ARSA Seeks Data To Fight FAA On Drug-Testing Rule...

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FAA Estimates "Grossly" Incorrect, ARSA Says...

Dismayed by the FAA's newest plan to expand drug-testing programs for aviation maintenance workers, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) launched an industry survey last week to try to gather more information about the impact of the FAA proposal. ARSA said the FAA is "grossly understating both the number of companies [affected] and the economic impact the new rule would have." The FAA says its changes would impact about 300 companies, costing each one about $1,200 a year to test an average of 19 workers. ARSA says the proposal would affect many more companies and the costs would mount. Fears exist that ultimately that cost would trickle down throughout general aviation. Besides pre-employment drug testing, ARSA says, companies would have to pay for random, post-accident, reasonable-cause, return-to-duty, and follow-up drug and alcohol tests for all workers, including assistants, helpers, or trainees, plus provide additional training for workers and supervisors, and absorb the costs of paperwork. The rule would affect not only certificated repair stations but also non-certificated maintenance subcontractors, who provide specialized services to Part 121 or Part 135 air carriers in the United States. Those services include welding, heat treating, fabricating and machining small parts, and even dry cleaning or repairing consumer electronics prior to their reinstallation on aircraft. The new rule would apply no matter how far down the contract chain the company was.