March 4, 2013
By Dan Namowitz
Aviation mechanics with inspection authorization (IA) must renew their certificates by March 31, and AOPA is reminding members who must renew that under a new FAA policy certificate holders must show that they have been “actively engaged” in the work.
The FAA published a notice of policy on Aug. 4, 2011, to clarify what qualifies as “actively engaged” concerning IA recertification eligibility.
During the comment period on the policy revision, the agency adopted many of AOPA’s recommendations for identifying the types of activity that could be used to document compliance with the requirement, which took effect starting with 2013 renewals.
In essence, any IA renewal applicant must be engaged in, and document, some form of maintenance activity, supervision, or teaching. “IAs who only take a renewal course will probably not be deemed actively engaged by the FAA,” said David Oord, AOPA manager of regulatory affairs.
In 2011 AOPA welcomed the FAA’s decision to broaden the revised policy to include those IAs who perform specialized or occasional maintenance inspections.
Inspection authorizations are issued for two years, expiring on March 31 of odd-numbered years, making March 31, 2013, the next expiration date. It has come to AOPA’s attention that some IAs may be unfamiliar with the new requirement to remain “actively engaged” and document their activity, Oord said.
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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