e., the partnership. Also, the “assets” to which the agency refers are the elements that make up the basis for a repair station certificate, i.e., housing, facilities, equipment, data, quality system, and personnel. Since the ownership did not change neither a new nor amended certificate is needed under § 145.57. In fact, the agency’s regulation does not even require the FAA be notified; and the only reason the repair station would let the FAA know is if the individual that was retiring was on the roster and “signed” the Operations Specifications” as the accountable manager.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have a case in which the corporate entity is selling all its assets to a purchaser that will be another corporate entity, bring in new management, update or move the facilities, buy and sell equipment, change the composition of the workforce, etc. In such a case, the requirement in § 145.57(b) to apply for a new or amended certificate is triggered.

Of course, the challenge is to structure a transaction that falls somewhere between the two extremes and manage the regulatory aspects accordingly. As the guidance suggests, key factors you should consider are as follows:

  • Will the “certificate holder” the person or company’s corporate structure (ownership) change?
  • Will the organization’s location, housing, facilities, equipment, key personnel, data and/or required manuals and quality procedures change to any significant degree?
  • Will management change (i.e., changes in “required personnel” such as the accountable manager or knowledgeable supervisors, inspectors and others required by 14 C.F.R. Sec. 145.151(b)).

No matter the answers, when assets transfer, it is important to consider the regulatory ramifications. Involving regulatory counsel in discussions with the merger and acquisition team early in the process can help avoid surprises and disruption down the road.


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ARSA on the Hill

Labor Rallying Cries Grow Louder

By Christian A. Klein, Executive Vice President

ARSA and its allies are on high alert in the wake of recent pronouncements by union representatives of their intentions to seek legislation targeting repair stations. Proposals recently floated range from a requirement that U.S. air carriers broadly publicize their heavy maintenance vendors to requiring work for U.S. airlines be performed only in the United States.

Despite the global maintenance industry’s outstanding safety record and broad economic impact, the political stars have aligned to create considerable risk. The FAA is under fire on Capitol Hill in the wake of the recent Boeing MAX accidents, the new Democratic leaders of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee have a history of antipathy towards contract maintenance and President Trump has abandoned the Republican party’s traditional stance on free trade.

Labor organizations are also hanging their hats on the fact that the FAA has not yet finalized drug and alcohol testing regulations for foreign repair station employees mandated by the 2012 FAA bill. In an effort to further raise the visibility of their issues, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, the Transport Workers Union of America and the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on June 26. The letter called on Chao to “take immediate steps” to finalize the D&A rules and as well congressionally-directed initiatives related to security screening for safety sensitive personnel and risk-based oversight of foreign repair stations.

Given all the union chest pounding, there’s a strong likelihood that anti-repair station language will be introduced at some point this Congress. One possibility is that the unions will seek a certification ban on foreign repair stations until the FAA issues the foreign repair station D&A rule. While it’s unlikely such legislation would move on its own, the risk is that there will be some sort of broader FAA reform bill in the wake of the Boeing accidents in which anti-repair station language would be included.

Aside from our long-standing objection to unnecessary congressional mandates that would drive up repair station costs with no added safety benefit, ARSA is concerned that legislation targeting foreign FAA-certificate holders would result in retaliation against U.S. repair stations with foreign approvals. There are, for example, more than 1,500 maintenance facilities in the United States approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency.

ARSA is fighting hard for the industry and rallying our allies in the nation’s capital, but the association’s resources are extremely limit. When we’re taking on the unions, it’s not David versus Goliath, it’s David versus a group of Goliaths. That means we need all hands on deck to help prevent further congressional mandates or prohibitions that would disrupt the industry. Here are some things you can do to help:

(1) Pass this article along to companies that aren’t ARSA members (including your customers and vendors) and tell them to join. Each additional membership provides important resources to support our advocacy.

