FAA Prepared To Oversee Its U.K. MROs Post-Brexit If Needed
FROM CAA website :Andrew Haines said:
“Both the Government and the CAA have been clear that our collective preference is to remain a member of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) once the UK formerly withdraws from the European Union. The international nature of aviation regulation has improved safety outcomes for passengers, and it is important we retain as much influence as possible in this global system.
In a speech I gave in September 2017, I was clear that I believe the UK should not be planning for a new independent aviation safety system. If continued membership of EASA is unachievable, we should adopt the existing EASA regulatory system, rather than developing a new framework from scratch. This option is available to any third-party country, and is one that, I believe, would provide clarity and certainty for the aviation industry.”
Past Posts on this subject by Jim Loos
The Master of Maintenance Journalism– Sean Broderick—writes:
“FAA, planning for a worst-case scenario, is prepared to take over surveillance of its 180 approved repair stations in the U.K. if a new regulatory bilateral agreement isn’t in place when the country leaves the European Union (EU) next year.…
“If [Brexit] comes and we don’t have an agreement between us and them, FAA will take over [surveillance of] the repair stations,” said Rolandos Lazaris, FAA’s Aircraft Maintenance Division executive officer, said at MRO Americas April 11.…
Tim Shaver, FAA’s deputy director, Safety Standards, said FAA is moving forward as if new agreements will not be in place by next April, meaning FAA won’t be able to rely on EASA inspectors to visit UK shops. FAA has proactively assigned inspectors to each UK repair station, for instance, and is working to determine where potential gaps might be in ensuring the shops can continue to legally work on U.S.-registered equipment.
“We’re working to understand what is happening now and getting prepared,” Shaver said. “We’re looking at all contingencies.”
Any foreign repair station issue tends to attract a disproportionate amount of Congressional interest. After years of education by the unions, the Members are convinced that these FAA certificated facilities constitute a high level of safety risk. Thus, it is highly likely that EASA’s exit from surveillance of these US authorized entities within the UK and the unknown capacity/authority of the CAA to assume that responsibility probably will draw the scrutiny of the Hill.
The Office of Inspector General, albeit almost 2 years ago, conducted, at the request of Representative Peter DeFazio, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and Representative John Garamendi, an audit of the FAA’s oversight. The OIG has already opined on the FAA’s competence:
Since 2003, we have recommended that FAA strengthen its oversight of air carriers’ contracted maintenance providers by developing a comprehensive, standardized approach to repair station oversight and targeting inspector resources based on risk assessments.
While that analysis was focused on the FAA examination of the EASA and CAAs capability to inspect the FAR Part 145s, the below graphic shows the underlying staffing reductions for this US mission:
The FAA intends to respond to this problem with existing personnel. Even existing staff will require training for this special task, as noted by the OIG. Removing talented people from the field, while the FAA is in transition from the old Enforcement to the new Compliance Philosophy, will further delay the implementation of the new regime. There are plenty of highly qualified designated representatives who could do the work. Contractors might well be willing to work in the UK for less than the federal per diem. Just a possible alternative.
It will be a challenging task, however the FAA responds to BREXIT.
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