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Survey Says…ARSA Survey Paints Picture of Industry Audit Burden

ARSA is working closely with international aviation authorities to reduce the overwhelming number of contract maintenance audits. The Association recently conducted an industry survey to address the present reality of nearly nonstop, overlapping, and duplicative audits by helping it get an accurate picture of the audit burden repair stations face.

Conducted in tandem with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) project seeking to measure and quantify the audit impact on repair stations, ARSA will submit the results to the FAA for comparison and validation with the agency’s own research on the issue.

The survey found—

  • On average, each repair station receives a combination of 19.5 onsite and paper audits per year with an average cost of $1,751.00 per audit. (Note: total cost is based on employee costs and audit hours provided by each survey respondent.)
  • The average repair station performs 19 onsite and/or paper audits per year on its maintenance contractors at a cost of $1,119.00 per audit.
  • Internal audits average seven per year at a cost of $1,659.00 per audit.
  • Repair stations expended an average of $18,150.00 per year on the fixed costs associated with auditor training, travel, and onsite facilities (e.g., temporary offices, phones, computers, etc.) for customer and government auditors.
  • The average annual cost of audits exceeds $85,500.00 per year per repair station. This is an estimated industry annual burden in excess of $105 million.
  • More than two-thirds of respondents (67.6 percent) are in favor of a true “third-party approach” to auditing and data sharing.
  • More than four-fifths of respondents (86.7 percent) support the concept of Certification Authority Mutual Acceptance (i.e., regulators fully accepting each other’s surveillance).
  • 100 percent of respondents are FAA certificated, 80 percent hold EASA certification and eight percent hold certifications from other civil aviation authorities.
  • Surprisingly, almost two-thirds of respondents (62 percent) do not have any commercial certifications like ISO 9000, AS9100 or AS9110; 21 percent hold ISO 9000, Twenty-six percent hold AS9100 and ten percent hold AS9110.

The online survey was conducted from late February through late April. Multiple e-mails were sent to member companies to respond and the industry at large was invited to participate. The survey system was configured to prevent multiple responses. One hundred and five maintenance companies responded representing 220 repair station certificates. Ninety-three percent of respondents were based in the United States. Based on a total population of 4,200 FAA repair station certificates, the survey has a 6.4 percent margin of error. Industry burden is based on an estimated 1,229 repair stations that support air carriers.

Thank you to all the ARSA members and other repair stations that participated in the survey. Stay tuned for more on ARSA’s efforts to simplify repair station auditing.

~~~ posted 7/13/12 ~~~



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