"Good Safety is Good Business" ARSA Tells Congressional Panel

On April 25, Aeronautical Repair Station Association Senior Vice President Gary Fortner, vice president of Quality Control & Engineering at Fortner Engineering in Glendale, Calif., testified before the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Aviation Subcommittee about the excellent work repair stations across the country and around the world are doing to ensure aviation safety.

“For repair stations, good safety is good business,” Fortner stated. “Aviation safety does not begin and end with the Federal Aviation Administration or any other regulatory body. It is the primary responsibility of every aviation maintenance employee performing work on behalf of an owner or operator, a certificated repair station, air carrier, or other aviation business.

“The basic nature of the aviation industry demands that safety and security be the top priorities for ARSA members. Operators and airlines will not do business with companies that put their passengers and valuable business assets at risk.”

Fortner described how specialized repair stations have made airlines more efficient and are contributing to the safest period in commercial aviation history. Fortner also discussed the integral role foreign repair stations play in the international aviation system and that any effort to limit the ability of U.S. air carriers to use foreign repair stations will detrimentally impact aviation maintenance companies in this country.

“Though ARSA members vary greatly in the size, scope of work, and location, FAA certificated repair stations share an unwavering commitment to flight safety. Safety is the industry’s top priority whether based in the United States or overseas. Safety depends not on legislation or regulation, but on the culture of safety within individual companies and an effective partnership between government and industry,” said Fortner.

In addition to speaking to the industry’s commitment to aviation safety and its positive contributions to the American economy, Fortner stressed that Congress must refrain from micromanaging the aviation maintenance industry and the need for consistent application of aviation safety regulations. Too often, inconsistent application of rules overburdens businesses and inhibits growth with no benefit to flight safety.