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Tue, May 26, 2009

AEA Disappointed With FAA Funding Bill Language For Repair Stations

With the US House's passage of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2009, the Aircraft Electronics Association is relived to see FAA funding moving forward in this manner; however, the AEA is disappointed H.R. 915 includes language requiring FAA representative to conduct two annual inspections of foreign Part 145 certificated repair facilities.

"While we are happy to see the House of Representatives move forward with FAA funding while maintaining the current aviation excise tax system to do so, we are disappointed in the language requiring twice-yearly inspections and the impact it would have on repair stations," said Paula Derks, president of AEA.

Section 303 of the bill requires the FAA to send inspectors to Europe twice a year for mandated inspections of FAA-certified repair stations. This provision seriously jeopardizes the negotiated implementation strategies of the U.S./European Union bilateral aviation safety agreement.

In addition, the proposal would impose undue financial burdens on U.S.-based AEA-member repair stations possessing EASA 145 certificates as well as U.S. FAA Part 145 repair stations in Europe as they would be required to pay for this additional mandated "FAA-only" audit.

Derks and Ric Peri, vice president of government and industry affair for AEA, met with Sen. Claire McCaskill's (D-MO) office in Washington, D.C., two weeks ago to discuss the foreign repair station security issue and the AEA's position. McCaskill is on the Homeland Security Committee and a proponent of additional security for foreign-certified repair stations.

As this bill moves forward, the AEA is pushing for a revision of Section 303.

FMI: www.aea.net

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