Electronic SAIBs, engine ADs, not yet ready for prime time, AOPA says

September 28, 2006

Electronic SAIBs, engine ADs, not yet ready for prime time, AOPA says

AOPA thinks that electronic distribution of special airworthiness information bulletins (SAIBs) and engine airworthiness directives (ADs) is a great idea, but the FAA is not quite ready to go there yet.

The FAA wants to limit to whom it mails engine ADs, and it wants to stop mail distribution of SAIBs entirely.

"That could adversely affect safety because some owners may not receive notification of an AD that is applicable to their engine," Luis Gutierrez, AOPA director of regulatory and certification policy, wrote the agency.

"The FAA should continue to mail printed ADs and SAIBs to all affected owners and operators until the FAA makes enhancements to its e-mail subscription service that would ensure the continued availability and dissemination of relevant safety information."

Current FAA practice is to mail an engine AD to the owner of every aircraft with a type certificate indicating that engine could be installed in the aircraft. The FAA wants to mail engine ADs only to owners of engines that are recorded in the aircraft registry. While many registry records show the specific engine installed, not all do.

AOPA wants the FAA to continue broad mailing of engine ADs "until the FAA has an AD e-mail subscription service in place and has allowed a reasonable time for owners to hear about and subscribe to the service."

While the FAA doesn't yet have an e-mail AD service, it does have one for SAIBs. But it's not particularly user friendly.

If you subscribe, you'll get an e-mail notice for every SAIB for every aircraft. AOPA recommended that the agency allow owners to customize the service so that they would only receive notices applicable to their engines and aircraft.

September 28, 2006