ASA Supports FAA ICA Policy

More than ever, it is important for the aircraft parts distribution community that repair vendors have access to the latest maintenance instructions for rotable parts. ASA members are ferquently relying on repair stations to overhaul parts that will be made available to the aviation industry to support safe flight. Today, ASA filed comments on the Proposed FAA ICA Policy (Policy Statement, PS-AIR-21.50-01: Inappropriate DAH Restrictions on the Use and Availability of ICA). ASA’s comments supported the policy, but requested that the FAA policy better reflect the new need for Commercial Parts Lists to be made available. ASA’s comments will be made available on ASA’s website.

The FAA policy was written in response to the growing practice of manufacturers licensing their manuals on the condition that the licensee repair station or air carrier/operator pledge to refrain from using competitive products like DER repairs or PMA parts. This can make it more difficult for ASA members to find qualified repair stations to overhaul aircraft parts, and it increases the total cost of obtaining repairs by creating a monopolistic environment that permits the manufacturer to charge monopolistic prices for parts and technologies that are needed for repairs. This undermines competition, innovation and safety.

The FAA retains the power to influence the method of distribution for ICAs, because the regulatory appendices that describe the minimum standards for such ICAs require the ICA-publisher to have a mechanism for distributing the ICAs and their amendments, and to submit that mechanism to the FAA. This permits the FAA to establish standards for what will be considered acceptable or unacceptable among such distribution mechanisms.

The FAA policy makes it clear that it is not acceptable for manufacturers to license their ICAs using restrictive licenses that preclude competition. For example, an engine manufacturer may not license its ICAs on the condition that the licensee agree not to purchase PMA parts for the engines.

ASA supports practices that make it easier for repair stations to ensure tha their repairs reflect the latest technologies, and methods for achieving safety.  Thus, ASA is very supportive of the FAA policy.

ASA exhorts the entire aviation community to file comments with the FAA supporting the FAA ICA Policy Memo. Comments may be filed by sending an email to John.Cerra@FAA.gov.

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About Jason Dickstein
Mr. Dickstein is the President of the Washington Aviation Group, a Washington, DC-based aviation law firm. He represents several aviation trade associations, including the Aviation Suppliers Association, the Aircraft Electronics Association, the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association and the Modification and Replacement Parts Association.

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