The FAA has extended the comment period by a month for a controversial new rule it says is aimed at ensuring contract maintenance companies do their work to the standards set by their customers. The proposed rule would require air carriers to ensure maintenance done to their airplanes by third parties is done according to the requirements laid out in their own maintenance manuals. The rule primarily targets scheduled carriers but it also affects a lot of smaller operations, and it was at the request of the Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association that the comment period was extended.
RACCA spokesman John Hazlet said the rule, when applied to small operators and maintenance shops, will put an unreasonable burden of paperwork and reporting requirements on them for little net safety benefit. He's urging members to take advantage of the extension and let their thoughts be known through the comment process. The new rule only applies to air carriers who operate aircraft with 10 passenger seats (not including pilots) and pure cargo aircraft are exempt.