The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) once again failed to meet its deadline to finalize the repair station security rule. The agency’s inaction means that the FAA remains under a moratorium on certifying foreign aviation repair stations that has been in place since 2008.
During a March 14 oversight hearing before the House Transportation Security Subcommittee, TSA Administrator John Pistole confirmed that the TSA and Department of Homeland Security had completed their work and the rule was under a mandatory 90-day examination period by the Office of Management & Budget. In response, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (Arsa) launched a countdown clock to ensure the agency is held accountable to the most recent deadline. Arsa is now working with Congress to resolve the issue.
“Time after time TSA misses its deadlines and the only ones paying the price are aviation maintenance companies seeking to expand internationally,” said Christian Klein, Arsa’s executive vice president. “We have maintained from the beginning that mandating repair station security rules was a solution in search of a problem. The TSA’s inaction after nearly a decade shows that security was never truly an issue.”
“The aviation maintenance industry is done sitting by and hoping the government will follow Congress’s ill-advised directive – we’re taking action to ensure our businesses can build their markets,” said Daniel Fisher, Arsa’s v-p of government affairs. “The ban is costing U.S. companies millions of dollars in lost revenue, stifling domestic growth and job creation that would support overseas expansion. Congress created this problem and now it should fix it. Arsa is going to work with our friends on the Hill to restore the FAA’s ability to certify new foreign repair stations. Preventing the FAA from doing its job because the TSA couldn’t complete its work was a terrible policy from the start. The time is long overdue for Congress to rectify the situation to allow the aviation maintenance to grow and prosper,” Fisher told AIN.