Onerous Air-tour Proposal Further Delayed
According to a recent DOT report on significant rulemakings, the FAA is not expected to complete its work on a November 2003 proposal that would require all air-tour operators to be certified under Part 135 or 121. The original deadline for certification was to have been next January. Publication of final rules is not anticipated until July next year. The rules would eliminate local sightseeing flights now conducted under Part 91 and impose strict new operational limitations and equipment requirements on tour operators. "It is very likely that the significant number of reasoned objections from associations, individual operators and members of Congress is directly responsible for the delays the NPRM has encountered," said the National Air Transportation Association. NATA, among many others, had "serious concerns" with what it alleges to be the FAA's "inability to justify the economic impact and safety need" of the rules. It is now unclear whether the FAA will publish a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking before the final rules.