Do Repair Stations Need Improved Oversight?

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The oversight of repair stations and the FAA ban on them were two different topics of note at yesterday’s U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Aviation Subcommittee hearing on aviation safety. Visit the committee’s website to view testimonies from representatives of ARSA, A4A, the FAA, the RAA and the Inspector General for the Office of Transportation here.

One notable testimony is that of Jeffrey Guzzetti, assistant inspector general for aviation and special programs audit, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation. In the written statement, he shares that the inspector general’s research shows that FAA’s risked-based oversight system for repair stations may not be working as well is it could be yet:

“Problems we identified during our 2003 review are still occurring,” he said in the testimony. “For example, we found systemic problems persist at repair stations in areas such as inadequacies in mechanic training, outdated tool calibration checks, and inaccurate work order documentation. FAA guidance requires inspectors to review these specific areas during repair station inspections, but at the repair stations we visited, they had overlooked these types of deficiencies.”

The FAA adopted the new oversight system in 2007, he says, to focus repair station surveillance on facilities with the greatest safety risks. You can read more about the hearing here, on AWIN’s subscriber page.

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