November 2014

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Table of Contents

Sarah Says
Hotline Features
ARSA Works
Legal Briefs
ARSA on the Hill 
Regulatory Outlook 
Quality Time

AVMRO News Portal 
Upcoming Events

Sarah Says – Beyond the Ballot Box

By Sarah MacLeod, Executive Director

Yeah, the election is over. Your mail isn’t clogged with flyers and the airwaves are finally clear of the political mud. The politician’s campaign may be done, but yours has just begun–welcome the 114th Congress.

While those on Capitol Hill will hopefully get something done during their remaining “lame duck” days, American aviators must look ahead to FAA reauthorization. Starting now and staying focused on repair stations can protect the future of aviation, the United States’ place in the global marketplace and the safety of the flying public.

What do you do? ARSA makes it easy:

Figure out exactly what happened on Nov. 4. After the votes were counted, ARSA’s Vice President of Legislative Affairs Daniel Fisher explored what they really meant for the aviation industry. Review Daniel’s complete analysis on AviationPros and MRO Network. (Also read his piece on community engagement in this edition of the hotline.)

Okay, now get your message down. You already know enough about your business – remember, you’re the expert – so study up on what aircraft repair means for your state. Politicians love numbers, and the numbers say that maintenance matters back at home.

(Extra credit: take 20 minutes and let Daniel teach you how to effectively engage lawmakers.)

With your quiver of arrows, make your moves. Contact your lawmakers, whether they’re new or returning, and remind them good safety is good business and their job is to help you keep the nation flying. The message from home at home is the best and has the most impact. Use ARSA’s forms and resources liberally and often. Want more help? Would you like to schedule a site visit or get an individual meeting with your representative or senator? You already know the answer: CALL ARSA FIRST!

Avoid missed opportunities to engage with lawmakers at the local level; ARSA will give you the perfect opportunity in the nation’s capitol. Join us on March 18 for the association’s annual Legislative Day. Meet your Representative and Senators and have the association’s legislative team right there with you. (For good measure, you might as well stick around for the 2015 Annual Repair Symposium.)

Let’s make sure that the men and women elected to Congress think of you– your family, your business– every time they board a flight to the Capitol.

Particularly since they can’t fly without you.

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Hotline Features

Maintenance Competition at Aviation Week’s MRO Americas

By ARSA Communications Staff

The 2015 Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC) skills event will be co-located with Aviation Week’s MRO Americas in Miami, Florida on Apr. 6-8, 2015. The 2015 AMC promises to be bigger and better with more teams and a larger audience – a battle of the best skilled maintenance professionals in the industry.

AMC Flyer_Page_1

The AMC’s sole purpose is to raise awareness of the training and skills needed to provide safe and airworthy aircraft worldwide. Compete with current and future maintenance professionals as they test combined abilities against their peers.

Competition Categories include:

  • Commercial Aviation
  • General Aviation
  • Space
  • School
  • Military

Don’t miss the competition of the decade and see who will take home the William F. “Bill” O’Brien Award for Excellence in Aircraft Maintenance and the Charles E. Taylor Professional AMT Award.

Limited sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Beth Eddy or Mimi Smith at Aerospace Marketing Group for more details: email or or call +1 561-279-4646.

Sign up your team to compete: Contact John Goglia at or call +1 703-597-4502.

The Lame Duck Home Stretch: Funding Federal Government, Extenders Top Agenda

By Daniel Fisher, Vice Presidentof  Legislative Affairs

The roller coaster ride on Capitol Hill continued during Thanksgiving week, as House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced a deal on tax extenders package.  However, it was quickly derailed by an Obama administration veto threat.

The compromise proposal would permanently increase Sec. 179 expensing levels starting in 2014 and reinstate 50 percent bonus depreciation for equipment purchases for 2014 and 2015, along with extending numerous business-supported expired tax provisions.  Just as Washington’s tax policy analysts were digesting the welcome news, President Obama and key Democrats announced opposition to the compromise, citing the business-friendly nature of the package and the lack of attention to “working families.”

Republicans, with a strengthened majority in Congress next year including Senate control, are less willing to compromise and more likely to delay tax extenders consideration until early next year.  Nonetheless, there is support for retroactively reinstating all expired tax extenders for 2014 during the lame duck to avoid complicating the year’s tax filings.  The House is poised to vote on such a proposal in the coming days.

