ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA – The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), along with 11 other aviation organizations, reminded Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano about the urgent need to finalize repair station security rules. Due to the rulemaking delay, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been unable to certificate new foreign repair stations since August 2008.
In the Aug. 20 letter, the associations inquired about the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) progress on reaching its “fourth quarter of calendar year 2012” commitment to complete the security rule. The letter also makes clear that the aviation industry expects TSA to meet the deadline and that continued inaction is unacceptable.
“The ban on new foreign repair station certificates is having a detrimental impact on U.S.-based aerospace companies looking to tap into rapidly expanding overseas markets. The longer the prohibition is in effect, the more damage it will cause our nation’s competitiveness in aviation and exports,” the groups told Napolitano.
In 2003, Congress enacted VISION-100 - Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act, which required the TSA to issue security rules for all aviation repair stations by August 2004. When TSA failed to meet that deadline, lawmakers (in the 9/11 Recommendation Implementation Act) demanded the security regulations be completed by August 2008. The penalty for failure to comply: the FAA was barred from issuing new foreign repair station certifications.
ARSA has long decried the punishment of an entire industry due to a delayed rulemaking and has led the charge to end the prohibition. Rather than encourage the agency to act, the ban has only punished the aviation industry and weakened U.S. leadership in aviation maintenance services.
With the fourth quarter of 2012 approaching, it is critical that the TSA understand the need for rapid action and complete the rule as soon as possible.
“While the FAA is prohibited from certificating new foreign repair stations, U.S. aerospace companies of all sizes are paying the price. Punishing industry and preventing economic growth because of bureaucratic delay is unacceptable and must end,” said ARSA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Daniel Fisher.
ARSA believes if the agency does not meet its self-imposed deadline, Congress should take action and permit the FAA to approve new foreign repair stations.
To view the coalition letter, visit: http://www.arsa.org/files2/Repair-Station-Security-Letter-20120820.pdf.