Table of Contents
Sarah Says – Work Together
There are many trade associations in the District of Columbia’s metropolitan area. There are also local organizations that companies join to represent specific interests or to advance corporate or personal interests. This association works with almost every other civil aviation trade group in the nation’s capital. Together we enhance the maintenance industry’s role in guiding international aviation safety laws, policies and procedures.
It is essential that trade groups keep autonomy to work issues specific to the members’ interests, but still recognize the similarities among and between competitors and partners. The government even encourages the need for cooperation and understanding among and between certificate holders by creating Aviation Rulemaking Committees (ARCs) and by renewing the charter of the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC). ARSA has been a member of several ARCs (Airworthiness Directive Implementation, Consistency in Regulatory Interpretation, Halon Replacement) and is a continuing member of the ARAC.
These groups are given specific issues or problems to address; in return, the committees provide “official” recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on how to deal with the matter. While the advice is not always accepted, it does let the agency know the various positions of the different stakeholders. This enables regulators to weigh the pros and cons of issues and their impact before taking a position, such as issuing guidance material or a regulation.
Trade associations also collaborate on efforts to influence legislators or policy makers—we sign letters to congress or the administration so that those bodies know that an action or inaction will impact the entire industry, not just a particular segment. ARSA always tries to ensure its position is acceptable to others, but if it is not we understand that trade groups may oppose the action. That doesn’t mean we won’t comment or deal with a divisive issue, it merely means we know where others will stand so our friends and foes are known and appreciated when “push comes to shove.”
However, when it comes to regulatory compliance issues, all must stand for the proposition that the government has a different role than the certificate holder. When ARSA attempts to influence regulatory compliance or interpretative issues, it understands that a position may not be confined to its members, but will impact customers and vendors. The same is true when it comes to understanding the position of the trade groups that represent individual owners and operators, air carriers and manufacturers. The regulator should ensure compliance with its rules; it should not let the type of certificate holder dictate compliance or enforcement postures. When a government entity cannot or does not enforce its rules in a constant and consistent manner, it hurts all that are subject to its oversight—those are the circumstances when working together ensures the most success.
Over the years, Sarah has said a lot about working together. Read on in the hotline for some good advice that always rings true.
By Brett Levanto, Director of Operations
Come together with us. Start planning now for ARSA’s 2015 Annual Repair Symposium.
Sarah has already described how important industry-wide cooperation is for ARSA and its members. Individually, we complete work and serve customers. Together, we enhance the maintenance industry and protect the flying public.
The repair station community must work together to guarantee the safety of crews and passengers worldwide. ARSA ensures that happens. The symposium is the perfect place to connect with officials from the FAA and other authorities, as well as key members of Congress and your colleagues. It is an opportunity to join aviation professionals from around the world and engage on issues that directly impact the maintenance industry. Indeed, last year’s conference created an opportunity for quick resolution — “ARSA Works: Engagement Sparks FAA Action.”
The 2015 Annual Repair Symposium will be held March 18-20 in Arlington, Virginia. For more information, visit our events page.
Meet Max Burnette: 2014 National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year
By Sara McDonough, Legal Intern
As the aviation world converged on Osh Kosh, Wisconsin for EAA Airventure, ARSA took a moment to celebrate Max Lloyd Burnette. The General Aviation Awards Program named Burnette the 2014 National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year.
Burnette joined the aviation world in 1954 at the age of 17 when he joined the North Carolina Air National Guard. He volunteered to attend Air Force mechanic’s training and completed the 15-week program in 1956, becoming a full-time maintenance technician. Between 1956 and 1992, the year he retired from the military, Burnette worked on a wide variety of aircraft, including F-86 Sabre jets, F-104s, F-102s, T-33s, U-3As, KC-97s and KC-135s at Air Guard units in Charlotte, North Carolina as well as in Tennessee in the cities of Knoxville and Nashville. Most notably, Burnett logged 4,000 hours as a KC-97 Flight Engineer while assigned to the Knoxville unit, and he served as a crew chief and flight line supervisor for a section of C-130 aircraft with the Nashville unit.
In 1986, Burnette made his professional debut in the civil aviation industry after obtaining his civilian A&P certificate. He and his wife, Jean, started their own repair and inspection service, M&J Aero. The business focused on taildragger restorations, repairs and inspections. Although M&J Aero is officially closed, Max and Jean occasionally perform inspections for friends and customers.
Burnette’s interest in aviation did not remain limited to maintenance. He began flying as a hobby in 1956 and continues to fly to this day. Currently the owner of a PA-22 Tri-Pacer, which he completely rebuilt and converted to taildragger configuration, Burnette previously owned a Cessna 170, a Piper PA-18 Super Cub, and a Taylorcraft BC-12D. When he is not volunteering at maintenance clinics and with the Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles program, you can find Burnette with his wife, restoring a 1941 Piper J-5 Cub Cruiser.
Burnette graciously agreed to provide some insight into his long and remarkable career, one fueled by an obvious passion for flight and a tireless commitment to keeping the skies safe.
Q&A with Max Burnette
ARSA: What is your favorite aircraft to work on?
MLB: My favorite aircraft to work on are the tube and fabric taildraggers.
ARSA: What is your most memorable project?
MLB: I suppose my most memorable aircraft project was in 1982. I completely rebuilt a 1941 Piper J-5 for a friend. My wife and I are in the process of doing a second restoration on the same plane.
ARSA: What is the most rewarding thing about the work you do?
MLB: The most rewarding thing about my work is being able to see some of the great aircraft that helped build our aviation industry being kept in compliance with today’s standards and being enjoyed by many young folks who otherwise couldn’t afford to purchase or maintain new aircraft. I most like being an aviation mechanic to promote good maintenance and safety practices among those of us who have limited resources to use in our sport.
