The FAA Withdraws Repair Station Rule 71 FR 70254


The FAA Withdraws Repair Station Rule  71 FR 70254

New Rule Will Require Repair Stations To Have A Designate Chief Inspector, Give The FAA broader Powers In Denying A Repair Station Certificate, Clarified Existing Repair Station Regulations

By Daniel Guevarra

May 15, 2009, The FAA is withdrawing a previously published NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) that proposed to revise the system of ratings and require repair stations to establish a quality program. The NPRM also proposed to require each repair station to maintain a capability list, designate a chief inspector, and have permanent housing for facilities, equipment, materials, and personnel. The proposal would have specified additional instances where the FAA may deny a repair station certificate, and clarified some existing repair station regulations.
The FAA has withdrawing the NPRM because it has been determined that it does not adequately address the current repair station environment, and because of the significant issues raised. The proposed rule published on December 1, 2006 (71 FR 70254), is withdrawn as of May 7, 2009.  
Background: In 1989, the FAA held four public meetings to provide a forum for the public to comment on possible revisions to the rules governing repair stations. After considering the comments and data collected from these meetings, the FAA published the Repair Stations notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in June 1999. Subsequently, in August 2001, the FAA published the Repair Stations; final rule with request for comments and direct final rule with request for comments; final rule. The FAA requested comments on the paperwork burden and on removing appendix A from part 145, which the FAA had not originally proposed. On October 19, 2001, the FAA tasked the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) to address ratings and quality assurance for repair stations.

ARAC provided its recommendations in May 2002. On December 1, 2006, the FAA published the NPRM entitled Repair Stations 6 that considered ARAC’s recommendations. The comment period closed on March 1, 2007. However, the FAA received a request from the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) to extend the comment period. In a notice published in the Federal Register on February 27, 2007, the FAA granted a 45-day comment period extension to April 16, 2007. The December 1, 2006 NPRM, applicable to repair station operators and applicants, proposed the following changes to part 145:


Repair stations would establish and maintain a capability list of all articles for which they are rated. The list would identify each article by manufacturer and the type, make, model, category or other nomenclature designated by the article’s manufacturer. Repair stations with an Avionics or a Component rating would be required to organize their lists by category of the article.
The FAA would revise the ratings and classes that may be issued to a certificated repair station. The proposed amendments included ones that would discontinue the issuance of limited ratings, and instead allow issuance of limitations to the rating the certificated repair station holds. The FAA would require repair stations to establish a quality system that includes an internal evaluation system that reviews the complete repair station once a year. Applicants for a repair station certificate would include a letter of compliance as part of their application. A certificate holder would be required to provide permanent housing for its facilities, equipment, materials, and personnel. Certificate holders would be required to designate a chief inspector. The FAA would use certification from an authority ‘‘acceptable to the FAA’’ as a basis for issuing a certificate to a person located outside the United States. The FAA would identify reasons it could use to deny the issuance of a repair station certificate.
The FAA received more than 500 comments to the NPRM. While there was general support for the need to revise the repair station rules, several commenters asked us to withdraw the rule. Many other commenters expressed concerns related to ratings (particularly avionics rating), capability list, quality system, letter of compliance, chief inspector, housing and facilities, the FAA’s denial of a repair station certificate, and some were out of scope. 

For information on additional information  / for additional information on this rule  or contact George W. Bean, Repair Station Branch, AFS–340, Federal Aviation Administration, 955 L’Enfant Plaza, SW., Washington, DC 20024; telephone 202–385–6405; facsimile (202) 385– 6474, e-mail

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