Table of Contents
ARSA on the Hill
Welcome New Members
Regulatory Compliance Training
Sarah Says: Never Again
By Sarah MacLeod, Executive Director
So, after ten years, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) finalized rules for repair stations; the congressionally-mandated ban on international business expansion can lift. How did the repair station community get itself into a position that it had to request regulations it did not want and the public did not need?
The ability to get a law passed is simply political clout; it can be gained by direct involvement or by monetary commitment. Ten years ago, the repair station community had no interest in politics, little monetary involvement, and basically no influence—the trade unions had all three. Today ARSA has an active legislative team that applied pressure on the TSA through congressional visits resulting in a final rule. Unfortunately, clout to eliminate the repair station security requirement is still needed.
The repair station community must pledge never to be the victim of bad politics again—support of this trade association is essential to that effort. There is no other organization devoted to the requirements of the worldwide maintenance industry—the manufacturers and operators have different interests and will use their political power on other issues. The matters faced by the maintenance community aren’t popular, they aren’t sexy, and they can and do create controversy. It cannot be avoided, it can only be bested—it is past time to put your time or your money on the line.
Congressional leaders in both chambers are formulating the next Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization legislation. The current law expires in 2015; however, without groundwork you can bet that anti-contract maintenance factions will be pushing proposals to hinder your growth.
Remember attempts to mandate biannual inspections of all FAA-certificated foreign repair stations that jeopardized the U.S.-EASA bilateral aviation safety agreement? How about mandatory criminal background checks for all repair station employees? Limits on the use of contract maintenance by U.S. air carriers? All of these proposals (and more) will come up again. A strong association can stop these ideas from becoming reality; otherwise you will live with implementing and minimizing the impact of growth-impeding measures.
Never again means getting involved; it is simple:
(1) Attend ARSA’s Legislative Day.
(2) Weigh-in with your lawmakers through ARSAaction.org .
(3) Learn more about ARSA PAC—or give to a political campaign directly.
(4) Strengthen industry representation through the Members Getting Members program.
FAA Responds to AMOC Interpretation Request
By Zach Ferriola-Bruckenstein, Advocacy Manager
Last August, ARSA questioned the inclusion of a particular question and answer in the appendix of Order 8110.103A. That order contains guidance on when and how a person should apply for an Alternative Means of Compliance (AMOC) to an Airworthiness Directive (AD).The association believed that the answer to question “f” was inaccurate. (See previous story.)
On Jan. 27, 2014, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responded to the ARSA request for legal interpretation.
Question (f) and its answer are:
Question: The AD requires that I accomplish specific instructions in a SB [Service Bulletin]. Those instructions require actions from a manual, and the manual requires actions from a standard practice manual. My operating procedure differs from the standard practice manual. Do I need an AMOC [Alternative Methods of Compliance] to keep using my operating procedure?
Answer: Yes. You must accomplish the specific instructions in the SB specified in the AD (Airworthiness Directive), including any second- or third-tier documents that are required to complete the action(s).
The FAA rejected ARSA’s interpretation that the answer to question “f” is unclear as to what exactly may be “required to complete the action(s)” required by an AD. ARSA argued the answer fails to abide with the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires an agency obtain approval for each document it wishes to incorporate by reference (IBR) in a rule.
In rejecting ARSA’s assessment, the FAA states that it provided the notice required by 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(1), which allows enforcement of rules when “ a person has actual and timely notice of the terms thereof.” The agency contends that courts recognize that actual notice may exist even if the issuing agency has not published the requirements in the Federal Register or obtained approval for IBR. The FAA adds that the second- and third-tier references in ADs are generally required to be in the repair station’s possession under 14 CFR § 145.109(d). Accordingly, the FAA concludes that a repair station’s compliance with this regulation constitutes actual notice of the referenced documents.
The legal interpretation also refers to a recent civil enforcement action against Aviation Technical Services, Inc. in which the administrative law judge upheld the FAA’s finding of violation for failing to use those references because there was actual notice. Even without actual notice, the FAA asserts that the AD requirements must still be fulfilled.
“If the person does not have actual notice of a secondary reference and, therefore, is unable to use that reference to comply with the AD, or if, as stated in the quoted question, a person simply prefers to use a different method, 14 CFR 39.19 allows that person to seek approval for an alternative method of compliance (AMOC).”
The FAA believes that in such circumstances, individuals are neither “required to resort to” nor “adversely affected by” the secondary reference and thus failure to comply could result in a violation.
It behooves members to read ADs and well as every referenced document, including service bulletins, standard practice manuals, industry standards, prior to commencing work required by the directive.