ARSA: During the course of your career, have there been any advancements or events that had a particular impact on the aviation maintenance industry?
MLB: I can’t really say that any advancement or event in my career has had much of an impact on aviation [maintenance]. The first 25 years or so of my career were military aircraft maintenance, where I learned the discipline of always having the correct technical data before beginning a task and double checking any safety items before releasing a plane back into service. I began working on civil aircraft while I was still in the military. I always try to treat each task as if my life depends on it because someone’s does.
ARSA: After 59 years as an aviation maintenance technician, do you have any words of wisdom for others in the field?
MLB: After all these years, I suppose my advice would be to always treat your customers with the respect that you would want: Don’t be just a parts changer; thoroughly explain to your customers why you must take the time and effort to research the problems that a possible misinterpretation of some pertinent airworthiness directive has caused. Try to be honest and fair with what they have entrusted to your care.
ARSA congratulates Max on his great work and for serving as an example of the aviation maintenance industry at its best. ARSA is a proud supporter of the General Aviation Awards. To learn more visit: http://www.generalaviationawards.com/.
A coalition of aviation trade associations spoke out on behalf of the international maintenance, repair and overhaul market. While the matter at hand was drug and alcohol testing at foreign aviation repair stations, what is really at stake is international sovereignty, the health of the global aeronautical business community and the safety of the flying public worldwide.
The groups, led by the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) and including the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), Airlines for America (A4A), the Cargo Airline Association (CAA), the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), International Air Transport Association (IATA), the National Air Carrier Association (NACA) and the Regional Airline Association (RAA) submitted comments regarding the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). The ANPRM is the first stage of a process that could impose testing requirements on aviation maintenance providers around the globe.
Aviation repair stations have a substantial economic impact on communities throughout the United States and the world, yet few travelers think of maintenance technicians as they sit on the runway. In reality, every passenger in every aircraft takes off and lands safely because of the dedicated effort of the highly trained men and women who maintain and repair their aircraft.
“What we’re really doing is asking the FAA to remember that good safety is good business,” said Daniel Fisher, vice president of legislative affairs for ARSA. “This is a solution in search of a problem, not a good-faith effort to protect the public. In the end, this rule would impose costs on businesses, their customers, and passengers worldwide while producing no additional safety benefit.”
The industry implored the agency to respect national sovereignty by adhering to congressional language requiring any such rule be “consistent with the applicable laws” of the countries impacted. However, this is more than a legal issue. The American imposition of testing requirements could damage bilateral aviation safety agreements (BASAs) and weaken the small businesses that are the industry’s backbone.
ARSA has also submitted its own detailed comments elaborating on congressional intent, national sovereignty issues, the importance of adhering to bilateral agreements and protecting small businesses.
A4A Gets FAA Clarification on Boeing AMOC Requests
By ARSA Communications Staff
Airlines for America (A4A) worked on behalf of its operators to clarify instructions for requesting an alternate method of compliance (AMOC) for Airworthiness Directives (AD) issued against certain Boeing airplanes. The agency’s transfer of the manufacturer’s out-of-production Continued Operational Safety (COS) activities to the Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) has resulted in obsolescence of the submission address specified in past ADs.
On July 29, the FAA provided, via a new AMOC applicable to all ADs on the affected models, this instruction:
“…Operators are requested to send these requests to the following electronic mailbox –
Or by standard mail to –
By ARSA Communications Staff
After years of inaction, Congress worked furiously through July to update the federal programs that support career and technical education. On July 22, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) into law. Throughout the process, lawmakers shined a rare spotlight on a problem that has plagued the aviation maintenance industry for years: the technical worker shortage. While the federal government could be doing much more to address this economy-wide crisis, Congress and the president took a step in the right direction by beginning to overhaul skilled worker programs and replace the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).
“ARSA commends bipartisan congressional action to approve the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act,” said Daniel Fisher, vice president of legislative affairs. “The U.S. aviation maintenance industry is growing, yet year after year ARSA members cite skilled worker shortages as one of the top challenges facing their companies. The legislation is a step forward toward updating the federal government’s outdated workforce training regime. To build upon this effort, Congress, working with the FAA and industry, must modernize the Federal Aviation Regulation’s part 147 to allow aviation maintenance technical schools to produce the next generation of qualified skilled workers.”
WIOA eliminates duplicative workforce programs, streamlines many of the burdensome requirements that hamstring the previously outdated workforce system and allows for increased incumbent worker training. Additionally, the legislation will provide greater flexibility to state, local and regional boards to tailor services to an area’s specific employment needs. While modest in scope, the legislation takes important steps toward addressing worker shortages and ensuring the federal government is using limited resources to give future employees in-demand skills.
To view a summary of key provisions of the Senate version of WIOA visit: http://www.murray.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/1864afcb-c7e5-48a5-85e4-9e4904688e42/wioa-onepager.pdf
On July 23, the House Aviation Subcommittee held a hearing titled “Domestic Aviation Manufacturing: Challenges and Opportunities” to discuss the various governmental issues plaguing the aviation industry. The subcommittee heard testimony from the following witnesses from the government and industry:
- Ms. Peggy Gilligan, Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, Federal Aviation Administration
- Dr. Gerald Dillingham, Director of Civil Aviation Issues, Government Accountability Office
- Ms. Marion Blakey, President and CEO, Aerospace Industries Association
- Mr. Pete Bunce, President and CEO, General Aviation Manufacturers Association
- Mr. Joe Brown, President, Hartzell Propeller Inc.
