FAA Reverses Duty Time Interpretation Due To ARSA Backlash

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has withdrawn its legal interpretation of maintenance duty time limitations. A complaint from the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) prompted the review. The FAA had claimed that the rule outlined rest provisions to be one day off out of every seven days, whereas ARSA commented that the rule states the period of required rest to be “24 consecutive hours during any seven consecutive days, or the equivalent thereof within any one calendar month”. After two years the FAA agreed with ARSA’s position, which was backed by groups including Airlines for America, the Transport Workers Union of America, and the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association, and stated: “The requirement for equivalency lies in the amount of rest given, not in the way the schedule itself operates or is developed.” The delay in solving the dispute has had major implications for the industry due to air carriers and their maintenance providers having to rewrite schedules in order to accommodate the agency’s former interpretation.

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