Meanwhile, a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government into next year was also in flux.  Lawmakers were making steady progress on a plan to keep the federal government open until next fall– until President Obama’s announced his immigration executive order.  Republicans are apoplectic about what they see as a presidential power grab and many want to use the CR to clip the administration’s wings.

FAA Reauthorization Hearing: Modernizing and Operating the Nation’s Airspace

By Kelsi Oliver, Communications Coordinator 

On Tuesday, Nov. 18, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a full committee meeting, titled “FAA Reauthorization: Issues in Modernizing and Operating the Nation’s Airspace,” focused on preparing the next reauthorization of the FAA.

The witness list included The Honorable Calvin Scovel, III, inspector general, Department of Transportation; Mr. Nicholas Calio, president and CEO, Airlines for America; Mr. Mark Baker, president and CEO, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; Captain Lee Moak, president, Air Line Pilots Association; The Honorable John Engler, president, Business Roundtable and Mr. Paul Rinaldi, president, National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

After hearing from these various portions of the U.S. aviation industry, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), committee chairman, promised an open integration process. “It’s not going to be [Incoming Ranking Member Rep.]Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and I saying this is what we’re going to do,” Shuster said.

The current FAA law expires at the end of September 2015 – a date still 10 months away.  ARSA commends the committee for calling attention to the process early and will engage with lawmakers on the issues that matter to the aviation maintenance industry.

View a streaming of the entire session below.

Global Business Resources: IATA Mobilization Initiative

By Brett Levanto, Director of Operations

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) launched the Mobilization Initiative to maximize the use of Simplified Interline Settlement (SIS) e-invoicing and its benefits to airlines’ direct operating cost suppliers including MROs (parts and services), airports, catering companies, ground handling and air navigation system providers.

The initiative is a means to standardize and simplify financial processes across the wide community of airline industry partners. The benefits of SIS e-invoicing include: electronic data interchange (EDI) at a worldwide scale with any participating airline, multi-party information sharing via a single connection, compliant e-invoicing in 42 countries, traceability, basic data validation and dispute process.

Currently, there are more than 200 suppliers (Messier-Bugatti, GE, Lufthansa Technik, etc.), 500 business jets, charters and low cost carriers as well as nearly 600 legacy airlines on the platform. The community is growing rapidly – it can be a repair station’s window into an interconnected, lucrative world.

Additional Resources

For more information please contact the IATA Mobilization Team at:

Hotline Throwback – 2008 Election Wrap: Republicans Sift Through Post-Election Storm Wreckage

By ARSA Communications Staff

Election 2008 went pretty much as mainstream Washington punditry had predicted: Barack Obama won the White House, and Democrats picked up a handful of Senate seats and more than 20 seats in the House.

The lingering question of whether Democrats would get to a filibuster-proof, 60-seat majority in the Senate has been answered with a “no,” but by the slimmest of margins.

What’s Next?

So what do the election results mean for the aviation industry from a policy standpoint?

Most significantly, the election outcome will almost certainly increase the power of labor unions on Capitol Hill (labor PACs gave $53 million to federal candidates in the recent elections, more than 90 percent of which went to Democrats). Card check (Washington-speak for legislation to eliminate secret ballots in union organizing elections) and expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Equal Pay Act, and other employment laws, will likely be top priorities. Although Democrats won’t have 60 votes in the Senate, there’s a strong possibility that moderate Republicans will cross party lines to vote on labor issues to end filibusters by conservatives.

In recent years, Democrats have been more receptive than Republicans to negative messages about contract maintenance. We expect the opposition’s effort to erect barriers to the use of repair stations (both foreign and domestic) will intensify. In the worst case scenario, bad legislation will lead to trade policies that prevent U.S. airlines from using overseas maintenance companies and retaliation against U.S. repair stations that service foreign customers. ARSA advocacy for the industry (and our recently-launched Positive Publicity Campaign) will be more important than ever.

One area of opportunity is education. ARSA members have identified the shortage of a technical workforce as an ongoing threat facing the industry. Obama has made much of his desire to retool American education to help build a 21st century workforce. We’ll be working to convince him and lawmakers on the Hill that America needs skilled technical workers more than anything else.

The political cards for the next two years have been dealt. Rest assured that ARSA will play them the best we can. One way or another, it’s going to be a busy year!

