Regulatory Brief: FAA issues change to field approval policy

November 8, 2002

Diana Frohn
Manager - General Aviation Repair Station Branch
AFS-340
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20591

RE: Revised FAA Flight Standards Airworthiness Inspectors Handbook 8300.10 Vol.2 Chapter 1 - "Field Approvals"

Dear Diana:

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is concerned about recent problems surrounding the revision to the FAA's field approval policy that is affecting the approvals of alterations and repairs to aircraft. AOPA's Alaska regional representative and members have reported that the FAA Alaska region may be taking certain measures that will stifle the FAA field approval process in that region in response to the revised field approval policy. This will hinder the field approval process to the point that many common aircraft alterations and repairs will no longer be field approved.

The field approval policy revisions were intended to improve service, not hinder it. AOPA is concerned that these actions by the FAA Alaska region will have a detrimental effect on many of our members, especially for those who operate aircraft in the Alaska region. Many general aviation aircraft operators rely on field approvals to safely enhance their operations and safely maintain their aircraft. Field approval service cannot be further diminished.

AOPA requests that the FAA takes action to ensure that its field approval service is improved by the revised policy, not only in Alaska but in all regions. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Lance Nuckolls
Director - Air Traffic, Regulations and Certification