Spring Brings Out Buds and the FAA

 - November 22, 2006, 6:55 AM

For operators of older bizliners with a maximum payload of 7,500 pounds or more, spring will bring more than warm temperatures and budding trees. Continuing its aging aircraft program, the FAA is preparing two rulemaking actions it expects to issue this spring. First, the agency is developing a proposal to require OEMs to develop an “operational limit” and substantiate that widespread fatigue damage will not occur before airplanes reach that limit. The proposal would also require operators to incorporate those operational limits into their aircraft. Secondly, the FAA is working on a proposal to require OEMs to “develop damage tolerance-based maintenance inspections to support operator compliance with the agency’s aging airplane safety rule.” In January last year, the FAA issued a final rule requiring repetitive inspections and records reviews every seven years for all transport airplanes older than 14 years to “ensure that maintenance programs provide the highest level of safety for age-sensitive structures.”