Clock Strikes Zero: TSA Once Again Misses Deadline to Finalize Repair Station Security Rule

TSA's inaction means the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) still faces a moratorium on certificating foreign aviation repair stations, plaguing the industry since 2008.


ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) once again failed to meet its deadline to finalize the repair station security rule, expected by today. TSA’s inaction means the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) still faces a moratorium on certificating foreign aviation repair stations, plaguing the industry since 2008.

During a March 14 oversight hearing before the House Transportation Security Subcommittee, TSA Administrator John Pistole confirmed that the rule was under a mandatory 90-day examination period by the Office of Management & Budget after work was completed by TSA and the Department of Homeland Security. In response, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) launched a countdown clock to ensure TSA is held accountable to the most recent deadline. ARSA is now working with Congress to resolve the issue.

“Time after time TSA misses its deadlines and the only ones paying the price are aviation maintenance companies seeking to expand internationally,” said Christian A. Klein, ARSA’s executive vice president. “We have maintained from the beginning that mandating repair station security rules were a solution in search of a problem. TSA’s inaction after nearly a decade shows that security was never truly an issue.”

“The aviation maintenance industry is done sitting by and hoping the government will follow Congress’ ill-advised directive – we’re taking action to ensure our businesses can build and grow their markets,” said ARSA Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel B. Fisher. “The ban is costing U.S. companies millions of dollars in lost revenues, stifling domestic growth and job creation that would support overseas expansion. Congress created this problem and now it should fix it.”

In 2003, Congress first mandated TSA finalize repair station security rules. After years of inaction, in 2007, lawmakers once again required the agency to complete work on the regulations, prohibiting the FAA from approving new foreign repair stations after Aug. 3, 2008 if TSA didn’t comply.

For more on the history of Congress’ repair station security rules mandate and ARSA’s “Lift the Ban” campaign, visit http://arsa.org/legislative/issues/aviation-policy/lift-the-ban/.

ARSA is an Alexandria, Virginia-based trade association that represents aviation maintenance and manufacturing companies. Founded in 1984, the association has a distinguished record of advocating for repair stations, providing regulatory compliance assistance to the industry, and representing repair stations on Capitol Hill and in the media. More information is available at www.arsa.org.

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