Audit Reports

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FAA Has Not Effectively Implemented Repair Station Oversight in the European Union

Representative Peter DeFazio, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Representative John Garamendi
Project ID: 

As international air service expands, U.S. air carriers increasingly rely on foreign repair stations to meet their maintenance needs. Currently, more than 400 FAA-certificated repair stations in Europe perform work on U.S.-registered aircraft and components. To avoid duplicative oversight, the United States and the European Union (EU) signed an aviation safety agreement on May 1, 2011, to permit foreign authority safety inspectors to inspect EU repair stations on the behalf of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). While FAA met the agreement’s deadline to transfer its oversight responsibilities to foreign aviation authorities, it did so without ensuring that the authorities were fully prepared to accept their new roles. In addition, FAA did not follow its processes to assess foreign authority capabilities or ensure that these authorities completed their initial training on the agreement prior to the transfer. Training, procedural, and data weaknesses further hinder FAA’s ability to monitor EU repair stations. FAA did not train its inspectors on how to conduct inspections on foreign authorities or provide them with written guidance on how to complete new inspection forms, leading to inaccurate reporting and insufficient information needed to ensure that FAA standards are being met. FAA concurred with our 12 recommendations to enhance the Agency’s oversight of repair stations, citing plans to revise its guidance to provide more comprehensive and standardized procedures for repair station oversight. All recommendations will remain open and unresolved until we receive FAA’s detailed response.





Closed on 08.11.2016
No. 1 to FAA

Clarify inspector guidance on how to assess foreign authorities' readiness to assume FAA oversight responsibilities.

Closed on 09.22.2015
No. 2 to FAA

Require future candidate countries for bilateral agreements to inform FAA of completion of initial inspector training prior to FAA transferring its oversight authority.

Closed on 03.08.2016
No. 3 to FAA

Develop standardized instructions for FAA and foreign authority inspectors on how to properly complete inspection checklists.

Closed on 10.21.2015
No. 4 to FAA

Provide training to foreign authority inspectors on areas such as clarifying how to approve an FAA supplement and how to review and accept written confirmation of dangerous goods training programs.

Closed on 11.03.2015
No. 5 to FAA

Revise inspection checklist questions by defining FAA-specific terms and requirements and including references to applicable Special Conditions.

Closed on 10.21.2015
No. 6 to FAA

Develop a control to require all FAA-certificated EU-based repair stations to affirm to foreign authorities whether or not they engage in dangerous goods handling.

Closed on 07.14.2017
No. 7 to FAA

Develop guidance and provide training to FAA inspectors that clarify their current roles and responsibilities as country coordinators.

Closed on 06.03.2016
No. 8 to FAA

Conduct a comparative analysis of the Maintenance Annex Guidance to ensure that FAA inspection procedures and checklists are comparable to EASA's, where possible.

Closed on 09.25.2015
No. 9 to FAA

Revise FAA inspection checklists to ensure that FAA inspectors can clearly document discrepancies related to Part 145 requirements during sampling inspections of EU-based repair stations.

Closed on 02.13.2017
No. 10 to FAA

Revise the Maintenance Annex Guidance to require FAA inspectors to review and accept corrective action plans resulting from aviation authority sampling inspections.

Closed on 02.13.2017
No. 11 to FAA

Require FAA inspectors to obtain all level 1 and level 2 findings from EASA Part 145 inspections to enhance FAA's ability to conduct more accurate risk assessments of EU repair stations.

Closed on 06.07.2016
No. 12 to FAA

Revise the Maintenance Annex Guidance to require FAA inspectors to receive EU-based repair station corrective action plans after completing sampling inspections to be used for risk assessment.