Part 135 duty regs still under study

 - September 20, 2006, 12:02 PM

The FAA is reviewing Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC)-recommended revisions to the FAR Part 125/135 rulebook. The industry representatives turned over the recommendations–including possible changes to flight- and duty-time regulations–late last year.

“Basically, we are still dealing with going through the ARC recommendations,” said an FAA spokeswoman. “It’s a major rewrite. We are moving the project forward, but there are a lot of issues that the FAA is actively dealing with.”

The ARC met for more than two years to help the FAA revise flight- and duty-time regulations. Regulation of flight and duty time was among the 200 issues the committee tackled, and it proved to be one of the more complicated issues.

Current regulations define only two types of pilot status–duty and rest. As a result, neither the pilot nor the operator really knows what the pilot’s status is when the pilot is done with rest but has not yet received the next duty assignment.

The revisions were aimed primarily at Part 135 operations, prompted mostly by changes in the industry since Part 135 was written in the mid-1960s. The ARC also suggested some related changes to Part 125 and Part 91 and considered regulations that will affect the soon-to-emerge very light jet segment of the market.

According to Kathy Perfetti, the FAA national resource specialist for Part 135 and fractional ownership, there have been a couple of rulemaking efforts in the past to revise the flight- and duty-time regulations, and there are a large number of interpretations on the books for both Part 121 and Part 135.

In the past, efforts to revise the flight- and duty-time regulations have focused primarily on Part 121. The latest ARC effort examined the issues purely from a Part 135 standpoint.