Today, Bloomberg Business News released an eye-opening story that says "oversight of aircraft repair stations by U.S. aviation regulators is marred by inspectors who haven’t been trained and a system that can’t identify the areas of highest risk," according to an audit report by the U.S. Department of Transportation's inspector general.
Commercial airlines often have their own mechanics at major airports or hubs. But sometimes contractors must be used, such as for repairs at smaller airports or airports where the airline has little service. Increasingly, airlines seeking to hold the line on costs are also turning to contract repair stations for some work.
Bloomberg says the DOT audit report found that these independent repair shops often couldn’t account for tools, document the training of their mechanics or prove work had been done.
It's just the most recent report that calls into question the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) oversight of repair shops in the U.S. and around the world. Previous reports in 2003 and 2008 had similar troubling findings.
According to Bloomberg's story - www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-06/u-s-airline-repair-station-oversight-inadequate-audit.html - the FAA has responded that it is already fixing some of the issues.