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ARSA Works

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

Serious Victory for FAA and Repair Stations

By Brett Levanto, Director of Operations

Thanks to a coalition of aviation trade associations and the responsiveness of the FAA, the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) will retain seven important letters. The word “serious” has been reinserted into the paragraph of 14 CFR part 145 requiring repair stations to report failures, malfunctions or defects in articles received for work to the agency within 96 hours.

The group included the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), the Aerospace Industries Association, the Aircraft Electronics Association, Airlines for America, the Cargo Airline Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the National Air Carrier Association and the National Air Transportation Association. It petitioned the FAA on Sept. 22 to reinsert the word in the new repair station rule before the Nov. 10 effective date. Over 40 industry members submitted supportive comments highlighting that a plain reading of the service difficulty reporting requirement without the seven-letter word would mean submitting information on everything that comes through the door; repair stations only receive articles that need work because of failures, malfunctions or defects.

On Nov. 7, the Federal Register posted the FAA’s direction to reinsert “serious” in 145.221(a), saving incalculable cost for both itself and also the private businesses it regulates. The rule, as it was written in August, would have imposed onerous burdens on maintenance providers and their customers as well as agency inspectors but generated no additional revenue for industry members and – most importantly – no improvements to safety for the flying public.

“Our system worked,” said Sarah MacLeod, ARSA’s executive director, about the months-long process of getting the agency to correct its misstep. “The new rule has almost 7,500 words, and we found the most serious error – the seven absent letters that were going to cause our members a world of trouble. With the regulatory record on our side, the industry got the agency’s attention. Together, we made things right.”

In the days leading up to the correction, ARSA provided its members with strategies and resources for dealing with the new rule in the event that “serious” was not re-inserted in time. “It’s our responsibility,” MacLeod said. “Even as we are fixing an issue, we make sure members are ready for its potential impact on their businesses. In this case, that extra work turned out to be unnecessary.”

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Know the New Part 145

By Laura Vlieg, Regulatory Affairs Manager

The new repair station rule is effective on Nov. 10, 2014.

While the Federal Register published the FAA’s request that reinserted “serious” into the service difficulty reports section in 14 CFR part 145, the new rule requires more attention from the association and its members.

Bad Actors
The focus of the new sections to part 145 is on getting rid of “bad actors” – individuals whose actions resulted in (or materially contributed to) the revocation of a repair station certificate.

Subsequently, section 145.12 closes a loophole by making fraudulently or intentionally submitting false entries or omissions in applications, records or reports a basis for suspension or revocation of “any certificate, approval or authorization the FAA issued to the person who made the entry or caused the omission.”

Additionally, under 145.51 the FAA can deny a repair station certificate if:

  • The applicant held or holds a repair station certificate that was or is being revoked.
  • The applicant intends to fill a management position with an individual who materially contributed to the revocation of a repair station certificate.
  • An individual who materially contributed to the revocation of a repair station certificate will have control over or substantial ownership interest in the applicant.

While innocuous and worthy in its objective to remove “bad actors” from the owning or operating a repair station, the rule mixes “applicants” (businesses entities) with the “individuals” it wishes to curtail from the industry. The association will work to ensure proper delineation between the business and the individual. The separation will help to ensure the appropriate action can be taken when a “bad actor” is actually involved in the decisions of the applicant for and holder of a repair station certificate.

Certificate Surrender
Section 145.55 will require the FAA to affirmatively accept a repair station certificate surrender for cancellation. Given the financial burden associated with maintaining a certificate, and the uncertainty of how the agency will use its discretion in accepting or rejecting a “surrender,” the association will work to eliminate or at least reduce this burdensome requirement.

“…Or New”
The words “or new” were added to section 145.57(b) regarding the sale of repair station assets. The FAA provided no clarity as to when a repair station owner must apply for a new as opposed to an amended certificate. A new certificate can take up to two years, while an amendment takes fewer resources from both the agency and industry. Accordingly, ARSA will work with the agency to clarify when a “new” certificate will be required.

Review every word in the “new” regulations as well as the “old”; when you have questions call ARSA first.

New Year Will Bring New IBR Rule

By Laura Vlieg, Regulatory Affairs Manager

Starting Jan. 6, 2015, agencies will have to expend slightly more effort to incorporate materials by reference (IBR) into rulemaking documents.

On that date, a new rule issued by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) becomes effective. Specifically, that rule requires agencies to describe in the preambles of proposed and final rules the steps taken to make IBR materials reasonably available to interested parties, or alternatively, to summarize the content of those IBR materials.

