Avionics News September 2014 - 56

LEGAL EASE

Continued from page 54

ment. Although it would be preferable
to be able to provide input with respect
to interpretation of rules through the
notice and comment process from the
start, the law, as it stands, at least provides the benefit of creating legal certainty; businesses can plan around the
interpretation provided by the agency,
even if the interpretation is not ideal.
Industry then has the opportunity to
help shape any subsequent reinterpretation.
Under the second option, in which
an agency could alter its interpretation
of a regulation at any time, a number of
problems arise. First, the issue of legal
certainty is threatened. If an interpretation of a regulation can be changed at

56

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september

2014

any time, it is difficult to predict how an
agency will apply a regulation a month,
a year or a decade in the future.
Second, if agencies are able to
amend or reverse their interpretations
of regulations at will, it will result
in significant costs to industry. The
aviation community develops quality
and safety systems in order to comply
with the Federal Aviation Regulations.
These systems are frequently based
on an understanding of how the FAA
will interpret and apply the Federal
Aviation Regulations. If the FAA is
able to change those interpretations at
will, industry will be forced to make
corresponding changes to its safety
and quality systems in order to comply
with the FAA's new interpretations.
This obviously means a significant
increased financial burden on industry,

as well as an exceedingly difficult
compliance burden, as systems are
amended and employees retrained.
Finally, it creates an opportunity for
an agency to create retroactive laws. If
an agency identifies conduct it deems
objectionable that was nevertheless
in compliance with a current interpretation, the agency could change
the interpretation to proscribe such
conduct. While this is permissible as a
prospective rule, it also is possible that
an agency could attempt to enforce
the interpretive change retroactively.
And while such a retroactive enforcement may not withstand a challenge
in court, the person subject to the
enforcement would still be forced to
go through the tremendous cost, burden and stress of litigation. Requiring
an agency to go through the notice and
comment process makes such an arbitrary enforcement action far less likely.
Another possibility - a way out
for the Court - would be for the
Supreme Court to provide more
guidance on what constitutes an
interpretive rule, thereby narrowing
the potential scope of changes that
are permitted through unilateral revision of an interpretive rule.
Legal certainty and predictability
are important elements in our industry.
Knowing what is expected by the FAA,
how the FAA will interpret and apply
the Federal Aviation Regulations, and
having the opportunity to participate in
the rulemaking process all contribute
to give the aviation industry the stellar safety record it has. The ability to
help shape interpretations in a way that
provides for workable regulations that
reflect the true nature of the industry is
a valuable benefit and cannot be understated. The coming Supreme Court term
will determine whether our industry's
strong cooperative relationship with
the FAA will continue, or whether we
might wake up to a new age of arbitrary
"interpretive" changes to the rules. q


http://www.georgetowninstruments.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News September 2014

Point of Communication
AEA Now
The View from Washington
International News and Regulatory Updates
Software Management
Member Profile
Keeping a business in the family
Are digital avionics secure?
A Conversation With...
Meet the AEA board of directors
Before & After
The Autonomous Navigation Systems AET Endorsement
Aviation Aces
Legal Ease
Business Basics
Member Profile
AEA members unveil new ADS-B solutions at AirVenture
What's New
Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News September 2014 - Intro
Avionics News September 2014 - Cover1
Avionics News September 2014 - Cover2
Avionics News September 2014 - 1
Avionics News September 2014 - 2
Avionics News September 2014 - 3
Avionics News September 2014 - Point of Communication
Avionics News September 2014 - 5
Avionics News September 2014 - AEA Now
Avionics News September 2014 - 7
Avionics News September 2014 - 8
Avionics News September 2014 - 9
Avionics News September 2014 - 10
Avionics News September 2014 - 11
Avionics News September 2014 - 12
Avionics News September 2014 - 13
Avionics News September 2014 - The View from Washington
Avionics News September 2014 - 15
Avionics News September 2014 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News September 2014 - 17
Avionics News September 2014 - 18
Avionics News September 2014 - 19
Avionics News September 2014 - Software Management
Avionics News September 2014 - 21
Avionics News September 2014 - 22
Avionics News September 2014 - 23
Avionics News September 2014 - Member Profile
Avionics News September 2014 - 25
Avionics News September 2014 - 26
Avionics News September 2014 - 27
Avionics News September 2014 - Keeping a business in the family
Avionics News September 2014 - 29
Avionics News September 2014 - 30
Avionics News September 2014 - 31
Avionics News September 2014 - 32
Avionics News September 2014 - 33
Avionics News September 2014 - Are digital avionics secure?
Avionics News September 2014 - 35
Avionics News September 2014 - 36
Avionics News September 2014 - 37
Avionics News September 2014 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News September 2014 - 39
Avionics News September 2014 - Meet the AEA board of directors
Avionics News September 2014 - 41
Avionics News September 2014 - Before & After
Avionics News September 2014 - 43
Avionics News September 2014 - The Autonomous Navigation Systems AET Endorsement
Avionics News September 2014 - 45
Avionics News September 2014 - 46
Avionics News September 2014 - 47
Avionics News September 2014 - Aviation Aces
Avionics News September 2014 - 49
Avionics News September 2014 - 50
Avionics News September 2014 - 51
Avionics News September 2014 - Legal Ease
Avionics News September 2014 - 53
Avionics News September 2014 - 54
Avionics News September 2014 - 55
Avionics News September 2014 - 56
Avionics News September 2014 - 57
Avionics News September 2014 - Business Basics
Avionics News September 2014 - 59
Avionics News September 2014 - 60
Avionics News September 2014 - 61
Avionics News September 2014 - 62
Avionics News September 2014 - 63
Avionics News September 2014 - Member Profile
Avionics News September 2014 - 65
Avionics News September 2014 - AEA members unveil new ADS-B solutions at AirVenture
Avionics News September 2014 - 67
Avionics News September 2014 - 68
Avionics News September 2014 - 69
Avionics News September 2014 - 70
Avionics News September 2014 - 71
Avionics News September 2014 - What's New
Avionics News September 2014 - 73
Avionics News September 2014 - 74
Avionics News September 2014 - 75
Avionics News September 2014 - 76
Avionics News September 2014 - 77
Avionics News September 2014 - Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News September 2014 - 79
Avionics News September 2014 - 80
Avionics News September 2014 - Cover3
Avionics News September 2014 - Cover4
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