Ban Lifted: TSA Releases Repair Station Security Rule
By Daniel Fisher, Vice President Legislative Affairs
Nearly a decade after the original congressional mandate, the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) final repair station security rules were issued on January 13. This action brings an end to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ban on certificating new foreign repair stations.
The final regulation will be significantly narrower in scope from the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) TSA issued on Nov. 18, 2009. In a call with industry stakeholders, agency officials outlined the final rule, which will be implemented within 45 days and doesn’t mandate any new security programs or plans. Highlights include:
- A shift from process-based to outcome-based security. The focus is on the risk of stealing an unattended, large (over 12,500 pounds) aircraft capable of flight.
- The rule applies only to repair stations with large aircraft under their control “on or adjacent” to a “commercial” airport already under TSA regulation. “On or adjacent” means the repair station is within the fence line, part of the fence line, or otherwise has access to a runway.
- Securing a “flyable” aircraft could include blocking, defueling, or locking it in a hangar. If the aircraft is undergoing repairs that would render it “unable to fly,” no further “security” would be needed.
- For those part 145 certificated repair stations to which the rule applies, a designated point of contact (POC) with knowledge of individuals responsible for securing the aircraft will be required. The POC and persons responsible for securing the aircraft must have undergone a background check; including a five year verification of employment (individuals with gaps of six months won’t be “verifiable”). It’s unclear whether these persons must be certificated under part 65 (be a mechanic or repairman), but in any event if the individual is certificated, verification of that certificate must be verified. A security identification display area (SIDA) badge will suffice for compliance.
- TSA has inspection authority without advanced notice and can issue security objectives.
“While ARSA commends TSA for heeding industry input and narrowing the scope of the regulation, it’s a shame the agency took so long to issue what appears to be straightforward,” ARSA Executive Director Sarah MacLeod said. “The association looks forward to immediately working with the FAA to begin the process of certificating new foreign repair stations so aviation maintenance companies can continue to create jobs and expand markets.”
ARSA will review the rule in detail as soon as it is issued and will provide updates at www.arsa.org.
The full rule text is available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-01-13/pdf/2014-00415.pdf.
TSA Begins Foreign Repair Station Security Audits
By Daniel Fisher, ARSA Vice President Legislative Affairs
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is delivering questionnaires to FAA certificated part 145 repair stations operating outside the United States.
The survey is part of the security review and audit process mandated by Congress to occur within six months of TSA finalizing the aircraft repair station security rule. ARSA is encouraging all companies receiving the questionnaire to complete it as soon as possible and return it to TSA.
ARSA Challenges FAA Information Collection
By Zach Ferriola-Bruckenstein, Advocacy Manager
On Jan. 14, ARSA challenged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on the unnecessary reporting requirements of a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) requiring the inspection and replacement of cylinders used in certain engines manufactured by Continental Motors, Inc.
ARSA’s comments rebuke the FAA for failing to abide by the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act in the agency’s submission to the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) seeking approval of the information collection.
The association emphasized the FAA inaccurately portrayed the time burden associated with each step, didn’t explain why it needed the information and failed to provide a practical utility for the data, and didn’t outline the purpose for which information is being collected and how it should be used once obtained.
ARSA also highlighted inconsistencies between the FAA’s justification to the OMB and the NPRM, including missing Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis, blatantly false assertions that the FAA had no other way of acquiring the information, and disparate statements about the number affected by the proposed rule.
Lastly, the association stressed the reporting burden would take far greater than five minutes, as the FAA proposed, and would more accurately approach anywhere from five to nine hours.
ARSA’s complete comments are available at http://arsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ARSA_OMBComments_DASAD-20140114.pdf.
Draft Revision to Order 8130.2 Released
By Zach Ferriola-Bruckenstein, Advocacy Manager
On Jan. 6, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a draft revision to Order 8130.2. This draft proposes changes to the current order, 8130.2G Change 1, which established procedures for accomplishing original and recurrent airworthiness certification of aircraft and related products and articles.
The procedures apply to FAA manufacturing aviation safety inspectors (ASI), to airworthiness ASIs, and to private persons or organizations delegated authority to issue airworthiness certificates and related approvals. Public comments on the proposed changes are due by Feb. 7 to Craig Holmes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for further ARSA analysis, commentary, and guidance on this draft revision.
New Guidance Available
By Matt McKinney, Communications Manager
In response to concerns that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspectors were not uniformly auditing repair stations, standardized checklists have been developed. These documents are not being used by the FAA workforce yet, but will be officially introduced in the near future. It behooves repair stations to incorporate the concepts into their own quality systems to ensure successful audit results. The checklists reference the applicable regulations and internal FAA guidance for research and applicability.