- Mr. Dave Cox, Lead Administrator, Air Washington Project
The hearing focused on various issues affecting the aviation community. The first panel spotlighted the current state of FAA reforms from the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. Gilligan faced strong criticism on the FAA’s slow implementation of certification process initiatives. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) discovered that the FAA has only completed one initiative, leaving 10 on schedule, two predicted not to meet a planned milestone, and one at risk of getting off track. Dillingham of GAO further concluded that only five of the 14 initiatives have even been acted on. Dillingham indicated the process to shift the culture of the FAA to a risk-based approach is indeed underway, a claim questioned by some subcommittee members including Representative Bill Shuster (R-Pa.).
Representative Dina Titus (D-Nev.) also questioned Gilligan, inquiring about the timeline for the hot-button unmanned aircraft regulations. Gilligan informed the panel that the executive review is ongoing and the final product should be published by the end of the year. Titus stressed to Gilligan and the panel that she hoped the regulations would be uniformly enforced across the country. Many representatives had earlier pointed out regional irregularity is a problem facing aviation members and that local FAA practices are incongruous across the country.
In the second panel, Joe Brown of Hartzell Propeller Inc. emphasized the role of the United States in global aviation and voiced his own frustrations with the inconsistencies of the Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) program. Brown was not alone in voicing his displeasures in the state of the industry, General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President and CEO Pete Bunce criticized the lack of predictability and large backlog of work within Flight Safety as well as waste caused by inefficiencies of Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreements (BASAs) with partnering countries.
UAS integration and FAA certification processes were not the only challenges addressed– the subcommittee also discussed the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, educational training for the workforce, bonus depreciation, and research and development tax credits. To catch up on the details and to view the entirety of the hearing, click here.
The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) issued the following statement regarding the United States Senate’s confirmation of Michael Lawson as the next U.S. ambassador to the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
“Aviation inspires and breaks boundaries – we escape the hold of the earth and take flight across international borders,” said Sarah MacLeod, ARSA executive director. “Every nation must actively foster the expansion of global aviation. The Senate has taken the step of sending Ambassador Lawson to represent the United States at ICAO. ARSA stands behind him as we work to bring people of the world closer together by developing global aviation standards. You can’t take off without international maintenance providers, and they depend on trustworthy international representation to keep the industry soaring.”
The call comes in from Fort Lauderdale. On the other end of the line, a customer details how the tropical and humid Florida air has caused corrosion on a private jet engine. They request immediate assistance with a turnaround timeframe of 24 hours. The order is taken; the phone is clicked back on the receiver. The planning and scheduling department at Wilmington, Delaware- based Dassault Falcon repair station gears up. It’s time to get to work.
On July 16, ARSA staff took a road trip to Dassault Falcon to engage with a great member and get a firsthand look at how busy their day-to-day operations are. With servicing capabilities for all Falcon models within any of their four large hangar bays totaling more than 300,000 square feet, there are a multitude of work orders on their road to completion. An international list of repair station certificates allows for an expansive customer base that ensures these facilities are bustling around the clock. The heavy service center is open 24/7 and its employees work day and night to accommodate rush orders and time zone differences for international clients.
Constant attention creates a product that is 100 percent safe before it goes out the door. “The audits are a continuous process,” said Ron Crosler, quality assurance supervisor. “They never stop.” With the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) within their walls five to six times a year and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) once a quarter, they have easily 50 audits a year when combined with internal audits as well. One work order takes up half a row of a filing cabinet, demonstrating the painstaking documentation required to ensure safety and compliance.
Whether ARSA staff was getting a demonstration of how the station receives parts, observing mechanics identifying corrosion on an aircraft, or watching the painting of a private jet, it was a great opportunity to interact with what Michel Menard, vice president and general manager, called the “most complex business environment you can find.” After receiving a firsthand account of their offering of an extensive collection of world-class services, ARSA’s pride to work with Dassault Falcon was further solidified. After all, as Menard said, “If it can be done to an airplane, we can do it here.”
ARSA works every day on behalf of our members and we will take every opportunity to engage with them. Got a story to tell? Contact us, we can help.
Airlines for America (A4A), the major aviation industry group and ARSA ally, launched its new website on July 8. The airline advocate says the new site “offers a more engaging user experience and highlights the positive connection between airlines, customers, jobs and the economy.”
- “A Better Flight Plan”: A4A’s new blog, which will discuss issues of interest to passengers, airlines, customers and other industry stakeholders.
- Passenger Portal: A resource for travel tips and an exploration of the “anatomy of a flight” from planning through baggage claim.
The new website can be found at the same address you’ve already bookmarked for A4A:http://www.airlines.org.
To see all the ways that ARSA is working as the voice of the aviation maintenance industry, visit our ARSA Works page.
In November 1997, ER, Friends, Seinfeld and the X-Files were still on TV, Tiger Woods had recently become the youngest golfer to ever win the Masters, the first Harry Potter was published in England, and Beanie Babies were flying off the shelves at a breakneck pace.
It is also the month Sarah MacLeod used her influential column, Sarah Says, to tell us all: “Don’t be eaten alive.” While new episodes of Friends no longer premiere, Tiger Woods is 38, Beanie Babies aren’t worth nearly as much as collectors expected, and the Harry Potter series has ended, Sarah MacLeod’s advice still remains in the same– the survival of the MRO industry depends on people coming together to solve the industry’s demanding issues. Check out her full article from November 1997:
Don’t Be Eaten Alive
Very few companies can afford to pay attention to every new regulation or law passed by the myriad of legislators and agencies that can impact business. You just don’t have the time or energy to fight each and every battle. From the neighborhood “home owners” association to the local county and city governments, to the state legislature, to the laws passed by our federal representatives and finally to the environmental (EPA), health and safety (OSHA) and aviation (FAA) agencies; each of these entities has the power to put you down and out, personally or professionally. It is enough to scare you into the mountains where survival depends upon your own two hands and luck.
