WASHINGTON, D.C. – A coalition of aviation trade associations petitioned the FAA Jan. 9 to restore the right to voluntarily surrender a repair station certificate.
In its new repair station rule, which became effective in November, the FAA will subject surrendered certificates to “acceptance for cancellation.”
The coalition called for the removal of this requirement, which is unique among aviation certificates, which “runs counter to the interest of aviation safety and increases regulatory administrative burden without any agency explanation as to how the new discretion will be utilized,” according to coalition officials.
“It is critical for any aviation business to be able to voluntarily surrender its certificate,” said Laura Vlieg, Regulatory Affairs Manager for the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA). “The FAA has set a dangerous precedent by treating maintenance providers differently from any other certificate holder. The aviation community quickly realized the implications and has asked the agency to put repair stations back on equal footing.”
The group points out that the FAA’s ability to investigate individuals is unaffected by the surrender of the entity’s certificate. Therefore, denying a repair station’s right to voluntarily surrender its certificate bears no rational connection to the aim of ensuring safety through the investigation and banishment of “bad actors,” officials note.
“We do not support individuals that use any certificate irresponsibly or in a manner that jeopardizes safety,” said Sarah MacLeod, ARSA’s executive director. “We do however have to deal in the real world — business demands make it too problematic for surrendered certificates to depend on the administrative whims of the FAA.”
In addition to ARSA, the group included the Aerospace Industries Association, the Aircraft Electronics Association, the Aviation Suppliers Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International, the Modification and Replacement Parts Association, the National Air Carrier Association, the National Air Transportation Association and the Regional Airline Association.