Hot section: ARSA executive ambivalent about end of repair station nprm

 - June 4, 2009, 6:52 AM

Sarah MacLeod, executive director of the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), is cautiously optimistic about the FAA’s recent withdrawal of a notice of proposed rule making (Docket No. FAA-2006-26408) aimed at FAA Part 145 Repair Stations. MacLeod told AIN that pulling the plug on the NPRM was good because it proposed structure ratings and quality assurance systems that would have been “extremely burdensome” for small businesses that don’t work on airliners.

“It’s unfortunate that the agency was not able to correct the proposal’s deficiencies by issuing a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking,” she cautioned. “We’re fearful that the delay will create congressional demands greater than those currently pending in the House of Representatives. Hopefully, the action by the FAA in creating an Aviation Rulemaking Committee to address safety management systems (SMS) will deflect some of the negative responses ARSA expects from organized labor and the Congress.”

The NPRM proposed to revise the system of ratings and require repair stations to establish a quality program. Repair stations would have had to maintain a capability list, designate a chief inspector and have permanent housing for facilities, equipment, materials and personnel. The proposal also included specific instances under which the FAA could have denied a repair station certificate.

A spokesman for the FAA said the agency is withdrawing the NPRM because
it does not adequately address the current repair station environment and because of the significant issues commenters raised. The agency received more than 500 responses.