Survival in the business world depends upon many people working together to reach a common goal. The goal expressed by your board of directors of the Aeronautical Repair Station Association is to create a level playing field in the regulatory arena. We have been and are dedicated to making sure the regulations can be interpreted and enforced evenhandedly, whether a large company like Boeing is involved or a small two person general aviation shop. The regulations are there to ensure that all certificate holders work toward one goal– airworthiness.
Aviation manufacturers have had long-term relationships with the agencies that impact their business. They have learned to work together under one trade association to ensure their interests are addressed in legislative and regulatory issues. The large air carriers also have an effective lobbying effort in the legislative and regulatory branches of government. The maintenance industry has not been the most consistent about standing together in these arenas. These entities have always believed that the survival of their business depended upon individual companies being ahead of the curve, not upon working together to ensure that all have an equal chance.
Without united efforts, the regulations can be used to eat you alive. Surely survivors can see the trend, yet many individual businesses still do not believe that a united effort is worth supporting. These companies still tell me that they will not join the association because “so-and-so” is a member” (usually a competitor) or because “Why should I join, Sarah, you will do the work anyway,” (let someone pay for the good of all) or because “Why should my competitor know what I know,” (like the association reveals confidential information) or because “You didn’t save me money last year” (did you ask your quality department how much time we saved you). This short-sighted view of the current business world will create long-term loss.
No one company has the time or resources to review the Federal Register and comment on pending regulatory changes. No one company can keep with the FAA policies and procedures that impact the bottom line. Large companies recognize that joining together can save them all time and money. It amazes me that small companies will not make the investment in their own future—no wonder that they are being eaten alive.
The FAA’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) is the first stage of a process that could impose drug and alcohol (D&A) testing requirements on aviation maintenance providers around the globe. ARSA has been working for months to help international stakeholders find their voice and speak out against the rulemaking. On July 17, the association made sure its own voice was heard by submitting detailed comments to the agency. The submission elaborates on congressional intent, national sovereignty issues, the importance of adhering to bilateral agreements and protecting small businesses:
- The agency must adhere to the legislation and congressional intent
- National sovereignty must be respected
- Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreements must be followed and encouraged
- The agency must ensure operational freedom and analyze the economic impact on small businesses
ARSA has been joined by a broad swath of industry stakeholders in opposing any additional testing burdens on foreign repair stations. To learn more about our coalition, click here.
On June 13, ARSA joined Airlines for America (A4A) to ask for clarification regarding the use of methods, techniques or practices (MTP) developed by air carriers and maintenance providers. The main question: can maintenance providers use airline-developed information for non-air carrier customers? The agency responded on July 14. The short answer: yes. When a repair station is given access to section 43.13(c)-developed resources, “the air carrier’s developed information may provide an acceptable MTP for use in performing maintenance, alteration and preventative maintenance on a non-air carrier article.”
In its response, the FAA considered several scenarios proposed by ARSA and A4A. Maintenance providers are restricted in their use of information that is specific to the carrier’s operation for which it was developed. However, when an airline grants access, the repair station can use the alternative MTP for minor repairs in consultation with its customers. If the work results in a major repair, the appropriate approval from the FAA must be confirmed or obtained.
Since this issue was vital for repair stations and their air carrier customers, ARSA and A4A worked with the agency to obtain the clarification. The Code of Federal Regulations is a complex, ever-developing body of work that depends on constant engagement among and between the regulators and industry for consistent, common sense application.
On July 23, ARSA sent a letter to the FAA to address and rectify controversy surrounding the right of a limited airframe repair station with line maintenance authorization to perform major repairs and alterations. In a quick turnaround, the Aircraft Maintenance Division responded within two days to ARSA’s question. The agency agreed with the association’s interpretation that the CFR’s definition of line maintenance does not imply a prohibition against non-specified activities.
The agency had failed to differentiate the separate aspects of part 145 pertaining to ratings and authorizations. Instead, it has depended on the definition of line maintenance in 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 145.3(d) as implying a prohibition against non-specified activities. Whether an appropriately rated repair station can perform line maintenance goes beyond the 145.3(d) definition.
Once a rating is issued under 145.53, it helps to dictate the repair station’s general privileges and limitations along with the certificate and operations specifications according to 145.201. Line maintenance authorized by the operations specifications can be performed in accordance with the air carrier’s program and manual.
The response concluded: “The provisions of 14 CFR section 145.205(d) allow an appropriately certificated and rated repair station to perform continuous line maintenance at the air carrier locations list on paragraph D-107 of its OpsSpecs.”
Once again, regulatory complexities demand that industry and regulators partner to find the “right” answer so that repair stations can continue to work on behalf of the flying public.
By ARSA Regulatory Staff
On July 28, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued long-promised guidance adopting ARSA’s position regarding when an on-airport repair station is responsible for large aircraft on its property under the new aircraft repair station security regulation.
In response to a Feb. 24 ARSA inquiry, the agency clarified that a “repair station is responsible for large aircraft when the repair station has authority over the aircraft, contractual dominion or control of the aircraft, or when the repair station knows or should know that a large aircraft has been tendered to them by an aircraft owner or operator.” Furthermore, TSA explained that it “considers the repair station to be responsible for the large aircraft until the aircraft owner or operator has taken delivery and/or control of the aircraft.”
After the final regulation’s release, TSA originally determined a repair station is responsible for all large aircraft “on its ramp or property,” regardless of who had dominion or control of the aircraft, ignoring TSA-mandated aircraft owner/operator responsibilities.
“We commend TSA for adjusting its guidance to reflect operational realities and the agency’s own requirements and practices,” said ARSA’s Vice President of Legislative Affairs Daniel B. Fisher. “Conflicting security requirements create inefficiencies and undue burdens while causing confusion for everyone involved. We look forward to a continued dialogue with TSA on implementation and compliance with the repair station security rule.”
