- October 8, 2009, 2:26 PM
A recent survey conducted by the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) about inconsistent FAA regulatory interpretations has yielded “troubling, yet expected,” results. “This survey clearly demonstrates the high unnecessary costs, delays and obstacles aviation businesses suffer due to the FAA’s inconsistent interpretation of the federal aviation regulations,” said NATA president James Coyne. “The FAA absolutely must find a way to provide consistent regulatory guidance and interpretation.” NATA conducted the survey in response to numerous members’ reports of having experienced varying interpretations of FARs by the FAA’s regional aircraft certification (ACO) and flight standards district offices (FSDO). Many survey respondents said they are challenged by regulatory interpretations that vary from one inspector within one FSDO or ACO to another. According to the NATA, respondents estimate that these varying interpretations cost general aviation businesses hundreds of millions of dollars annually. The survey results showed that 87 percent of respondents said their businesses have experienced problems due to inconsistent or incorrect interpretations by local FAA inspectors and 75 percent believe that the delay or denial for a new safety program was related to an incorrect or inconsistent interpretation.