Receiving Inspectors are Not Performing Maintenance

In a victory for common sense, the FAA has issued a legal interpretation that confirms that receiving inspectors who are receiving articles for stock are not performing maintenance activities, and therefore they are not among the personnel who are required to be subject to DOT-regulated drug and alcohol testing.

This effort was spearheaded by our industry colleagues at ARSA, but the final request for interpretation was jointly filed by 15 organizations (including ASA).

The root of the issue is that the Part 120 requirements require air carriers to ensure that their maintenance subcontractors are tested under the drug and alcohol rules.  This requirement is applied to those who perform aircraft maintenance duties – but those who do not perform such duties are not subject to the testing requirement.

During development of the request for opinion, we pointed out that distribution had been excluded from the scope of drug and alcohol testing in a federal register preamble (at the request of ASA).  Receiving inspection is generally performed in a uniform manner across the aviation industry, so the receiving for stock that is not maintenance in a distribution facility should be treated the same as the receiving for stock in an air carrier or repair station facility.

The FAA agreed with our logic, and yesterday issued a legal opinion letter confirming that receiving inspectors who are receiving articles for stock are not performing maintenance in a way that would make them subject to DOT’s drug and alcohol testing requirements.

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