June 21, 2013
Credit: Architect of the Capitol
The long wait for the release of the final aircraft repair station security rule continues as the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) extends its review of the new regulation past its 90-day window.
After years of delay, the Transportation Security Administration in March received final clearance from the Department of the Homeland Security on the congressionally-mandated rule and sent the document for OMB review on March 16. OMB then had 90 days to either approve the rule or send it back to the agency for further work. That window ended, and as of June 21, the review continues.
Congress, impatient with the lack of a final rule that was mandated nearly a decade ago, has forbidden FAA from certifying any new repair station until the rule is released. That ban has now been in place nearly five years.
TSA Administrator John Pistole told Congress earlier this year that “for the first time in a while, we are making progress.” But he was cautious, saying the rule “should” be out this year.
The Aeronautical Repair Station Association expressed dismay at the further delay and says it will turn to Congress for help. “Time after time TSA misses its deadlines, and the only ones paying the price are aviation maintenance companies seeking to expand internationally,” says ARSA Executive Vice President Christian Klein. “We have maintained from the beginning that mandating repair station security rules [was] a solution in search of a problem. TSA’s inaction after nearly a decade shows that security was never truly an issue.”
ARSA says the ban is costing U.S. companies millions in lost revenues and is stifling growth.