2019 – Edition 7 – August 2

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
Quality Time
Getting Facetime
Industry Calendar

Sarah Says

Meet Me Halfway

By Sarah MacLeod, Executive Director

A member recently relayed a conversation with a FSDO manager that had him baffled and, for obvious reasons, concerned.

Constant misunderstandings between the assigned aviation safety inspector and the member’s quality department necessitated the accountable manager arrange a meeting with the FSDO manager to discuss outstanding issues and develop an understanding of the best way to move forward. During a discussion of one issue, the accountable manager was told very clearly that if the regulations did not require action…then no action was required.

Immediately after accepting that as fact and stating the matter was therefore closed as far as the company was concerned, the FSDO Manager accused the accountable manager of not “meeting the agency halfway.” The member was baffled by that conclusion—so he called ARSA and asked how can the agency “demand” the company meet something that is not required by the regulations? After being assured the government cannot enforce something that is not demanded by its laws or rules, we got down to how to salvage the relationship between the company and the agency.

The FAA and the industry have been doing a good job of “talking” about “culture change” for years with little change or success. The reason? Nobody demands regulatory compliance FIRST and “good business practices” or “better ways” second, third and fourth. The guidance material provided to the industry is years out of date and the “new” guidance is rarely based upon the plain language of the regulation. Heck, often guidance material is developed during the rulemaking process and never updated to reflect the final rule language! The “risk-based” oversight system was created from principles of the nuclear industry for cripes sake—an industry with maybe half-dozen viable designs. How that ever became the basis for the Air Transportation Oversight System (ATOS), the forerunner to the Safety Assurance System (SAS), has always been a mystery to me.

The industry works hard to “get along” with the agency’s representatives rather than clearly and succinctly stating how the applicant or certificate holder complies and asking the agency to tell it where compliance (as stated in the RULE) is lacking. All “going along to get along” does is enhance the “culture” to the point where we all have sour milk instead of yogurt or at least kefir! We feed the “what the hell can I do” attitude of industry and the arrogance of the FSDO manager that had the gall, yes, gall, to accuse a certificate holder of not “meeting the agency” halfway on something it could not require!

I (and therefore ARSA) take a different approach; rather than go to the agency with my hat in my hand asking for its “help” – I tell the agency how my people are or can comply with a particular section or paragraph of the regulations. I remind the agency of two very significant facts:

(1) It is not responsible for compliance, the applicant or certificate holder is.
(2) I did not write the regulations – we all did or should have – I am just showing compliance or providing a method of establishing compliance.

When asked why I (or the member or client) doesn’t want to do something that is not required by the rule, the question usually takes the form of: “Why are you against safety?” I answer that I (or my member or client) IS complying with the regulation. I can be sucked into senseless arguments, but I am rarely caught off-guard by questions that I have not thought about and/or to which I don’t have the legal or practical answer. I am not intimidated by the agency’s “threats” because I don’t hold a certificate; I started my relationship with the agency and the industry on the basis that I would not come to it with a problem and no solution. I do my research and use my “critical thinking” to develop facts and analyze those data against the plain language of the regulation – without embellishment or expectation except for the goal of regulatory compliance.

So, I am not humble or subservient to the agency and a certificate holder should not take that approach either; it just feeds the arrogant and ignorant culture that has prevailed for so many years and resulted in the comment from the FSDO manager that jumpstarted this editorial.

In the “you aren’t meeting the FAA halfway” case, facing reality straight on while changing the relationship between the parties, we worked up a polite letter to the FSDO manager clearly explaining all the steps the company had taken to “satisfy” the “local office” request to comply with the inspector’s “guidance” (yes, it was in the SAS oversight “elements). We (again politely) requested that the matter be closed with no further action necessary.

Although there has been no answer to the request, the agency is moving forward with other requests and I am hopeful that the letter was taken as having met the agency “halfway.” The company also promised to institute a much more formal approach to communication with the agency – no longer letting it dictate how communications take place. Everything important is put in writing, all written communication is sent in a manner that receipt can be verified. No more phone calls, no casual emails, etc. In other words, the company promised to control the elements that create professionalism and (hopefully) will stick to them throughout the years and changes in inspectors, frontline managers and managers. A significant culture change for a company that had always “gotten along” with its “local office” and did not feel the “necessity” to “be so formal.” Maybe it won’t stick, but if it doesn’t the company will at least have an understanding of how to put itself back in a more professional position.

In all other cases, I stick with a tee-shirt my husband (and his sons) bought me years ago: “Just Do As I Say And No One Will Get Hurt.” The only time I believe in meeting someone halfway is when the road is clear of unnecessary obstacles and unsupported opinions. A road to regulatory compliance that is based upon the SAS “elements” and oversight “requirements” does not meet that criteria.

Want to hear more of Sarah’s guidance for building a professional relationship with the agency? Invest an hour in ARSA’s online training session on dealing with the government, which is featured in the “Training” section of this edition  and is at

Online Training – Building a Professional Government Relationship


Return to Top of Page

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 August 2019 (click each page link for more information and instructions):

Help the small-business dominated maintenance industry cope with regulatory unfairness…

SBA to Host Regulatory Fairness Hearing

Help build the aviation workforce of the future by getting face-to-face with the people who are the future…

Take part in the FAA’s review of engine-related accidents and incidents…

Take Part in the FAA’s Engine Safety Review


What ARSA Has Done Lately – First Quarter 2019

Each quarter the board of directors receives reports on the association’s activities. Step into a board member’s shoes by reviewing the operations, legislative and regulatory reports highlighting advocacy on behalf of aviation safety between April and June 2019:

Regulatory Advocacy

  • Continued comprehensive revisions to ARSA Model Repair Station Quality Manual.
  • Publicized Small Business Administration “Regulatory Roundtable” sessions in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, providing instruction for submitting comments to SBA in lieu of attendance.
  • Submitted draft language to the FAA for the agency to utilize in tasking ARAC to recommend policy changes necessary to make repairman certificates portable from one employing certificate holder to another (2018 FAA reauthorization law provision).
  • Lead coalition submission of comments to the FAA’s Draft AC 65-30B, “Overview of the Aviation Maintenance Profession.”
  • Repeated analysis of U.S.-based repair stations holding EASA certificates.
  • Joined industry comments to the FAA’s SNPRM related to 14 CFR part 147.
  • Engaged with Federal Trade Commission to utilize “Nixing the Fix” initiative as new platform to highlight issues with inconsistent enforcement of ICA rules (coordinating industry engagement in July 16 event).
  • Followed up with FAA regarding June 2018 letter requesting clarification of guidance incorrectly requiring repair station applicants to provide a “letter of compliance” with part 145 (response received in July).

Legislative and Lobbying

  • Continued to lead lobbying coalition to secure funding for new aviation maintenance workforce grant program created by Sec. 625 of last year’s FAA bill. House Transportation-House & Urban Development and Related Agencies appropriations bill includes full funding ($5 million) for the program.
  • Secured inclusion of part 11 and part 13 improvements and restoration of repair station certificate voluntary surrender rulemaking in Sen. Jim Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) proposed “pilots bill of rights” bill.
  • Urged congressional offices to scrutinize FAA’s inconsistent enforcement of maintenance manual rules. Provided resources to members to support outreach.
  • Circulated of analysis of U.S.-based repair stations holding EASA certificates to relevant House and Senate offices in order to underscore importance of international trade in aviation maintenance.

