FAA's transition to electronic ADs has glitches

November 8, 2007

FAA's transition to electronic ADs has glitches

By AOPA ePublishing staff

An airworthiness directive (AD) for an Airbus evacuation slide doesn't necessarily need to go to Cessna 172 owners. But because of a glitch in the FAA's new system for electronic ADs, notices were sent to 19,000 pilots and aircraft owners who had signed up for the service instead of those affected by the AD.

AOPA met this week with the FAA office in Oklahoma City, Okla., that is handling the transition and is working with the agency to ensure that the rest of the transition to electronic ADs and special airworthiness information bulletins (SAIBs) progresses smoothly.

"We want to make sure that the right people are getting the right documents at the right time," said Rob Hackman, AOPA senior director of regulatory affairs. "ADs provide critical information to aircraft owners. They need to know when there is a safety issue—either with the aircraft itself or a product in the aircraft."

The FAA is still asking aircraft owners to voluntarily sign up for an electronic AD and SAIB subscription. So far, the only mandatory switch from paper to electronic has been for transport category aircraft and rotorcraft.

While the FAA hasn't set a date, at some point the agency will only provide ADs and SAIBs—for any type of aircraft or aviation product—for free via the Internet. Those who still want paper copies purchase a two-year biweekly print subscription from the Government Printing Office for about $300.

AOPA will continue to meet regularly with the FAA throughout the transition. Members who have complaints or positive feedback on the electronic service are encouraged to contact AOPA. The association will share member input with the FAA during these regular meetings.

November 8, 2007