FAA Withdraws Repair Station Rule
The FAA has taken the unusual step of withdrawing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that, according to the Aircraft Electronics Association, was a well-intentioned attempt to modernize the standards and ratings that apply to repair stations. Trouble is, according to the more than 500 companies and individuals who commented on the rule, which was proposed three years ago, it would have driven most of them out of business. The FAA threw in the towel last week, saying it "determined the NPRM does not adequately address the current repair station environment and because of the significant issues commenters raised."
Among the complaints from commenters were that certification for avionics repair and installations would be type based, rather than covering the equipment, meaning that a repair station would have to earn and maintain literally hundreds of certificates for the ability to install popular types of equipment. The Aircraft Electronics Association, which led the fight against the NPRM, was understandably relieved at the FAA decision. "We are extremely pleased with the membership's efforts and the resulting FAA action," said AEA's government affairs spokesman. "The avionics industry raised solid challenges to the FAA's well-intended proposal, which could not be resolved, forcing the FAA to withdraw its proposed changes to the repair station regulations. This is how rulemaking is supposed to work."
Audio podcast with AEA's Ric Peri on the FAA's decision