Repair Stations Issue Comments On Drug Rule

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Industry groups have lined up in opposition to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) they say will needlessly cost 22,000 companies money to have their employees tested for drugs. In formal comments to the FAA on the NPRM, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) says the FAA seriously underestimated the impact of the proposed rule when it said only 297 companies would be affected. "Thirteen aviation industry groups and companies endorsed ARSA's comments and joined as signatories," according to ARSA Executive Director Sarah MacLeod. "The aviation world is clearly united in opposition to this unnecessary, costly and misguided FAA proposal." According to ARSA, the proposed rule would require non-certificated maintenance subcontractors (NCMS) working for FAA-certificated repair stations to participate in an FAA-approved drug- and alcohol-screening program if the articles in question are ultimately installed on air carrier aircraft. NCMS companies provide everything from dry cleaning to metal-finishing services but are not certificated to sign off, as airworthy, any of the work they do. ARSA maintains that there are plenty of safeguards in place to prevent drug- and alcohol-related problems from affecting proper maintenance and safety standards through licensed repair stations.