Call to Action! Industry Groups appeal to you to defend your IA certificate!
Numerous industry groups including the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) are appealing to their members to respond to a recent FAA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM FAA-2010-1060) that threatens to invalidate the Authorized Inspection ratings of thousands of aircraft mechanics.
According to AEA, "The FAA has issued a policy which is intended to clarify the definition of ‘actively engaged’ for purposes of issuing and renewing the A&P Inspection Authorization.”
AEA goes on to note that IAs will be re-evaluated using the following criteria: "The ASI will evaluate the scope of part-time or occasional activity based on the type of maintenance activity, including any special expertise required, and the quantity of maintenance activity performed. To evaluate the scope of the part-time or occasional maintenance activity, the ASI will use evidence or documentation provided by the applicant showing inspection, overhauling, repairing, preserving or replacing parts on aircraft."
Fred Workley, former manager of NATA's maintenance committee and currently owner/president of Workley Aircraft and Maintenance, discussed his thoughts regarding the NPRM with D.O.M. magazine. "The problem lies in the definition of ‘actively engaged.’ The language in the NPRM does not provide a great deal of room to allow those in supervisory roles, teaching or management positions such as directors of maintenance to maintain an IA rating unless they actually are in a hands-on role maintaining the aircraft. The FAA appears to leave open to interpretation the type of operations which will be eligible for maintaining currency.” As an example, Workley states that it is not clear if IAs working on foreign-registered civil aircraft used in common carriage or carriage of mail under the provisions of Part 121 or 135 of the chapter are eligible - nor those working in accessory shops on airframe, aircraft engines, propellers, appliances, and component parts, nor is it clear if light-sport can be used to determine "actively engaged.”
There appears to be consensus among all of the industry groups that the NPRM is in need of greater clarification and definition. All groups highly encourage those interested in protecting their Inspection Authorization rating to comment on the NPRM prior to the December 6th deadline.