Accountable Manager’s Corporate Authority to Act
By Crystal Maguire, Vice President of Operations
Steve Pazar’s June 2014 Legal Waypoints discussed the importance of ensuring that a repair station’s accountable manager has the requisite “corporate authority” to perform necessary company functions. As Steve pointed out, from the regulator’s viewpoint, a company that does not give its accountable manager proper authority could create non-compliance.
Title 14 CFR § 145.3(a) defines accountable manager as “the person designated by the certificated repair station who is responsible for and has the authority over all repair station operations that are conducted under part 145…” (emphasis added). On the other hand, from a business perspective by designating a person to the “regulatory” position, the company has provided the accountable manager with the legal authority to act on behalf of the company.
The law of agency generally provides that a company (i.e., the principal) will be liable for the actions of its employee (i.e., the agent) when the employee is authorized to work on its behalf. An employee is sufficiently “authorized” when given:
1. Actual or express authority: specifically granted by an agreement between company and employee (though can also be granted when spoken words or conduct caused an employee to believe the company desired him/her to act),
2. Implied authority: when the employee’s action was reasonably necessary to carry out express authority, e.g., when company tells employee to “go close the deal”, company is bound by employee’s actions taken to close the deal, or
3. Apparent authority: when the employee is given the appearance of authority. That is, it appears to a third party that the employee has the authority to take an action.
By designating the person and having their name and position listed on the repair station’s operations specifications and roster, the company gives an accountable manager express or implied authority to act on behalf of the repair station. If it is not the company’s intention for that person to have that authority, it will still be held liable for the employee’s actions by virtue of the accountable manager designation.
In other words, a third party [the FAA for instance] may reasonably assume that the accountable manager has the ability to bind the company since once designated, the regulation requires the person be responsible for and have authority over all repair station operations (see § 145.3(a)).
If the company designates its chief inspector as accountable manager, the chief inspector will have authority to bind the corporation with respect to compliance with part 145. Moral of the story: designate your accountable manager wisely.
As the 113th Congress winds down, so do the careers of several lawmakers who have been champions for the aviation maintenance industry. Unfortunately, they won’t be easy to replace.
Reps. Tom Petri (R-Wis.), Howard Coble (R-NC), and Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) all announced their retirement effective at the end of the current Congress. ARSA, with the help of our members’ engagement, built a strong relationship with these exiting lawmakers.
Petri was a frequent participant at ARSA Legislative Day, an ARSA Legislator of the Year award winner, a former House Aviation Subcommittee chairman, and a stalwart against efforts to micromanage the aviation maintenance industry and hinder the use of contract maintenance. Coble, also a long-time House Aviation Subcommittee member, built a strong relationship with ARSA member TIMCO and also defended the industry against false safety and economic arguments. Hastings, while not on the House Aviation Subcommittee, was an important advocate for repair stations and a frequent visitor to Sonico Inc.’s Moses Lake, Washington location.
None of them arrived on Capitol Hill with a thorough understanding of the aviation maintenance industry and the important role repair stations play in job creation and civil aviation’s stellar safety record. These lawmakers took the time to learn about the industry and ARSA’s top policy priorities. Our members helped.
While we’re losing years of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm for the maintenance sector, Congress and the legislative process will move on. ARSA has been busy identifying the next generation of aviation maintenance industry champions by hosting and participating in industry meetings with congressional candidates; however, you need to help.
Is there someone in your congressional district that we should have in our sights? Is there an intriguing candidate that should visit your company or be supported at a campaign event? ARSA’s legislative team is standing by to help you identify the next generation of industry advocates.
Our industry might be losing great champions, but there are many others waiting in wings. With your help, we’ll identify, educate and engage.
By ARSA Regulatory Staff
As follow-on to “Voluntary Disclosure – Know the Process” from the June edition of the hotline, ARSA has developed a Voluntary Disclosure Checklist that companies can utilize to ensure every step of a voluntary disclosure is properly, and timely, accomplished.
The checklist is not a replacement for a thorough review and understanding of the guidance material (see Advisory Circular 00-58B Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program [VDRP]) and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) VDRP web-based system. If your company does not have login information for the VDRP web-based system, contact your local office for access.
The checklist will hereafter be included in ARSA’s Forms Manual, available for free to members.
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.
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.
This is the fifth in a series of articles discussing import into the United States of aircraft parts. Last time we described some of the basic steps required to import parts, now we will examine two important license exceptions that will allow us to return articles to our customers after repair without going through the time-consuming export license application process.
As we mentioned in previous articles, import and export are two different animals, governed by a number of different agencies. The two of greatest concern for our ability to return parts to our customers are the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), and the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Control (DDTC). These bodies regulate dual-use articles and defense articles that require a license before they can be exported from the United States.
Because different agencies regulate different articles under different regulatory schemes, it is important to always know which set of regulations apply to a particular aircraft part. A repair exception under each agency’s regulations will allow us to skip the license queue and quickly (and legally!) export repaired parts back to our customers.
The first exception we will discuss is BIS license exception Replacement of Parts (RPL). Just as export licenses from BIS are more common than export licenses from the DDTC, so too will the BIS’s license exception RPL be more common than the DDTC’s exception 123.4.
BIS license exception RPL allows for the one-for-one replacement of parts or servicing and replacement of equipment, such as in exchange agreements. To take advantage of the exception the aircraft or article must have been legally exported in the first place – and it is incumbent upon the repair station utilizing the exception to this if the station was not the original exporter. You should also check the original license to make sure that there are no restrictions on replacement parts exports!
