Aviation Organizations Oppose Foreign Maintenance Oversight Bill

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The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) and ten other aviation organizations have come out in opposition of a recently introduced bill aimed at increasing FAA oversight of repair stations located outside of the United States. The Safe Aircraft Maintenance Standards Act (H.R. 5119) was introduced by U.S. House of Representatives Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., last Friday.

Provisions laid out in H.R. 5119 (PDF) include annual unannounced FAA inspections for foreign repair stations, requiring certain air carriers to provide detailed monthly maintenance reports for FAA analysis and requiring supervisors and mechanics to be certified under FAA regulations regardless of location. The bill would also put a moratorium on FAA certification of new foreign repair stations if the FAA does not implement the new requirements, including issuing a rule to require security assessments of foreign repair station employees, within one year of the bill being enacted.

“For years I’ve pressed FAA officials to heed the warnings from its own Inspector General and to do more to close the gap between our safety standards and those of foreign repair stations,” said DeFazio. “The bill I’m introducing … does just that by establishing one standard of safety regardless of where the aircraft is maintained.”

According to a letter (PDF) sent by the ARSA-led coalition to the chairman and ranking members of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and Aviation Subcommittee, the groups believe the new record-keeping and reporting requirements the bill suggests “do nothing to help focus regulators on safety critical information and will simply overwhelm them with irrelevant data.” In addition, the letter states that H.R. 5119 “puts in place regulatory requirements that would be likely impossible to implement” and runs the risk of impacting cooperation with international aviation authorities “including key bilateral aviation safety partners.”

Along with ARSA, the letter was signed by organizations including the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and National Air Carrier Association (NACA).

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5 COMMENTS

  1. “bill aimed at increasing FAA oversight of repair stations located outside of the United States.”

    “Along with ARSA, the letter was signed by organizations including the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and National Air Carrier Association (NACA).”

    So What is it???
    Do we want the FAA to have oversight on all American Aviation or not?

    These alphabet groups are so confusing, one minute they say the FAA isn’t doing it’s job now they are protesting the FAA doing their job.

  2. Well As a European I have zero confidence in an FAA that is run by politically connected hacks. They are no different than revenue raising traffic cops. Their careers are spent outing each other for a promotion.
    Let FAA do Traffic Control only and NTSB handle matters of safety. No more self certification of any type.

    • Problem with this is that many NTSB recommendations would shut down or make impractical GA operations by prohibitive costs or just the impracticality of the recommendations. A lot of pt 91 flexibility that exists in the US would go away if left to the NTSB.

  3. I’m curious. How does the European aviation industry regulate themselves? America has its FAA for governing rules of how aircraft comply with airworthness, airspace use and regulations governing how pilots can fly and the NTSB investigating accidents and incidents to reveal causes and recommend measures to further air safety to help reduce errors or eliminate them. If American aircraft fly to Europe and Asia, similar regulations there allow freedom to use their airspace. Foreign air carriers must adhere to FAA regs to fly in USA airspace. Is Europe and Asia complying with FAA standards or have their own version so a level playing field allows commerce freedom in a universal airspace with everyone playing by the same rules and not affected by economics or political differences?

  4. If the requirement for all mechanics to be FAA certificated goes through it would end any reason or incentive for companies to get repair station certification, unless pt 121 requires it. Like usual Congresspersons who know little about aviation doing more harm than good. Maybe if Congress would get off their collective behinds and properly fund the FAA then maybe the FAA would be able to fully exercise their oversight obligations.