The Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (IG) released a report last week on FAA efforts to assume a more risk-based approach in overseeing nearly 4,800 repair stations used around the world by U.S. air carriers. “While the FAA developed a risk assessment process to aid repair station inspectors in identifying areas of greatest concern,” the report said, “its oversight continues to emphasize completing mandatory inspections instead of targeting resources where they are needed based on risk.”
The IG claims fewer than half the U.S. inspections are risk-based, and that risk is not even an inspection option at foreign shops. “The FAA’s oversight of foreign and domestic repair stations lacks effective standardized processes for identifying deficiencies and verifying that they have been addressed,” said the report.
“The FAA concurred with all nine of our recommendations to enhance the agency’s oversight of repair stations, citing its plans to implement a new Safety Assurance System [SAS] in Fiscal Year 2015, and proposing actions to address our concerns in the interim. However, we are requesting additional information or alternative actions for three recommendations to ensure adequate oversight until the SAS is complete,” the report said.