Review of the IBR process was prompted by a 2012 petition for rulemaking submitted by a coalition of law professors along with the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA). That petition requested that the OFR require all IBR materials be available online for free, and that during the IBR approval process the Director of the Federal Register review all documents agencies list in their guidance, as well as those listed in their regulations.

Despite ARSA’s comments strongly supporting that petition, the OFR declined both requests.

Look for a deeper analysis of the IBR issue in the November edition of the hotline.

The One ARSA Missed: Type Certificated Cabbages?

By Brett Levanto, Director of Operations

On Nov. 12, the FAA corrected another seven-letter mistake in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) that ARSA and farmers around the world missed.

The agency updated 14 CFR part 43.10(c)(6) to replace the word “produce” with “product” in a paragraph regarding the control of life-limited aircraft parts. Previously, the rule incorrectly read: “The part may be mutilated to deter its installation in a type certificated produce [emphasis added].”

A plain reading of this sentence would indicate that out of time life-limited parts were potentially being installed into cabbages, corn cobs, beet bundles and other produce, and that those items were subject to type certification. Considering part 21’s lack of procedures for farm-raised foodstuffs, the rule might have created chaos for regulators and confusion at farmers’ markets worldwide.

The FAA’s action has restored clarity to 43.10(c)(6).

FAA’s Word on Bonded Repair Size Limits: Final Policy

By Zach F. Bruckenstein, Advocacy Manager

On Nov. 24, the FAA issued a final policy (PS-AIR-100-14-130-001) regarding bonded repair size limits. The association submitted comments on Oct. 16 requesting the withdrawal of the policy.

For more information, visit

Legal Briefs

Drones are “Aircraft” … For Now

By Zach F. Bruckenstein, Advocacy Manager

On Nov. 17, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued an opinion and order relating to the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the case of Huerta v. Pirker. In a nutshell, the Board determined that UAS (previously referred to as drones) are intended for flight in the air and therefore are aircraft for the purposes of Federal Aviation Administration oversight.

Since 2014 unmanned aircraft have been a hot topic for regulators and legislators. The emerging industry is cautiously awaiting regulations that promise -‑ or threaten‑- to provide FAA oversight of the new “Wild West” of aviation.

Currently, UAS are operated under a cloud of confusion. In 2012, Congress passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which mandated that the FAA fit “drones” into the airspace. The agency is woefully behind schedule, having missed the original August 2014 deadline to submit a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for “commercial” UAS. The current issues are a direct result of nebulous policy and outdated regulations that are ill equipped to accommodate the myriad of UAS operations and uses.

Raphael Pirker’s operation of a UAS on the University of Virginia (UVA) campus occurred in 2011; it was followed by the FAA notice of proposed civil penalty (NPCP) on April 13, 2012. The agency fined Pirker $10,000 for “operation of an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner” in violation of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 91.13(a). The NPCP alleged numerous breaches including operation of the UAS at extremely low altitudes as well failure to take precautions to prevent collisions with other aircraft. Additionally, the FAA distinguished Pirker’s actions from traditional hobbyist use of model aircraft by asserting that the operation was for compensation.

As ARSA’s “FAA Enforcement Process” training (see also NTSB Description of Airman Appeals Process) points out, the agency’s civil penalty process has a similar structure to criminal proceedings. Once the FAA issues an NPCP to an individual, s/he may go to “trial”‑- in actuality an appeal hearing before an NTSB Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The second level of appeal occurs before the full five-member Board; additional appeals go to the U.S. District Court or U.S. Court of Appeals, and then finally, to the Supreme Court.

The Nov. 17 opinion was issued at the second level; the full Board reversed the NTSB ALJ dispositional decision from March 6, 2014. ALJ Patrick G. Geraghty ruled against the FAA and dismissed the action. He determined that the agency’s longstanding distinction between “model aircraft” and “aircraft” precluded the FAA from enforcing part 91 against this UAS (see Advisory Circular (AC) 91-57, Model Aircraft Operating Standards, which sets for voluntary safety standards for model aircraft).

In the ALJ hearing submissions, the FAA pointed to internal policy documents (see Memorandum AIR-160 Interim Operational Approval Guidance 08-01, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations in the U. S. National Airspace System; Unmanned Aircraft Operations in the National Airspace System, Notice 07-01, 72 Fed. Reg. 6689) as authority for its enforcement action. ALJ Geraghty held that internal guidance documents are not legislative rulemaking and do not provide a basis for enforcement authority.

