Printed headline: A Clean Slate
An industry coalition led by the Aeronautical Repair Station Association has asked the FAA to consider a new approach to the development and application of certificate-holder operations specifications.
In a letter noting regulatory inconsistencies, duplicative demands and unnecessary data collections, the coalition called for establishment of an agency-industry committee to develop objective criteria for operations specifications and conduct a comprehensive review of all available paragraphs in adherence to those standards.
As the basis for its request, the group cites a provision in a recently enacted appropriations bill that prohibits the FAA administrator from issuing “operations specification, policy or guidance that is more restrictive than, or requires procedures that are not expressly stated in, the regulations” absent an imminent threat to safety.
In furtherance of that mandate, the letter also requests agency-adopted procedures to ensure that new paragraphs are developed in adherence to the law and existing ones are continually reviewed for effectiveness.
The coalition’s ultimate objection is to “regulation through operations specifications” (i.e., the creation of certificate-holder requirements outside of notice-and-comment rulemaking) and outdated and unnecessary operations specifications.
Signatories expect the new approach will identify and eliminate problematic instances, a near impossibility under the current system, which they say has created “a hodge-podge of ‘requirements’ without clear need or regulatory basis.”
Fifteen industry groups and companies—including Airlines for America, the Regional Airline Association, Boeing and Gulfstream—have signed on in support of the request.
In a May 3 reply, the FAA promised a review of the issue and a response.