FAA Withdrawing Divisive Repair Station NPRM

 - April 15, 2009, 10:24 AM

The FAA has begun the process of withdrawing a controversial December 2006 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) calling for new repair station ratings classifications, capabilities lists and quality system requirements. The rule would also require designation of a chief inspector and mandate permanent housing for facilities, equipment, materials and personnel. In comments to the NPRM, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) noted that the cost of compliance would be a “significant burden that will likely result in the closure of numerous small businesses.” Many repair stations, ARSA explained, “consist entirely of a few individuals providing a very specialized service. As such, they do not have personnel to assign or departments dedicated to regulatory surveillance.” For a small repair station with annual revenues of $200,000, the compliance cost would be about 5 percent of the yearly gross. The NPRM withdrawal, said an FAA spokesman, “is still in executive coordination at the [DOT] Secretary’s office. If it is approved and published, we plan to state in the withdrawal that we will be moving forward with a new NPRM.”