FAA Funding Bill Still Ignores European Issues

 - April 8, 2009, 10:19 AM

While the U.S. Senate has yet to introduce its version of an FAA reauthorization bill, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009 (H.R. 915). This version of the bill still includes an unchanged Section 303 “Inspection of Foreign Repair Stations,” according to the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA). Problems with Section 303 include a requirement that all foreign repair stations be inspected twice a year “by FAA personnel and not representatives of foreign civil aviation authorities,” which will undermine the bilateral aviation safety agreement process, ARSA said. And the FAA will likely not be given the funding necessary to pay for all the inspectors needed for biannual inspections. The drug-and-alcohol testing requirement, which mandates testing of safety-sensitive personnel at all foreign repair stations, is also troubling to the association. This would not only increase the cost of working with foreign repair stations, ARSA noted, but also “oversteps the agency’s reach, infringing on the sovereignty of nations where foreign repair stations are based.”