The checklists are available to the public here under AFS-300 Job Aids; Part 145 Repair Station Checklists.
ARSA is reviewing the material for correct regulatory references, consistency, and uniformity; members are encouraged to review and provide comments to the association for transmission to the agency.
The Customs Agent’s Always Right?
By Daniel Fisher, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Customs duties are tariffs or taxes imposed on goods when transported across international borders. According to the Customs and Border Patrol, the purpose is “to protect each country’s economy, residents, jobs, environment, etc., by controlling the flow of goods, especially restrictive and prohibited goods, into and out of the country.”
The government claims duties are for the public good; however, we all know the primary reason for their existence — revenue. While tariffs and taxes won’t go away, ARSA members are increasingly complaining about interactions with customs and freight forwarders, resulting in increased expenses and time wasted.
Is your company having problems dealing with customs? Did you have difficulties, but switched freight forwarders, and reduced costs and time spent on importing and exporting? Does your company have a “best practice” for navigating the customs process? If so, ARSA would like to hear your story. Please email ARSA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Daniel Fisher.
Updated Form 8130-3 Takes Effect
By Matt McKinney, Communications Manager
On Feb. 1, the revised Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Form 8130-3 entered into force, replacing the previous form dated June 1, 2001. A presentation outlining the major changes is available here.
The document is used for domestic airworthiness approval of new products and articles; approval for return to service of altered aircraft parts; and export airworthiness approvals of aircraft engines, propellers, or articles.
The FAA revised the form In August 2013 as part of harmonization efforts with other civil aviation authorities to ease the identification and traceability of goods between the United States and other countries.
TSA Contacts Repair Stations about Security Rules
By Daniel Fisher, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
The Transportation Security Administration is in the process of delivering letters to part 145 repair stations that must comply with the aircraft repair station security rule’s new security measures.
While the regulation applies to all part 145 repair stations, only those located on or adjacent to an airport (if there is an access point between the repair station and the airport large enough to move a large (12,500 lbs.) aircraft) must implement new security measures, including:
1. Designating a point of contact(s) to carry out specified responsibilities; 2. Preventing the unauthorized operation of large aircraft capable of flight that are left unattended; and 3. Verifying background information of those individuals who are designated as the TSA point(s) of contact and those who have access to the measure(s) used to prevent the unauthorized operation of large aircraft capable of flight that are left unattended.
ARSA has been working with TSA on the rule’s implementation and seeking clarification on issues that have arisen as repair stations prepare to carry out the new requirements. The agency requested ARSA to notify it of any repair stations that are operating on or adjacent to an airport that should have received the letter, but didn’t, and those that were sent letters inadvertently.
Please contact ARSA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Daniel Fisher if you have an questions regarding the letter or other issues with the rule. In the near future, TSA is expected to provide more specific guidance, including how to get “other means” approved for rendering the aircraft inoperable and what is considered “attended” under the new rule.
To read about the basics of the rule, please check out ARSA’s FAQ document.
Compete at the AMC in Las Vegas
By Matt McKinney, Communications Manager
On March 25-26, the Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC) will be held in Las Vegas for aviation maintenance professionals to test their abilities.
The AMC highlights the knowledge, skill, and integrity of aviation maintenance technicians and engineers. The event will help raise awareness of the training and skill needed for providing safe, airworthy aircraft worldwide.
Teams will compete in 16 different 20-minute events. Competition categories include commercial aviation, general aviation, space, school, military, and the MRO/OEM sector.
To register, visit http://aerospacemaintenancecompetition.com/2014-registration/.
An Overview of the FAA – In the Beginning
By Larry Richards, Senior Manager, CAVOK, A division of Oliver Wyman, Inc., 720 Whitley Road, Keller, Texas 76248. © 2014 Larry Richards ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
A core Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mission is safety oversight—the process of ensuring individuals, airlines, aircraft designers, maintainers and manufacturers perform aviation safety requirements within the proper standards. It took several re-organizations, some prompted by tragedy, and many decades, for the agency to develop its current role.
The federal role in aviation safety did not begin as a regulator, rather as the operator of the U.S. Air Mail Service. In 1918, mail delivery used government-owned planes, flown by government-employed pilots. A safety program with strict criteria for pilot selection, aircraft inspections (with a 180-item checklist at the end of virtually every trip), and regular engine and aircraft maintenance (every 100 and 750 hours, respectively) was instituted.
