NEW FINAL RULES
In recent months, FAA has released the final rule on the revamped FAR Part 145 and the final rule on life-limited parts (FAR Parts 43 and 45). NATA and PAMA report that for the most part, industry comments were incorporated into changes between the NPRMs and final rules.
The new Part 145 was released as a final rule, but left two large sections unchanged. FAA will revisit and redefine the categories of classes and ratings, and define and set requirements for quality assurance systems under Part 145. Schober anticipates recommendations from the Aviation Rulemak-ing Advisory Committee (ARAC) in the next several months.
The ARAC is working to determine what repair stations with Part 145 certificates will need to do in terms of quality assurance. An ARAC is also examining the rating systems included in Part 145. NATA is participating in the interpretation of the new rule and anticipates no major problems with its implementation.
The revamped Part 145 calls for recurrent training programs for maintenance technicians. Schober says that for now the requirement is merely to have a program and follow it; exactly what the program should entail has not been defined. Advisory material is said to be in the works, but FAA has not yet published it.
The final rule on the disposition of life-limited parts was released mid-January. Schober says, "Fortunately the FAA took most of the comments that industry gave and tried to incorporate them as best they could ... The removal of parts actually becomes a maintenance task, where it was never before. The person who removes the part now is responsible for maintaining the record on the serviceability of that life-limited part," he says.
Criminal negligence and liability are still a hurdle for PAMA members. Schober explains that technicians aware of an unsafe act who make that information known could be called into a court of law to defend themselves in civil litigation and even criminal prosecution. PAMA feels that alerting FAA of safety hazards and averting accidents is important, and that the threat of criminal liability should be removed.
"Since the manufacturers have the statute of repose that says, 'If the airplane is 18 years old or older, we aren't liable for it,' the plaintiff attorneys are looking elsewhere to file suits," says Schober. And other than the obvious implications, PAMA cites the difficulty this liability has created in recruiting new A&P mechanics.
Schober says that PAMA will be involved in several meetings on the issue in the next few months.
And the mechanic shortage, while not much of an issue today, may actually be worse when it resurfaces, says Schober. "Of all of those mechanics that were laid off, some percentage of them are going to find employment in fields outside of aviation and not return. However long it is until the airlines are back up to their normal schedule, they're going to need that many people to go back to work to keep the airplanes flying. But if those people have gone and found jobs elsewhere, then all of a sudden we've got to fill in, in a much shorter timeframe, with people out of schools that we recruit into the industry," Schober says. "When the industry recovers, the shortage is going to be significantly worse."
A few of the marquis
events at AS3 in Indianapolis
GARVEY TO BE HONORED
NATA will present its Distinguished Service Award to FAA Administrator Jane Garvey at the AS3 show. Garvey will be presented with the award at the NATA Industry Excellence Awards luncheon on March 26. Garvey will also speak at the convention.
RALPH HOOD TO SPEAK
AIRPORT BUSINESS's own "Ground Clutter" columnist Ralph Hood is scheduled to speak at the Aviation Services and Suppliers Supershow.
Hood will also speak at the Women in Aviation conference, March 13-15 in Nashville.
A FOCUS ON TRAINING
NATA, as part of its ongoing emphasis on training, will be promoting its 9-module Professional Line Service Training Program, a key part of its Aviation Training Institute acquisition last December. NATA will combine the ATI training with the NATA Safety 1st Program to provide a comprehensive, more affordable solution to FBO's line service training needs.
NOISE: NATIONAL VS. LOCAL CONTROL
Noise continues to be a community relations issue for airports and aviation businesses around the country.
The latest struggle
has been at Vero Beach (FL) Municipal Airport, where the city manager
put out a notice limiting touch and go operations. NATA sent a letter
explaining that such decisions cannot be made at will by local municipalities
and the notice was withdrawn.
"It's always going to be an issue for an airport, and all of the airport businesses have to actively manage that part of their business. When you talk about real noise, it is perception, it's not reality. There are a few individuals out there who really perceive this noise and it really bugs them," says David Kennedy, manager of government and industry affairs for NATA. "Those people can also be very active and very vocal about their opposition to it."
NATA's Community Relations Toolkit will now include a video. Clif Stroud, director of communications, explains that the video is intended to be shown to community groups in place of or in addition to presentations from pro-airport groups. The video covers the advantages of having a local airport.
THE ONGOING SUBPART K ISSUE
The 12-5 Rule and Overall Security On April 1, the 12-5 Rule went into effect, which dictates certain security requirements for aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or more. Richard Van Gemert...
PAMA's MX Finds New Home in AMT Brian Finnegan The Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) is pleased to announce that Mx, our flagship publication, will now be published...
Issues 2001 Maintenance, employee shortages head agenda as NATA, PAMA meet By Lindsay M. Hitch, Assistant Editor April 2001 The National Air Transportation Association (NATA...
The Professional Aviation Maintenance Association recognizes individuals, chapters, and organizations that improve the association and the aviation maintenance industry.