New FAA Funding Act Addresses Foreign Repair Safety

 - February 11, 2009, 10:33 AM

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009 introduced on Monday by House Transportation Committee chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) and House aviation subcommittee chairman Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), while it includes no user fees, would authorize the FAA to release engineering data for abandoned type certificates; require FAA inspectors to inspect twice a year foreign repair stations that work on air carrier aircraft or components; and mandate drug and alcohol testing for personnel performing safety-sensitive work at foreign repair stations. The Republican aviation committee on transportation and infrastructure expressed some concerns about the act. “The minority thinks that the provision related to overseas repair stations must be reviewed to ensure that it does not violate bilateral agreements and that it will not risk retaliatory actions by foreign governments against U.S. air carriers. The ramifications of such action by foreign governments cannot be ignored, especially given the current state of the airline industry.”