THE US FEDERAL Aviation Administration has barred Japan Airlines (JAL) from performing maintenance work on US-registered aircraft because repair stations at Narita and Haneda airports conducted unauthorised repairs.

William White, the FAA's deputy director of flight standards, says that no aircraft are grounded because of the action. White says, however, that affected JAL maintenance customers will have to check the work performed to verify compliance with FAA and manufacturer specifications.

The action is similar to that taken against Israel Aircraft Industries unit Bedek Aviation. It was put under FAA scrutiny because of similar offences, but allowed to continue working on wide body aircraft because it co-operated fully with the FAA.

White says that JAL's foreign-repair-station certificate was suspended because the amount of work required to rectify the shortcomings may be extensive.

JAL has been told that its repair stations deviated from FAA-approved practices, but the airline says that there appears to be a "misunderstanding" regarding changes or differences in aircraft-maintenance procedures. "JAL is confident the work done is of the highest standard and the licence...will be quickly renewed," it adds.

Source: Flight International