The Aeronautical Repair Station Association has issued a call to members to get on the phone, fax machine or e-mail to press Congress for a change in an FAA reauthorization bill requirement affecting U.S. repair stations that work on European aircraft.
According to ARSA, the bill “will severely damage the competitive balance enjoyed by domestic repair stations that work on European registered aircraft.” The current version of the bill requires foreign repair stations that work on U.S. airplanes to submit to twice-a-year inspections by the FAA, using FAA rules. ARSA says the European Union has said that, if the measure passes, it will retaliate. That could end the long-standing Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement.
“Under the BASA, the European Aviation Safety Agency and individual E.U. member states conduct oversight inspections of FAA-approved facilities in Europe, according to FAA guidelines and, conversely, the FAA conducts oversight inspections of EASA-approved repair stations in the U.S. according to EASA guidelines,” ARSA says.
If that deal collapses, it will mean that Europe will send inspectors to the U.S. to conduct its own inspections under European rules and the delays, paperwork and general nuisance will likely mean lost business on both sides of the pond, according to ARSA, which says that a fix is simple. The FAA reauthorization legislation requires a single line affirming that international agreements will be upheld, the organization states. “Adding that line will not affect the intent of the rule, which is to ensure proper oversight of foreign repair stations whose standards might not be up to FAA standards.”
More than 50 member of Congress have agreed to the wording change, but that’s not a majority. ARSA says more need to be on board. A “groundswell of support” is needed by May 27 in order to have an impact, it says.
For information: www.arsa.org