The Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) are seeking member participation in contacting Members of Congress in opposition to the foreign repair station provisions in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate version of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization legislation.
What’s at Issue:
Conference negotiations between the House and the Senate on H.R. 915/S.1451, the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2009 is likely before the end of the year. Each bill contains a provision requiring additional FAA oversight of foreign repair stations. More specifically, H.R. 915, which passed the House on May 21, 2009, includes a provision requiring the FAA to certify that all Part 145 certificated foreign repair stations are inspected at least twice a year and requires those organizations to introduce mandatory drug and alcohol testing if they maintain aircraft operated by U.S. airlines. Further, S. 1451, which has not yet been voted on in the Senate, contains similar language regarding repair station inspections but makes an exception if "a bilateral aviation safety agreement is in place that allows for comparable inspection by local authorities." Senators appear confident that this clause would alleviate European Union (EU) concerns.
Why Its Important:
The proposed regulation would essentially eliminate a reciprocal audit provision of the U.S.-European Community Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement, or “BASA,” and would unnecessarily raise costs for US-based repair stations. With the FAA’s inability to utilize a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) audit of Western European-based U.S. Part 145 foreign repair stations, EASA would not be able to utilize the FAA audit of U.S.-based EASA Part 145 repair stations. As a result, the U.S.-based EASA Part 145 repair stations will bear a costly burden for undergoing an independent EASA Audit which could impact over 1,200 repairs stations in the U.S. and create significant job loss.
What To Do:
Contact your Members of Congress in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to encourage them to support the foreign repair station language in S. 1451 when conference on FAA Reauthorization legislation moves forward.
How to Contact Your Members of Congress:
Contact your Members of Congress by visiting NATA’s Legislative Action Center. NATA’s Legislative Action Center provides association members with a quick and easy way to email letters directly to Members of Congress in their state.
AEA and NATA are concerned with the requirement in H.R. 915 to increase inspections on foreign repair stations. The potential job loss to U.S. repair stations is high if the companies that hold a U.S.-based EASA Part 145 repair station certificate lose the reciprocal audit capabilities between the FAA and EASA.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Contact Ric Peri, vice president of government & industry affairs for AEA, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 202-589-1144.