Communications and Surveys

ARSA in the News – Selected Industry Coverage

Maintenance Outsourcing: Why The Debate?
June 14, 2019
Aviation Week/MRO Network
A summit held in Washington took aim at airline outsourcing, which is not new. Sarah MacLeod, executive director of the Aeronautical Repair Station Association, spoke at the event as the single dissenting voice. MacLeod talks with Lee Ann Shay about the controversy.

House Committee Backs Funding Aviation Workforce Programs
June 5, 2019
AOPA Pilot
The House Appropriations Committee has voted to recommend full funding of two workforce development grant programs supported by AOPA and the aerospace industry to develop high school aviation STEM curriculum and support maintenance technician initiatives to meet growing demand.

Casting A Wider Net for Would-Be MRO Technicians
May 29, 2019
Aviation Week/MRO Network
Revised language to proposed FAA guidance seeks to better illustrate the breadth of career opportunities in aviation maintenance.

In Defense Of Boeing, FAA
April 29, 2019
Politico [Morning Transportation]
The Aeronautical Repair Station Association sent a letter to House Transportation and Senate Commerce leaders defending Boeing’s involvement in FAA’s Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee and the agency’s delegation of certification duties to manufacturing companies — both of which are under scrutiny following the two 737 MAX disasters.

ARSA-placed Industry Editorials

AMT Magazine The Rank and File
April/May Edition | Brett Levanto
Fear Not
June/July Edition | Sarah MacLeod
Aviation Week Be Bold [Embracing Remote Technology]
April Edition | Sarah MacLeod
What U.S. MROs Should Know To Prepare For Brexit
May Edition | Marshall Filler
Decoding the Difference Between Advanced Tech Myth and Reality
June Edition | Brett Levanto
DOM Magazine An Ounce of Prevention
April Edition | Sarah MacLeod & Christian Klein
Celebrating Charlie
May Edition | Brett Levanto
Are We There Yet?
June Edition | Brett Levanto


Released 2019 member survey results, including projection that technician shortage is costing repair stations $100 million per month in lost economic opportunity.

Events, Meetings and Training


  • April 2: Sarah and Brett held a conference call with the Government Accountability Office report team studying the “aviation and aerospace workforce of the future” as mandated by Sec. 622 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.
  • April 3: Sarah, Christian and Brett met with NDi Inc. Director of Knowledge Management and Aviation Rich King to review SkyRegs analysis platform and plan to support beta test.
  • April 3: Christian and members of the ARSA-led aviation workforce lobbying coalition met with Varun Krovi/Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) re: funding for the workforce grant program.
  • April 4: Christian met with Gus Ashton/Rep. Ross Spano (R-Fl.) to introduce the association and industry. Christian met with Andrew Lock/Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) to urge support for workforce grant program funding.
  • April 5: Brett attended Aero Club of Washington, D.C. luncheon with General Aviation Manufacturers Association regulatory and communications team members for address by NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt.
  • April 16: Sarah participated in a conference call with FAA General Aviation Safety Assurance Deputy Director Thomas Winston.
  • April 18: Christian met with AAR Vice President of Government Affairs to coordinate advocacy activities. Christian met with Rajat Mathur/Senate Appropriations Committee to discuss opportunities to address FAA’s inconsistent enforcement of maintenance manual rules in the 2020 T-HUD bill.
  • April 18: Marshall led the MMT industry group in formulating a strategy for mutual recognition of repair stations and developing a preliminary agenda for the MMT meeting on Oct. 24-25 in Cologne.
  • April 22: Christian held a conference call with leaders of the Virginia Space Grant Foundation to brief them on new workforce grant program. Christian attended a lunch for Mike Adamson, new president of the Aircraft Electronics Association.
  • April 24: Christian attended the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Transportation Infrastructure & Logistics Committee meeting.
  • April 25: Christian and Brett met with Aerospace Industries Association Assistant Vice President for Legislative Affairs Rich Efford to discuss delegation and ODA issues. Christian hosted a luncheon for ARSA corporate member government affairs representatives.
  • April 26: Christian and Brett met with the Regional Airline Association’s lobbying and communications team to coordinate advocacy and communications.
  • April 30: Christian, Brett and Sarah met with MERA Director for Membership and Business Development David McGuire to discuss sustainable manufacturing issues. Christian met with Andrew Nam and Kyle Sanders/Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) to follow up on the senator’s HAECO visit.
  • May 1: Sarah participated in a conference call with FAA Office of Safety Standards Acting Director Tim Shaver.
  • May 3: Brett met with Airlines for America Managing Director of Engineering & Maintenance Bob Ireland to discuss industry collaboration.
  • May 7: Christian attended a reception with Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) hosted by the Regional Airline Association.
  • May 8 & 9: Sarah participating in the ARAC Part 145 working group meeting.
  • May 13: Christian met with Dan Hillenbrand & Devin Barrett/Sen. Inhofe to discuss pending legislative issues.
  • May 15: Christian, Brett and Sarah met with staff from the Department of Commerce/International Trade Administration’s aerospace team.
  • May 21: Christian attended the meeting of the TSA’s Aviation Security Advisory Committee.
  • May 24: Christian met with Fred Elliot, who retired at the end of May from the DoC/ITA aerospace team.
  • May 28: Sarah met with Debby McElroy from the Airports Council International-North America.
  • May 29 and June 25: Sarah participated in FAA Engine Safety Study stakeholder outreach calls.
  • May 31: Brett briefed Aircraft Certification Service Workforce Development Branch Manager Luis Ramirez on association efforts to create training acceptability guidance for FAA.
  • June 3: Christian, Brett, Sarah and Marshall met with EASA Washington Representative Thomas Mickler.
  • June 4: Sarah participated in the Transport Workers Union’s maintenance outsourcing summit.
  • June 6: Brett held a planning call with FlightGlobal Senior Conference Producer Warka Ghirmai to develop agenda for Big Data Americas event to be held in Miami on Sept. 11-12.
  • June 10: Christian attended a meet and greet hosted by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for Hawaii congressional candidate Kai Kahele.
  • June 11: Marshall and Sarah attended the joint industry meeting in Cologne in preparation for the annual safety conference. Marshall briefed industry participants on the status of the mutual recognition issue for AMOs.
  • June 12 to 14: Sarah and Marshall participated in the EASA-FAA Safety Conference in Cologne.
  • June 17: Christian and Brett met with Aviation Technician Education Council Executive Director Crystal Maguire.
  • June 24: Marshall participated in the EASA EM.TEC meeting in Cologne.


Developed content for eleven additional human factors training classes and began planning to present training in August (“Go back to school with ARSA”).