In overturning the ALJ’s decision, the full Board merely determined that “an aircraft is “any device” that is “used for flight” regardless of whether it is manned or unmanned. The Board stated that Congress was clear in its intent to provide a broad definition for aircraft that certainly encompasses UAS.

The opinion goes on to establish that neither regulations nor guidance preclude enforcement for reckless or careless operation regardless of classification of “model aircraft.” The NTSB order reversed the dispositional decision and remanded the case back to ALJ Geraghty, who must re-hear the NPCP appeal in the context of the Board’s legal determinations.

What does this order mean for the industry? Well, the FAA has authority over aircraft operators, no matter the type, fixed wing, rotorcraft, or UAS. The unauthorized operation of a UAS can land you in hot water and it is not an easy process to obtain that permission. Realistically, there are only two methods to receive authorization to fly a UAS for commercial purposes: 1) a Special Airworthiness Certificate, Experimental Category through a process detailed on the FAA’s website; 2) a petition for exemption as demonstrated by six film companies in September, 2014.

The NTSB’s decision grants both clarity and restriction. The FAA has enforcement authority against UAS operators even while failing to deliver congressionally mandated regulations.

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

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ARSA on the Hill

Local Engagement Benefits the Entire MRO Industry

By Daniel Fisher, Vice President of Legislative Affairs

Community engagement is a concept that dates back to English common law, many years prior to the election of a U.S. president who was a “professional” community organizer. Primarily thought of as the role of charity and social organizations, it is everyone’s responsibility to build ongoing relationships for the community’s benefit.

It’s generally good practice to participate in local community charity events and volunteer activities; however, there are ancillary benefits to institutionalizing community engagement within your company.   The well-known phrase “all politics is local” comes to mind.

Companies that actively build and maintain local relationships are pillars of the community.  Residents gain a better understanding of the business’ work, the economic impact (both in job creation and indirect economic benefits), and the need to ensure that government policies don’t undermine the ability of the company to compete.

For example, last Congress, the aviation maintenance industry was forced to combat proposals that jeopardized the United States’ bilateral aviation safety agreement (BASA) with the European Union and threatened U.S. companies with EASA certification.  If EASA approval was prohibitively expensive and a repair station couldn’t renew (or had to go out of business), imagine the detrimental economic impact on the local community.  The area restaurants, office suppliers and even local government (because of a shrunken tax base) would take a hit.

Through community engagement and education, your company can help build a grassroots army comprised on not just repair station employees, but residents who understand the importance of your business for the local community.  And that “army” can be deployed to “fight” proposals that threaten the ability of repair stations to compete and grow by engaging with lawmakers and elected officials.

The most important concept related to community engagement is “building on-going” relationships.  It’s not just engaging when there is threat out there or you need help.  It’s a constant and consistent effort to ensure local residents understand and appreciate the company and the benefits provided to the area.

There’s never been a more opportune time to for community outreach. The FAA reauthorization process is heating up on Capitol Hill. As a reminder, every few years, Congress is supposed to enact legislation to set the FAA’s funding levels and policy priorities for years into the future (known as “reauthorization”). With the current authorization (the FAA Modernization & Reform Act) expiring on Sept. 30, 2015, lawmakers will be working toward a new FAA bill early next year with the hope of completing it before October.

There will be enormous threats and opportunities.  By actively and consistently engaging the local community now, your company can lay the groundwork to ensure the aviation maintenance industry is well positioned to urge lawmakers to oppose proposals to hinder contract maintenance and support provisions to create an environment conducive for economic growth and job creation.

As Mark Twain said, “When you need a friend, it’s too late to make one.”  Engage early, often, and positively now and reap the rewards later!

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Regulatory Outlook

FAA Sets 2015 D&A Testing Rates

By Laura Vlieg, Regulatory Affairs Manager

The FAA has announced the minimum annual percentage rates for drug and alcohol (D&A) testing for calendar year 2015 will remain at 25 percent of safety-sensitive employees for random drug testing and 10 percent of safety-sensitive employees for random alcohol testing. Because this is a minimum rate, this means that an employer with 100 safety-sensitive employees is required to conduct at least 25 random drug tests and at least 10 random alcohol tests within the year.