(2) Host a member of Congress at your facility this summer. It’s the best way to show how your company contributes to the local economy and competes on the world stage. ARSA makes hosting a facility visit easy. Contact the association for assistance.

(3) Learn more about ARSA’s political action committee and its role in our advocacy.

(4) Send a note to your congressman and senators urging them to reject legislation targeting the maintenance industry. While attacking foreign repair stations might seem politically expedient, the reality is that any hostile new policies will almost certainly result in tit-for-tat restrictions on U.S. repair stations by foreign civil aviation authorities. Click here for an Excel file with contact information for aviation policy staff in all House and Senate member offices.

Tell Congress to Make Aviation Workforce a Priority  

ARSA’s signature legislative victory in 2018 was convincing Congress to create a new grant program help repair stations recruit and train aviation maintenance technicians. Our priority now is getting the program funded … and we need your help. ARSA has completely revamped our grant program action center to help you learn more about the issue and urge your members of Congress to appropriate the money we need. It’s quick and easy. Take a second now the tell your elected represents to make aviation workforce a priority!


Prepare for Anti-Repair Station Legislative Blitz

With much fanfare and famous protagonists present on June 4, aviation maintenance unions and consumer advocate “allies” announced intentions to introduce legislation targeting contract maintenance and raising airline costs.

The alleged purpose of the so-called Airline Passenger Safety Bill of Rights is to “address growing concerns about eroding airline safety standards caused by outsourced aircraft maintenance and lax FAA oversight.”

The proposal was rolled out at the Aircraft Maintenance Outsourcing Summit presented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and organized by the Business Travel Coalition (BTC) in Washington, D.C. (More coverage of the event is here and a video of the full Summit is available here.)

To ensure the maintenance industry’s views were represented and in furtherance of collaborative efforts on workforce issues, ARSA Executive Director Sarah MacLeod participated in a panel discussion. MacLeod voiced ARSA’s opposition to the proposal, which would (among other things) guarantee U.S. airline passengers the “right” to only fly on aircraft maintained by FAA-certificated mechanics in the United States, require airframe maintenance facilities to maintain a 2:1 ratio of certificated mechanics to non-certificated personnel and require airlines to publish online at least one year’s maintenance history for each aircraft (including percentages of airline vs. outsourced maintenance personnel and mechanics vs. non-certificated technicians as well as “other critical data to be determined”).

While much of the proposal is not new, the fact that unions and well-known “consumer advocates” are working together is a novel development (Ralph Nader keynoted and Mary Schiavo closed the summit).

The legislation may not pass the laugh test for those working in the maintenance industry, but that doesn’t mean it won’t gain traction on Capitol Hill. Given criticism of the FAA in the wake of the recent Boeing 737 MAX accidents and the fact that the new Democratic leadership of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee is hostile to contract maintenance, the aviation policy environment is more volatile than usual and ripe for fear-driven proposals to take hold.

It’s unclear whether TWU and BTC have identified potential congressional sponsors for their bill. However, Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.), who spoke at the summit, has voiced his intentions to reintroduce legislation requiring airlines to publicize their maintenance vendors.

ARSA will continue to educate the media and Congress on the laws and facts about contract maintenance in the aviation industry and will keep its members informed when any hostile legislation is introduced.

In the meantime, the association strongly urges repair stations to invite members of Congress to visit their facilities this summer. The best political defense is a strong offense; hosting representatives and senators is a great way to educate about the industry’s economic impact, safety record and vital importance to American interests around the world. ARSA Executive Vice President Christian Klein is standing by to assist members in identifying invitees, coordinating invitations, developing visit agendas and providing briefing materials.

Want to Learn More About ARSA PAC?

ARSA’s Political Action Committee helps elect congressional candidates who share ARSA’s commitment to better regulation and a strong aviation maintenance sector.   In this critical election year, ARSA PAC has never been more important.  But ARSA is prohibited from sending PAC information to members who haven’t opted in to receive it.