FAA Reports “Letter of Compliance” Elimination

On July 24, ARSA received a response from the FAA regarding the association’s joint effort with the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) to purge agency guidance of a requirement for repair station applicants to submit a “letter of compliance.”

The agency’s letter reported that its “‘Part 145 Letter of Compliance’ policy” was removed from the Flight Safety Information Management System (FSIMS; Order 8900.1) in April 2019.

Prior to ARSA and AEA’s initial letter on the subject, which was delivered to the FAA in May 2018, the submission of a “letter of compliance” was “required” by FSIMS’ instructions for repair station certificate preapplication and formal application. At the time, the associations noted that such a letter had been specifically rejected through previous rulemaking efforts – a 2006 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) including such a requirement was withdrawn in 2009.

Without the letter included in FSIMS, the FAA’s guidance to inspectors has been cleansed of an inconsistency with the certificate application requirements of § 145.51.

To review the FAA’s response, click here.

For information about a larger effort to align FAA guidance with the plain language of the repair station rule, read about the ARSA/AEA-led Part 145 Working Group at


Homework Assignment – Teach at a Local School

ARSA members should be accustomed to the association’s general encouragement to get involved in the community. For the sake of good corporate citizenship and long-term workforce development, there are plenty of reasons for aviation businesses to become familiar with the people and organizations around them.

In particular, involved companies should have open doors and regular exchange of ideas with local schools. This can mean supporting existing activities, participating in career days or visits and hosting field trips or other kinds of open houses for local students – an interesting way to let students get to know you and even build interest in your work (so they can do it someday).

The “Make a Windmill” exercise teaches kids about basic aerodynamics (and does not require a type certificate or completion of any FAA forms). Maintenance professionals could help students make a windmill, then talk about how the principles involved relate to aviation and connect it back to their work.

With the assistance of the FAA’s STEM Aviation and Space Education (AVSED) Outreach Program, ARSA is issuing a specific challenge to the aviation maintenance community: Teach at a local school.

Meeting this challenge doesn’t require a career change, but reaching out to a local school or schools (start with lower elementary – kindergartners provide a friendly, if distractible audience that you can visit and make an impact on for years to come) and following a few basic steps:

(1) Review the AVSED resources for educators ( and students (
(2) If you don’t already know any, find nearby schools. The National Center for Education Statistics has an online system for searching public school districts:
(3) Pick a school or schools and call the administration(s), explaining your goals and asking for the right point of contact within each school.
(4) Determine their level of interest and consider your own time and capability. You can offer to have your own team members visit for a “special activity” session for certain classes OR simply help connect teachers with AVSED resources.
(5) Do it! If your own team is going to “teach.” Just pick an activity – a good place to start is – print out whatever instructions or activity sheets you need, bring along any additional tools (or props from work you can show off) and go walk through it with the kids.
(6) Contact local media, share the experience through your own communications channels or use any other way you can to celebrate the activity.
(7) Follow up! Especially if you’ve just shared resources with the school, but even if you went there personally. Don’t make your engagement a one-time activity.
(8) Tell ARSA!

If you have any questions about school outreach in specific or workforce development efforts in general, contact Vice President of Operations Brett Levanto.


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.



Return to Top of Page

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.

What a Court Ruling Means

By Sarah MacLeod, Executive Director & Christian A. Klein, Executive Vice President

On July 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its decision in Kornitzky Group v. Daniel Elwell. The case involved the appeal of a National Transportation Safety Board Order revoking AeroBearings, L.L.C.’s air agency (repair station) certificate. The order alleged falsification of multiple maintenance releases based on incomplete information in block 12 of FAA Form 8130-3.

The court upheld the NTSB’s determination that the company performed maintenance without appropriate technical data but vacated the certificate revocation by setting aside the falsification finding. The appellate court found no proof that there was an intent to falsify the maintenance release—intent being an essential element to finding a violation.


ARSA filed an amicus brief with the court last October urging it to reverse the NTSB order based on the “logical distinction between a complete maintenance record and a maintenance release (i.e., the approval for return to service [on FAA Form 8130-3]).”

The association pointed out that while information that should be included in a complete maintenance record had been omitted from the forms, its inclusion on those documents is not required by parts 43 or 145. Even more importantly, § 145.219(b) specifically requires repair stations to “provide a copy of the maintenance release to the owner or operator of the article on which the maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alteration was performed.” Explaining the difference and noting the “voluminous” nature of complete maintenance records, ARSA pointed out to the court that “a maintenance release is not the complete record required by 14 CFR § 43.9.”

The original complaint against AeroBearings also questioned the use of specialized equipment for which the company did not possess the original engineering data. ARSA highlighted the difference between maintenance data – the “how to” instructions regarding the performance of work – and the data used in developing equipment or tooling.

“The regulations are silent as to what makes equipment ‘special’ or ‘acceptable to’ the agency; however, the equipment or tooling must operate in the same fashion and achieve the same results as that recommended by the manufacturer,” the association said. “Once the showing is made that the equipment or apparatus achieves the appropriate result, there are no regulations that require retention of the data or recording of the demonstration used to make the showing.”

Based on this plain reading of the rules, ARSA urged reversal of the NTSB’s order. (The entire brief, which provides a thorough overview of the aviation regulatory structure regarding maintenance, preventive maintenance and alteration, can be accessed by clicking here.)

The Court’s Decision

In its July 12 decision, the court upheld the Board’s determination that Kornitzky Group violated the FAA’s maintenance regulations but set aside the NTSB’s finding that the company intentionally falsified is entries on the Form 8130-3 and vacated the revocation of the company’s certificate. Specifically, the court determined that while the statement on the 8130-3 was (1) a false representation of (2) a material fact, the NTSB hadn’t demonstrated the essential third element: that Kornitzky Group knew the statements were false.

The court wrote that:

“The form simply provides a place for ‘Remarks’ and says nothing else. … And FAA’s guidance about the form, which instructs a repair station only to describe any work necessary to determine airworthiness, does not solve the problem. Galel [the company’s owner] could have reasonably (even if incorrectly) assumed that disclosing the final OEM inspection is all that is needed to determine airworthiness, especially given that Kornitzky Group had passed prior [FAA] inspections that way.”

The courts vacatur (legal word meaning reversal) of the Board’s intentional falsification finding required a reversal the Board’s revocation of AeroBearings’ repair station certificate. The case was remanded to the NTSB for further consideration consistent with the decision.

What Does It Mean for the Industry?

As to the implications of the case to everyone else in the industry–first and foremost, court decisions and “final orders” are against and between the parties to the litigation based upon the facts presented in the particular case. While court decisions can set precedent for future cases and even create changes in regulations or guidance, the immediate impact is always and only on the actual parties named on the documents in the specific legal matter.

What is important to the industry in this case is that the court came to the correct conclusion for the wrong reason. There was no falsification by omission because the FAA Form 8130-3 fails to include information required by section 43.9 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations; a rule that neither side nor the court bothered to cite or analyze against the facts. The FAA Form 8130-3 is merely the “maintenance release” portion of that requirement and is “acceptable” for showing compliance with paragraphs 43.9(a)(1) and (4). It does not, and never has, contained the details that the court seemed to think were necessary. The agency has stated in numerous guidance documents that a single word is enough to describe the work performed, and, if the person completing the record chooses to cite the “data acceptable to the administrator” instead of the “description of work performed,” the revision level of the component maintenance manual used is not required by the regulation.

