TSA Opens Comment Period On Aircraft Repair NPRM

TSA announced publication in the Federal Register of a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) to strengthen the Aircraft Repair Station Security program on Monday. The proposed rulemaking would establish security requirements for maintenance and repair work conducted on aircraft and aircraft components at domestic and foreign repair stations certificated by the FAA.
Editor’s Note: This is another example of the out of control TSA trying to expand its bureaucracy when another federal agency, the FAA, already has jurisdiction.The TSA should not be allowed to oversee any general aviation repair stations and add bureaucratic red tape and the huge costs that go along with it to these already economically fragile businesses.
The increased security protections proposed in the NPRM are designed to build on the extensive certification and safety requirements for repair stations instituted by the FAA. Aircraft repair stations vary widely in size, type of repair work performed, number of employees and proximity to an airport.

“This proposed rule supplements FAA requirements that protect aircraft undergoing repairs from terrorist threats,” said TSA Office of Security Operations Assistant Administrator Lee Kair. “By enhancing repair station security, this rulemaking guards against the potential threat of an aircraft being destroyed or used as a weapon.”

The NPRM requires FAA-certificated foreign and domestic repair stations to adopt and carry out a standard TSA security program to safeguard the security of a repair station, the repair work conducted, and all aircraft and aircraft components at the station.

The program will require certificated stations to implement strict access controls, provide security awareness training, and allow for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) inspections.

The NPRM fulfills the Vision 100-Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act’s requirement for DHS to put forth security regulations for domestic and foreign aircraft repair stations.

The public has 60 days to comment on the NPRM once published in the Federal Register.

FMI: www.tsa.gov

The Transportation Security Administration has prepared new regulations governing security procedures at repair stations. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) (PDF) will require repair stations to establish security protocols to guard against unauthorized access to the facility, aircraft and parts. The new rules would affect 4,227 FAA-certificated shops in the U.S. and 694 in other countries that work on U.S. aircraft. There will be a 60-day comment period on the rule. In announcing the proposed NPRM, TSA Office of Security Operations Assistant Administrator Lee Kair said the rule will augment existing FAA security rules in place at certificated repair stations. “By enhancing repair station security, this rulemaking guards against the potential threat of an aircraft being destroyed or used as a weapon,” he said. The rule, if adopted, will require strict access control and implementation of security awareness training programs and, of course, allow for TSA inspections and audits. Click here to read the Aircraft Repair Station Security, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

TSA defends long-delayed rules for repair stations
As TSA officials go before Congress today to explain their proposed security rules for aircraft repair stations, some critics are asking why the agency took so long. Congress first ordered such rules in 2003, then again in 2007, and the rule proposed this week on the TSA website could still be years away from implementation. A TSA spokesman says the agency worked for years to craft a rule that made sense for the wide variety of repair shops, some of which are small businesses located miles from the nearest airport. Meanwhile, industry officials insist repair stations already operate under strict security. “This is an industry that takes security and safety very, very seriously,” says Matt Hallett of the Aeronautical Repair Station Association. “It hasn’t sat idly by waiting for TSA.” Chicago Tribune/The Associated Press

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