The FAA today published a Notice of its intent to hold a public meeting on the subject of the continued airworthiness of the U.S. general aviation fleet of aircraft. According to the FAA, “[t]he purpose of the meeting is to gather information and discuss technical issues related to problems associated with the increasing average age of the general aviation fleet” with particular emphasis on “actions that have potential to mitigate the inevitable effects of fatigue, corrosion, and deterioration on aging general aviation airplanes.”
The meetings are a response to the GA fatal accidents that have been caused by the effects of airplane aging as well as primary component failures caused by the effects of airplane aging that were discovered before catastrophic failure. The FAA intends to take “a more proactive role in managing the risk associated with continued airworthiness” and it “is concerned about issues such as service difficulty experiences and reporting, modification and inspection programs, and continued field support from type certificate holders.
The Notice states that “[t]he FAA anticipates that the agency, industry, and the general public will use the public meeting as a forum to share information, resolve questions, and discuss potential solutions concerning the continued airworthiness of older general aviation airplanes.” It is nice to see the FAA taking this approach. Rather than unilaterally issuing regulationst, least it is actively soliciting comment and participation regarding the issue. This isn’t to say that the FAA will necessarily accomodate all affected parties’ if, or rather, when it does issue regulations. However, perhaps with industry input, any regulation will address this safety issue in a fair manner with minimal undue burden on those affected.
The meetings will be held March 22-23, 2006, starting at 8 a.m. each day, in Kansas City, Missouri at the Doubletree Hotel Overland Park, 10100 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kansas, United States, 66210. If you are unable to attend either of the meetings, you may submit comments on the issue to Federal Aviation Administration, (FAA), Central Region, Small Airplane Directorate, Attention: Mr. Marv Nuss, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. If you would like further information regarding the meetings or this issue, you may contact Mr. Marv Nuss, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone:(816) 329-4117; facsimile: (816) 329-4090; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.