The term Repair Station refers to a maintenance facility that has a certificate issued by the FAA under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 145 and is engaged in the maintenance, inspection, and alteration of aircraft and aircraft products. FAA rules are specific on who can perform maintenance and approve an aircraft, airframe, engines, etc, for return to service after maintenance has been performed.
The repair station certificate is an "Air Agency Certificate" that refers to the aircraft repair services and tasks that a repair station is authorized to perform. An FAA repair station can only perform the functions necessary to inspect, repair, replace, or overhaul those aviation articles for which it has been approved. There are six general ratings that pertain to a repair station:
These ratings are broken down into specified classes that are further differentiated. For example, an airframe rating has four classes (two classes are for either large or small composite aircraft, and the other two are for either large or small sheet metal aircraft). An engine rating has three classes (two of these are for reciprocating engines, with one for 400-horsepower-or-less engines and the other for greater-than-400-horsepower engines. The third class is for turbine engines).
Many certified repair stations ship hazardous materials, such as aircraft parts, equipment containing lithium batteries, flammable paints and solvents, and items of replacement. All aircraft parts must be sufficiently cleaned of residue and purged of vapors to remove any potential hazard. Furthermore, parts containing residues must be secured and cushioned to control movement or prevent leakage within the package during normal conditions of transportation.
The FAA regulates repair stations that ship hazardous materials as shippers under under Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR), aka the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs). For more information on shipping hazardous materials, please refer to the SafeCargo Website.
Each repair station that meets the definition of a hazardous material employer under 49 CFR 171.8 must have a hazardous material training program that meets the training requirements of 49 CFR Part 172 subpart H. The FAA's Flight Standards Service Principal Inspectors are responsible for obtaining a letter from the repair station certifying that all their dangerous goods employees, contractors, and subcontractors have been trained. Oversight for any of the other hazardous materials related requirements are the responsibility of the FAA's Office of Security and Hazardous Materials Safety.
Repair stations who do not accept, handle, or store hazardous material must provide procedures and instructions in their operator's manual so that all personnel responsible for accepting and handling any cargo or packaged materials receive adequate training on the recognition of items classified as hazardous material.