January 30, 2003
The FAA has committed to AOPA that the agency will fix the current problems with its field approval policy. Last year, the agency changed the policy that governs approval of routine major aircraft alterations and repairs. And that made it more difficult for aircraft owners to obtain common modifications to their aircraft such as installing wing-tip strobes, converting generators to alternators, and converting drum brakes to disc brakes. AOPA became concerned that field approvals for general aviation aircraft would no longer be practical and asked the FAA for a fix.
The FAA has now responded. In a letter to AOPA, James Ballough, the director of FAA's Flight Standards Service, outlined actions under way to revise the "new" field approval policy. Ballough reaffirmed the FAA's commitment to performing field approvals.
"We met with Jim last week and reiterated our concerns about the FAA's ability to enforce its new policy and preserve the field approval process," said AOPA Vice President Melissa Bailey. "We will continue pressing the FAA to ensure that aircraft operators have access to this important process." (See also AOPA's regulatory brief.)
FAA Procedures and Services,
AOPA members are being encouraged to contact their representatives in support of a bill that would require the FAA to go through the rulemaking process.
Flight testing of a factory version of the Quicksilver Sport 2S, the first of two models with factory-built versions planned, is complete.
During a hastily organized webinar held Dec. 12, the FAA said it will move forward with implementing its new sleep apnea policy despite overwhelming opposition.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.