Senate FAA Reauthorization Bill Introduced
On June 14, the Senate version of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization was unveiled, the "FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act" (S. 1451). Unlike the House version (H.R. 915), the bill was introduced with bi-partisan support. Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chairman John Rockefeller (D-WV) and Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-ND) were joined as co-sponsors by full committee ranking member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and subcommittee ranking member Jim DeMint (R-SC).
Title V of the Senate bill addresses foreign repair stations (Section 521) and the use of non-certificated maintenance providers (Sec. 522). The bill summary states:
"Title V also requires the FAA to ensure that FAA-certified repair stations outside the U.S. performing work on U.S. commercial air carriers will be required to have drug and alcohol testing programs in place that are acceptable to the FAA and the laws of the country in which the station is located. It also mandates each foreign repair station have a minimum of two annual inspections from FAA inspectors unless there is a bilateral aviation safety agreement in place that allows for comparable inspection by local authorities. Similarly, Title V also directs the FAA to issue regulations that limit the ability of a non-certificated maintenance provider to be able to work on the aircraft of Part 121 air carriers to several limited exceptions - all of which require the supervision or working in conjunction with the employees of a certificated repair station or air carrier."
The full text of the bill is available here.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, in a response to the Senate FAA reauthorization bill, introduced her own bill on June 14. The "Safe Air Act of 2009" (S. 1454) requires twice annual inspections of all foreign repair stations, including one "unannounced" inspection. The language is stricter than that found in the House FAA reauthorization bill, which prompted the European Commission to prepare for reciprocal measures that would prove incredibly costly for domestic business.
The full text of the bill is available here.
Revised RAF Report Available
The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) amended Repair, Alteration, Fabrication (RAF) Study Report is available for review. The agency found that a number of comments to the Federal Register had been missed in the original disposition.
However, there were no substantive changes to the original recommendations and most changes in the amended report are clarifications or expansions. As noted in the revision history page, all of the additional comments are shown towards the end of the comments section.
Actions to address the report’s recommendations are incorporated in the FAA Aircraft Certification and Flight Standards business plans and will span approximately the next four to five years as some actions require rulemaking.
A copy of the amended report is available here.
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.
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 email@example.com or Crystal Maguire at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how it goes.
To view upcoming meetings, click here.
New Location to Score Drug and Alcohol Rules
On July 13, 2009, the regulations covering the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) drug and alcohol testing program were officially moved from 14 CFR part 121, appendices I and J (and various other section of Title 14 CFR) to the new 14 CFR part 120. The FAA did not make any substantive changes to the regulations. The move gathers the existing regulations into a single part and provides cross references to part 120 from parts 91 and 135.
To view the consolidated rules click here.
Part Marking AC Open for Comment
Draft Advisory Circular (AC) 43-PM, Parts Marking Identification is currently open for comment. The AC provides information and guidance on developing procedures for part marking and part re-marking when performing maintenance, alteration and fabrication, including the fabrication of owner-produced parts.
Comments are due Aug. 9, 2009, and may be sent by clicking here.
A copy of the draft AC may be found here.
Where Did I See Those Life-limited Items Again?
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a draft policy statement concerning life-limits and Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA). The purpose of the policy statement is to clarify that certain life-limited items, in addition to those specifically required by 14 CFR §§ 27.571 or 29.571, should be included in the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) of the ICA for rotorcraft.
Appendix A of both part 27 and 29 states that the ALS must set forth each mandatory replacement time, structural inspection interval and related structural inspection procedure approved under §§ 27.571 or 29.571. However, other mandatory replacement times, mandatory inspection intervals and related procedures associated with structural integrity are also appropriate for inclusion in the ALS. The policy, along with an upcoming rulemaking, helps clarify that other life limits can be included in the ALS.
Comments are due Aug. 10, 2009, and may be sent here.
A copy of the draft policy may be found here.
Delays on Boeing's 787 Dreamliner Keep Ohio Suppliers Waiting
from Cleveland Ohio Business News
As Boeing Co. encounters one delay after another getting its 787 Dreamliner passenger jet to market and airlines cancel orders, Ohio suppliers that were counting on millions in revenue find themselves waiting impatiently for the project to take off.
FAA Inspectors Pounded for Doing their Job
from The Washington Examiner
A former FAA safety inspector has asked the Office of Special Counsel to refer a 2005 plane crash near Miami to the Department of Justice to file charges of criminal negligence, manslaughter and a coverup by officials in the Federal Aviation Administration.
Aviation Body Chief Rejects EU Airline Blacklist Plan
from The Times of India
The head of the organization that overseas world air transport recently rejected a European Commission proposal to establish a world-wide blacklist of unsafe airlines.
San Antonio Aerospace Responds to Media Reports on Hiring, Layoffs
from San Antonio Express-News
San Antonio Aerospace workers want to set the record straight. The aircraft repair company has nearly 1,000 employees, and from 100 to 150 employees come from Mexico and the Philippines, said Chye Kiat Ang, president of VT Aerospace, its parent company.
Southwest Checks Planes After Hole Forces Landing
from The Associated Press
Southwest Airlines Co. inspected about 200 planes overnight after a football-sized hole opened up in the passenger cabin of a jet in flight, forcing an emergency landing in West Virginia.
General Dynamics Aviation Services-Westfield Earns FAA Award
from Aircraft Maintenance Technology
The General Dynamics Aviation Services center in Westfield, MA, recently received the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 2008 Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Diamond Certificate of Excellence award. It is the eleventh consecutive year the facility has been honored with the distinction.
U.S. Aviation Group Opens European Office
from The Wichita Eagle
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association, a Washington trade group, has opened a European branch office in Brussels, Belgium.
Saving Lives in the Long Run
from Focus FAA
In the short run, it might not save money. In the long run, it could save lives. That's why the FAA is doing research to convince commercial airlines that fatigue related to maintenance personnel is a serious matter and deserves careful and continual attention.
Insight: We’re Here to Help
from Focus FAA
The FAA Employee Occupational Safety Team spans all lines of business and staff offices, augmented by employees. The common goal is to protect and enhance workplace safety for all FAA employees.
Hole in Southwest Jet Revives Inspection Concerns
from The Boston Globe
Federal investigators are trying to learn what caused a footwide hole to blow open as a Southwest Airlines jet flew high above West Virginia, reviving concerns about lax maintenance practices that embarrassed the carrier last year.
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.