Please take a second to give us prior approval to talk to you about ARSA PAC.  Doing so in no way obligates you to support PAC.  It just opens the lines of communication.

Click here to give ARSA your consent today.


Workforce Grant Program Funding Clears House

The new aviation maintenance workforce grant program created at ARSA’s urging as part of the 2018 FAA law is a step closer to funding.

On June 25, the House of Representatives passed a five-bill package of appropriations bills that included FY 2020 funding for the Department of Transportation. The Transportation-House & Urban Development appropriations bill (T-HUD) includes $5 million each for new programs to support technician workforce development and pilot education.

While passage of the T-HUD bill is an important step forward, the program is still a long way from being operational. The Senate has yet to unveil its FY 2020 appropriations bills and the FAA has not established the grant programs. ARSA will keep the pressure on, but we need your support.

To find out what you can do to help move the ball forward, visit ARSA’s workforce grant program legislative action center.


Dickson FAA Nomination Still on Hold

Stephen Dickson’s nomination to head the FAA is still in limbo as senators continue to raise questions about a whistleblower lawsuit in which he was involved during his time as Delta’s senior vice president of flight operations.

Following his confirmation hearing earlier this spring, Dickson seem poised for quick Senate confirmation. However, questions arose about a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit filed by a pilot who reported safety concerns to Dickson. While the suit was filed against Delta, it referenced Dickson’s involvement in the case.

Senior Democrats on the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee (which has jurisdiction over the FAA) say Dickson should have disclosed the lawsuit on the questionnaire he submitted prior to the confirmation hearing. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said that he found the “omission deeply concerning and potentially disqualifying.” Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the committee’s ranking member, called the omission of the information about the lawsuit a “failure”.

For his part, Dickson has defended his decision not to inform senators about the case, pointing out that he wasn’t a named party and that he consulted with administration attorneys who said it wasn’t necessary for him to report legal proceedings involving only Delta and not Dickson individually.

On a related issue, Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to Dickson this month asking him to commit to finalize rules related to aircraft noise over Long Island. The two senators have said they must hear from Dickson about the issue, “[b]efore we consider any nominee to head the FAA.”

There’s no word yet on when the Commerce Committee will vote on Dickson’s nomination. In the meantime, Dan Elwell continues his tenure as the longest-serving acting FAA administrator in history.


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Getting Facetime

FAA-EASA Conference Recap – The View from FL 400

The annual aviation safety conference sponsored by EASA and the FAA was held in Cologne, Germany from June 12-14. Those who regularly attend this event are, by now, used to the high-level agenda. EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky stated that the authorities are well aware of the complaint that the conference should include more working-level (i.e., day-to-day) issues. However, he defended the current model by noting that the higher-level topics are of greater interest to more attendees because, like Safety Management Systems (SMS), they apply to all segments of the industry. It is certainly a valid point but, in ARSA’s view, the sweet spot would result in a better balance. Nevertheless, the approximately 375 attendees from more than 40 countries were there primarily for the networking opportunities and there were many.

The agenda included sessions on Safety and the Role of Regulators in Innovation, the Challenges of Technology, Effective Oversight of SMS, State Safety Programs, Digital Transformation (i.e., use of “big data” and advanced analytic techniques), Interoperability of Aircraft Between Different Oversight Systems and Leveraging Synergies to Reduce Duplicative Certification Activities.

We all know SMS is coming; the degree will depend on how each local authority intends to implement (or not) the ICAO standard. Those entities that receive a pass from their own authorities will, in all likelihood, be required to implement an SMS as a condition for doing business internationally. (For the U.S. in particular, voluntary SMS implementation and recognition by the FAA will hopefully be adequate for international purposes.) Although it is way too soon to know how the international SMS component will play out, one thing is clear: The authorities are behind the curve in ensuring their inspector workforces have the skills required to transition from the surveillance model to a systems approach. It is widely recognized that this paradigm shift must take place for the effective implementation of SMS. Suffice it to say that we anticipate a lack of standardization in how SMS will be enforced domestically and internationally.

