Ever-increasing diversity of civilian aircraft inventory and continued technological advancements in aircraft materials, aircraft flight control equipment, testing equipment, and software methodologies are impacting aircraft inspection and maintenance practices. Current procedures deal mainly with issues related to structural and electrical or electronic integrity to assure continued airworthiness of operational aircraft. Techniques and methodologies for these are widely available, and training needs are well defined. Advances in technology, however, are yielding new and different aircraft, which require more sophisticated electronic instruments for navigation and control.A major issue is the continued reliability and airworthiness of avionics and development of adequate safeguards for these aircraft. Built-in test equipment, maintenance across terminals, and data bases defining inspection needs that are based on operational data, and software integrity, are also rapidly becoming important considerations in aircraft maintenance. In this era of declining funds and personnel resources, a cost-effective approach requires a fresh look at all phases of the current inspection and maintenance practices, including oversight and management. This paper provides a perspective on issues and challenges facing a civilian regulatory agency, specifically, the aircraft maintenance division in the FAA.