An item is returned to the U.S. under exception RPL for inspection, testing, calibration or repair, including overhaul and reconditioning, must maintain the same part number; no improvements or upgrades may be made to the article. No changes may be made to the basic characteristics of the article. When making a one-for-one exchange, the repair station must also obtain the core, or confirm its destruction. Finally, be sure to list “RPL” on export documentation associated with the article to indicate the authority for export without a license.
In the case of defense articles controlled by the International Traffic and Arms Regulations (ITAR), an unclassified U.S.-origin defense article may be imported and then exported without a license if it is imported for the purpose of service, in accordance with regulatory limits. The first step to take advantage of this exception is to state the following on the Customs (import) documentation: “This shipment is being imported in accordance with and under the authority of 22 C.F.R. § 123.4(a)(1).”
In order to take advantage of this exception, certain conditions must be met. The article must be serviced and returned to its original exported condition. Service can include inspection, testing, calibration or repair, including overhaul, reconditioning and one-to-one replacement of any defective items, parts or components. However, service may NOT include any modifications, enhancements, upgrades or other form of alteration or improvement that changes the basic performance of the item.
This is an important point. The article must be returned only to its originally exported condition, no more. This means that software upgrades or other alterations that change the capabilities of a unit may render the unit ineligible for this exception.
Finally, a few more obvious requirements must be satisfied: the importer (in this case the repair station) must be eligible to import the article, the article must be subsequently returned to the country from which it was imported, at the time of the export the ultimate consignee must be the same as the foreign consignee or end user named at time of import and the article must not be from a proscribed country.
Those importers seeking to take advantage of license exception 123.4 must be sure to follow the proper paperwork procedures. Appropriate Customs documentation must be filed at the time of import, including the statement mentioned above, a complete list and description of the articles imported, including quantity and value must be stated, and upon export, the Automated Export System (AES) Direct filing must cite 22 CFR § 123.4 as the authority for export, and the entry documentation number must be provided.
As with all compliance, the devil is in the details. Repair stations taking advantage of these exceptions should consult export compliance professionals with any questions to ensure they remain compliant.
This series is meant to support the ARSA community, so if you have questions, please feel free to email them to us at Jason@washingtonaviation.com. We would love to have your questions help drive topics for future articles. (Please be sure to let us know whether you are suggesting topics for future articles or seeking legal advice so that we do not inadvertently treat your inquiry the wrong way!)
By Peter Lauria, Principal, JT Consulting, LLC © 2014 Peter Lauria ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
More Decisions to Make
You’ve decided to develop a repair for an article in your repair station (see the last article in the June 2014 hotline). You’ve gathered appropriate information about the article, described the extent and nature of the damage, and the potential corrective actions’ impact on the assembly, system and product; you may have already researched the types of DERs needed to help complete the review and analysis. Good start.
Now, other determinations must be made. The main one will be whether the contemplated action will have a major or minor ‘result’ on the product. The ‘level’ of review and approval required for the action to be performed is affected by this classification. Before you can make that determination, though, you need to figure out whether the ‘result’ will be a repair or an alteration; or, if multiple actions are accomplished, a little of both!
A Look at Repairs and Alterations
You will be hard-pressed to find a definition of “repair” or “alteration” in the U.S. aviation safety regulations. However, an Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) Working Group (WG), tasked with resolving the “major/minor problem”, with participation by the regulators, airlines, manufacturers and industry groups, including ARSA, defined these terms. It described alteration as “the modification of an aircraft [product] from one sound state to another sound state; the aircraft [product] meets the original airworthiness specifications and standards both before and after the modification.” Additionally, the working group determined repair “means the elimination of damage and/or process of restoration.” (For more information, click here.)
Pretty straightforward? It would seem so. Unfortunately, there are circumstances where an action may begin as a repair but also have aspects of an alteration due to the scope of the work and the resultant effect on the product. To simplify, let’s look away from aircraft to something most of us deal with every day—our cars.
You are having issues with your suspension; the ride is getting rougher, the rear of the car bounces merrily along as you cruise down the freeway. You (or your auto shop technician) determine that the struts have failed.
Solution: Install new struts, thereby returning the car to its original condition.
But, for a few dollars more, you could vastly improve the handling capabilities, ride quality, and lateral acceleration by installing coil-overs and replacing the bushings with higher durometer bushings.
Has the work become an alteration by changing the original design specifications of the car? Will the increased handling capabilities impact other aspects of design? Will it add to or change maintenance tasks or service intervals?
Back on the aircraft article, if your determination is that the product could be altered as a result of the contemplated action, additional data may be required and additional actions may be needed (e.g., an STC).
For the purposes of this article we will assume that the action will return the article to at least its original design condition, thereby making it a repair.
A Look at Major and Minor
Unlike alteration and repair, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has regulatory definitions for major and minor repairs. The definitions can be found in 14 CFR § 1.1 and they are:
Major repair means a repair:
1. That, if improperly done, might appreciably affect weight, balance, structural strength, performance, powerplant operation, flight characteristics, or other qualities affecting airworthiness; or
2. That is not done according to accepted practices or cannot be done by elementary operations.
Minor repair means a repair other than a major repair.
Simple, right? These definitions were established in 1931, and have been confusing and inconsistently applied ever since. In an effort to simplify and clarify, the FAA added Appendix A to part 43, which lists various actions or items that are to be considered major repairs (along with lists of major alterations and preventive maintenance). However, most of the list is only applicable to piston-powered small aircraft, and has not been updated to cover issues that today’s air carrier or business aircraft technicians and engineers are facing.
