The OQ2 working group has developed audit protocols that address most issues that industry and agency personnel had with the current OQ rule. The protocols can be downloaded from RCP’s website here through the DOT Gateway. There are a couple of issues (training requirements under OQ, and OQ requalification intervals) that cannot be addressed to NTSB’s satisfaction under the current rule. To resolve these remaining issues, OPS intends to issue an Amended Final Rule sometime in August or September. The amended rule should go final by November, which will allow the NTSB to close out it’s recommendations concerning these issues as “satisfactory”. Industry personnel are working closely with agency personnel on the contents of the Amended Final Rule, which should minimize the need for comments or revisions during the rulemaking process.
Meanwhile, ASME is working on a national consensus standard for OQ, which should be finalized in 2004. This standard, once finalized, will likely be incorporated into the OQ rule.