Repair Station Rule to Require Recertification

Many in the industry have been weighing-in on the FAA proposed rule concerning repair stations.  Many people feel that the proposed rule would increase costs without achieving correlative safety benefits.  This is bad for repair stations and it is bad for those distributors and air carriers who rely on repair stations.

There are many details to the proposal that have caused concern in the industry.  One of those is that the rule would require recertification of repair stations, without achieving any safety benefit.

The proposed rule would require that certificated repair stations surrender their existing certificates and have them replaced with new certificates under the new regulatory scheme.  This seems like a tremendous burden on the industry, and it appears to be entirely unnecessary.  This burden is important to repair stations, but it is also important to distributors and air carriers who rely on repair stations as business partners.

There are statutory standards that apply to modification of certificates.  44 US 44709 explains that the FAA may modify a certificate if the modification is required by (a) safety in air commerce or air transportation and (b) the public interest.  The language of the statute refers to orders of the Administrator, but this language may preclude regulatory changes that are inconsistent with the standards that apply to orders.

The proposed rule admits that the potential benefits of the rule are difficult to quantify, and it explains that that the potential benefits are as follows:

(1) Giving the FAA authority to

(a) deny a repair station certificate to an applicant whose past performance resulted in a revocation, and

(b) revoke all FAA issued certificates held by any person who makes fraudulent or intentionally false entries or records;

(2) defining what operations specifications are and providing a well-defined process for both industry and the FAA to amend them; and

(3) updating the ratings system.”  77 Fed. Reg. 30072.

Based on the FAA’s list of reasons for this change, there appears to be no safety justification for the recertification requirement.

None of the three stated benefits of the rule require the administrative burden of revoking or sun-setting existing repair station certificates.  Each one could be accomplished through a less onerous method.  Therefore revocation and replacement of existing certificates is unnecessary.

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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.

One Response to Repair Station Rule to Require Recertification

  1. Pingback: SBA Repair Station Meeting Postponed! « ASA Web Log

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