The FAA/DOT D&A testing program rules are laid out in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 120, and 49 CFR part 40. Every year the FAA Administrator reviews statistical reports required by § 120.119 for drug testing, and § 120.219 for alcohol testing and then uses that data to determine the minimum annual percentage rates for random testing.

The minimum annual rate is based upon the net positive testing rates for the entire aviation industry. For 2013, the random violation rates for drug and alcohol testing were 0.485 percent, and 0.091 percent, respectively. The regulations state that if the random drug test positive rate is below 1.00 percent, the Administrator may set the minimum random testing rate at 25 percent. Similarly, if the random alcohol test positive rate is below 0.5 percent, the Administrator may set the minimum testing rate at 10 percent. Since the 2013 rates were well below those figures, the testing rates remain at 25 percent for drugs, and 10 percent for alcohol.

The testing rates have remained the same since calendar year 2008. However, if the random violation rates for D&A rise above the established 1.00 or 0.5 percentage rates for any reported year, the Administrator is required to increase the minimum annual percentage rates for random D&A testing based upon formulae set out in §§ 120.119 and 120.219.

For more information on D&A testing, visit ARSA’s D&A issue page here.

Final Documents/Your Two Cents

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

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Quality Time

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.

I Need a DER – Or Do I?

Part IV – Selecting and Contacting a DER

By Peter Lauria, Principal, JT Consulting, LLC  © 2014 Peter Lauria ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This series has covered the basics of a repair vs. replace decision (in Part I), the major/minor determination (Part II) and the history and types of delegations (Part III).

Let’s assume you have chosen to repair an article rather than replace an element; you have a major repair concept in mind or outlined on paper, and you need the services of appropriate designees.

Delegated Functions
First, you need to determine the delegated function(s) that applies/apply to the project. Designated Engineering Representatives (DERs) are granted delegations in nine functions (10, since mechanical systems and equipment  is a separate function from electrical systems and equipment):

  • Structural engineering.
  • Power plant engineering.
  • Systems and equipment engineering.
    • Engine engineering.
    • Radio engineering.
  • Propeller engineering.
  • Flight analyst.
  • Flight test pilot.
  • Acoustical engineering.

In addition to those listed above, the FAA has added special delegated functions:

  • Administrative DER.
  • Management DER.
  • Major alteration/major Repair approval.

Within each specialty function, DERs are granted authorized areas that further define the types of data and products they can approve. For example, one DER with engine delegation may be authorized for turbine engine design and overhaul manuals, while another may have authorization for piston engine vibration analysis and service documents.

There are also areas of crossover. For instance, an electromechanical control repair may require the support of a mechanical systems and equipment DER and an electrical systems and equipment DER. Also, the division between power plant functions and engine functions is confusing; a good rule of thumb is that if the part has the engine type certificate holder’s part number on it, it will be covered by the engine function delegation.

Repairs on accessories installed as part of the engine that are actually approved under the aircraft type certificate holder (sometimes referred to as quick engine change [QEC]), would most likely require a power plant function delegation support.

Of the 10 basic functions, the first four encompass the majority of repair data approval activity. DERs can hold delegations in more than one function and specialty, and many do hold at least two. Other good resources to help understand the DER functions are:

Finding a DER
Having determined the function and specialty needs, you’ll want to locate and contact appropriate DER(s). If you have used someone before, and that person’s delegation covers the functions (regulations) and specialty applicable to the repair, you are set. If you need to find one or more, what is the best approach?

If you are familiar with another repair station that has used delegated persons for a similar project, ask for a referral—a good number of projects presented to DERs are by word of mouth.

The FAA provides the pretty current DER Directory on its website at: If the link doesn’t work, you can find the most current version of the directory by going to the FAA website ( and searching for “DER Directory”.

DERs are listed by state in each function; a listing of authorized areas is provided, along with special functions and/or limitations.  This listing helps define the DER’s authority. Functions beyond the basic and specialties listed above include vintage airplanes and engines, repair specification (RS-DER) and parts manufacturer approval (PMA) identicality findings.

HINT:  If you are working on a major repair, go to the “Major Alterations/Major Repairs” section listed in the Table of Contents. The section is broken into function areas, with the exception of acoustics (no major repairs or alterations authority has been granted).

Some Frequent Questions:
Q1:  Do I need to choose a DER from my state?

A1:  No. Despite convenience, the DERs in your state may not have the list of authorized areas you are looking for, or you may not have any DERs in your state with the specialty function you need.