The benefits were obvious. The fatality rate for mail service was one per 789,000 miles flown (from 1922-1925, while the fatality rate for commercial fliers (for 1924 only) was one per 13,500. Industry leaders noticed the level of safety the government attained and called for federal oversight of all civil aviation.
The Aeronautics Branch
Congress passed the Kelley Air Mail Act in 1925 requiring the U.S. Post Office to turn over responsibility for carrying airmail to private contractors. In 1926, Congress passed the original Air Commerce Act (ACA) establishing an Aeronautics Branch (AB) in the Department of Commerce. The AB licensed and ensured the airworthiness of aircraft engaged in interstate commerce, certificated airmen, and developed and enforced air traffic rules. Within the AB, the Air Regulations Division carried out oversight within six sections: inspection, licensing, medical, engineering, statistical, and enforcement.
With extensive consultation from industry, the AB developed detailed rules on airworthiness and certification that would improve safety without requiring a huge workforce. Under the government’s minimum standards, the aircraft manufacturer sent blueprints and other engineering data to the AB. If these documents met the standards, an inspector would visit the plant to determine whether the manufacturer was using the approved design. The visit was followed by flight tests, first by a company test pilot and then by a federal inspector. If the aircraft passed, the AB issued a type certificate for the manufacturer to produce aircraft. When the manufacturer certified it had followed the specifications of the type certificate and the aircraft had been flight-tested, the aircraft received airworthiness certificates without federal inspection.
The ACA also required pilots to pass regular medical exams. To minimize government expenditure, private doctors could be designated to perform the exams, with examinees covering the fees. Government oversight revolved around eleven districts. Inspectors traveled from one center of aircraft activity to another based on itineraries drawn up by supervisors. In 1933, the number of districts was reduced to nine, and users were required to travel to the government’s location. Unfortunately, the task of designating doctors and inspection and certification of aircraft developed backlogs. The accumulation only cleared when requests slowed down after the 1929 economic collapse.
The Bureau of Air Commerce
An additional set of commercial airline safety rules were issued in 1935, by which time the AB had been re-designated the Bureau of Air Commerce (BAC). The new requirements included limits on flight hours for pilots, BAC approval of airline dispatching procedures and personnel, and certification of airport controllers and airline employees. In the decade since the enactment of the ACA, the number of pilots, airmail revenue, and passengers carried increased. At the same time, the rate of fatal accidents per aircraft mile decreased by a factor of 10 for scheduled airline service, and a factor of four for other flying.
However, the crash of a TWA airliner carrying Senator Bronson Cutting in 1935 fueled reorganization. A senate investigation pointed mainly at the BAC, citing problems with the equipment it provided for instrument landings, as well as irregularities in the bureau’s regulatory process. The investigation, possibly tainted by efforts to shift blame and avoid liability, also pointed to a conflict of interest in the BAC investigation of accidents.
The Civil Aeronautics Authority
The Civil Aeronautics Act, passed on June 23, 1938, created the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA), with an administrator and a five-member board, along with a three-person Air Safety Board. The sole purpose of the Air Safety Board was to investigate accidents.
The CAA inherited BAC’s safety regulation responsibilities that included licensing airmen (pilots, mechanics, etc.) and certification of repair stations and air carriers. Airworthiness certification was also transferred, and the CAA continued type certification processes. Additionally, the CAA heard complaints, determined rates for mail and passenger service, issued route certificates for airlines offering scheduled service, promulgated safety rules, and formulated general policies for improving the efficiency of the airway system. Oversight was consolidated into seven regional offices.
The Civil Aeronautics Board 1939 to 1959
The Reorganization Act of 1939 aimed to improve the president’s ability to supervise the executive branch. Congress approved reorganization that shifted administrative powers from the CAA five-member board, renamed the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), to the Administrator. Congress abolished the Air Safety Board, made the CAB responsible for accident investigation, and placed the CAA Administrator back in the Department of Commerce. Aviation safety became an explicit responsibility of the administrator, who assigned the mission to the Office of Safety Regulation, which included:
- The General Inspection Division that looked after private operators, examined and tested pilots and other airmen, and inspected aircraft for airworthiness;
- The Air Carrier Division, which oversaw airlines, with inspectors specializing in maintenance, operations or radio. These inspectors worked closely and continuously with airline personnel;
- The Aircraft Engineering Division that reviewed aircraft design documents and stress analyses for new aircraft to ensure structural soundness;
- The Flight Engineering Division, which performed the flight tests to complete the type certification process; and
- The Factory Inspection Division that performed factory inspections to ensure each manufactured aircraft met the approved drawings of its prototype.
