On April 2, the Dept. of Transportation issued a final rule revoking a Dec. 27, 2019 rulemaking entitled "Administrative Rulemaking, Guidance, and Enforcement Procedures" (84 FR 71714). That rule made changes to 49 CFR part 5, the regulation that sets forth procedures for agency rulemaking and guidance documents, and effectively halted publication of FAA airman certification standards (ACS). (See related story.)
The move received broad praise by aviation groups, who saw the regulatory changes implemented in 2019 as impediments to progress since the aviation industry is perhaps uniquely dependent on routine agency updates to guidance and standards to ensure the safety organization is able to keep up as industry evolves.
In a letter praising the move, industry representatives called for quick implementation of the mandate, which the group cited as an important step forward to reestablish a process for ongoing ACS publication and revision.
..."[T]he Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) process used to create and publish current ACS has proven an efficient, effective, and transparent means to manage these standards," said the industry group. "Methods in place provide opportunity for public comment and stakeholder collaboration and continued systematic alignment between regulations, guidance, and testing. This process also preserves the flexibility needed to ensure that certification standards can be regularly revised in a timely way, to support advances in technology."
Imminent part 147 reforms are dependent on the mechanic ACS publication--the new interim final rule directed by congress will require aviation maintenance technical schools to align curriculums with the new standard. Thus, once published, the ACS will not only direct changes to the written, oral, and practical mechanic tests, but also part 147 curriculums.
Previous ATEC webinars have set forth steps the community can take now as it awaits publication of the new rule and certification standard. Most recently, a slate of school representatives shared the results of their respective "gap analysis," identifying shortcoming between their current curriculums (driven by part 147), and future curriculums (driven by the ACS). Hear about their findings and what changes they intend on implementing once the new rule is promulgated--a recorded version of the March 30 webinar and others are available on the new part 147 issue page.
Stay tuned for updates on everything ATEC members need to know as well as ways that you can help the council and the AMTS community.