Ms. Rosalind A.
Deputy General Counsel
Department of Transportation
400 Seventh Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20590
Dear Ms. Knapp:
For the reasons described below and in accordance with Executive
Order. No. 12866, section 6, we are returning to you for reconsideration
a draft final rule from the Department of Transportation's (DOT)
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) entitled, "Part 145 Review
: Repair Stations" submitted to the Office of Management and Budget
(OMB) on July 13, 2001. This final rule would update and revise
existing regulations for repair stations. The rule is intended to
better reflect changes in repair station business practices, advancements
in technology, and aircraft maintenance practices.
Under Executive Order 12866, agencies are to avoid regulations that
are incompatible with the regulatory policies of other Federal agencies
and the Federal government. While we fully support the objectives
of the draft final rule, we are concerned that certain provisions
may have adverse international consequences. The preamble to the
draft final rule states that the rule contains "a requirement that
repair stations outside the United States must show that the certificate
is necessary to maintain U. S.-registered or U. S. operated articles.
There are various methods that can be utilized for determining the
'necessity' for certification of a repair station outside the United States,
thus allowing the initiation of the certification process. Methods
could include, for example, the applicant providing the FAA with
a binding contract or a proposal for aircraft maintenance services.
The FAA will not certificate a repair station located outside the
United States when the applicant cannot provide the FAA with
objective evidence that the necessity requirement is met."
As part of our review of the draft rule, we sought the views of
the State Department and the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
Those agencies indicated that this language could be read by other
governments as a "needs test" for foreign repair stations that would
raise a significant issue about our compliance with applicable international
trade agreements. Moreover, the agencies indicated that the preamble
language raises questions of U. S. intent that could complicate
relations with other countries. We share these concerns.
Due to the concerns identified above, we are returning this rule
for your reconsideration. Our staff is available for further discussion
with you on these issues.
Donald R. Arbuckle
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs