Faa air agency certificate

How to Read an FAA Air Agency Certificate and Pick Your Repair Station

Before you request a quote with a repair station, it’s important to familiarize yourself with your maintainer’s FAA air agency certificate. A private jet is a huge investment — which is at risk if a repair station lacks the proper expertise to maintain it.

You might begin evaluating the station with a few questions like these:

  • Are you rated to perform the work I need for this type of aircraft?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you offer any sort of warranty? Under what parameters?
  • What is your expected turnaround time?
  • How do you resolve issues and discrepancies?

After that, it’s a good idea to take a look at the station’s FAR Part 145 Certification paperwork and check the specific ratings on their FAA air agency certificate.

How do I read an FAA Air Agency Certificate?

An FAA repair station certification is issued under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 145. The ownership of such a certificate shows that the station is approved by the FAA to engage in maintenance, inspections, and alterations of aircraft. There are roughly 5,000 Part 145 certified repair stations both in and outside of the U.S.

This paper certificate is required to be available on the station’s premises for either the FAA or the public to inspect. A repair station will typically provide it to you on request or show you where it’s posted (often near the main entrance or a central public area). On the certificate, you will see:

  • The station number. The FAA assigns the repair station’s number when it first becomes certified. This unique identifier is important for FAA tracking and oversight.
  • The repair station’s ratings. Every station operates only under specific “ratings,” which describe which aircraft, components, or equipment the repair station is able to work on and maintain. There are six primary ratings that pertain to repair stations, with many more specific ratings under them.
  • The repair station’s location and name. Since repair stations often have more than one facility, this is important to distinguish the site from their other facilities (potentially worldwide), which may have different ratings or MRO capabilities.

Understanding FAA Ratings

The station’s FAA-issued ratings will be listed on an operations specifications form, typically displayed next to the FAA Air Agency Certificate. The six overarching ratings for Part 145 repair stations include:

  • Airframe
  • Powerplant
  • Propeller
  • Radio
  • Instrument
  • Accessory

Each of these is a high-level category that’s broken down into multiple classes — for instance, large or small aircraft — that are then broken down further into specific types of work.

Stations most commonly have “limited” ratings, which means they’re authorized to work on certain makes and models in which their technicians have training, and not on every single type of aircraft. A “full class” rating would mean the station can work on every make and model, but this is less common (and difficult to achieve). Ensure your station has the required rating for your aircraft’s make and model.

Some ratings can be even more specific, such as a “Limited Specialized Service” rating. These stations may serve very specialized maintenance purposes — such as coating removal, degreasing, or rust and scale stripping —  and not be rated for more general MRO processes with those same makes and models. 

Pick Your Repair Station

The size and complexity of your jet, the type of MRO work you’re looking to have completed, the make and the model, and more can all affect your ability to find a qualified repair station. Of course, your location matters as well.

Take the time to look well ahead and plan in advance for scheduled maintenance stops whenever possible. In most cases, the limiting factors above will narrow your options for places to bring your business. Where available, an FAA-certified repair station offers a level of service that is several steps above what you’ll be able to receive at a typical FBO or from an A&P mechanic. These stations undergo FAA-approved training to achieve the specialized ratings that guarantee their expertise on aircraft like yours.

A close look at the FAA Air Agency Certificate protects your asset and ensures that only stations with the right training, processes, and equipment will work on your aircraft. Our experienced staff at Metal Finishing Technologies LLC has delivered comprehensive cleaning, stripping, and finishing work on aircraft engine components for more than 30 years. We hold an Air Agency Certificate with a Limited Engine Rating for the following makes:

  • Pratt & Whitney
  • CFM International
  • General Electric
  • International Aero Engines (IAE)
  • Honeywell International
  • Engine Alliance
  • Rolls Royce

Do you have any aircraft MRO work coming up? Explore our capabilities here and get in touch today to request a full quote within 24 hours.

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