Shortly after Theodore Wright became CAA Administrator in 1944, the General Inspection Division was criticized for inspectors treating general aviators discourteously and uncooperatively. In June 1945, Wright established the Non-Scheduled Flying Advisory Committee to represent the concerns of the non-scheduled air carrier industry. The committee uncovered accusations of conflict of interest, favoritism, bribery, absenteeism and other forms of malfeasance. Wright’s inability to carry out a thorough housecleaning of upper-level managers that had allowed or tolerated corrupt practices led to his departure in 1948.
However, during Wright’s tenure, the CAA fundamentally transformed its approach to safety oversight and recast the government role as one of inspecting the inspectors. The resultant designee program was similar to the AB policy of using private physicians to certificate pilots and included two additional classes. Factory designees employed by aircraft manufacturers were allowed to certificate personal aircraft. Testing designees, employed by fixed-based operators, were allowed to test and certificate pilots.
The CAA was able to achieve significant productivity improvement with an estimated savings of $5.3 million in 1948. Wright also attempted further organizational reform and regionalization. The activities in Washington would be confined to policymaking, while administration and implementation would be left to the regions, within easier reach of airlines, pilots, manufacturers and other customers. Headquarters’ responsibility resided with the Assistant Administrator for Safety Regulation, while the regions had separate branches devoted to airmen, aircraft and components, and flight operations.
On June 30, 1956, TWA Flight 2 and United Flight 718 collided over the Grand Canyon, killing all 128 aboard. This catastrophe was blamed on shortcomings in air traffic control rules that appeared to give airlines incentives to fly off the airways when separation services were unavailable.
The collision emphasized the importance of balancing government oversight and responsibility with private sector authority, and the CAA was again reorganized in late 1956. The reorganization focused on improving air traffic control and air navigation services, but also affected safety oversight. Congress became concerned with the designee system and the potential conflict of interest when a mechanic employed by an airline was certifying that airline’s operations. While CAA staff maintained that spot checking removed this problem, Congress was not convinced.
The Federal Aviation Agency 1959 to 1966
A report by Eisenhower appointee Edward Curtis, issued in May 1957, warned of a crisis in the making from a fragmented administrative structure and led to yet another reorganization. The Curtis report stated, “The Civil Air Regulations are inextricably enmeshed in the air traffic and safety inspection systems. They are, therefore, operating rules which must be capable of practical application and practical adjustment.”
The Federal Aviation Agency was established Jan. 1, 1959; its responsibilities included all those of the CAA. The agency also took over rulemaking activities previously under the CAB, as well as air traffic control and navigation systems development that had been the mission of the Air Navigation Development Board.
Safety rulemaking responsibility was subsequently divided. The Bureau of Flight Standards dealt with all aspects of safety regulation except aircraft collision avoidance and air traffic routing, which came under the purview of the Bureau of Air Traffic Management. Flight Standards also absorbed the CAA Office of Flight Operations and Airworthiness.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board 1966 to Present
In 1966, Congress passed and President Johnson signed legislation creating the Department of Transportation (DOT) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which assumed responsibility of the CAB’s Bureau of Safety. The DOT included the FAA, now the Federal Aviation Administration (instead of the Federal Aviation Agency), along with the Bureau of Public Roads, the Coast Guard and several other transportation-related agencies. The NTSB became responsible for investigating transportation-related accidents.
Aviation safety issues figured prominently in the negotiations leading to preparation and passage of the law creating the DOT and NTSB. Senator A.S. “Mike” Monroney, a leading aviation advocate, insisted on protecting accident investigations from political interference by adding a provision that decisions of the newly-established NTSB be designated “administratively final”. Likewise, congressional leaders reached a deal with the White House that the FAA Administrator, not the Secretary of Transportation, would have final authority on matters related to safety. Thus, while the creation of DOT was notable, its impact on aviation safety and safety oversight was modest.
ARSA on the Hill
By Daniel Fisher, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
On Jan. 13, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) finalized the long-pending aircraft repair station security regulations, effectively lifting the ban on Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) foreign repair station certifications. If it wasn’t for the pressure ARSA and its members put on Capitol Hill, the rule wouldn’t have ever been issued. The threat of imminent legislative action forced TSA to eventually finish its work.
ARSA’s legislative team has been in contact with TSA officials and Capitol Hill regarding the regulation’s implementation and the rule’s unintended consequences.
