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A site devoted to aviation law, safety and security.

February 11, 2004

FAA Announces Internet Public Meetings on Charity/Sightseeing NPRM

As discussed in earlier posts, rather than conduct open public meetings, the FAA has decided to hold Internet public meetings to obtain feedback on the Charity/Sightseeing NPRM. Although not an ideal forum, it may provide a greater opportunity for input from individuals and operators who might not otherwise have been able to participate in public meetings.

Access to the Internet public meeting begins February 23, 2004, at 9 a.m. EST and ends on March 5, 2004, at 4:30 p.m. EST. You may access the online public meeting here. Under the "View Docket/Comments" column, click once on "Enter Public Meeting." Follow the instructions to participate in the discussion.

In addition to submitting written comments to the proposed rule, the internet public meeting provides you with an additional opportunity to tell the FAA what you think of the proposed rule and how it will affect you. Take advantage of both opportunities and give the FAA constructive feedback regarding the impact this proposed rule will have on you personally and on the industry as a whole.

Posted by Greg

February 09, 2004

Drug and Alcohol Rules for Repair Stations Updated

On January 12, 2004, the FAA published new regulations, Antidrug and Alcohol Misuse Prevention Programs for Personnel Engaged in Specified Aviation Activities, amending the drug and alcohol rules for repair stations. The amendments become effective February 11, 2004.

To comply, repair stations need to contact their PMI and provide their 1) company name; 2) certificate number; 3) telephone number; 4) address where their records are kept; and 5) whether they have 50 or more safety-sensitive employees, or 49 or fewer safety-sensitive employees. The PMI will issue an amendment to the repair station's Operations Specifications using this information and the repair station will be responsible for compliance with the rule.

However, the final rule was ambiguous as to whether repair stations were also responsible for the compliance of their contractors. As drafted, the rule appeared to make repair stations responsible for the compliance of their contractors and subcontractors, whether certificated or not. In a follow up letter to the Aeronautical Repair Station Association, the FAA confirmed that a repair station is not responsible for ensuring that its contractors and subcontractors are included in the repair stations's prevention program. The FAA intends to publish a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking to clarify the issue of contractor/subcontractor compliance.

Posted by Greg

February 06, 2004

NTSB Receives "Clean" Bill of Health

Under the Accountability of Tax Dollars Act of 2002, the NTSB is annually required to submit audited financial statements to the Congress and Office of Management and Budget. The Inspector General for the Department of Transportation is charged with the audit oversight authority to review the NTSB's management, property management and business operations.

After reviewing the NTSB's 2003 financial statements, the IG agreed with the auditor's unqualified ("clean") opinion. Since this was the first year that the NTSB was required to sumit audited financial statements, the IG congratulated the Board for this achievement. Unfortunately, the IG's audit does not seem to address issues relating to staffing levels and processing times for accident investigations.

Due to budget constraints, the Board's inability to increase investigator staff levels has resulted in an increase in the number of cases per investigator. The time to complete an investigation has steadily increased over recent years and, often, the probable cause findings have not contained the investigative thoroughness they once did. Although the Board received a "clean" bill of health on its financials, the Board can definitely improve the health and performance of its investigative operations.

Posted by Greg

February 03, 2004

NBAA To Host ETOPS Summit

In response to the FAA's Proposed ETOPS Rule, the NBAA will host a meeting in Washington, DC on February 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the proposed ETOPS rule and identify areas for comment. Affected operators will then have until March 15, 2004 to submit comments to the proposed rule. This rule will affect Part 135 aircraft operators and limit their operations to within 180 minutes of an airport unless the FAA approves the operator for extended operations. If you would like to participate in the meeting and for location details, contact NBAA's Mike Nichols at mnichols@nbaa.org.

If you would like to submit comments directly to the FAA using their website, click here and then click the "submissions/comments" button at the top of the page. Or via U.S.Mail to: Document Management System, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room Plaza 401, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590-0001. You need to identify the docket number FAA-1999-6717 at the beginning of your comments, and submit two copies of your comments. Also, mark your envelope as follows: RE: Docket No. FAA-1999-6717; NPRM: 207-Minute Extended Range Operations with Two-Engine Aircraft (ETOPS).

Posted by Greg

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