The maintenance release, a document required by § 145.219(b), may or may not contain all of the information required by § 43.9 – specifically, the names of all persons performing work if other than the person (in this case the repair station) approving the work for return to service. Since a repair station is the only maintenance provider that has to provide a “maintenance release,” the preamble which placed that requirement in part 145 carefully explained that it was different from a complete section § 43.9 maintenance record.

Those extremely important nuances got lost in the case and the court rendered an ignorant decision. There are clear and distinct responsibilities within the plain language of the regulations applicable to owners/operators and maintenance providers; the nuances may get lost in court battles, but they sure better be understood by the industry with the responsibility for and the agency with the oversight of compliance with Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (the aviation safety rules).

In the meantime, if your company is questioned about the information on the FAA Form 8130-3, you can add the following language in Block 12 to ensure persons unfamiliar with the industry (such as judges) do not think the “maintenance release” is a complete maintenance record with “intentional omissions”:

The complete sec. 43.9 record is on file at this repair station under the work order number referenced in block 5 of this FAA Form 8130-3.

Is it necessary? Not according to current guidance, an RCCB decision (click here to see its Feb. 4, 2016 memorandum) and other legal opinions and decisions; however, belts and suspenders are part of the aviation safety uniform.

As for the future, ARSA will be working on draft guidance for its members and the FAA’s consideration to clarify the maintenance recordkeeping requirements in §§ 43.9, 43.11 and 91.417, so we can ensure compliance with the plain language of the regulation instead of what a judge “thinks” should be included.


Return to Top of Page

ARSA on the Hill

A New Administrator, a New Bill and an Old Threat

By Christian A. Klein, Executive Vice President

With the confirmation of a new FAA administrator, a high-profile hearing about the Ethiopian Airlines crash, the introduction of legislation aimed at improving transparency at the FAA and resurgent threats against international maintenance facilities, July was a busy month for the aviation community on Capitol Hill.

Dickson Approved as New FAA Chief

On July 24, the Senate confirmed former Delta Air Lines executive Stephen Dickson as the next FAA administrator. The agency has been led since January 2016 by Acting Administrator Dan Elwell.

Dickson’s nomination hit a speedbump earlier this summer when questions emerged about his role in a whistleblower case during his time at Delta. However, with the questions resolved, the Senate Commerce Committee approved his nomination on July 10. Dickson takes over an agency that is under scrutiny by Congress and the media in the wake of two recent crashes involving Boeing 737-MAX 8 aircraft. His top priority will be restoring confidence in the aircraft certification process.

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!

FAA Oversight Front and Center at House Subcommittee Hearing

The certification process was the focus of a July 17 House Aviation Subcommittee hearing entitled “the State of Aviation Safety.” Witnesses included Paul Njoroge and Michael Stumo, both of whom lost family members in the Ethiopia crash. Other witnesses included Dana Schulze, director of the National Transportation Safety Board’s office of aviation safety and representatives from the Air Line Pilots Association, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS) and Transport Workers Union.

As you might expect with that group of witnesses, the hearing was pretty one sided. Although Njoroge and Stumo’s testimony attracted considerable media attention, the hearing essentially became a forum for labor groups to tout their legislative agendas.

In his opening remarks at the hearing, House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) expressed his sympathies to the families of the Ethiopia crash victims and highlighted a number of aviation safety issues about which he is concerned, including flight attendant rest periods, secondary cockpit barriers and lithium ion batteries.

DeFazio made no secret about his antipathy about contract maintenance. “I have been concerned for years over the FAA’s lax oversight over overseas aircraft repair stations,” DeFazio said. “Report after report from the Department of Transportation Inspector General has detailed deficiencies in FAA oversight and monitoring of foreign repair stations that continually perform more and more critical safety work on U.S.-registered aircraft.”

“Congress included in the 2012 and 2016 reauthorization laws requirements that the FAA issue rules requiring safety-sensitive workers at foreign repair stations be subject to alcohol and substance abuse screening and background investigations, just as workers at U.S. facilities are,” DeFazio said. “However, to date, the FAA has failed to implement these important mandates. We will continue to explore ways to ensure parity between U.S. and foreign entities, which will enhance the overall safety of our system.”

John Samuelson, the president of TWU, made contract maintenance the central theme of his testimony and echoing DeFazio told the subcommittee that, “our regulatory structure has created a second, inferior set of safety standards for aircraft maintained outside of the United States.”

“This two-tier system is driving U.S. airlines to offshore a significant amount of their maintenance and repair operations because the lower safety standard abroad is cheaper,” Samuelson said. “Insufficient safety regulations, fewer government inspections, and lower minimum qualifications for maintenance workers drive down the cost to the airlines.” He tied the use of foreign repair stations to lost aircraft maintenance jobs in the United States and cited “safety concerns created by moving aircraft repair and maintenance to often unqualified, uncertified, uninspected foreign workers.”

The hearing underscores the risk to the maintenance industry in the current political environmental. Congress is concerned about the FAA’s oversight of the entire aviation industry, the agency has missed congressional deadlines for maintenance-related rulemakings, there’s growing hostility to free trade and the T&I Committee chairman is skeptical about contract maintenance in general. While hostile legislation hasn’t been formally introduced, unions are working to build support for bills that shame airlines for using repair stations and, at the most extreme, prevent U.S. air carriers from using them.

ARSA is actively working to make sure congressional offices know the facts:

  • The increased use of contract maintenance has coincided with the safest period in the history of civil aviation.
  • Repair stations employ close to 200,000 Americans in communities all around the country.
  • There are six times more technicians working at repair stations in the U.S. than there are mechanics at airlines. Airline mechanic jobs haven’t gone overseas; they’ve moved across the street and around the corner to repair stations.
  • Under part 145, foreign repair stations are held to same regulatory standards as U.S. facilities and, just like U.S. repair stations, are closely and constantly scrutinized by regulators AND their air carrier customers.
  • Foreign repair stations are essential to U.S. air carrier global operations.
  • Many foreign repair stations are owned by U.S. companies.
  • Imposing new and unnecessary restrictions (or worse, a certification ban) on foreign repair stations will almost certainly subject U.S. repair stations to retaliation for foreign aviation authorities.
  • And, last but by no means least, safety is inherent in way the industry does business. Air carriers wouldn’t use any facility they didn’t deem safe. Moral and ethical issues aside, there’s simply too much at stake from an economic standpoint.