ARSA’s legislative team is beginning preparations for the next FAA reauthorization bill. Congressional leadership is starting to lay the groundwork for the next FAA bill and ARSA is in the early stages of formulating proposals for the legislation. Is there an issue that the association should address in the reauthorization bill? Let us know!
In January, ARSA was represented at the monthly meeting of the Family Business Coalition, a group promoting pro-growth small business tax policies, and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, an alliance of industry associations focused on labor and workplace issues.
It’s also time for ARSA PAC to liftoff for the mid-term elections. The industry’s success on Capitol Hill depends upon ensuring our biggest supporters have the campaign resources to successfully return to Congress. We are implementing a PAC strategy that focuses on supporting lawmakers who have demonstrated leadership on the industry’s top priorities and are poised to shape the FAA reauthorization process. Ensuring our friends get through an increasingly difficult primary process is a crucial aspect of our plan. In order to learn more about ARSA PAC, please fill out solicitation consent today!
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. Read more at http://arsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/hlJan14-FDYTC-20140205.pdf.
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.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – Tech Outpaces Law
By Steven E. Pazar, Attorney at Law, 11 Carriage House Lane, Boxford, Massachusetts 01921. © 2013 Steven E. Pazar ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Steven is a counselor to businesses operating in high-risk industries, including aviation. He provides templates, tools, and training to improve contracting efficiency, close deals faster, and control costs.
Nearly a day goes by without a news story about aerial drones performing extraordinary feats of skill as they buzz overhead from place to place. Whether it’s delivery of medicine to remote locations, inspecting hard to access bridges, or assisting first responders in emergencies, the manufacturers of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are turning concepts into reality. Commercialization of UAV technology is not a pie in the sky promise for some future decade. The technology is here today and poised for take-off. That is as soon as the UAV industry and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) get a grip on the wide array of concerns that are keeping commercial UAVs from taking flight.
A “drone” is basically an aircraft that flies without a human operator. These aircraft can be fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters. An unmanned aviation system (UAS) generally describes the aircraft, the operator on the ground, and the digital communication technology used the fly the aircraft. Since 2007 it has been illegal to operate a UAS in what the FAA defines as the national airspace system without a certificate of authorization (COA). There is an exemption for recreational or “hobby” operators but commercial use is currently limited to operators with COAs. The FAA has been aggressively policing the unauthorized commercial use of UAVs as they are viewed as a threat to the flying public, legally operating aircraft as well as those on the ground.
In November 2013, the FAA released its five-year UAS Integration Roadmap with a broad timetable designed to implement the Congressional mandate of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. This roadmap presents a detailed plan for three phases of activity: Accommodation; Integration; and Evolution. Accommodation is the near-term response to current UAS technology designed to allow use while mitigating performance shortfalls. This phase will decline as the integration phase increases over time. Integration will establish performance thresholds that justify increased access to the national airspace system. During this mid to far-term phase, the FAA will establish new or revised regulations, policies, procedures, guidance material, training, and understanding of systems and operations to support routine operations. The evolution phase envisions a set of working regulations that are not static but subject to continued review and refinement.
Shortly after the release of the roadmap, the FAA announced the selection of six test ranges chosen to reflect a variety of climatic and geographic conditions, as well as proximity to ground infrastructure and research needs. The FAA expects the test ranges will assist with verification of mechanisms for safe operation prior to integration of UASs into the national airspace system. This step in the accommodation phase should promote the exponential growth and safe use of commercial UAS technology. Stay tuned for more news reports about compelling UAV commercial use in your neighborhood.
Member Spotlight: Aerosource, Inc. – Somerset, New Jersey
Aerosource Inc. is an FAA-certificated part 145 authorized repair station with a long history in the OEM and MRO industries.
Established in 1987 in Long Island City, N.Y., and later relocated to Somerset, N.J., in 1991, Aerosource boasts a variety of custom design capabilities and in-house engineering services. The company also incorporates a variety of MRO advantages such as 24-hour aircraft-on-ground assistance, Ram Air Turbines and Air Driven Generators repair and overhaul capabilities, and approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Brazilian Civil Aviation Authority. Additionally, Aerosource has received the FAA’s Diamond Award for Aviation Maintenance Technician training on several occasions.
Aerosource has been an ARSA member since 2006.
For more information, visit http://www.aerosourceinc.com/.
Are you an ARSA member who would like to be in the “Member Spotlight?” If so, please contact Matt McKinney at email@example.com .
Have You Seen This Person?
Each month, the hotline spotlights key regulatory, legislative, and business leaders making important contributions to the aviation industry. This month we look at Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security.
