Senate Committee Studies Aviation Safety
On April 16, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Technology held a hearing titled “Aviation Safety: FAA’s Progress on Key Safety Initiatives” to discuss the Federal Aviation Administration’s headway in implementing aviation safety programs.
While testimony at the hearing largely focused on air traffic control tower closures and the impact of sequestration on the agency’s operations, Department of Transportation Assistant Inspector General Jeffrey Guzzetti briefly addressed the FAA’s oversight of repair stations.
In his testimony, Guzzetti criticized the FAA’s mandatory inspections of maintenance facilities, instead calling for risk-based inspections. He also highlighted that FAA inspectors often overlook deficiencies, such as inadequate mechanic training and outdated tool calibration checks, and urged the agency to better implement its risk-based monitoring systems for repair stations and manufacturers. Lastly, Guzzetti indicated the Inspector General’s office plans to release its report on FAA oversight of repair stations by the end of April.
“The DOT Inspector General’s testimony confirms what ARSA has been advocating for years: Mandatory inspections are an inefficient use of time and resources,” said ARSA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Daniel Fisher. “A risk-based inspection regime is optimal to conduct repair station oversight. We look forward to continuing to work with the FAA, Congress and industry on this issue.”