ARSA also anticipated congressional action in the area of “noncertificated maintenance providers,” a subject about which few on Capitol Hill had any real knowledge. To guide the process, ARSA proposed specific language to limit the negative consequences of the bill. In the end, many of our suggestions were incorporated into the final provision governing maintenance providers for Part 121 air carriers.
Of course, legislation creates regulatory fallout and the FAA bill is no exception. For example, on Nov. 13, the FAA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in response to the legislation’s “noncertificated maintenance” provision that seeks to amend rules governing Part 121 and Part 135 operators. Specifically, the proposal mandates operators to develop “policies, procedures, methods, and instructions” for oversight of contract maintenance providers that are acceptable to the FAA as part of the operator’s maintenance manual.
While we are still assessing the NPRM’s full impact on repair stations and air carriers, there is no doubt the new regulation will have consequences, both intended and inadvertent, for the whole industry.
Government action is inevitable; however, when it decides to act and it will impact repair stations, ARSA’s first priority is to limit damage. We next educate the industry about the consequences and, if necessary, work to change the detrimental law or regulation. ARSA will continue engagement on all fronts, but we need the entire industry to join our efforts.
In conclusion, I will quote another Frenchman, Bernard of Clairvaux, whom many believe coined the idiom “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Lawmakers and regulators may have virtuous objectives, but it doesn’t mean that their actions won’t put us on a path toward devastation. AMT
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