Many operators and repair stations have established decision flowcharts or classification procedures, in compliance with the regulations, to help their people understand the regulations and make proper determinations. Those procedures are typically “accepted” by the FAA as part of the airline or repair station manuals. As a result, different procedures will apply depending upon the operations (part 91 vs. 121, experimental, part 133, etc.) and customer. Each owner/operator is ultimately responsible for ensuring the proper classifications are made; they may delegate the decision to the repair station or other maintenance provider; however, standardization is certainly problematic.
In 2002, Advisory Circular (AC) 120-77 “Maintenance and Alteration Data” was published by the FAA. The AC is helpful and recommended when making the major/minor determination; particularly its flowchart in the back. In addition to questions applicable to the definition of major repairs, the first question on the flowchart addresses alterations. However, the guidance does not fit all situations. In addition to the determination procedures differing by operation or customer (see above), the flowcharts often must be customized to meet the needs of the discipline (structural, propulsion, systems, etc.) making the determination.
Other regulatory bodies around the world have established similar, though not identical, definitions and acceptable procedures regarding repair classifications. For instance, Transport Canada defines major repair, but not minor repair. EASA has both definitions, but reverses the weight of data, so to speak; it defines a minor repair in detail, and a major repair as other than a minor. Additionally, all repairs developed in Europe under EASA require approval by either the agency or an EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). However, under the bilateral agreements, major repairs approved by the FAA or FAA-DERs, and minor repair data developed under FAA jurisdiction are considered approved or accepted by Transport Canada and EASA. For other countries/regions, you must comply with the bilateral agreements, if they exist or the particular country’s requirements.
A Look at the Options for Major/Minor Classification
1. Whether or not you ever develop an independent corrective action, you should understand the difference between a major and minor repair and alteration. Different recordkeeping is required when a major repair or alteration is involved, even when those actions are accomplished in accordance with a manufacturer’s information.
a. Review the recordkeeping requirements of Appendix B to part 43.
b. Review the definitions of major and minor repairs and alterations in 14 CFR § 1.1
2. If your repair station is doing work for an airline, check to see if it has a major/minor decision process (logic diagram, flowchart, etc.).
a. If so, use it (even if your outcome in the classification process might be different), or ask the airline to make the classification.
b. If not, utilize AC 120-77, the definitions in 14 CFR § 1.1, and Appendix A to part 43 and obtain concurrence on the decision from the airline.
3. If the work is for a TC holder or other design approval holder, you can:
a. Ask the holder to make the decision.
b. If the holder cannot or will not help; make the decision in-house, following AC 120-77, the definitions in 14 CFR § 1.1, and Appendix A to part 43.
4. If no process is presented to you in advance, and you don’t have one for developing standard (multiple) repair processes, gather the information suggested in part I of this series and AC 120-77, the definitions in 14 CFR section 1.1, and Appendix A to part 43.
5. A DER can be consulted at any point. They can utilize their years of experience, the information referenced in this article as well as FAA Order 8300.16 “Major Repair and Alteration Data Approval” to help make a particular determination or to help develop a comprehensive process.
Finally, be aware that even if a repair station determines a particular action results in a minor repair, an airline may, based on its process, determine that the repair is major. If you followed a comprehensive process for collecting and analyzing the article, damage, extent and nature of corrective action, utilizing the existing data, a DER can assist you with FAA approval.
Next Time: The FAA Delegation System
Peter Lauria (email@example.com) has over 30 years’ experience with aircraft manufacturers, test equipment manufacturers, repair stations and airlines. He is the owner and principal of JT Consulting, LLC., providing engineering consulting, DER services and ODA guidance.
By Ciara Chambers, Communications Intern
Access to regulatory, business, and legislative knowledge is one of the key benefits of ARSA membership. We are standing by for your calls, questions, or clarifications. The association will go a step further, though, and give you the tools to build your own knowledge before the problem even arrives.
Our recorded webinars and training sessions are one way ARSA will “teach you how to fish.” They’re all waiting for you; you can start a session right now.
Featured Session – “So You Want to be a Repair Station”
ARSA Vice President of Operations Crystal Maguire outlines the steps for a company to take in order to become an FAA-certified repair station.
- The first step is to read certain federal regulations, guides and training materials.
- Get a business plan
- Begin completing applications and documentation required by the FAA.
ARSA can ease the stress of the application phase with its model publications for sale here. For additional information on the formal application phase, take an hour right now to prepare yourself: sign up to view Part 1 and Part 2 of Crystal Maguire’s webinar series.
By Kelsi Oliver, Communications Coordinator
GA Telesis is a far-reaching, cutting-edge aviation services company with maintenance, repair and overhaul stations at the forefront of technology. Their in-house expert engineers and technicians bring innovative MRO industry knowledge to their work every day.
GA Telesis’ MRO groups provide their customers with dependability and keep their aircraft safely in the air by ensuring high-quality service and customer engagement. They use quality parts to reduce the overall cost of repair and increase in-air time for their customers. Through exchange programs they offer repair and overhaul services that are inventory-investment free, have a lower life-cycle cost and are industry-best repair and overhaul turn times. All of these features make GA Telesis a great business partner and valuable asset to the industry.
The company’s commitment to quality and invention gained attention from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce this past month—they were proud recipients of the Good to Great Award from the organization. In March, Aviation Week named them the 2014 MRO of the Year. Accepting that honor, President and CEO Abdol Moabery said, “We are truly focused on being the industry leader and are truly honored to receive this award.”
To learn more about GA Telesis, visit: http://www.gatelesis.com/.
Each month, the hotline spotlights key regulatory, legislative, and business leaders making important contributions to the aviation industry. This month we look at Michael Lawson, the new U.S. ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Michael Lawson, U.S. Ambassador to ICAO
In July the Senate confirmed Michael Lawson to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Lawson was first nominated by President Obama in September of 2013, but his confirmation was held up until the loss of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 spurred Congress to ensure that the country had top-level representation on the international aviation body.