Q2:  What do the alphanumeric codes under the DER’s name in the Directory mean?

A2:  They represent the delegated functions and authorization areas. They are confusing at first—the DER’s authorizations looks like alphabet soup! To decode refer to Appendix B (“Delegated Functions and Authorized Areas”) of Order 8110.37E

Q3:  I have an engine part repair; I found a DER in the “Engines” section of the directory, and the codes look like they apply to my project. But under the DER’s name, I don’t find the special function of “Major Repair?” Is the DER not authorized?

A3:  Since the Directory began including a section for the special function of “Major Alteration/Major Repair,” it may or may not be listed for the DER under “Engines”. Look in the “Major Alteration/Major Repair” section, the DER will be listed with the engine function if he has that authority.

Q4.  What about RS-DER?

A4.  The repair specification approval authority was added a few years ago. The intent is to ensure that the repair process is repeatable and controlled. An RS approval not only covers the step-by-step instructions, but the overall process involved. There are only a few RS-DERs. If you intend for a repair to be multiple use, ensure your DER has RS-DER authority.  If not, coordinate with an RS-DER or the FAA to complete the package.

Contacting the DER
Once you have chosen a DER (or perhaps more than one), the next step is to make contact.

Call or email your chosen DER and request a copy of the current eCOA (electronic Certificate of Authorization) to validate your choice and the DER Directory’s accuracy. Be prepared to describe the proposed repair and summarize the condition of the article, the next higher assembly and the product into which it will be installed. This is the opportunity for the DER to determine if s/he can or wants to take on the project and for you to ensure that you have made the right choice.

This is also an excellent time to find out the DER’s specific requirements regarding the engineering data needed to establish compliance and whether s/he wishes to review the entire package or merely provide comments. This time can be used to see if refinement or development of further information or data is needed and if so, whether s/he has the ability and time to participate in the project.

If you and the DER agree upon a scope of work, you can go about setting up a consulting agreement or contract to get the work done. Once the agreement is in place, the next step is to prepare the data package.

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

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

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Personal Development – Human Factors Primer for Aviation Mechanics

To err is human, so they say. Regardless, maintenance providers must strive to minimize mistakes in their work. This FAA training session will provide tangible ways repairmen can implement and utilize human factors knowledge in order to ensure their work is of the highest possible quality.

Click here to get started.

Complete the course and download the “Zero Violations” poster for your repair station.

“Teaching You How to Fish” – Effectively Engaging Lawmakers

By ARSA Communications Staff

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 – Effectively Engaging Lawmakers

Vice President of Legislative Affairs Daniel Fisher provides a basic overview of the advocacy process. Why should you care? Remember: in Washington, if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.

Regulatory Compliance Training

Test your knowledge on § 145.201 – Privileges and limitations of certificate.

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Member Spotlight: NORDAM – Tulsa, Oklahoma

By Kelsi Oliver, Communications Coordinator


NORDAM was founded in 1969 and has grown to become an acknowledged leader in aircraft component manufacturing and repair. Under the leadership of founder Ray Siegfried, the family company established a reputation as an innovator, developing new technology and repair solutions for business, commercial and military aircraft.

Today, the company is recognized worldwide as an industry leader in the manufacture, repair, and overhaul of aircraft bonded-honeycomb and all composite components, fan/thrust reversers, nacelles, engine components, interiors and aircraft transparencies. NORDAM is the largest privately held FAA-approved Repair Station in the world for composite aircraft structures.

In addition to operational excellence, NORDAM is committed to its surrounding communities and local organizations. Each year, the company provides financial gifts to deserving nonprofit organizations and these contributions typically provide quality of life improvements or economic enhancements to the communities our stakeholders and customers live. It also supports a long list of community and stakeholder events including Tulsa Flight Night, an aviation-themed event that raises money for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. Through STEM programs, the future generations of science-literate, critical thinkers mean new products and processes to sustain Tulsa’s economy and exceptional quality of life.

Repair stations can cement their place in the local economy and become an integral part of their communities through this type of engagement. Active corporate citizens build stakeholder networks that support their interests – in policymaking and business development – as well as pipelines of local talent that understand the local value of the organization.

Are you an ARSA member who would like to be in the “Member Spotlight?” If so, please contact Kelsi Oliver at

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 Christopher A. Hart, acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Christopher A. Hart, Acting NTSB Chairman

Click to visit the NTSB website.

