Not Bluffing: EASA Preps for Reciprocating Inspections
In a letter dated June 22, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Executive Director Patrick Goudou layed out EASA's planned response if language targeting foreign repair stations becomes law in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act (H.R. 915).
In the letter, Goudou outlined actions to prepare for inspections of U.S.-based repair stations holding EASA approval. Included in this plan will be the submission of data from U.S. repair stations on employee numbers and technical ratings. The information will be necessary as the new rates for holding EASA approval (in the absence of the bilateral aviation safety agreement (BASA) will be formulated according to the non-BASA fee schedule. On this schedule, the average cost per repair station to maintain EASA approval will skyrocket from approximately $980 per year to $32,100 per year. The letter notes that informing repair stations of the fee increase "will trigger most likely some reactions."
The EASA actions are being precipitated by language in Sec. 303 of the House-passed FAA Reauthorization Act. The section requires twice annual inspections by FAA personnel of all foreign part 145 certificate holders and also requires individuals employed at foreign repair stations to be absorbed into the Department of Transportation's drug and alcohol testing program. Both requirements are counter to the BASA (and additional international trade obligations) and the European Commission has stated that if the language becomes law, the BASA will cease to exist.
During debate in the House of Representatives, Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN-8), chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, stated several times that the Europeans were "blowing smoke" or "crying wolf" on reciprocating measures if H.R. 915 became law. Unfortunately for the industry, current indications show that the EC is not bluffing.
The Senate has yet to introduce its version of the FAA reauthorization bill.
To read the letter in its entirety, click here.
To tell your senators to protect the maintenance industry and reject the language in Sec. 303, visit www.arsaaction.org.
Keep Your Pants On, For Now
The Department of Transportation's (DOT) Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy (ODAPC) announced that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its mandate in the BNSF Railway Company v. Department of Transportation case on July 1, 2009. The mandate finalizes the courtís decision and lifts its earlier stay on the compulsory direct observation drug testing rules applicable to return-to-duty and follow-up testing of safety-sensitive employees.
The DOT will eventually issue a final rule in the Federal Register providing a start date for mandatory direct observation collections for all follow-up and return-to-duty tests. Until then, direct observation for these tests remains an employerís option. Keep in mind that the final rule is not in effect until ODAPC publishes it in the Federal Register and the effective date occurs. ARSA will notify its members when the rule is published and the date is set.
Electronic Repair Administration Project Launch|
The ATA e-Business Program is launching a new industry-wide project to develop a suite of electronic messages (XML) to automate the component repair order process. The scope of the project includes electronic messages for part quotation, work scope, repair purchase order, shipment, teardown report and invoicing.
To participate and ensure that your business needs are considered, join the ATA e-Business Program!
Learn more at www.ataebiz.org.
ARSA to Host Conference Call on Senate Reauthorization Bill
On July 23, ARSAís legislative team will host a conference call to update members on the Senate Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, other legislative initiatives, and provide pointers for taking advantage of the congressional summer recess. The conference call will take place at 1:00 p.m. EST. All members are welcome to take part.
To take part, dial toll-free 800-977-8002 and enter the passcode 141381#. For international members who would like to participate, call 1 404 920 6650 and enter the passcode 141381#. If you have any questions, please email Matt Hallett at firstname.lastname@example.org or Crystal Maguire at email@example.com or call 703-739-9543.
We look forward to speaking with everyone on the 23rd.
Town Hall Meetings
A successful advocacy program depends on the involvement of ARSA members. Attending town hall meetings in your hometown is an excellent opportunity to get face time with your members of Congress, and to help the Association develop a strong grassroots program.
In an effort to help members get more involved at the ground level, ARSA will update this web page weekly with upcoming town hall meetings in your area.
If you decide to attend a town hall meeting in your area, tell us about it! E-mail Matt Hallett at firstname.lastname@example.org or Crystal Maguire at email@example.com and let us know how it goes.
To view upcoming meetings, click here.
PMA Parts That Endure
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued advisory circular (AC) 33.87-2, Comparative Endurance Test Method to Show Durability for Parts Manufacturer Approval of Turbine Engine and Auxiliary Power Unit Parts. The AC describes a comparative endurance test method to be used for certain turbine engine or auxiliary power unit (APU) parts when manufactured under Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA).
The method may be used when PMA applicants introduce changes that could affect the durability of their proposed designs. It may also be used when an applicant has insufficient comparative data to show that the durability of their proposed PMA part is at least equal to the type design. The applicant can use this method when requesting PMA under test and computation, per 14 CFR part 21, and using the comparative test and analysis approach detailed in FAA Order 8110.42, Part Manufacturer Approval Procedures. This method supports showing that the engine or APU still complies with 14 CFR part 33 or Technical Standard Order C77.
A copy of the AC may be found here.
Air Canada Union to Re-vote On Contract (Corrected)
Air Canada (ACa.TO) said on Monday that some 12,000 unionized employees will re-vote on a contract offer after the union and the carrier held talks over the weekend.
Machinists Union Files for AirTran Representation Election
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today announced it has asked the National Mediation Board (NMB) to hold a representation election for more than 2,000 fleet service, passenger service and reservation employees of Orlando-based AirTran Airways.
Southwest Begins Fleet Upkeep in El Salvador
from Tulsa World
Southwest Airlines, the nation's leading discount carrier flying only domestic routes, has begun heavy maintenance of some of its Boeing 737 fleet in El Salvador, company executives recently said.
After Accidents, EU to Propose Global Airline Blacklist
from New Europe
The European Union will propose a global blacklist of airlines that do not meet minimum safety standards in the wake of the Yemen Airways accident off the Comoros Island, the EUís top transport official said.
U.S. FAA Gives Pointers on Latest Aviation Safety Trends
from Manila Bulletin
Officials of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently lectured airlines and major repair stations in the Philippines and its neighboring countries on the latest aircraft safety and maintenance practices to keep them abreast of international standards.
New Safety Initiatives Considered Post Air
from Aviation Week
Pressure is mounting to overhaul core elements of the air transport industry's approach to aviation safety management in the wake of two fatal crashes of Airbus widebodies within a month.
Airline Safety: 'We Are Ignoring the Obvious'
Texas Rep. Ted Poe of Houston is calling for Congressional hearings on the FAA as a result of a WFAA-TV investigation of aircraft mechanics.
Reid Slams Door on Second Stimulus, as Obama Leaves Options Open
from Fox News
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently slammed the door on the idea of a second economic stimulus plan, even as President Obama suggested he's leaving the option on the table.
ARSA Members In The News
from ARSA (Source: The State)
Boeing Buys S.C. Plant
Boeing Co. will pay $580 million for a North Charleston plant that makes large sections of its 787 jetliner, in an apparent effort to rein in supplier problems that have led to costly delays of the next-generation aircraft and hurt the companyís credibility.
Final Documents/Your Two Cents
ARSA now keeps a list of Final Documents and Your Two Cents on its Web site http://www.arsa.org/FDYTC. By accessing the links (provided in blue) you will find a complete list of items the Association has noted as important to aviation design, production and maintenance activities.
Final Documents: This list includes Federal Register (FR) publications such as proposed and final rules, Advisory Circulars (ACs), Orders, Notices, policy statements and related material of interest to ARSA members. The date shown is the date of FR publication or other official release.
Your Two Cents: Provides you with the opportunity to provide input on rules and guidance that will affect you. Agencies must provide the public with notice and an opportunity for comment before their rules change. Your input matters. Comments should be received before the indicated due date; however, agencies often consider comments they receive before drafting of the final document begins.