By Michael P. Fleming, Donald L. Mayer, Thomas A. Flynn, The Wicks Group, PLLC
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently finalized a series of rule changes to 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 145, which regulates aviation repair stations both domestically and abroad. The primary change in the final rule is that the past performance of repair stations and key individuals will be considered when they are applying for a new repair station certificate.
These changes to 14 CFR Part 145 stem from a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that was originally published on May 21, 2012. The changes outlined in the NPRM were large in scope and included new exceptions to repair station certificate eligibility and a major overhaul of the repair station ratings system. Due to widespread industry concern, the proposed changes to the repair station ratings system were withdrawn for the time being. However, portions of the proposal survived, as the exceptions to certificate eligibility described below, along with several additional updates, comprise the most significant amendments in the final rulemaking. These changes were published in the Federal Register on August 12, 2014 and went into effect on November 10, 2014.
As a result of a fatal accident in 2003 involving improper propeller overhaul, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that applicants’ past performance should be considered when applying for a new repair station certificate under Part 145. According to the NTSB and the FAA, past performance includes determining whether an applicant or any key members of the applicant’s staff have been associated with a previously revoked certificate. Changes to § 145.51(e) reflect the NTSB recommendation, which is worded similarly to 14 C.F.R. 119.39(b) and allows the FAA to deny a Part 121 or 135 operator a certificate for similar reasons of past performance.
More specifically, a Part 145 applicant’s past performance is considered when: (1) the applicant previously held a repair station certificate that was revoked or is in the process of being revoked; (2) the applicant intends to fill certain key management positions with individuals who had materially contributed to the circumstances that led to a prior repair station certificate revocation, or to an ongoing revocation action against a repair station; or (3) the applicant’s repair station will be owned or controlled by an individual or individuals who previously owned or exercised control over a repair station that had its certificate revoked or is in the process of being revoked.
In addition to past performance considerations, a new addition to Part 145 (§ 145.12) prohibits fraudulent or intentionally false entries or omissions in applications, records, or reports made under the repair station rules. This change allows the FAA to verify the data provided by an applicant, both during the certification process and once the repair station becomes operational. The falsification or omission of applications, records or reports is considered grounds for suspending or revoking an FAA-issued certificate, approval, or authorization.
A revision to § 145.55(a) specifies that a certificate surrender is not complete until the FAA accepts the certificate for cancellation, which allows the FAA to complete any necessary data collection or ongoing investigations into the certificate holder before the certificate is officially canceled. This is directly related to the changes in Part 145.51(e) where, in the past, individuals have been allowed to surrender their repair station certificate prior to the completion of an investigation and re-establish themselves with a new repair station under a different certificate.
Lastly, there are several minor procedural revisions to Part 145. A change to § 145.55(c)(3) requires that a repair station outside the United States applying for a certificate renewal must show the required fee has been paid. A revision to § 145.57(a)(1) now requires a certificate to be updated if the repair station certificate holder changes the name of the repair station. Finally, the language in § 145.57(b) was clarified to stipulate that when a repair station’s assets are sold the new owner must apply for a new certificate only if the new owner chooses to operate as a repair station.
For more information on these updates to 14 CFR Part 145, please contact Michael Fleming (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 202-457-7790.
 Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration “Repair Stations; Proposed Rule”, 77 Fed. Reg. 30053-30086 (proposed May 21, 2012).
 Compare “Repair Stations; Proposed Rule” with 14 C.F.R. § 145 (2014 effective November 10) (the proposed rating system was ultimately withdrawn).
 Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration “Repair Stations”, 79 Fed. Reg. 46971-46985 (proposed August 12, 2014) (codified November 10, 2014).
 NTSB Recommendation No. A-04-01, February 9, 2004.
 See 14 C.F.R. § 145.51(e) (2014 effective November 10).
 “Repair Stations”, 79 Fed. Reg. at 46973, see 14 C.F.R. § 145.51(e) (2014 effective November 10).
 “Repair Stations”, 79 Fed. Reg. at 46973, see 14 C.F.R. § 145.12 (2014 effective November 10).
 “Repair Stations”, 79 Fed. Reg. at 46973, see 14 C.F.R. § 145.55(a) (2014 effective November 10).
 See 14 C.F.R. § 145.51(e) (2014 effective November 10).
 “Repair Stations”, 79 Fed. Reg. at 46973, see 14 C.F.R. § 145.55(c)(3) (2014 effective November 10).
 “Repair Stations”, 79 Fed. Reg. at 46973, see 14 C.F.R. § 145.57(a)(1) (2014 effective November 10).
 “Repair Stations”, 79 Fed. Reg. at 46973, see 14 C.F.R. § 145.57(b) (2014 effective November 10).