In recent weeks, ARSA has held meetings with House aviation subcommittee staff and personal offices of many subcommittee members to educate and remind them about those points. But ARSA’s resources are limited and we can’t do it alone. We need our members to weigh in with the folks on the Hill as well. Here’s how:

(1) Identify your representative and senators by going to
(2) Click here to download ARSA’s Excel file with contact information for the staff members in each congressional office responsible for aviation issues. The list is sorted by state, but you can sort by any of the fields at the top of each column. To find the name and contact information for the staffers in your representative and senators’ congressional offices, simply find the elected official’s name in “Column C” of the table.
(4) Create a new email.
(5) Copy and paste the email address of the appropriate House or Senate staffers into the “to” line of the email and put in the “cc” line.
(6) Write a note to introduce (or reintroduce yourself), tell them about your company (what you do, how many you employ) and let them know you’re concerned about recent negative comments about repair stations.

Sens. Inhofe, King Introduce PLANE Act to Improve FAA Accountability

Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Angus King (I-Maine) this month introduced legislation aimed at improving FAA accountability, empowering certificate holders and increasing investment in airport infrastructure.

Of particular importance to ARSA and its members, the Promoting the Launch of Aviation’s Next Era (PLANE) Act (S. 2198) includes language (Sec. 104) that will improve accountability and transparency in FAA enforcement and rulemaking, making the agency more effective and efficient. Additionally, by directing the FAA to restore the ability of repair stations to voluntarily surrender their certificates (Sec. 601), the legislation will provide much-needed predictability and advance the interests of aviation safety by allowing businesses that do not – or cannot – operate effectively as repair stations to give up the privileges associated with their certificates.

The bill would also:

  • Explicitly establish that pilots facing an investigation by FAA can appeal to a federal district court for a de novo trial and clarify which party bears the burden of proof;
  • Enhance legal protections for the aviation community by ensuring the NTSB has the authority to review the denial of an airmen medical certificate and require FAA to find reasonable grounds to require the reexamination of a pilot certificate.
  • Establish a public-private partnership for general aviation (GA) airports to attract private sector investment.
  • Designate qualified GA airports as “Disaster Relief Airports,” so that when a disaster occurs, they have the infrastructure to better support community response efforts.
  • Give civil liability protection to Designated Pilot Examiners and Designated Airworthiness Representatives.
  • Ensure that tax receipts from all aviation fuel sources are deposited in the airport and airways trust fund.
  • Allow Air Traffic Control applicants to include classroom and simulation training within an FAA-approved formal training process.

Although Congress passed comprehensive FAA reauthorization legislation last year, the Inhofe-King bill is an opportunity to make additional improvements to the federal aviation policy. ARSA members are encouraged to contact lawmakers and ask them to support the legislation.

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.


Return to Top of Page

Quality Time

Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed by contributing authors do not necessarily state or reflect those of ARSA and shall not be used for endorsement purposes.

2019 MRO Survey by Oliver Wyman

In this year’s MRO Survey, Oliver Wyman – CAVOK — the firm that provides ARSA’s annual market assessment — focused on three top-of-mind issues for the aviation aftermarket: potential economic downturn, the continuing manufacturer expansion into maintenance and the anticipated impact of digital innovation.

By The Oliver Wyman MRO Survey Team

Click for more information about the MRO survey.

A decade of uninterrupted industry growth and some developing global headwinds raise concerns about whether an economic contraction is on the horizon. Our forecasts [including ARSA’s Global Fleet & MRO Market Economic Assessment], however, project a strong ten years ahead with minimal downside due to the longtail regulatory required maintenance protocols for aircraft.

Meanwhile surveyed market participants are also optimistic despite rising geopolitical and possible trade upheavals, rising interest rates, and fluctuating fuel prices. Even if the global economy slows, three-quarters of survey respondents believe their organizations are ready to ride out rough weather, yet were less bullish on the preparations across the broader aviation industry. This disconnect may suggest that there is an opportunity for more formal planning and preparation for the inevitable downturn in a traditionally cyclical industry.

We also ask industry participants every year about potential top market disruptors, and once again original equipment manufacturer expansion topped the list, with airframe OEMs expected to utilize all available channels to push further into the maintenance market. At the same time, airlines are concerned they have balanced and competitive options for maintenance, which may lead them to develop new suppliers or redevelop some of their own technical capabilities to counter the OEM surge. Some signs of airlines further investing in their captive maintenance services or bringing work back in house are popping up.

Finally, digital services continue to evolve but have not yet become essential to winning work in the marketplace. While seeing value in innovations such as aircraft health management and predictive maintenance, airlines remain unsure who should provide these services or how best to benefit from them. For now, when it comes to choosing an MRO provider, the classic trifecta of cost, timeliness, and high-quality service still matters most.

For more information and access to complete analysis, visit the report’s webpage at

To see Oliver Wyman – CAVOK’s work for ARSA, visit the associations Data & Advocacy page.


Getting Facetime

SBA to Host Regulatory Fairness Hearing

On Aug. 19, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Ombudsman, Stefanie Wehagen, will host small business owners, economic development specialists, trade group representatives and community leaders for a hearing on fairness in regulatory enforcement. 

The Office of the National Ombudsman’s mission is to assist small businesses experiencing excessive or unfair federal regulatory enforcement actions, such as repetitive audits or investigations, excessive fines, penalties, threats, retaliation or other unfair actions by a federal agency. This event will give the small business community a chance to voice concerns about the regulatory burdens imposed by federal agencies. Participants will also have an opportunity to learn more about the range of resources available from the SBA.

Comments and concerns raised at the regulatory fairness hearing will be directed to the appropriate federal agency for a fairness review to reduce undue regulatory burdens, while helping small businesses succeed.

National Regulatory Fairness Hearing for Small Business
Monday, Aug. 19 – 1:00-4:00 p.m. EDT
U.S. Small Business Administration
409 Third Street SW
Concourse level, Eisenhower Halls A/B
Washington, D.C., 20024

Attendance Information

The hearing is free and open to the public. Valid government-issued ID is required to gain access to the building. For further information, to RSVP or if reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities are needed please contact John Kelly at by Aug.12, 2019.


Testimony may also be submitted in writing, in lieu of attending the hearing in person. The deadline to register and provide written testimony in advance is Monday, Aug. 5. Please email your written testimony to John Kelly at

Other Ways to Engage SBA

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

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


Consumer Repair Restrictions Mirror Aviation Issues

Click here to learn more about the FTC initiative.

On July 16, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hosted “Nixing the Fix: Workshop on Repair Restrictions” in Washington, D.C. Seeking new venues to shed light on the challenges faced by repair stations when trying to obtain maintenance manuals – and the FAA’s unwillingness to enforce the relevant regulations – ARSA coordinated industry attendance at the event.

The workshop’s purpose was to examine ways manufacturers seek to limit third-party repairs in various industries. The panels focused on how license agreements have eroded the consumer’s right of ownership and whether consumers have the right to repair their products outside of the manufacturer’s chain of control. The event demonstrated how other industries are facing parallel issues to aviation. While the workshop’s potential impact on the aviation industry’s cause is unclear, maintenance providers can reflect on these issues to examine their own challenges.

Panelist avidly debated apparent obstacles manufacturers engineer into their products. Through software, user agreements and/or hardware limitations, companies can construct barriers to third-party repair and limit consumer choice for who performs repair.

