the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) told ANN this
week the group is prepared to work closely with the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) in the agency's stated effort to
mandate human factors training programs in aviation.
"The Association supports programs that ensure quality and
efficiency," said ARSA Executive Director Sarah MacLeod.
"Recognizing the value of human factors programs and training
ensures higher and better productivity, which benefits the
individual repair station and, ultimately, the entire
In a September 12 letter to ARSA, the FAA stated its intention
to mandate human factors training for FAA-certificated repair
stations by changing title 14 CFR part 145 -- the Federal Aviation
Regulation (FAR) that covers repair stations -- "to ensure human
factors training is included." The agency noted that "not all
repair stations will require the same level of training in human
Human factors training focuses on human actions and reactions
that can affect employees' abilities to perform efficiently. The
Association will continue to run articles and offer classes on
human factors, as it has since the requirement for repair stations
to have FAA-approved training manuals became effective, and plans
to increase its offerings to members in 2007.
The FAA's letter was in response to a July 27 request from ARSA,
asking the agency to clarify the FAR requirements for human factors
training in repair stations. The Association's letter was prompted
by concerns with how the repair station training program
requirements, which became effective in April, are being
interpreted in the field.
ARSA learned from several members that FAA inspectors,
referencing language in Advisory Circular (AC) 145-10 and related
inspector guidance, were taking the position that repair stations
are required to have human factors in their training programs. ARSA
wrote to the FAA seeking a definitive clarification.
The FAA pledged to fix the guidance material. "The AC will be
revised to remove the requirement that training programs must
include human factors training elements," the agency wrote.
ARSA welcomed the
agency's quick response.
"The Association stands for good government," said ARSA's
MacLeod. "When regulations are performance-based, the agency cannot
demand more than the required result. In the case of human factors
training, the FAA's guidance was requiring elements beyond what is
included in the relevant rule."
The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) is the only
trade association dedicated exclusively to representing the
interests of aircraft maintenance and alteration facilities before
the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other government
agencies in the US and abroad. Its 700 members perform maintenance
and alterations on behalf of U.S. and foreign air carriers, as well
as other aircraft owners and operators.