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FAA, Regulatory, Repair Stations

FAA Finally Begins Cost-Benefit Analysis of Drug Testing

Following a court order, the FAA on March 8 released a Supplemental Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (RFA) for a four-year-old final rule that formally extended drug and alcohol testing to subcontractors (including repair stations) performing maintenance work as sub-tier contractors for air carriers.

A 2007 Court Order had originally concluded that the FAA had failed to perform the required RFA – particularly the cost-benefit analysis of the rule as it s applied to repair stations.  The Court had ordered that the FAA must perform that analysis.  After four years, the FAA had still failed to comply with the Court order, so an industry trade association sued the FAA to compel them to meet their obligation.

Last week, the Court ordered the FAA to provide it with an explanation.  Today, the FAA started the process of assembling the analysis by publishing a supplemental RFA.

The FAA’s proposed RFA estimates that drug testing only costs about $6,000 per year (including cost of time as well as direct costs).  The FAA’s proposed RFA concludes that the rule would not have a significant impact on small businesses.  This conclusion, and the underlying data, is open for public comment.

Comments on the RFA are due by May 9, 2011.

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About Jason Dickstein

Mr. Dickstein is the President of the Washington Aviation Group, a Washington, DC-based aviation law firm. He represents several aviation trade associations, including the Aviation Suppliers Association, the Aircraft Electronics Association, the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association and the Modification and Replacement Parts Association.

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