Review of Air Carriers' Use of Aircraft Repair Stations
We publicly released our audit report on Air Carriers’ Use of Aircraft Repair Stations. We found that airlines are increasingly outsourcing maintenance to repair stations. Despite the increase, FAA concentrates its oversight of airline maintenance on work performed at the air carrier’s in-house facilities. Discrepancies in U.S. and foreign repair-station operations went undetected at 86 percent of the stations we visited. The discrepancies included using improper parts and equipment, and uncorrected repetitive deficiencies. Because of the poor documentation received and the lack of focus by foreign authorities on FAA requirements, FAA is unable to determine if FAA-certified foreign repair stations meet FAA standards.
We made nine recommendations to improve FAA’s oversight, including that FAA must determine trends in air carriers’ use of repair stations; find out which repair stations the carriers are using to perform maintenance; perform more frequent, detailed reviews of those facilities air carriers use the most; and take steps to ensure foreign authorities are following FAA standards in conducting inspections. FAA concurred with our recommendations.