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Published on : Tuesday, November 22, 2016
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration today issued an emergency order suspending the authorization NavWorx Inc. uses to manufacture certain Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) navigation units. Such units, when properly manufactured and operated, help to improve the safety and efficiency of aircraft operations.
The authorization, known as a Technical Standard Order Authorization (TSOA), enables suppliers to produce components for use on aircraft after proving that each component meets FAA standards. Federal regulations set forth FAA’s authority to inspect suppliers’ quality systems, facilities, technical data, and products to determine whether they meet safety standards. These regulations also provide that FAA may witness any tests necessary to determine a product’s compliance.
The suspension order was issued after NavWorx declined on repeated occasions to allow FAA personnel to conduct the required inspections. The suspension is immediate and will remain in effect until NavWorx consents to the inspections and demonstrates compliance with FAA standards.
The FAA is concerned that two versions of the company’s ADS600-B units, carrying part numbers 200-0012 and 200-0013, may contain an internal Global Positioning System (GPS) chip that does not meet the FAA’s minimum performance standards for transmitting an aircraft’s accurate location.
On June 29, the FAA requested to inspect NavWorx’s facility to determine the specific GPS unit and software installed in part numbers 200-0012 and 200-0013, and if the units are marked correctly. NavWorx informed the inspector that he would not be allowed inside the company’s facility. During subsequent correspondence, NavWorx agreed to allow an Aug. 31 inspection but then denied access when FAA inspectors arrived.
NavWorx later agreed to allow inspectors into the facility on Nov. 21 but they were again denied access.
Due to the company’s unwillingness to comply with these requirements, the FAA has determined that NavWorx’s continued use of its FAA authorization is contrary to the interests of safety in air commerce. During the suspension, NavWorx may not mark or otherwise indicate that its ADS600-B units meet FAA standards.