Although not surprising, it was disappointing that maintenance was again an afterthought. Sure, there was a panel devoted to the international collaboration efforts that produce the Maintenance Review Board Reports (MRBR), which become the basis for air operator maintenance programs. There is no direct regulatory underpinning to the MRB process although type certificate holders typically use the MRBR to show compliance with the scheduled maintenance requirements of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA).

Apparently, the representatives from the authorities, operators and manufacturers who comprise the International MRB Policy Board (IMRBPB) see little need to include independent maintenance providers, even though more than 70 percent of air carrier maintenance is contracted and a part 145 approval is required to perform maintenance in Europe.

They believe the current “three-legged stool” includes maintenance providers since the operator and authority representatives have maintenance backgrounds. ARSA’s intrepid Executive Director asked whether a four-legged stool that includes independent aircraft maintenance providers (particularly those that work for multiple airlines) would be more stable. Wouldn’t their insights be valuable in developing the MRBR? Apparently, the fear is that this would slow down the process. However, since the policy board document is a standard developed by the Airlines for America (A4A), maintenance providers were invited to submit a request directly to that association.

One welcome development at the conference was the introduction of 15-minute flash talks strategically placed during each day to break up the monotony of the panel format. Modeled after the highly-successful TED talks, they covered Collaboration (from the perspective of the off-shore helicopter industry), the oddly-named Runway Safety, Main Killer in Aviation and Vision 2050, a peak into the Jetson’s-like future we all know is coming.

This year’s conference once again used the Slido app to field questions from attendees and tabulate responses to survey questions. The tool continues to improve yet, in our view, it should not be used exclusively since it does not allow for the same audience interaction as the “open mic.” For that reason, ARSA is not likely to use the Slido app at its annual conference (although we do worry who will fill the shoes of Howard Whyte and Werner Luehmann!).


The ARSA Annual Conference – Catch a Glimpse

What began decades ago as ARSA’s Annual Repair Symposium has evolved into a week-long event including executive branch briefings, grassroots legislative advocacy and world-class regulatory compliance and business content. Catch a glimpse of the 2019 event and hear from some of its participants, then block your calendar for next March (and every one after that).


Address Repair Restrictions at FTC Event

Click here to learn more about the FTC initiative.

On July 16, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission will host a meeting in Washington, D.C. called “Nixing the Fix: A Workshop on Repair Restrictions.” 

The purpose of the workshop, which is not aviation specific, is to examine ways manufacturers seek to limit third-party repairs in various industries.  ARSA has been working with interested industry partners to utilize the event as yet another opportunity to shed light on the challenges repair stations face when trying to obtain maintenance manuals and the FAA’s unwillingness to enforce the relevant regulations.

The association encourages interested members to attend and participate. Event organizers have provided little information but ARSA’s team has worked to gather basic security and access guidance. If you are interested in attending, use the member inquiry system via the secure online portal to provide a list of attendees from your company (first and last name, title, company name, city and state are required for security. 

Whether you can attend or not, take the follow steps to remain engaged with the effort:

(1) Review the meeting announcement for information about the event and what issues the FTC is exploring.

(2) Review ARSA’s submission to get a sense of how we’ve addressed the FTC’s question.

(3) Keep an eye out for other information about the event, which begins at 9:00 a.m. on July 16 and is open to the public. The event will be held at the Constitution Center, 400 7th St SW, Washington, D.C. 20024.

(4)  Submit comments to the FTC. The deadline is Sept. 16, but submission in advance of the July 16 meeting is encouraged. Comments submitted to the SBA Ombudsman using ARSA’s toolkit can easily be repurposed.

(5) For more information, visit

Note: Though ARSA is actively facilitating aviation industry participation in the event, the association is not directly involved in administering, sponsoring or supporting the event in any official capacity.


