In what the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (Arsa) is calling a major victory for the aviation industry, the FAA withdrew its “faulty legal interpretation” of maintenance duty time limitations prescribed in FAR 121.377. Specifically, the agency reversed course on its May 18, 2010 legal interpretation meant to clarify the application of the rest provisions and equivalency standards under the regulation.
At the request of Congress, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general’s (IG) office has launched an audit into FAA efforts to improve the safety of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) operations. The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in 2009–but never a final rule–to address HEMS safety concerns and the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 requires that the FAA take specific actions to improve HEMS safety, including promotion of the use of night-vision goggles.
Following the withdrawal of a “hold” by Sen. Jim DeMint last month, the Senate voted on Tuesday to confirm Michael Huerta to a five-year term as FAA Administrator. Huerta has been serving as acting FAA Administrator since Randy Babbitt resigned from the post after a drunken-driving arrest in December 2011 in Fairfax, Va.
The aviation industry unanimously applauded the confirmation.
A government-industry aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) that addressed inconsistency in regulatory interpretations issued its final report to the FAA on Friday. It concludes that the agency’s Flight Standards Service (AFS) and Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) offices should review all guidance documents and interpretations to identify and cancel outdated material, and cross-reference material to the applicable rule.
The public is invited to the FAA’s aviation rulemaking advisory committee meeting on December 6 beginning at 1 p.m. at the agency’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. The meeting’s agenda includes recommendations from working groups such as those covering rulemaking prioritization, airmen testing standards and training, flight controls harmonization and airworthiness assurance. More information is available from the FAA’s Renee Butner at (202) 267-5093, or via e-mail at Renee.Butner@faa.gov.
Last week the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (Arsa) submitted its comments on the FAA’s rewrite of the federal regulation governing repair stations, urging the FAA to issue a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking that incorporates the substantive comments made by the association and other interested parties that will help the agency more ably meet industry needs and maintain the highest standards of safety
The FAA has upgraded Israel’s air safety rating to Category 1 from the Category 2 status it held since December 2008. The November 1 upgrade, based on an October 2012 FAA review of Israel’s civil aviation authority, means Israeli air carriers will be allowed to add new service to and from the U.S., and also to code-share with U.S. airlines. The Category 2 rating allowed Israeli air carriers only to maintain existing services in place in 2008.
A manufacturer of small UAVs said it was awarded the first permit from the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (Enac) to operate a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) in non-segregated airspace. Aermatica, of Venegono Superiore, Italy, said it obtained the permit for its Anteos RPA, a battery-powered quadcopter.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is asking repair station operators to participate in a survey about the impact that complying with the FAA’s Part 145 repair station NPRM will have on their business.
The U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general’s office is evaluating the FAA’s progress toward integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the national airspace system.