December 2, 2010
By Dan Namowitz
The FAA has granted AOPA’s request for an extension of the comment period on a proposed revision of the policy the FAA uses to qualify aviation mechanics for inspection authority (IA). The new deadline for comments will be Jan. 17, 2011.
The FAA has proposed modifying the definition “actively engaged” as it is used to evaluate experience of airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanics who apply for IA renewal. The FAA announced the planned revision in a notice of proposed policy Nov. 5.
AOPA wants to ensure that inspector authorizations remain for those A&P mechanics who maintain aircraft part time or occasionally, including IAs who maintain their own aircraft, teach or supervise others in aircraft maintenance, specialize in a particular aircraft type or historic or vintage aircraft, and operate in remote locations, among others. AOPA is working with the FAA, IAs, and other affected organizations to ensure that the definition does not exclude those IAs who may only occasionally perform maintenance but who offer invaluable expertise in other areas.
Numerous members contacted AOPA to voice concerns after the association reported the proposal. AOPA requested more time to investigate the implications of the proposal, gather feedback, and develop a meaningful response, as reported Nov. 23.
Comments on the proposal (Docket No. FAA-2010-1060) can be submitted online.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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