Group Of 11 Associations Urge Completion Of The Rule By Year's End
A group of 11 aviation-related associations and organizations have written a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (pictured) urging the department to meet its commitment and complete the rulemaking on repair station security by the fourth quarter of 2012.
"In response to an industry letter late last year, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) stated that the repair station security rule would be completed in the “fourth quarter of calendar year 2012”," the letter states. "Since that time, we understand that the TSA has completed its work on the rule and sent it to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for review. The undersigned associations want to underscore how important it is that DHS and OMB complete consideration in a manner that will permit the repair station security rule to be finalized in the timeframe provided by TSA.
"Unfortunately, the ban on new foreign repair station certificates is having a detrimental impact on U.S.-based aerospace companies looking to tap into rapidly expanding overseas markets. The longer the prohibition is in effect, the more damage it will cause our nation’s competitiveness in aviation and exports. Further, it is expected that foreign nations will impose a reciprocal ban that prevents repair stations located in the United States from gaining approval from foreign civil aviation authorities if we do not act quickly.
"It is imperative that TSA issue a final repair station security rule in the immediate future. We urge your Department to complete consideration of this long overdue rulemaking and ensure that TSA will publish the rule by the end of the year," the letter says.
"It is well past time for a regulatory framework for repair station security to be finalized. Congress first mandated action on this rule in 2003 and it has now turned into one of the longest, ongoing policy sagas in aviation," GAMA's President and CEO, Pete Bunce (pictured), said about the inaction.
Congress established a requirement that TSA establish a regulatory framework for repair station security in 2003. In 2007, Congress created a prohibition, beginning in 2008, against the FAA certification of foreign repair stations unless the rulemaking was completed. Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have included language in their respective FY2013 appropriations reports supporting final action on this rule by the end of the year.
"Delays in finalizing this rule are keeping aviation businesses from fully competing in emerging markets. Our government needs to get moving on this issue to further security and support economic growth in the industry. We need Secretary Napolitano's unwavering assurance that this rule will be out this year," added Bunce.
Other organizations signing the letter indluded the Aeronautical Repair Station Association, AIA, A4A, AOPA, HAI, NATA, NASAO, NBAA, RAA, the National Air Carrier Association, and the Cargo Airline Association.