Click to visit the NTSB website.

Christopher A. Hart was sworn in as a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board on August 12, 2009, and designated by the President for a 2-year term as Vice Chairman of the Board on August 18, 2009. In August 2013, President Obama nominated him for a second term as Board Member and after Senate confirmation of his nomination, the President, in October 2013, designated him for a third term as Vice Chairman. He has served as Acting NTSB Chairman since April 26, 2014 and in July 2014 was nominated by the President to serve as Chairman of the NTSB.

Hart joined the Board after a long career in transportation safety, including a previous term as a member of the NTSB. Immediately before returning to the Board in 2009, Member Hart was Deputy Director for Air Traffic Safety Oversight at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He was previously the FAA Assistant Administrator for System Safety.

He served as a member of the NTSB from 1990 to 1993. After leaving the Board, he served as Deputy Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, before moving to the FAA in 1995.

From 1973 until joining the Board in 1990, Member Hart held a series of legal positions, mostly in the private sector. He holds a law degree from Harvard University and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association.

Hart is a licensed pilot with commercial, multi-engine, and instrument ratings. Hart’s family has a tradition of accomplishment in the field of transportation. His great uncle, James Herman Banning, was the first African-American to receive a pilot’s license issued by the U.S. Government in 1926.


Take Advantage of ARSA’s Members Getting Members Program, Get 10% Off on Membership Dues

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

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Target Your Message: Advertise Today in ARSA’s Newsletters and Website!
ARSA recently updated its menu of advertising opportunities for, the hotline and the ARSA Dispatch. Take advantage of these great opportunities today to showcase your company, a new product or event. For more information go to

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

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A Member Asked…

Q: As a certificated repair station with an accessory rating that has the ability to perform a specialized service, how may we use a contractor who does not have a rating for a specific article?

A: To answer this question, we must clarify “what is a maintenance function for the originating repair station?” Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS) 8900.1 provides the definition.

16) Maintenance Function. For the purposes of part 145 repair stations, a maintenance function is a step or series of steps in the process of performing maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alterations.

If we understand your situation, the originating repair station has the rating to perform maintenance on the entire article (an accessory rating). As such, it would ask the FAA to approve a list of the maintenance functions it needs to contract and might need to contract. ARSA provides a template letter (free to members in our Repair Station Forms Manual) to work through the possible scenarios of what an originating repair station may need on an approved maintenance function list.

A repair station can use certificated or non-certificated “persons” to perform an approved maintenance function (see, 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §§ 145.201, .211, .217, .223 and this month’s Regulatory Compliance Training for § 145.201). If the contractor is non-certificated (i.e., the “person” does not have a certificate (or rating if certificated) but has the functional capability to perform the maintenance function in accordance with direction from the originating repair station), the originating repair station has to qualify the contract and thereafter, verify by inspection or test that the maintenance function was performed properly. It will then issue the approval for return to service for that maintenance function.

But remember, both the originating repair station and the contractor need to use the proper data and have current versions at both facilities when the work is performed. The originating repair station needs the proper data to determine whether the contractor can adequately perform and to inspect the completed work. The non-certificated contractor needs appropriate data to perform the work.

The contract must ensure the FAA can inspect the contractor whenever it is performing work for the originating repair station. Finally, don’t forget that if you are performing work for an air carrier, commercial operator or fractional owner, all tiers of safety-sensitive employees must be under a part 120 anti-drug and alcohol program.

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AVMRO News Portal

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

AVMRO Industry Roundup

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

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Upcoming Events

Honolulu Aviation Mega Conference – Honolulu – January 15-16
15th Annual Great Lakes Aviation Conference – Lansing, Michigan – January 23-24
2015 Annual Repair Symposium – Arlington, Virginia – March 18-20

Previous issues:

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

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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!!

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the hotline is the monthly publication of the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), the not-for-profit international trade association for certificated repair stations. It is for the exclusive use of ARSA members and federal employees on the ARSA mailing list. For a membership application, please call 703.739.9543 or visit

This material is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal, consulting, tax or any other type of professional advice.

Law, regulations, guidance and government policies change frequently. While ARSA updates this material, we do not guarantee its accuracy. In addition, the application of this material to a particular situation is always dependent on the facts and circumstances involved. The use of this material is therefore at your own risk.

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© 2014 Aeronautical Repair Station Association