FAA’s certification office faces cutbacks

It may take a little – or a lot – longer to get new aviation products certified if a 3% budget cut is sustained at the FAA Aviation Safety Office – formerly known as Regulation and Certification.

The office is expected to lose 302 jobs through attrition in the current fiscal year, due to a $30 million budget cut made last year by Congress. Those jobs are only 4.7% of the total Safety Office staff, but 256 of them are engineers and safety inspectors.

The agency says it won’t reduce its oversight of airline operations and new product certification, however. Instead, it will slow the certification process.

This fiscal year’s Safety Office budget request is up by $32 million, and the FY2006 request includes another $38 million above that. Even so, no mention has been made of restoring the regulation and certification work force.

If you have a new airplane, airline or part to be certified, get in line.

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