Arguments for and against third-party repair posed striking similarities to aviation maintenance issues. Panelists noted the impossibility of manufactures to meet repair demand for all technical devices in the market and addressed how third-party repair was essential to provide consumers a cost effective alternative.

The range of suggested solutions included requiring availability of OEM parts, technical data and software updates to the warranty protection when a non-manufacturer repair is used. Repair professionals argued that restricted access to product specifications and voided warranties creating monopolies on maintenance capabilities. Manufactures could then hold a consumer’s product “hostage” until they paid for the manufacture’s costly repair service or licensing fee for software updates or simply discarded the product and purchased a new one.

The aviation maintenance industry has already “solved” this issue by regulating manufactures to make maintenance manuals available, but consistent enforcement by the FAA is essential. Without it, the rule carries no weight. ARSA has used many avenues to urge the FAA to consistently enforce regulation and limit the burden imposed on repair stations.

The FTC’s inquiry into repair restrictions is another path the industry can take to push consistent enforcement.

To view a recording of the workshop, click here.

The FTC will continue to accept comments on this matter until Sept. 16 through its comments page, click here to participate.

To review ARSA’s comments submitted to the FTC, click here.


ARSA on the Road: Miami Aviation and a Great Speaker Gift

ARSA Executive Vice President Christian A. Klein braved South Florida’s summer heat and traveled to Miami to speak at the Greater Miami Aviation Association’s (GMAA) member luncheon on July 10.

Greater Miami Aviation Association

GMAA is one of the nation’s oldest aviation organizations, tracing its origins back to 1927. Among other things, the group serves as a forum for members of Miami’s aviation community to support workforce development, share knowledge, network, collaborate, and build public awareness about the aviation industry and its economic impact.

Klein provided GMAA members an overview of economic trends and policy issues impacting the aviation maintenance industry, as well as an update on recent ARSA activities. He also shared findings of association economic analyses that underscore the industry’s impact in the sunshine state. Florida has 574 repair stations (one out of every seven in the United States) that employ more than 18,000 people and contribute more than $2 billion annually to the state’s economy. He also pointed out that more than 300 repair stations in Florida have approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (the most in any state), underscoring the significant impact of international trade.

Klein’s appearance at the GMAA meeting was made possible by the generous support of ARSA corporate member AAR, which sponsored the lunch. He was recognized for his appearance with one of the great speaker gifts the association’s team has seen: a desk display/business card holder in the form of a vertical stabilizer bearing the ARSA logo (visible in the embedded tweet above).

As part of Klein’s visit, ARSA also coordinated a meeting with staff from the offices of Florida’s U.S. senators and Miami-area members of Congress. The meeting, which was hosted by HEICO, included a briefing on economic and policy issues, a roundtable conversation with ARSA members in Miami and a tour HEICO’s facilities.


Take Part in the FAA’s Engine Safety Review

On Oct. 24, the FAA will host a one-day Engine & Airframe-Engine Integration Safety Summit. Industry participation is encouraged.

The purpose of the summit is to review and analyze engine-related accidents and incidents from 2014-2018 and examine causes of safety issues. The FAA will also discuss ways to collaborate with industry to detect critical safety threats and identify potential intervention strategies associated with regulations, guidance, and maintenance.

The FAA has organized this summit as part of a larger, ongoing effort to comply with a congressionally mandated “Call to Action” for “Airline Engine Safety Review” as required by the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, H.R. 302 Sec. 309. This review was implemented in response to an April 2018 engine issue on Southwest Flight 1380.

On Jun. 25, the FAA’s Engine & Airframe-Engine Integration Safety Team (EAEI) conducted a stakeholder meeting to review safety trend data analyzed by the Corrective Action Review Board (CARB). The safety analysis was limited to all part 33 engine and part 25 propulsion system items for 2013 to 2018. The EAEI team also considered NTSB accident and FAA safety records from 2013 to 2018. More information about the content of the meeting can be found here.

The FAA invites airframe and engine manufacturers, maintenance providers and other industry leaders to participate in the October summit. ARSA encourages all interested members to attend, but space will be limited and advanced registration is required.

Engine & Airframe-Engine Integration Safety Summit
Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
NTSB Auditorium
420 10th Street, SW, Washington D.C. 20024.

Interested participants should:

(1) Review the summit announcement (click here) for more event information.
(2) Review the Draft Agenda.
(3) Click here to register to reserve your seat and receive more information about the summit.
(4) Submit questions to Tom Stafford, the FAA’s Engine Aircraft Integration Group Lead/Manager, at

While ARSA did not lobby directly on the section of the FAA reauthorization law that produced the engine safety review, the association has been helping the agency to meet the mandated “call to action.” The review all of the work done during the law’s development and see a prioritized listing of sections impacting aviation maintenance, visit

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



Learn from ARSA’s Experts at HELI-EXPO 2020

From January 26-29, 2020, ARSA’s great regulatory minds will be at HAI HELI-EXPO 2020 in Anaheim, California.

Image courtesy HAI. Click for event information.

Marshall S. Filler and Sarah MacLeod, the association’s foremost experts in regulatory compliance (and managing members of the firm of Obadal, Filler, MacLeod & Klein, P.L.C.) will lead a number of professional education courses as well as three “Rotor Safety Challenge” presentations.

Stay tuned to for registration information. 

Professional Education Courses

Note: These sessions are provided by Filler and MacLeod in their roles as managing members for OFM&K.

Regulatory Comprehension for Operations

Sunday, January 26, 2020 – 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PST

This session covers the FAA’s general authority and process for promulgating rules as well as the agency’s authority and organization, then walks through the requirements in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations to explain how its various components are linked together in a “regulatory chain” that must be comprehended by aviation businesses. Topics specific to operations include part 91, subpart D special flight operations including operating limitations for restricted category aircraft; part 91, subpart H operations of U.S.-registered aircraft outside the United States; part 133 external load operations; part 135, subpart L helicopter air ambulance equipment, operations and training requirements; part 136 commercial air tours and national parks air tour management, part 137 agricultural aircraft operations and public aircraft operations as defined in 49 U.S.C. §§ 40125 and 40102.

Regulatory Comprehension for Maintenance

Sunday, January 26, 2020 – 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST

This session covers the FAA’s organization, authority and process for promulgating rules, then walks through the general requirements in 14 CFR to explain how its various components link together in a “regulatory chain” that must be comprehended by aviation businesses. Topics specific to maintenance include part 43 maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding and alteration; part 65, subpart D mechanics (certification); part 65, subpart E repairmen (certification); and part 145 repair stations.

Regulations Affecting Aircraft Part Purchase and Sale

Monday, January 27, 2020 – 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PST

This course reviews the civil aviation regulations in 14 CFR that impact the purchase, sale, receiving, stocking, inspection and installation of civil aviation articles for maintenance purposes. It also overviews other guidance as well as regulatory and contractual requirements that should be considered.