Upcoming SBA Roundtables in Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy recently announced four new dates for its ongoing “regulatory roundtable” series:

Anchorage, Alaska
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Alaska Small Business Development Center
1901 Bragaw Street
Anchorage, AK 99508
Click here for more information and to register.

Bangor, Maine
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Jeff’s Catering Banquet & Event Hall
15 Littlefield Way
Brewer, ME 04412
Click here for more information and to register.

North Conway, New Hampshire
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
North Conway Grand Hotel
72 Common Court
Conway, NH 03860
Click here for more information and to register.

Burlington, Vermont
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Hilton Burlington
60 Battery Street
Burlington, VT 05401
Click here for more information and to register.

At these events, the SBA will speak directly with small businesses about which regulations concern industry the most. Any ARSA member that can attend is highly encouraged to do so – and report back on the discussion. Regardless of possible attendance in a roundtable, every ARSA member should submit input to the office directly by following the link below and completing the input form:

The SBA Office of Advocacy is an independent office that serves as a voice for small business within the federal government, the watchdog for the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) and the source of small business statistics. Advocacy advances the views and concerns of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts and state policy makers.

The purpose of Advocacy’s Regional Regulatory Roundtables is to:

(1) Identify regional small business regulatory issues in order to assist agencies with regulatory reform and reduction in compliance with Executive Orders 13771 & 13777.
(2) Compile crucial information for Advocacy’s new report on existing small business regulatory burdens across the nation, identifying specific recommendations for regulatory changes based upon first-hand accounts from small businesses across the country.
(3) Inform and educate the small business public as to how Advocacy and SBA can assist them with their small business goals.

For more information regarding Advocacy’s efforts to help reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses and upcoming roundtable events, please visit:

Can’t get to a roundtable?

Click here to submit comments directly to the SBA.

Want to enlist the SBA’s help rectifying ICA issues?

Follow the link below to read more about ARSA’s work and submit your own comment using the association’s toolkit.

ARSA Urges SBA Review of Maintenance Manual Availability



Bundle – 3 Sessions on Part 43

Bundle pricing is now available for three of ARSA’s training sessions focusing on 14 CFR part 43. Each 0n-demand recording is available for 90 days of unlimited viewing – purchase together and save.

Click here to go straight to the bundle purchase.

Part 43 – The Mechanic’s Bible

This session provides an overview of 14 CFR part 43, Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, Rebuilding and Alteration. It places the work performed on U.S. civil aircraft in the context of the “aviation safety regulatory chain,” explains general definitions and requirements and reviews the standards that impact these activities.

Instructor: Sarah MacLeod

Click here to register and get access for 90 days.

What is “Acceptable to the Administrator”? – The Performance Rules of § 43.13

This session provides an overview of the regulations that use the language “acceptable to” the Federal Aviation Administration and how to determine what makes something acceptable to the agency.

Instructor: Sarah MacLeod

Click here to register and get access for 90 days.

Overhauling Overhaul – Part 43’s Most Misunderstood Word

In June 2015, the FAA issued another legal interpretation on the term “overhaul” – stimulating a flurry of member questions about the term’s applicability to the everyday work of maintenance providers. This course provides the regulatory context, an overview of the term, a review of its interpretations and tools for applying it in a business context.

Instructor: Sarah MacLeod

Click here to register and get access for 90 days.

Registration for an ARSA-provided training session includes:

  • Unlimited access for 90 days to the recording made available after the live session is complete.
  • A copy of the presentation and all reference material with links to relevant resources and citations.
  • A certificate upon completion of the class, as well as any test material.

The association’s training program is provided through Obadal, Filler, MacLeod & Klein, P.L.C., the firm that manages ARSA. To go directly to OFM&K’s online training portal, visit To learn more about the association’s training program and see course availability, visit


Major Pain Over a Minor Issue

This session reviews the regulations that govern the terms “major” and “minor” in the world of civil aviation repairs and alterations. Learn the regulatory facts and how to train your FAA inspector so this minor issue doesn’t become a major pain in the derrière.

