11-Jun-2012 Source: ARSA
On May 21, 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued aÂ notice of proposed rulemakingÂ (NPRM) that would significantly revise 14 CFR part 145, the regulation governing aviation maintenance repair stations.
Among other things, the NPRM preamble asserts that the proposed rule wouldâ€”
The FAA proposes retaining the current regulations (with revisions to accommodate the transition) appended with the proposed regulations for 24 months after the effective date. New applicants or those that apply for a certificate change after the effective date must comply with the new rule while repair stations already certificated would have 24 months to show compliance.
The Associationâ€™s initial analysis indicates that the agency may be complicating its rule at a time that simplification would enhance the FAAâ€™s compliance and enforcement posture. An example is the FAAâ€™s reasoning that since everyone is providing it a “letter of compliance”, it should be part of the regulation. The agency apparently has forgotten that it specifically removed that requirement from its rule during the last proposal/final rule but failed to remove the “requirement” for the letter of compliance from its â€œguidanceâ€ documents. Therefore, inspectors “required” the letter even though the regulation did not; hence, applicants “always” provided the document. The Association does not appreciate nor accept hypocritical reasoning; it will again protest the “requirement” for another piece of paper merely because “it has always been done that way.”
Additionally, the agency is proposing to remove operations specifications from the certificate, making them a separate “requirement” because there has been “confusion” over their use. The “confusion” arose only since the FAA “automated” the operations specifications. The people that created the automated system were only familiar with air carrier operations specifications that are specifically NOT part of the airlineâ€™s certificate. To add a burden to small repair stations because the agency misunderstood its own longstanding rule is not a justifiable reason to change the requirement.
On the positive side, the proposed rating system has simplified the method for issuing the original rating, but the capability list must be carefully studied to ensure it is flexible without being burdensome to either the agency or the industry.
ARSA methodically reviews proposed regulations to ensure every nuance is appropriately addressed in its comments. Having completed an initial review of the changes, the Association is now combing through the proposed rule to ensure its comments recommend a consistent and common-sense approach that would benefit both industry and aviation safety.
After completing this analysis, ARSA will file its comments with the agency. The Association encourages members toÂ submitÂ their own suggestions. Comments are due Aug. 20, 2012.