On Dec. 16, 2013, Jeh Johnson was confirmed as the fourth U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security following the exit of Janet Napolitano. Under his leadership, the Transportation Security Administration (an agency within the Department of Homeland Security) released the long-awaited repair station security rules lifting the ban on the FAA’s ability to certificate foreign repair stations.
Johnson previously served in various high level executive positions. Under President Clinton, he was General Counsel for the Department of the Air Force. In 2009, Johnson was chosen to serve as General Counsel for the Department of Defense. During his tenure at Defense, Johnson dealt with many high-profile issues like the repealing of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and the release of classified documents by WikiLeaks in 2010. In addition to his time in the public sector, Johnson has also worked as a private practice trial lawyer.
Johnson graduated from Morehouse College in 1979 and earned a Juris Doctor. from Columbia Law School in 1982.
A Member Asked…
Q: If an FAA certificated part 145 repair station is at an airport [domestic or foreign] with no scheduled air carrier service, is the repair station exempt from the new aircraft repair station security rule?
A: Given the rule’s purpose is “to reduce the likelihood that terrorists are able to use large aircraft as a weapon,” the regulation doesn’t distinguish from repair stations at airports with no scheduled air service from those without. It requires all FAA certificated part 145 repair stations to comply with security directives setting forth mandatory measures and allow authorized officials at any time, and in a “reasonable manner” without notice, to enter, conduct audits, assessments, or inspections of any property, facilities, equipment, and operations. These inspections can occur on weekends and even on federal holidays. Authorized officials may also view, inspect, and copy records as necessary to carry out the agency’s security-related statutory or regulatory authorities.
If the FAA certificated part 145 repair station is on an air operations or security identification display area (SIDA) of an airport covered by an airport security program under 49 CFR 1542, adjacent to such an airport, or on the security restricted area of any commensurate airport outside the United States regulated by a governmental entity, it must also comply with security measures.
Provide TSA with point(s) of contact (POC)(s) available 24-hours, seven days a week that will—
- Be responsible for compliance with the regulation;
- Serve as the primary person(s) for security-related activities and communications with TSA;
- Maintain records of all employees responsible for controlling keys (or other approved means) used to control access to the aircraft; and
- Maintain records associated with the background of all individuals designated as POC’s and those who have access to any keys or other means used to prevent the operation of large aircraft.
Prevent unauthorized operation of unattended, large (over 12,500 lbs.) aircraft capable of flight by—
- Blocking the path of the aircraft to prevent movement. If a vehicle is used to block access to the aircraft, the vehicle’s key must be controlled;
- Parking the aircraft in a locked hangar and control the key to the hangar;
- Moving stairs away from the aircraft and shut and, if feasible, lock all cabin and/or cargo doors, and control the key; and/or
- Any other means approved in writing by TSA (despite ARSA’s insistence, the agency hasn’t clarified how to get acceptance of the “other means”)
“Controlling keys” requires that they are only available to an authorized individual who has proper background checks..
Check Out ARSA’s Library of Recorded Webinars and Online Training Classes
ARSA is pleased to announce that recorded online training classes and webinars are now available for member purchase. Check back often as courses will be continually added. Read more at http://arsa.org/training-2/online-training/.
The best form of advertising is word of mouth. Use the Members Getting Members Toolkit to recruit an ARSA member and your company will receive a discounted membership rate for your next membership term. Get more information at http://arsa.org/membership/members-getting-members/
Target Your Message: Advertise Today in ARSA’s Newsletters and Website!
ARSA recently updated its menu of advertising opportunities for arsa.org, 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 http://arsa.org/advertise/
Exhibit, Sponsor the 2014 Repair Symposium
As the maintenance industry’s top event devoted exclusively to regulatory compliance, the ARSA Symposium attracts a highly qualified professional audience. Use this opportunity to promote your company while showing support for ARSA. Get more information at http://arsa.org/news-media/events/arsa-symposium/arsa-annual-repair-symposium-sponsorship/
ARSA monitors media coverage on aviation maintenance to spread the word about the valuable role repair stations play in their communities by providing jobs and economic opportunities and in civic engagement. These are some of this month’s top stories highlighting the industry’s contributions.
