Aviation Maintenance advocate speaks to U.S. Congress

A leading aviation maintenance advocate has told the U.S. Congress about the industrys dedication to air safety and asked the House to refrain from micromanaging of the sector.

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Gary Fortner, senior vice president of the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), told the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committees Aviation Subcommittee about the excellent work repair stations across the U.S. and around the world are doing to ensure aviation safety.

For repair stations, good safety is good business, Fortner said. Aviation safety does not begin and end with the Federal Aviation Administration or any other regulatory body. It is the primary responsibility of every aviation maintenance employee performing work on behalf of an owner or operator, a certificated repair station, air carrier, or other aviation business.

The basic nature of the aviation industry demands that safety and security be the top priorities for ARSA members. Operators and airlines will not do business with companies that put their passengers and valuable business assets at risk.

Fortner said specialized repair stations have made airlines more efficient and are contributing to the safest period in commercial aviation history. He also discussed the integral role international repair stations play in the global aviation system and that any effort to limit the ability of U.S. air carriers to use foreign repair stations will detrimentally impact aviation maintenance companies in the U.S.

Though ARSA members vary greatly in the size, scope of work, and location, FAA-certificated repair stations share an unwavering commitment to flight safety, he said. Safety is the industrys top priority whether based in the United States or overseas. Safety depends not on legislation or regulation, but on the culture of safety within individual companies and an effective partnership between government and industry.

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In addition to speaking to the industrys commitment to aviation safety and its positive contributions to the economy, Fortner stressed that Congress must refrain from micromanaging the aviation maintenance industry and the need for consistent application of aviation safety regulations. He said that too often inconsistent application of rules overburdens businesses and inhibits growth with no benefit to flight safety.

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