AMFA (the Aircraft
Mechanics Fraternal Association) tells ANN that Northwest Airlines
recently surrendered its FAA Part 145 repair station certificate in
order to avoid having it revoked by the FAA.
"Northwest Airlines fell far behind in maintaining the staffing
and training requirements needed to keep its FAA Part 145 repair
station certificate and decided to drop it voluntarily at the end
of January," said AMFA National Safety and Standards Director John
"They were under serious scrutiny, and in effect they quit
before they were fired. To my knowledge, Northwest is the only
major airline that is operating without this very important Part
Glynn said Northwest can still do most maintenance work under
the basic FAA Part 121 certificate that allows the company to
operate as a U.S. air carrier, but has lost the more far-reaching
maintenance authority that comes only with the Part 145
"For example, Northwest can no longer subcontract maintenance
work to repair facilities unless they have their own Part 145
certificates, which not all do," Glynn said.
"Northwest can continue to do
maintenance work for non-U.S. airlines under contracts, but can no
longer do ad hoc maintenance work for foreign carriers, which
require Part 145 certification for this work."
He said U.S. airlines often handle ad hoc maintenance for
foreign carriers, who typically do not have maintenance facilities
at U.S. airports.
"United Airlines, American Airlines, Lufthansa and some others
have turned this work into profit centers."
"The loss of its 145 certificate demonstrates that operations
are not normal, no matter what Northwest claims. Losing its FAA
Part 145 certificate is not going to cripple Northwest Airlines,
but it places serious new limitations on the company and shows that
maintenance standards and capabilities have declined," Glynn
AMFA's craft union represents aircraft maintenance technicians
and related support personnel at Alaska Airlines, ATA, Horizon Air,
Independence Airlines, Mesaba Airlines, Northwest Airlines,
Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.