Instructor: Sarah MacLeod

Click here to register and get access for 90 days.

Registration for an ARSA-provided training session includes:

  • Unlimited access for 90 days to the recording made available after the live session is complete.
  • A copy of the presentation and all reference material with links to relevant resources and citations.
  • A certificate upon completion of the class, as well as any test material.

The association’s training program is provided through Obadal, Filler, MacLeod & Klein, P.L.C., the firm that manages ARSA. To go directly to OFM&K’s online training portal, visit To learn more about the association’s training program and see course availability, visit


Regulatory Compliance Training

Test your knowledge of 14 CFR § 65.104 – Repairman certificate—experimental aircraft builder—Eligibility, privileges and limitations.

Click here to download the training sheet.


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Welcome & Welcome Back – New & Renewing Members

ARSA’s members give the association life – its work on behalf of the maintenance community depends on the commitment of these organizations. Here’s to the companies that joined or renewed in June:

New Members (Member Category)

AeroThrust Holdings, R04
Air Alliance, Inc, R01
Southwest Aerospace Technologies, R01
STS Aviation Services-Tank Tigers Inc., R04

Renewing Members (Member Category, Member Since)

ACSS Repair & Overhaul, R02, 2002
Aeroworx, R02, 2010
Aviation Component Solutions, Assoc, 2005
Aviation Repair Resources, Inc. (ARR), R02, 2009
Eastern Airlines Technic Co., Ltd., R04, 2017
EXTEX Engineered Products-A Kaman Company, Assoc, 2002
F&E Aircraft Maintenance (Miami) L.L.C dba Global Maintenance Technologies dba FEAM, R05, 2012
Ford Instruments & Accessories, LLC, R01, 2012
Houston Aircraft Instruments, Inc., R01, 2002
InterSky Precision Instruments, LLC, R02, 2016
Ozark Aeroworks, LLC, R03, 2015
S & T Aircraft Accessories, Inc., R01, 2003
Paz Aviation, Inc., R02, 2016
The Aviation Group, Inc., R01, 2011
The Pennsylvania State University, R01, 2016
TMx Aero, LLC, R01, 2018
Warner Propeller and Governor Co., LLC, R02, 2010
Wencor, LLC , Corp, 2018


Quick Question – Event Selection

Why do you go to an industry meeting or event?

The association asked previously about what events aviation professionals attend (click here to see the list and share your itinerary), now it wants to know more about the components of the experience that are most valuable.

After returning from the 2019 FAA-EASA Conference, ARSA Executive Director Sarah MacLeod considered the various benefits (and shortcomings) of leaving the office, traveling around the world and investing time sitting in a room with regulators, elected leaders and industry colleagues to talk, face to face, about what the aviation world needs and where it’s going.

Though this pro/con list cannot be found in ARSA’s review of the conference (it focuses on the substantive details of the event itself), the reflection drove this month’s “quick question.” What is it that you look for in attending an industry event?

Note: The question is displayed in its own, embedded window. If the “Submit” button is not visible on the screen, you must scroll within the survey window in order to submit your response.

If the embedded survey does not appear/load, open the survey independently by visiting:

Click here to see what questions have been asked and answered…and keep a lookout for more.


A Member Asked…

Q: I received a component from a customer requiring overhaul. During the course of overhaul, several parts will need to be replaced. The customer is supplying those replacements. The articles are being provided in an unfinished condition, which are not “standard parts.” In fact—to make it more complicated, they are not “parts” according to the illustrated parts catalog, but are called out as “parts” in the relevant maintenance instructions. Since the customer is requesting a “dual release,” do I need an FAA Form 8130-3 for these items?

A: To reach the answer, we first looked at the definition of “component” in the U.S.-EU MAG, which unfortunately, was not particularly instructive (see paragraph (10)(j)).