Ambassador Lawson was a partner with the international law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom, L.L.P. until 2011. His legal experience includes advice and counsel regarding complex financial transactions, investments, and business operations. He has consistently been recognized as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” by Chambers USA as well as a “Southern California Super Lawyer.”
His wide range of community involvement and board participation included membership on the Los Angeles World Airports’ Board of Airport Commissioners, where he acted as president from 2011 to 2014. During his post in this position, he oversaw Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles/Ontario International Airport and Van Nuys Airport. Ambassador Lawson also served as a member of the board of trustees of the California State Teachers Retirement System (CALSTRS), which is the second largest retirement system in the United States, as well as the oversight board for the Community Redevelopment Successor Agency/Los Angeles. The ambassador has also drawn attention for his political support and personal friendship with President Obama.
Ambassador Lawson holds a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from LMU, Class of 1975 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, Class of 1978. In 2010, he was the recipient of the Strickland Excellence Award from the African-American Alumni Association (AAAA). He and his spouse, Mattie McFadden-Lawson, reside in Los Angeles and have two adult sons: Jonathan and Michael, Jr.
You will be able to see (and hear) Ambassador Lawson at this year’s Strategic Leadership Conference , hosted by IATA in Montreal. (If you would like more information concerning this year’s Strategic Leadership Conference, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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 2015 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/
Q: Can articles received without an FAA Form 8130 from the authorized distributor of an OEM be installed on a type certificated product?
A: First, let’s remember that “OEM” has no regulatory meaning. The FAA requires persons producing aviation articles to have design and production authority.
In any event, both the “OEM” and the distributor, as “seller” must be able to establish that the part meets the appropriate design and production technical requirements to claim it “eligible for installation.”
As to your “authority” to install the part, that is found in section 43.13(b), which requires you to use replacement articles of “such a quality” as to return the article to at least its original condition. ARSA has always taken that to mean that the part number matches the requirements of the maintenance data and a related Illustrated Parts Catalog (IPC). So, ironically, your “authority” to install can be based upon the representations of the “seller” since it is prohibited from making misleading statements about the parts eligibility for installation. Even more ironically, it may be perfectly okay under part 3, but you will note that section 21.9(b) prohibits anyone but a design or production approval holder from claiming an article is “suitable for installation.”
Your determination that the article is eligible for installation can be based upon maintenance data (section 43.13(a)), including the IPC, service bulletins and other information (see Advisory Circular 20-62 Eligibility, Quality, and Identification of Aeronautical Replacement Parts latest revision). Producers are supposed to have an approval from the FAA or another PAH; sellers are prohibited from lying or misleading persons about civil aviation articles in sales or advertising records; claiming something is a particular part number in a sales document and/or on the part is a record.
Regulatory Compliance Training
ARSA strives to provide resources to educate the general public about the work of the association’s member organizations; should you need to provide a quick reference or introductory overview to the global MRO industry, please utilize AVMRO.ARSA.org.
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.
AAR pledges $350K to Miami youth center (AIN Online)
FAA: We’re working to reduce accidents (USA Today)
EagleMed reaches FAA Safety Management System level 3 (Aviation Pros)
Nadcap accreditation for AAR facility (MRO Network)
UAV Integration Manager says FAA on track to meet September 2014 deadline (Delta Farm Press)
Alcoa signs $1.1 billion jet engine supply deal with Pratt & Whitney (Wall Street Journal)
Southwest donates old leather airplane seats to be recycled (Star Telegram)
Kentucky governor declares July 2014 “Aviation Appreciation Month” (National Air Transportation Association)
Columbia assists in battling wildfires (Helicopter Association International)
GAMA welcomes Jonathan Archer (Helicopter Association International)
WestJet firms five more Bombardier Q400 options (ATW Online)
ICAO predicts continued passenger traffic growth and rebound in freight traffic through 2016
World scheduled air passenger traffic grew by 5.5 percent in 2013, reaching 5.8 trillion passenger-kilometers performed (PKP) and is expected to increase by 6.0, 6.3 and 6.5 percent in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The 5.5 percent growth in PKP (international and domestic services combined) recorded in 2013 by airlines of the 191 Member States of ICAO was higher than the 5.3 percent increase posted in 2012. The number of passengers grew by some 4.5 percent to 3.1 billion, while departures were up 1.2 percent to 32 million globally.
World scheduled air freight traffic expressed in freight ton-kilometers performed (FTK) grew by 0.4 percent in 2013, and is expected to increase by 3.7, 4.2, and 4.4 percent in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.
To provide more international coverage, ARSA presents a monthly roundup of world events pertaining to the industry.
Etihad Airways, Air New Zealand in maintenance cooperation deal (Aviation Pros)
Air Cargo accelerates on back of improved economy (Air Cargo World)
Southwest Airlines begins international service to three countries (Air Transport News)
Flying Colours adds Qatar maintenance approval (AIN Online)
Malaysia gears up for demand in aviation maintenance (National News Agency of Malaysia)
JorAMco MRO deal for A310 freighter (MRO Network)
ACI Europe: Passenger traffic up 4.8% at European airports during May (Air Transport News)
Air Maintenance Estonia appoints Jonas Butautis as its bew CEO (Aviation Pros)
Air-safety data to be shared more widely (Wall Street Journal)
Pratt & Whitney launches Geared Turbofan™ engine MRO network (United Technologies)
Anthony Foxx: ‘It’s Safe to Fly in Europe’ (Politico)
Southwest Airlines eyes international routes, profit surges (Wall Street Journal)
Dassault Aviation: 2014 first half-year results (Wall Street Journal)
WestJet Encore orders five new Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft*** (AVI Trader)
- 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.
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- 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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