TSA proposes security program for repair stations

November 18, 2009

FAA-certificated repair stations, whether in the United States or abroad, would have some new security measures to follow if a proposal by the Transportation Security Administration goes into effect.

The proposal would impact 4,227 repair stations in the United States, 3,000 of which are not located on an airport, and another 694 repair facilities abroad. These facilities would have to implement security procedures and infrastructure such as access controls to the facility or aircraft; means to identify those who should have access to the facility; procedures for challenging unauthorized people who are trying to get access; a security awareness training program; and more.

In its proposal, the TSA did make a differentiation in repair stations, saying that those who service aircraft that weigh less than 12,500 pounds (maximum takeoff weight) would not need to meet the same security requirements as those working on larger aircraft. This is because the agency recognizes that smaller aircraft pose less of a security threat.

AOPA has been following the issue since 2004 when the TSA first published a notice on repair station security. The association maintains that repair facilities at general aviation airports that work on GA aircraft should not be forced to comply with the same security measures as those servicing air carriers. In 2004, AOPA explained to the Department of Transportation the various security programs already in place at GA airports, including Airport Watch.

Repair stations also would be required to comply with security directives and submit a profile of the facility to the TSA for the agency to better determine what type of security is warranted.

For more information or to submit comments on the proposal, see AOPA’s regulatory brief.