FSF Weighs in on Foreign Repair Station Performance

 - May 27, 2009, 11:00 AM

Referring to the foreign repair station oversight language in the House FAA reauthorization bill (H.R.915) that passed last Thursday, William Voss, president and CEO of the Flight Safety Foundation, said he’s seen “no evidence whatsoever” that aircraft maintenance performed by non-U.S. repair stations is any less safe than that performed within the U.S., provided the repair stations and personnel are properly certified and regulated. “I think people are overlooking the significance of all the other countries that oversee these repair stations,” Voss told AIN. “There are airline customers from countries all over the world scrutinizing these MROs. I think this issue is more about jobs than safety, and I don’t like to see political issues characterized as safety. While jobs may be a valid point of discussion, let’s not confuse it with safety; that’s a different issue.” Voss continued, “We would be very concerned about any interference in the carefully crafted international system of reciprocal recognition of airworthiness determination. There is an important relationship between regulators; it’s a complex and resilient web of oversight. I’d rather have four or five countries comparing oversight than one. I think it’s a little elitist to think we’re the only country than can give adequate oversight to the industry.”