The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued long-promised guidance adopting the position of the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) regarding when an on-airport repair station is responsible for large aircraft on its property under the new aircraft repair station security regulation.
In response to ARSA’s inquiry, the agency clarified that a “repair station is responsible for large aircraft when the repair station has authority over the aircraft, contractual dominion or control of the aircraft, or when the repair station knows or should know that a large aircraft has been tendered to them by an aircraft owner or operator.” Furthermore, the TSA explained that it “considers the repair station to be responsible for the large aircraft until the aircraft owner or operator has taken delivery and/or control of the aircraft.”
Daniel Fisher, ARSA’s vice president of Legislative Affairs, told AIN, “After the final repair station security regulation’s release, TSA originally determined that under the rule, a repair station is responsible for all large aircraft ‘on its ramp or property,’ regardless of who had dominion or control of the aircraft, ignoring TSA-mandated aircraft owner/operator responsibilities.This interpretation was unworkable. It not only duplicated the agency’s own requirements and practices, but it ignored the fact that a repair station can’t be responsible for preventing the unauthorized operation of an aircraft that it doesn’t exercise control over. If the repair station doesn’t have authority or the means to access the aircraft, how could it be responsible for preventing the aircraft’s unauthorized operation? Following several inquiries by ARSA, common sense prevailed, and TSA adopted the association’s recommendation. The agency should be commended for adjusting its interpretation to mesh with its own aircraft owner/operator security mandates and the realities of the industry.”