The FAA has told NATA that the agency has completed special emphasis inspections for about 60 percent of all Part 135 certificate holders. The agency is conducting these inspections to determine compliance with operational control requirements specified in OpSpec A008.
Civil aviation authorities
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will start assuming its responsibilities in September, though it may well take at least until 2008 for it to complete the process of replacing the existing Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA).
The FAA granted a request from four trade associations to delay the compliance date of new repair station rules. The agency published the rules on Aug. 6, 2001, with an initial effective date of April 6, 2003.
The structure of the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) will undergo a major overhaul as Minister for Transport and Regional Development John Anderson, who reports to the Parliament for its administration, responds to constant pressure from the aviation industry to improve the agency. However, the Australian industry is waiting to be convinced the new CASA structure will make it more efficient and accountable.
Former General Aviation Manufacturers Association president Ed Stimpson, now U.S. ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), warned that a “fundamental philosophical difference” between the U.S. and Europe over how to reduce aviation emissions will present a major challenge to U.S. representatives in the coming months.
In a recent speech on global harmonization, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey summed up the universal reaction to China’s booming aviation industry: “The world is watching.”
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has introduced a proposal to extend the scope of its regulatory activities to include “air operation, aircrew licensing and operations of third-party aircraft.” The change requires amending Regulation (EC) No. 1592/2002 of the European Parliament and of the council establishing EASA, so in December the EASA proposed such an amendment.
Most maintainers believe that the aviation industry focuses on the flight 99.9 percent of the time, allotting the remaining 0.1 percent for the other aviation specialties. While those numbers certainly are exaggerated, the reality is that flight-deck issues receive much more attention than any other. That could be because pilot error is the number-one cause of aircraft accidents today.
Aviation is an industry where the various factions often have nothing in common beyond the air in which they travel. But there is something that operators of Cessna 152s, Learjets and Boeing 747s have in common–maintenance. When the FAA announced an update of Part 145 repair stations was in the offing, the industry turned out in full force, filing hundreds of comments about the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
Prompted in part by NTSB recommendations arising from the July 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 off Long Island, the FAA has developed an enhanced airworthiness program for airplane systems (EAPAS) to increase awareness of wiring system degradation and improve both maintenance and design of electrical systems.