Unions do not like foreign repair stations; they have fought their existence in the courts and on the Hill. Their most recent legislative gambit was to have Congress kick an “issue” to TSA. Surprisingly that has been their most effective deleterious tactic in this war which has been waged since the 1980s. By creating an “issue” that foreign repair stations posed security risks, the regulatory ball was moved to TSA and that body deliberated almost 10 years.
Not surprisingly, ARSA (above), AIA, GAMA and NATA all supported the surprisingly shallow TSA response. It is not astonishing that the unions were not pleased . Clearly, the validity of measures proposed is debatable and will be the substance of comments in the dockets and the inevitable appeals to the courts.
This proceeding is totally incomprehensible in two dimensions!
Yes, there were tricky questions of extraterritorial application of the security measures, if they were implemented in the magnitude contemplated by the unions. The final proposal, however, is not incredibly complicated; the TSA solution is elegantly simple, but did not/could not require a decade of cogitating. How is it possible that TSA could take 10 years (roughly 120 months or 43,800 days) to write a set of rules which are written in less than 10 double-spaced pages and can be summarized in 200 words. That’s a two words a year pace! That may be why many refer to the organization as Thousands Standing Around.
The 2nd dimension is the DC network of overseers—IGs, the GAO, think tanks and the 5th Estate. Where was the OUTRAGE from this large population of full time professional second guessers! Nary a word of condemnation was articulated by any of those whose mission is to castigate. If the FAA took that long to produce a rule, the Administrator would have been secunded to a detention room on the Hill or in some dark, dank IG holding area. The absence of this TSA rule was impeding the growth of international trade, caused tensions between sovereigns (and many of the countries complaining are vital national allies of the US), was creating a “risk” for overseas Part 145 facilities which continued to operate with these gaping holes in security perimeter and was supported by all US companies (OEMs and P145s) in spite of the fact that its promulgation would add foreign competition.
This is bizarre!
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