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Insufficient Evidence of Threat, Insecure Public Process Confound TSA Security Proceeding
WASHINGTON, D.C. February 27, 2004 – Aviation maintenance providers do not believe that the federal government has sufficiently identified any real threat to the security of their facilities, according to the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA).
In testimony delivered to today’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) hearing on repair station security, ARSA questioned the wisdom of discussing the issue in a public forum. “We wonder whether the TSA, by raising these issues and drawing attention to perceived security gaps, is not potentially creating a greater problem than it is solving,” according to ARSA Executive Vice President Christian A. Klein.Although the TSA recently asked detailed questions about repair station security measures, incidents and costs, “we do not want to expose the repair station industry to unnecessary risk,” Klein said. “ARSA therefore urges the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Transportation (DOT), TSA, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to take all necessary steps to ensure the docket for these proceedings is secure and that it does not, itself, become a handbook for terrorists wishing to learn more about vulnerabilities in the aviation system.”
ARSA recognizes that the government’s inquiry into repair station security is Congressionally mandated. By statute, if the DHS and FAA fail to complete required foreign repair station security audits within 18 months of the issuance of new security rules, the FAA Administrator cannot certify any foreign repair station until such audits are completed for existing stations.
“Were the FAA to stop issuing new certificates to foreign repair stations, it would have immediate economic consequences, both for those facilities and for the global aviation industry,” ARSA said.
While the Association questions whether the current repair station security regime poses any real risks to aviation security, it is committed to working with government and stakeholders to ensure that the process moves quickly, that the statutory deadlines for the implementation of regulations and audits are met, and that disruptions to the aviation industry are avoided.
The full text of the ARSA testimony before today’s TSA meeting is available in PDF format from this link.
The Aeronautical Repair Station Association represents the interests of aviation maintenance and alteration facilities before the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board and other agencies. Founded in 1984, ARSA is the leading provider of regulatory training and compliance information for aviation design, production and maintenance.