Today, MARPA filed Comments on the Proposed FAA ICA Policy (Policy Statement, PS-AIR-21.50-01: Inappropriate DAH Restrictions on the Use and Availability of ICA). MARPA’s comments supported the policy, and provided both a historical and legal context for the acceptance of the FAA policy.
The FAA policy was written in response to the growing practice of manufacturers licensing their manuals on the condition that the licensee repair station or air carrier/operator pledge to refrain from using competitive products like DER repairs or PMA parts. We have written about this practice in past blog posts.
The FAA retains the power to influence the method of distribution for ICAs, because the regulatory appendices that describe the minimum standards for such ICAs require the ICA-publisher to have a mechanism for distributing the ICAs and their amendments, and to submit that mechanism to the FAA. This permits the FAA to establish standards for what will be considered acceptable or unacceptable among such distribution mechanisms.
The FAA policy makes it clear that it is not acceptable for manufacturers to license their ICAs using restrictive licenses that preclude competition. For example, an engine manufacturer may not license its ICAs on the condition that the licensee agree not to purchase PMA parts for the engines.
MARPA has encouraged its members to make their ICAs available to the industry without inhibition. MARPA has also decried practices that would preclude access to PMAs as a condition of obtaining ICAs (when ICAs are already required to be made available under the regulations). Thus, MARPA is very supportive of the FAA policy.
MARPA exhorts the entire aviation community to file comments with the FAA supporting the FAA ICA Policy Memo. Comments may be filed by sending an email to John.Cerra@FAA.gov.