FAA Clarifies Inspector Authorization Policy

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The FAA has tweaked its proposal for clarifying how it authorizes maintenance inspectors, and NBAA and AOPA seemed mostly satisfied with the results, although AOPA says it is still concerned about how the new policy (PDF) will be implemented. The proposal issued last November triggered alarm that some inspectors would not meet the new proposed standards, causing a shortage, leading to delays and higher maintenance costs. The policy issued last week "has clearly been broadened to include as eligible for renewals those [inspectors] who perform specialized or occasional maintenance inspections," said AOPA.

NBAA said it had advocated for the FAA to clarify its criteria, because the former rules had been confusing. "The lack of specific guidance had led some FAA inspectors to define the term narrowly and deny renewals to [some] individuals," NBAA said. The new definition will become effective with the next inspector renewal expiration date of March 31, 2013.