HAI President Matt Zuccaro and 19 other association and company presidents have written to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, urging her department to issue a final rule on security at foreign repair stations by the end of this calendar year.
In the letter, the 20 leaders note that Congress directed the Transportation Security Administration (TSA, part of the Department of Homeland Security) to issue final regulations to ensure the security of foreign and domestic aircraft repair stations as part of the 2003 FAA reauthorization bill. Additionally, Congress in 2007 expressly prohibited the FAA from issuing any new foreign repair station authorizations after August 2008 if the TSA had not yet promulgated the required regulations.
As the leaders noted in the letter, TSA first held a public meeting on the rulemaking in 2004 and issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) five years later, in 2009. The formal public comment period ended in February 2010. TSA is still working on the final rule 21 months later.
“The extensive delay in promulgation of a final rule regarding repair station security has a negative impact on our industry and the U.S. economy,” the letter reads. “American companies seeking to expand their markets overseas are hindered relative to foreign competitors due to the inability to get new repair stations certified.
“We respectfully request that your department work with TSA and others in the federal government to finalize the rulemaking by Dec. 31, 2011,” Zuccaro and the other leaders concluded. “The publication of a final rule will enhance security and also remove a regulatory roadblock that is currently damaging American companies. We urge your department to move quickly on this rule.”
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