Court Delays FAA Drug/Alcohol Rule Compliance
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Wednesday issued an interim order that pushes back a new FAA drug and alcohol testing rule compliance date 10 days, to October 20. The court will use the extension to take a closer look at a filing from the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) that asks for the compliance date to be moved to July 10, 2007. The FAA last week rejected an ARSA request for the nine-month extension. The court’s order gives the FAA until Friday to submit a response and gives ARSA and other petitioners until next Tuesday to file a reply to the FAA’s response. According to the National Air Transportation Association, the rules “effectively expand” testing programs to the performance of safety-sensitive functions, such as maintenance, by people under subcontract at any tier. Previously, testing was mandated for first-tier contractors, such as a Part 145 repair station performing work for a Part 135 air carrier. Under the FAA’s new requirements, any subcontractors used by the Part 145 repair station are also subject to mandatory testing.