Public Aircraft Operations

Monday, January 27, 2020 – 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST

This course provides instruction on the statutory provisions and FAA guidance governing public aircraft operations. It covers the basic requirements for an aircraft to be operated as a public aircraft, what constitutes an eligible governmental function, and the practical implications of using the same aircraft to conduct both civil and public operations. It also discusses the FAA policy regarding operations conducted under contract for a government entity.

Rotor Safety Challenge Sessions

Note: These sessions are provided on behalf of ARSA.

Building a Professional Relationship with the Government

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 – 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. PST

This session provides a road map for building a useful relationship with civil aviation authorities. It begins by describing the rules that should always be considered when engaging with aviation safety regulators, then provides instruction on how to introduce your company and maintain consistent contact — not just when there’s a problem. The session concludes by providing strategies for maintaining a professional relationship with regulators.

Best Practices in Maintenance Recordkeeping

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 – 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

This session explores the regulatory responsibilities of creating and maintaining maintenance records. It will help participants to define:

  • Regulatory responsibilities of the operator versus the maintenance provider in creating and maintaining maintenance records
  • How obligations can be shifted by contract but not under aviation safety regulations
  • Maintenance recordkeeping regulations, the documents essential to making airworthiness determinations.

Self Disclosure – Avoiding Self Exposure

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 – 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

This session reviews the elements of the FAA’s self-disclosure programs and provides methods for addressing non-compliance with creating unnecessary scrutiny.

Whether you are able to participate in Anaheim or not, much of the material presented by MacLeod and Filler at HELI-EXPO is available through ARSA’s online training program. To review the library of available courses and register for immediate access to on-demand sessions, click here. You also may review the session information below for links to related classes.


Back to School with ARSA Human Factors Training

ARSA is growing its library of human factors-related training sessions. In addition to the three already available on demand (linked at the bottom of this piece), the association just opened 11 new sessions for registration: Each 60-minute course will walk through a key factor contributing to human error in aviation as participants explore “the Dirty Dozen in Depth.”

The series is presented by ARSA Executive Director Sarah MacLeod, Executive Vice President Christian A. Klein and Vice President of Operations Brett Levanto and will run from Aug. 27 to Oct. 29. After each live session is complete, a recorded version will be available for on-demand viewing. For more information about ARSA’s online training program, click here.

For each element of “the Dirty Dozen,” the series provides:

(1) Basic definitions and context.
(2) Aviation safety regulatory references.
(3) Examples.
(4) Mitigations.
(5) Exercises.

To learn more or register for a session, review the schedule below and click the appropriate link(s) or click here to register for all 11 sessions and receive a discounted rate for your bundled purchase.

If you have questions regarding this series or any of ARSA’s training resources, contact Brett Levanto.

The Live Sessions – The Dirty Dozen in Depth

Session Topic







Complacency   Tuesday, Aug. 27   11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT   Click here.
Lack of Knowledge   Tuesday, Sept. 3   11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT   Click here.
Distraction   Thursday, Sept. 5   11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT   Click here.
Lack of Teamwork   Tuesday, Sept. 17   11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT   Click here.
Fatigue   Tuesday, Sept. 24   11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT   Click here.
Lack of Resources   Thursday, Sept. 26   11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT   Click here.
Pressure   Tuesday, Oct. 1   11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT   Click here.
Lack of Assertiveness   Tuesday, Oct. 8   11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT   Click here.
Stress   Thursday, Oct. 10   11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT   Click here.
Lack of Awareness   Tuesday, Oct. 22   11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT   Click here.
Norms   Tuesday, Oct. 29   11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT   Click here.

Already On Demand – Three Sessions on Human Factors

The first three sessions in ARSA’s series on human factors are already available for immediate on-demand viewing and have been accepted by the FAA Safety Team for credit towards Inspection Authorization renewal under § 65.93(a)(4): 

Human Factors in Context
IA Course Acceptance: C-IND-IM-190130-K-012-003
Instructors: Sarah MacLeod, Christian A. Klein & Brett Levanto
This session provides a general introduction to “human factors” and puts their consideration into an aviation context. It reviews the general definitions and key components of human factors understanding and reviews the rules and guidance on the subject from various aviation regulatory and oversight organizations.
Click here to register and get access for 90 days.

The Dirty Dozen – Human Factors Overview
IA Course Acceptance: C-IND-IM-190130-K-012-004
Instructors: Sarah MacLeod, Christian A. Klein & Brett Levanto
This session introduces the “Dirty Dozen,” 12 common factors that impact human performance. It discusses these in the context of the aviation maintenance industry, describes how they lead to problems, suggests ways to mitigate consequences and explains how all 12 are interconnected.
Click here to register and get access for 90 days.

The Dirty Dozen In Depth – Communication
IA Course Acceptance: C-IND-IM-190130-K-012-005 
This course discusses communication in the aviation maintenance environment, factors that can interfere with communication and ways to mitigate those factors.
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


D&A Testing Requirements

Follow Marshall S. Filler through his exploration of drug and alcohol testing requirements in both 14 CFR parts 14 and 49. In Filler’s words, remember: “This is not a logic exercise…it’s a regulatory exercise.”

Interested in all five D&A sessions? Click here to purchase them together and save.

Requirements of 14 CFR part 120
This session provides basic information on the Federal Aviation Administration’s drug and alcohol testing requirements contained in Title 14 CFR part 120, Drug and Alcohol Testing Program (full description available on registration page).
Click here to register and get access for 90 days.

Requirements of 49 CFR part 40
This session provides information on the requirements of the Department of Transportation (DOT) set forth in 49 CFR part 40, Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs (full description available on registration page).
Click here to register and get access for 90 days.

Traps for the Unwary
This session provides information on avoiding many of the common drug and alcohol-related mistakes that can subject companies to enforcement action, typically in the form of civil penalties (full description available on registration page).
Click here to register and get access for 90 days.

D&A Testing – Safety Sensitive Functions
This session covers “performance” of “safety-sensitive functions” in a repair station that is subject to 14 CFR part 120, Drug and Alcohol Testing Program. It focuses on the regulatory definitions of those activities and how they should be integrated into the repair station’s quality system and business practices. It also provides guidance on when tested employees should be removed or remain in the random testing pool.
Click here to register and get access for 90 days.

Case Study: Testing Your Knowledge
This session will test the participants’ knowledge of the drug and alcohol testing requirements in 14 and 49 CFR by presenting several hypothetical case studies (full description available on registration page).
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


Building a Positive Professional Government Relationship

This session provides a roadmap for building a useful relationship with civil aviation authorities. It begins by describing the rules that should always be considered when engaging with aviation safety regulators, then provides instruction on how to introduce your company and maintain consistent contact – not just when there’s a problem. It concludes by providing strategies for maintaining a professional relationship with regulators.

When it was recorded the session was titled as offering instruction for a “positive” relationship with the government. Since that recording, the association’s thinking has evolved to recognize that seeking “positivity” is nowhere near as productive or realistic as seeking professionalism.

Click here to register and get access for 90 days.

