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September 30, 2004

New Educational Resources For Pilots And Flight Instructors Available From FAA

In a Notice of availability published today in the Federal Register, the FAA released three new educational resources for pilots and flight instructors. The materials are the first in series of web-based training materials the FAA is publishing aimed at the operational needs of the general aviation community.

The new resources include Flight Instructor Training Module Volume 1: FAA/Industry Training Standards (FITS), System Safety Course Developers' Guide (part 1) and System Safety Course Developers' Guide (part 2). Although these first three resources are aimed specifically at flight instructors, the FAA encourages pilots to also use and review the materials.

For additional flight training resources published by the FAA, click here.

Posted by Greg

September 29, 2004

FAA Proposes New Advisory Circular For Part 23 Certification Of Airplanes And Airships

In today's Federal Register the FAA published a Notice of availability for proposed "Advisory Circular on Systems and Equipment Guide for Certification of Part 23 Airplanes and Airships" (AC 23-17B). This would replace and supercede the current AC 23-17A.

AC 23-17B sets forth guidance for complying with 14 CFR Part 23 for the certification of systems and equipment in normal, utility, acrobatic, and commuter category airplanes and airships. According to the Notice, the "advisory circular both consolidates existing policy documents, and certain advisory circulars that cover specific paragraphs of the regulations, into a single document and adds new guidance.

Comments are due not later than October 29, 2004 and should be submitted to Leslie B. Taylor, Federal Aviation Administration, Small Airplane Directorate, Regulations & Policy, ACE-111, 901 Locust Street, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4134; fax: 816-329-4090; e-mail: leslie.b.taylor.@faa.gov.

Posted by Greg

FAA Publishes Comments and Responses To Picture Identification Rule

Back on October 28, 2002, the FAA issued a final rule requiring all airman to carry a government issued picture ID along with their airman certificates. Although issued as a final rule without the typical advance comment period, the FAA did provide the opportunity for interested parties to submit comments to the final rule. The deadline for submitting comments was November 27, 2002.

In today's Federal Register, the FAA published its Disposition of Comments on Final Rule. Generally the comments were supportive of the rule as a cost-effective, expeditious means of enhancing aviation security. Some of the comments were critical of the rule and wanted the FAA to go further with airman certificates containing photo ID's and other biometric data. However, after reviewing all of the comments, the FAA felt that no additional rulemaking was required at this time.

Posted by Greg

September 28, 2004

FAA Extends NBAA Small Aircraft Exemption

The FAA has extended the National Business Aviation Association's (NBAA) Exemption 7897, as amended. The NBAA's Small Aircraft Exemption, as it is called by NBAA, has been in existence since 1994. The exemption allows NBAA Members to operate small civil airplanes and helicopters of U.S. registry under the operating rules of 14 CFR 91.503 through 91.535 and to select an inspection program as described in 14 CFR 91.409(f).

To take advantage of the exemption, the aircraft operator must be a NBAA member. Only those operations listed in 14 CFR 91.501(b) (1) through (7) and (9) may be conducted under the authority of the exemption. Additionally, an aircraft operator will need to select an inspection program under 14 CFR 91.409(f) and will need to provide certain information to its local FSDO. These and other conditions and limitations are contained in the letter extending the exemption. Copies of the letter extending the exemption and the Grant of Exemption are available for review here.

If an aircraft operator elects to operate under this exemption, it is suggested that a copy of the exemption and all related paperwork be carried on the aircraft. The extension extends the term of Exemption 7897 to September 30, 2006. For further information regarding the Exemption, check out the NBAA's website here.

Posted by Greg

September 27, 2004

ATC's Failure To Provide Notice Of Deviation Can Result In Sanction Waiver

In a recent National Transportation Safety Board decision, the Board reaffirmed the concept that ATC's failure to notify a pilot of an ATC deviation may entitle the pilot to a waiver of sanction. This case doesn't remove a finding that a pilot has violated a Federal Aviation Regulation ("FAR"), but it does extend the waiver of sanction in some circumstances where the pilot might not otherwise know that filing an Aviation Safety Reporting System ("ASRS") report may be prudent. For more information, please read my new article discussing the case here.

Posted by Greg

September 21, 2004

Airman Operating Aircraft After Revocation Of Airman Certificate Subject To Civil Penalty

The NTSB recently upheld a civil penalty against an airman who was caught flying after his airman certificate was revoked. In Administrator v. Broff, the FAA imposed a $2,000.00 civil penalty against Mr. Broff for violating FAR 61.3(a) when he operated five flights (three of them carrying a passenger) without an airman certificate. Mr. Broff's airman certificate was previously revoked by the FAA for reasons not provided in the opinion.

