Frax regs ready for OMB signoff

 - October 16, 2007, 7:33 AM

FAR Part 91 Subpart K, which will regulate fractional-ownership operations, has finally moved out of Transportation Department final review and on to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final scrutiny.

The OMB has up to 90 days to complete its analysis, although longer evaluations have occurred. But NBAA said the DOT expects a final decision from the OMB around June 4 because the OMB should have minimal concern with the rule since initial economic analysis indicates a positive economic effect on the community. It would then be published as a final rule, after which the FAA intends to phase it in within a 15-month compliance schedule.

Part 91 Subpart K was stuck at the DOT for six months after former FAA acting Administrator Monte Belger signed off on it in September for what was supposed to be a 90-day perusal at the DOT. The fractional-ownership regulations, which also revise some on-demand air-taxi regulations, were strongly supported by former FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, whose tenure with the agency ended in August, and Belger, who retired in September. With neither around to push for quicker action, it languished in the Transportation Department before finally receiving a positive review.

“I couldn’t be more pleased that Subpart K continues to move forward,” said Jim Christiansen, who served as chairman of the Fractional Ownership Aviation Rulemaking Committee (FOARC), the government-industry working group that developed the proposed rules. “Industry leaders in both fractional-ownership and on-demand commercial operations invested hundreds of man-hours to participate in a brand-new rulemaking process with the FAA.”

Christiansen is a former chairman of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) board of directors and current chairman of its Fractional Aircraft Business Council. NATA has already pledged the council’s help to the FAA to educate the industry about the new requirements and to develop training and guidance documents.

The new rule was created thr-ough a process known as an Aviation Rulemaking Committee to address oversight and safety regulation needs for the rapidly growing fractional-ownership market. After the FOARC was formed in late 1999, it developed a set of proposed regulations and submitted them to the FAA in February 2000.
The recommendations were largely accepted by the FAA and published as a notice of proposed rulemaking in July 2001. Following a public comment period, the FAA developed the final rule, which was signed by Belger last September.