As a repair station, dealing with the government, particularly the FAA is inevitable. Building a good relationship with government officials in good times will help keep the bad times at bay. ARSA works to provide its members with the tools to make the most out of every interaction with a regulator. In addition to this training session, members should review the resources available from the association:

Resources for Dealing with the Government



Regulatory Compliance Training

Test your knowledge of 14 CFR § 65.107(a)-(b) – Repairman certificate (Light-sport aircraft): Eligibility, privileges, and limits.

Click here to download the training sheet.


Return to Top of Page ARSA-onlinetraining


Feed Your Need for ARSA

The updates on are a valuable resource for the aviation community. The association’s team has heard from countless sources (including aviation safety inspectors) that its website is the most-trusted resource for delivering key information in a clear, accurate way…and it often does so before anyone else.

The Dispatch newsletter delivers all of ARSA’s webposts to thousands of subscribers each week (Not getting yours? Subscribe now), but you don’t have to wait for Wednesday’s to see what’s going on. Connect to the association’s RSS feed to get immediate notification of updates and even “pipe” them directly to your own website, information portal or other resource.

By subscribing to RSS feeds using news aggregators or connecting them to existing websites, users need not visit a series of individual sites to gather all the information and intelligence needed for their work.

The address for ARSA’s RSS feed is and can be accessed using the ARSA RSS Feed icon at the top of the website. To learn about how to use these feeds, click here (link directs to Digital Trends article). For information regarding how to take advantage of ARSA’s expertise and use the association’s feed to produce content on your website, contact Brett Levanto (

Other ways to stay on top of ARSA:

(1) Follow @ARSAworks on Twitter.
(2) Make your home page.
(3) Find and share content from the association’s team in other publications, including Aviation Week, AMT Magazine, DOM Magazine, Aviation Maintenance Magazine and more…


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 July:

New Members (Member Category)

Aircraft Specialties, Inc., R03
Deer Horn Aviation LTD, R01
Nicholas Travers (Florida Atlantic Univ.), Edu

Renewing Members (Member Category, Member Since)

AAR Corp, Corp, 1985
Aero Accessories & Repair, Inc., R03, 2016
Aero-Mark MRO, LLC-dba Certified Aviation Services, R02, 2015
Aerospace Testing Engineering & Certification Inc.-dba AeroTEC, Assoc, 2017
Air Transport Components, LLC, R04, 2015
AllFlight Corp., R03, 2011
Citadel Completions, LLC, R04, 2018
Engine Disassembly Services, Inc. dba Engine Overhaul Services, R01, 2018
E.U.A. Air Support, Inc., R01, 2003
Gyro Specialist, Inc., R01, 2011
Helicopter Services of Nevada LLC, R01, 2005
Lynden Air Cargo, LLC, Assoc, 2000
MTU Maintenance Hannover GmbH, R06, 2007
NAASCO Northeast Corporation, 2002, R02
NFF Avionics Services, Inc., R02, 2010
Pacific Aerospace, LLC, R01, 2005
Southern Utah University, EDU, 2017
Southwest Airmotive Corp, R01, 2012 


Quick Question – Your Professional Life

As part of its efforts to support aviation workforce development, ARSA is working to chronicle the careers of people in the industry. The purpose of this work is to demonstrate how the maintenance community can provide more than just a “job,” but an opportunity for passionate individuals to develop skills while growing personally and professionally.

In May, ARSA organized 15 other industry associations to jointly submit comments to the FAA’s Draft Advisory Circular 65-30B, “Overview of the Aviation Maintenance Profession.” Explaining its assistance to the agency in describing the “profession” of aviation maintenance, the group’s submission said:

“There is no single point of entry or career trajectory for aviation maintenance professionals. Depending on knowledge, education, experience, skill and curiosity, individuals with an interest in the kinds of hands-on, intellectually-challenging and technically-skilled work performed in all manner of aviation maintenance facilities may begin or continue a career through any one of the ‘pathways’ described [the industry-provided draft of the AC].”

In this month’s “quick question,” ARSA is taking the next step in illustrating the “pathways” available to aviation maintenance professionals. By sharing your thoughts – this is the most open-ended monthly questionnaire yet – you will help build descriptive timelines showing how individuals enter into, learn from and succeed through the industry. You are not required to provide any identifying information, but the option is available for those will to share further about their experiences.

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.


Member Spotlight – Lynden Air Cargo

Lynden Air Cargo has been an ARSA associate member since 2000, renewing in July to begin its 20th year in support of the association. The company includes a range of surface transportation services in addition to its aviation arm. Learn about Lynden in its own words:

Lynden began with a clear mission: put the customer first, deliver quality, and be the best at what you do. Today, our mission remains the same. We believe that complex transportation problems can be solved in the hands of the right people, with the right tools and the right experience.

Over land, on water, in the air – or in any combination – Lynden helps customers get the job done in challenging areas such as Alaska, Western Canada and Russia, or anywhere in the world we are needed. We have built a reputation of superior service to diverse industries including oil and gas, seafood, mining, construction, retail and manufacturing.

Lynden is a family of transportation companies with the combined capabilities of truckload and less-than-truckload transportation, scheduled and charter barges, intermodal bulk chemical hauls, scheduled and chartered air freighters, domestic and international forwarding and customs services, sanitary bulk commodities hauling, and multi-modal logistics.

Our family of companies delivers a total freight transportation package. Our employees deliver quality service while putting the customer first and doing their best every day. That’s not only our mission; it’s the Lynden way of doing business.

For more information about Lynden, visit


A Member Asked…

Q: Does a return-to-service person who only checks completed paperwork to ensure that all work has been performed and never performs inspection or other maintenance activity need to be included in the 14 CFR part 120 anti-drug and alcohol testing program?

This person would be checking to ensure that the parts (part numbers and serial numbers of the parts being certificated) match the certificate. This person is a repairman certificated under part 65 and we are a U.S.-based repair station.

A: Although there is a legal argument that the person merely reviewing paperwork is not performing maintenance, the verbiage in § 65.101(a)(2) says you get a repairman certificate for performing maintenance. Since maintenance is a “safety-sensitive function,” the aviation safety inspectors that perform drug and alcohol audits would automatically assume that maintenance is being performed and therefore the individual should be drug tested.

On the other hand, you cannot “dilute the pool” by placing people that should not be tested under the program without running afoul of 14 CFR part 120!

To avoid any issues, you can indicate that while the position assigned to approve work for return to service may not be performing maintenance or preventive maintenance tasks, the position is expected to be “immediately available or ready to perform” maintenance (based on the definition of “performing” in § 120.7(k)). It is difficult to imagine that a person responsible for ensuring the quality system is followed will not eventually be expected to perform steps in maintenance processes or be qualified to perform maintenance unsupervised.

Want to ensure you have an informed background on D&A testing requirements? Check out ARSA’s online training series, which is featured in the “Training” section of this edition and is at

On Demand Series on D&A Testing Requirements

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 (


Return to Top of Page


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

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

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
NBAA BACE – Las Vegas, Nevada – October 22-24, 2019
ACC Annual Conference & Exhibition – Palm Springs, California – November 11-13, 2019
ARSA 2020 Annual Conference – Washington, D.C.  – March 10-13, 2020

Return to Top of Page

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