Fla. Most Attractive for Aviation, Study Says (Jacksonville Business Journal)
Gulfstream to Build New Product Support Distribution Center (D.O.M Magazine)
Sky-High Opportunities Take Off at Oakleaf (Florida Times-Union)
Bell Takes Aerospace Curriculum to High School (AIN Online)
BBCC Vocational Students Get a Close Look at a Black Hawk (Columbia Basin Herald)
Governor Praises Local Leadership for Landing Aviation Repair Facility (Dothan Eagle)
Gulfstream Aerospace Invests $25 Million to Expand Brunswick, Georgia, Golden Isles Airport Service Center (Area Development)
New KCI Maintenance Operation Moves Forward (Kansas City Star)
Spirit Aeronautics Adds another Hangar to Support Growing Interiors Business (Aviation Pros)
Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology Looks to Expand across Nation (Tulsa World)
Aircraft Maintenance Program to Land at BOCES (Utica OD)
NCTC Receives Retired DC-9s for Aviation Program (Prairie Business Magazine)
India Takes Steps to Boost MRO Industry
In early January, the Indian government granted infrastructure status to maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) operations in an effort to streamline borrowing from other countries. The move will allow India’s MRO sector to be a part of the country’s airport infrastructure and is expected to generate infrastructure growth as well as a more favorable tax environment for the industry.
The Indian government has been implementing policies to expand its emerging MRO sector. Last year, the South Asian nation announced concessions to alleviate high taxation on imported components and testing equipment that have long burdened the industry. Additionally, the country’s finance minister approved an extension from three months to one year on the time period allotted for installing these parts or equipment.
The Indian MRO sector is worth about $800 million. In the next six years, this figure is expected to nearly double, making it an emerging industry to watch.
To provide more international coverage, ARSA presents a monthly roundup of world events pertaining to the industry.
Ethiopian Aviation Academy Graduates 124 Aviation Professionals (Ethiosports)
Jet Aviation STL Gains Saudi Repair Station Approval (AIN Online)
Constant Aviation Receives Aruban Certification (AviTrader)
KLM UK Engineering Opens Aircraft Dismantling & Recycling Solutions Center (AviTrader)
Air Service Basel Gains Chad Maintenance Approvals (Corporate Jet Investor)
ATR Concludes Global Maintenance Agreements with 15 Airlines Covering more than 160 ATR Aircraft (AviTrader)
MTU Maintenance Signs Exclusive Contract for GE90-115B Maintenance with BIMAN Bangladesh Airlines Ltd. (Aviation Pros)
Aero Gulf Group Is Set to Power Up Its Specialist CFM 56 Engine MRO Facility in Sola, Norway (Aviation Pros)
Volga-Dnepr Technics Increases Its Aircraft Maintenance Services in Leipzig for Western-Built Aircraft (Aviator.aero)
AFI KLM E&M Voted MRO of the Year by Airline Economics (Aviation Pros)
Aviation Week to Host MRO Show in Dubai (Trade Arabia)
Flying Colours Corp. to Achieve Full CAAC Approval (AviTrader)
Batam Aero Technic Adds Capacity in Indonesia (ATW Online)
Welcome New Members
- TeamSAI – Atlanta, Georgia
- Global Aircraft Service, Inc. – Addison, Texas
Regulatory Compliance Training
Test your knowledge on § 145.105 Change of location, housing, or facilities
AMT Society IA Renewal Training Seminar (Sarah MacLeod presenting) – Kansas City, Mo. – Feb. 12, 2014
AMT Society IA Renewal Training Seminar (Sarah MacLeod presenting) – Aurora, Colo. – March 5, 2014
ARSA Annual Repair Symposium and Legislative Fly-In – March 19-21, 2014
AMT Society IA Renewal Training Seminar (Sarah MacLeod presenting) – Las Vegas, Nev. – March 25-26, 2014
AMT Society IA Renewal Training Seminar (Sarah MacLeod presenting) – San Antonio, Texas– April 5, 2014
The FAA is very concerned about counterfeit aircraft parts. They call them Suspected Unapproved Parts (SUP).
Having any in your inventory could be a legal disaster !!
- There is only one centralized DataBase of Suspected Unapproved Parts
– Over 60,000 of them. Find the ones on your shelves before the FAA Fines you.
- There is only one integrated PMA/AD System. Find ADs that apply to or reference any of almost 1,000,000 PMA parts. Do multi-level PMA research.
- Due Diligence is the key phrase and The Aviation DataBase® is the only source of an easy and inexpensive way to do it. Head off the legal problem before it occurs.
- There is a User friendly and searchable copy of the Flight Standards Information Management System (FAA Order 8900.1) in The Aviation DataBase®.
- Do you need an Aviation Regulatory Library: Over 18,000 ADs – Large & Small AC, Over 1,500 Type Certificate Data Sheets, Over 1,200 FAA Advisory Circulars.
- Call Aviation DataSource, Inc. (800) 952-8844.You can be using The Aviation DataBase® within minutes.
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