Apparently Mr. Broff flew a passenger from Saint Maarteen, Netherland Antilles to Kingston, Jamaica to Fresh Creek, Bahamas, to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Fort Lauderdale, FL. When he arrived in Florida, he instructed his passenger to complete the required Customs forms and to indicate that the passenger was the pilot in command of the aircraft. Mr. Broff then flew two more flights in Florida.

When the FAA caught up with him, Mr. Broff claimed that his passenger was the actual pilot in command on the first three flights and also claimed that he had another pilot with him for the last two flights (although he wouldn't identify that pilot). Neither the FAA nor the administrative law judge bought his story and a $2,000.00 civil penalty was assessed against Mr. Broff.

The moral of the story is that the FAA is able to enforce the FAR's against a pilot even after his or her certificates have been revoked. Once the airman certificates are gone, the FAA will go after the former airman's pocketbook. Best to obey the regulations and protect your privilege of flying aircraft.

Posted by Greg

September 20, 2004

FAA Publishes Interim Final Rule On Alien Flight Training

The FAA today published its Interim Final Rule on alien flight training. The interim rule is effective today. Flight schools providing instruction in aircraft weighing in excess of 12,500 lbs. must comply with the rule by October 5, 2004. Flight schools providing instruction in aircraft weighing 12,500 lbs. or less must comply with the rule by October 20, 2004.

The interim rule transfers the responsibility of background checks on aliens seeking flight training from the Department of Justice to the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration. Ground training and demonstration flights are not covered by the interim final rule. The interim rule also exempts recurrent training from fingerprinting and security threat assessment requirements. Any flight school subject to this interim rule should review the rule in its entirety to ensure that it is familiar with the compliance requirements.

Comments are due no later than October 20, 2004 and may be submitted by mail, fax or in person to Docket Management System, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room Plaza 401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001; Fax: (202) 493-2251 or online at http://dms.dot.gov or through the federal rulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

Posted by Greg

September 17, 2004

FAA Extends Comment Period For Proposed Modifications To The Airport Improvement Program's Grant Assurances

The FAA published an Extension of Comment Period today in the Federal Register extending the comment period from September 23, 2004 to November 8, 2004 for submission of comments to the proposed modifications to the Airport Improvement Program's grant assurances. The proposed modifications were discussed in my August 26, 2004 post.

Apparently multiple parties asked the FAA to extend the comment period by either 45 or 60 days arguing that "an extension is necessary due to the impact of the grant assurances on airport costs and operating efficiency". In granting the 45-day extension, the FAA felt that 45 days "allows adequate time for interested persons to submit comments without significantly delaying the implementation of the grant assurances."

Comments may be mailed or delivered to the FAA, Airports Financial Assistance Division, APP-500, Attn: Mr. Kendall Ball, Room 619, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591.

Posted by Greg

September 02, 2004

IBAC To Propose International Regulation Of Fractional Operations

According to an AIN Online Article, the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) intends to propose standardization of international regulations governing fractional ownership operations at the upcoming International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) meeting in Montreal. This could spell trouble for U.S. fractional programs.

Currently, the U.S. does not consider fractional operations to be commercial operations. However, many European countries are moving in the direction of treating fractional operations as commercial operations. If fractional operations were classified as commercial operations, fractional operators would be severely restricted in their international operations by the existing cabotage regulations.

Under the existing regulations, a private operator (including fractional operators as they are currently classified) can make multiple stops within a foreign country where foreign nationals of that country are carried between two points within the foreign country without violating the cabotage regulations. However, if fractional operations are characterized as commercial operations, fractional operators would be faced with the lengthy processes of obtaining an entry permit for each visit to a foreign country and the FAA would have to provide an aircraft operating certificate for each U.S. aircraft likely to be used overseas, in order to avoid violations of the cabotage regulations.

You can expect some serious lobbying by the fractional operators and by business aviation organizations such as NBAA. For more information, the IBAC has published a working paper on the subject that can be obtained online here.

Posted by Greg

September 01, 2004

TSA To Test "Secure Flight" Passenger Screening Program

In a Press Release dated August 26, 2004, the TSA announced that it will begin testing its new passenger-screening program designated "Secure Flight". This program replaces the reviewed and rejected CAPPS II (Computer-Assisted Passenger Prescreening System) program.

Currently, the individual airlines are responsible for cross-checking passenger lists against terrorist watch lists. Under the new program, "TSA will take over responsibility for comparing Passenger Name Record (PNR) information of domestic air passengers to a greatly expanded list of known or suspected terrorists in the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) database." U.S. Customs and Border will continue to check passengers on international flights against the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS).

TSA hopes that "Secure Flight will help move passengers through airport screening more quickly and reduce the number of individuals selected for secondary screening while fully protecting passengers' privacy and civil liberties."

Testing will begin within the next 30 to 60 days and TSA expects the testing to be completed by year's end. Completion of testing will be followed by publication of a final Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

Posted by Greg

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