FAA to Clarify “Actively Engaged” for IA Holders

On November 12, 2010 the FAA released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to clarify the term “actively engaged” for the purposes of application and renewal of an inspection authorization.” The NPRM states the need for this clarification is due to widespread confusion and inconsistent interpretation of the meaning “actively engaged.”

The example used in the Proposal to describe the need for this clarification is the holder of an IA who is maintaining aircraft part-time or occasionally. Those technicians will be subject to individual evaluation by an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI) to determine if they are in fact actively engaged, and based on this evaluation you may or may not be eligible for IA renewal.

However, many technicians and industry groups feel the Proposal as written will create a situation where many current IA holders such as managers, directors, instructors, tech reps and others will no longer be eligible for renewal. To read the feedback that AMT has received, see the current AMT editor’s blog on this website.

There’s a very short comment period for this Proposal. The FAA must receive comments on or before December 6, 2010. The FAA intends for this clarification to be in effect for the next IA renewal cycle in March 2011.

Everyone is encouraged to visit www.regulations.gov and search for Docket number FAA-2010-1060. Read the proposal and provide the FAA with a well crafted comment or alternative. Include in your comment a request to extend the Proposal until after the next IA renewal period in order for industry to participate in any changes to the current IA process. Comment instructions are provided in the NPRM.