House Passes FAA Funding Bill; AEA Disappointed with Language for Repair Stations

With the U.S. House’s passage of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2009, the Aircraft Electronics Association is relieved to see FAA funding moving forward in this manner; however, the AEA is disappointed H.R. 915 includes language requiring FAA representative to conduct two annual inspections of foreign Part 145 certificated repair facilities.

“While we are happy to see the House of Representatives move forward with FAA funding while maintaining the current aviation excise tax system to do so, we are disappointed in the language requiring twice-yearly inspections and the impact it would have on repair stations,” said Paula Derks, president of AEA.

Section 303 of the bill requires the FAA to send inspectors to Europe twice a year for mandated inspections of FAA-certified repair stations. This provision seriously jeopardizes the negotiated implementation strategies of the U.S./European Union bilateral aviation safety agreement. In addition, the proposal would impose undue financial burdens on U.S.-based AEA-member repair stations possessing EASA 145 certificates as well as U.S. FAA Part 145 repair stations in Europe as they would be required to pay for this additional mandated “FAA-only” audit.

Derks and Ric Peri, vice president of government and industry affair for AEA, met with Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-MO) office in Washington, D.C., two weeks ago to discuss the foreign repair station security issue and the AEA’s position. McCaskill is on the Homeland Security Committee and a proponent of additional security for foreign-certified repair stations.

As this bill moves forward, the AEA is pushing for a revision of Section 303.


Randy Babbitt Named New FAA Administrator

The Aircraft Electronics Association is pleased a new FAA administrator has been confirmed, and AEA staff look forward to working with Randy Babbitt as the agency takes on the challenge of the Next Generation Air Transportation System and the vital role avionics will play in NextGen.

Babbitt is the former president and CEO of the Air Line Pilots Association. He has more than 40 years of aviation experience.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Contact Ric Peri, vice president of government & industry affairs for AEA, by email at ricp@aea.net or by phone at 202-589-1144.

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