WASHINGTON, D.C.—As the aviation industry celebrates the 110th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, it is worth noting that this December also marks 10 years since President George W. Bush signed into law a bill requiring the issuance of final regulations to improve the security of domestic and foreign repair stations. General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President and CEO Pete Bunce called on Jeh Johnson, who was confirmed yesterday as the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, to make issuing the rule one of his first duties in office.
“We welcome Secretary Johnson to his new role and look forward to working with him,” Bunce said. “As he enters office, we want to remind him that for 9 percent of the history of manned flight, DHS has not been able to finalize the repair station rule—even after Congress has demanded it time and time again. The executive branch’s inaction prevents operators, who use their aircraft to engage markets around the globe, from accessing maintenance facilities that provide necessary repairs and alterations to general aviation aircraft. This failure to act by the executive branch has a significant negative impact on safety, jobs and economic growth. While we believe significant progress has been made, we call on Secretary Johnson to immediately put this long-overdue rule into place.”
In 2003, Congress passed the VISION 100—Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act, which required the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to issue regulations to improve the security of domestic and foreign repair stations by August 2004. In 2007, Congress again called on the TSA, through the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, to finalize repair station rules by August 2008 or said the FAA would not be able to issue new foreign repair station certifications afterward. The ban has been in effect since that time.