TSA Aircraft Repair Station Rule Inadequate

Friday, January 10, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC—Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) President Edward Wytkind issues this statement in response to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) final rule on Aircraft Repair Station Security [Docket No. TSA-2004-17131]:

“We are extremely disappointed with TSA’s final rule on aircraft repair station security released earlier today. The final rule further rolls back already weak security requirements TSA proposed in 2009, fails to address security loopholes in the proposed rule identified by TTD, and runs counter to the congressional requirement that TSA ensure the security of maintenance work performed at contract repair stations.

“We understand that foreign governments and industry trade groups were pushing TSA to water down this security rule, and to issue regulations that would allow the current moratorium on certified stations to be lifted. But we expected more from an agency that is supposed to be focused on transportation security.

“The final rule eliminates the proposal that repair stations certified by the FAA that work on U.S. aircraft adopt and implement a security program to help control access to a facility. Instead, limited and weak security measures will apply only to stations that are on or adjacent to an airport. The security challenges raised by the heavy use of contract maintenance are not limited to stations at airports and Congress clearly did not identify this distinction when it mandated security enhancements.

“The final rule did nothing to address concern with adequate background checks of contract station employees. In fact, it went in the opposite direction by only applying these reviews to individuals at a repair station designated as a TSA point of contact and those who have the means to prevent the unauthorized operation of large aircraft.

“Finally, TSA does not intend to fully inspect FAA certified repair stations, weakening the agency’s ability to ensure their security. This rule also fails to give TSA the clear authority to conduct unannounced inspections of foreign repair stations. While the rule extols the virtues of unannounced inspections at domestic stations, it notes that for foreign stations ‘it will always coordinate any inspection with the host government prior to starting an inspection.’”
CONTACT:  Jennifer Michels, jenniferm@ttd.org, 202.628.9262, 703.395.2195

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