Then we immediately asked the relevant question—is this an owner/operator or maintenance produced part or blank that will be fabricated into an actual part? If the answer is “yes” (and it was), the repair station must have enough information to ensure the “unfinished” item was of the proper material, dimensions, etc. for it to be turned into a real part (a flange) and attached to the article being overhauled in accordance with the relevant maintenance data. The answer to that was “yes”, the customer provided the certificates necessary to establish that the “blank” was able to be turned into an airworthy part.

So, since maintenance fabricated articles are not eligible for and do not need FAA Form 8130-3s, one does not need to be issued (indeed, should not be issued).

Member questions should be submitted through the inquiry system run through ARSA’s new online member portal. Members can use their portal access to submit inquiries by logging in through


Make ARSA’s Voice Your Own: Advertise

ARSA has a menu of advertising opportunities for, the hotline and the ARSA Dispatch. Take advantage of these great opportunities today to showcase your company, a new product or event. For more information go to


Stand Up for ARSA by Sponsoring

In order to provide world-class resources for its members, the association depends on the commitment of the aviation community. By sponsoring events and activities, supporters can help ARSA’s work on behalf of repair stations to endure.

Need a place to start? For information about opportunities, contact Vice President of Operations Brett Levanto (


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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

ICA Issue Page

Since its inception, ARSA has worked to ensure that basic safety information (i.e., Instructions for Continued Airworthiness [ICA], including component maintenance manuals [CMM]) is made available at a fair and reasonable price to operators, maintenance providers, and any other person required by 14 CFR to comply with those instructions. ICA Issue Page

Brexit Resource Page

On June 23, 2016, citizens of the United Kingdom voted to withdraw from the European Union in a national referendum. As the process of making that withdrawal happen drags on. This page is provided as a resource for the aviation maintenance community regarding the transition. Brexit Resource Page (Updated)

Careers In Aviation Maintenance

Every year, more people are flying. The expansion of the global middle class and improvements in technology have opened aviation markets – for passengers and cargo – to a broader public than ever before. As the the flying public gets larger, more men and women are desperately needed to keep the world safely in flight.

Quick Question Portal

See what ARSA has asked and what’s been answered and participate in the conversation about what’s going on in the aviation maintenance world.

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.

Industry Calendar

EAA Airventure – Oshkosh, Wisconsin – July 22-28, 2019
RAA Annual Convention – Nashville, Tennessee – September 4-7, 2019
ATEC Fly-in – Washington, D.C. – September 10-13, 2019
Aero-Engines Europe – Istanbul, Turkey – September 11-12, 2019
MRO Asia-Pacific – Singapore – September 24-26, 2019
Aero-Engines Asia-Pacific – Singapore – September 25-26, 2019
MRO Europe – London – October 15-17, 2019
ARSA 2020 Annual Conference – Washington, D.C.  – March 10-13, 2020

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the hotline is the monthly publication of the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), the not-for-profit international trade association for certificated repair stations. It is for the exclusive use of ARSA members and federal employees on the ARSA mailing list. For a membership application, please call 703.739.9543 or visit For information about previous editions, submit a request through This material is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal, consulting, tax or any other type of professional advice. Law, regulations, guidance and government policies change frequently. While ARSA updates this material, we do not guarantee its accuracy. In addition, the application of this material to a particular situation is always dependent on the facts and circumstances involved. The use of this material is therefore at your own risk. All content in the hotline, except where indicated otherwise, is the property of ARSA. This content may not be reproduced, distributed or displayed, nor may derivatives or presentations be created from it in whole or in part, in any manner without the prior written consent of ARSA. ARSA grants its members a non-exclusive license to reproduce the content of the hotline. Employees of member organizations are the only parties authorized to receive a duplicate of the hotline. ARSA reserves all remaining rights and will use any means necessary to protect its intellectual property.

© 2019 Aeronautical Repair Station Association