ARSA Dispatch
July 22, 2009
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 matt@arsa.org or Crystal Maguire at crystal@arsa.org and let us know how it goes.

To view upcoming meetings, click here.

Go Inside the Beltway with ARSA's Legislative Team
On July 23, ARSA’s 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 e-mail Matt Hallett matt@arsa.org or Crystal Maguire at crystal@arsa.org If you decide to attend a town hall meeting in your area, tell us about it! E-mail Matt Hallett at matt@arsa.org or Crystal Maguire at crystal@arsa.org or call 703-739-9543.

We look forward to speaking with everyone tomorrow.

For more information on this issue, please visit http://www.arsa.org/FAAReauthorization.

GAO Study Announced
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been asked to determine whether and how Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) offices and inspectors interpret regulatory requirements. The GAO has asked the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) as well as other aviation industry representatives to provide input. ARSA provided the GAO with several recent examples of how the FAA has applied rules and guidance differently around the world. The association also urged the GAO to review repair station and quality manuals from similarly situated (same size and ratings) repair stations in different areas of the world; the review should provide the government auditors with an idea of what is "acceptable" to various FAA Flight Standard Offices (and inspectors). The GAO should also review several different applications for similar products (TSOA or PMA) from different Aircraft Certification Offices. These documents need to be compared to the "guidance material" provided both the FAA (Orders) and the public (Advisory Circulars) to obtain an objective understanding of whether individuals or offices "interpret" the regulations "differently".

The GAO has also be asked to evaluate how any discovered differences impact the industry (competing on an unlevel field) and the agency (double the work, double the fun); how the FAA is addressing the issues (customer service initiative attacked by congress) and what more can be done to address the inconsistent interpretations (read the rules first, not last).

Member Kathryn O'Leary Higgins To Leave NTSB
Washington, DC - National Transportation Safety Board Member Kathryn (Kitty) O’Leary Higgins today submitted to President Obama her resignation from the Board, effective August 3.

In her letter to the President, Higgins said, "I have loved the chance to work with incredibly dedicated public servants who are passionate about the challenge of making our highways, airlines, railroads, and waterways safe for everyone."

Higgins said she is leaving the Board to pursue opportunities in the private sector.

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.

Democrats Drop Key Part of Bill to Assist Unions
from The New York Times
Abandonment of a so-called card check provision was an example of the power of moderate Democrats to constrain their party’s more liberal legislative efforts. More

FAA Wanted Inspections of 737s. Did Jet With Hole Get One?
from The Christian Science Monitor
In May, just two months before a Southwest plane developed a hole in its fuselage during flight, the Federal Aviation Administration issued new regulations that required far more detailed inspections of Boeing 737 fuselages "for any chafing or crack in the fuselage skin." More

Investigators Probe Southwest's Compliance
from UPI
An investigation into why a hole appeared in a Southwest Airlines jet may turn on whether the carrier met a regulation it previously violated, officials said. More

Permanent Editorial Board Publishes Maintenance Code Of Conduct
from The Aero-News Network
The Aviation Maintenance Technicians Model Code of Conduct was released Thursday by the project’s Permanent Editorial Board. The Code of Conduct is designed to advance professionalism among aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs), and has benefited from extensive input and review by the aviation maintenance community. More

2008 Annual Safety Review
from EASA
The European Safety Agency has released its 2008 annual safety review. More

Maintenance Alert for June 2009
from FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration has released its aviation maintenance alerts for the month of June. More

New Ground Safety Launched At Newark, Boston
from Aviation Week
Boston Logan International Airport will commission its new Airport Surface Detection Equipment-Model X (ASDE-X) tomorrow, replacing its last-generation ASDE-3. More

Unmanned Aircraft Could Lift Some Stocks
from Barron's
The U.S. Air Force released its unmanned systems update which outlines plans and recommendations for such tasks as unmanned aircraft system (UAS) acquisition, policies, simulation, training, and facilities across a 38-year period. More

Continental-United Merger Talk Renewed by CEO Shakeup?
from USA TODAY
Recent news that Continental CEO Larry Kellner would resign at the end of the year "has spurred debate that the carrier could resume consolidation talks with new partner United Airlines," Reuters writes. Jeff Smisek, currently Continental's COO, will take over as CEO spot next year. More

Final Documents/Your Two Cents
from ARSA
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. More