WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 17, 2005 -- Christian A. Klein, legislative counsel for the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), testified today before the Aviation Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation. Klein told the Subcommittee that:
• Contract maintenance is not a new phenomenon.
Contract maintenance has played an important role in the aviation industry for decades. Contracting is not limited to aviation maintenance; large manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus have long relied on highly-specialized contractors at multiple levels of the manufacture supply chain.
• The increased use of contract maintenance has coincided with the safest period in the history of civil aviation.
ARSA does not contend that the former necessarily caused the latter, but the industry's excellent safety record confirms that the increased use of contract maintenance does not undermine aviation safety.
• Safety and oversight do not begin and end with the FAA.
ARSA is on the record as calling for an increase in FAA funding to ensure sufficient resources to provide oversight. But all players in the industry are responsible for maintaining a high level of safety and oversight. Klein noted that "in our industry, safety is good business."
• Repair stations are audited regularly by the FAA and others in the industry.
ARSA conducted a member survey last week and found that the average domestic repair station was audited 30 times last year; more than three times by the FAA or other regulators, more than seven times by airline customers, more than once by a third-party auditor, and 18 times by its own internal audit personnel.
• Foreign repair stations play a critical role in the global aviation system.
"If you get rid of foreign repair stations, U.S. air carriers will have to stop flying to foreign destinations because no one there will legally be allowed to work on the aircraft," Klein said. Moreover, the average foreign repair station was audited an average of 74 times last year, more than double its U.S. counterparts.
The complete text of Klein's testimony is available at:www.arsa.org/files/ARSA_Testimony_111705.pdf
The Aeronautical Repair Station Association is the international not-for-profit trade association for certificated repair stations. ARSA represents the interests of aviation maintenance and alteration facilities before the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board and other agencies. Founded in 1984, ARSA is the leading provider of regulatory training and compliance information for aviation design, production and maintenance.