The FAA has extended the implementation deadline for the Handbook Bulletin for Airworthiness, 04-06D to August 31.
Originally issued in August last year, the Handbook Bulletin addresses aircraft configuration and maintenance programs for aircraft operated under Part 135. The FAA had extended the original deadline of September 30 last year until the end of this month. The FAA has said that the additional delay is to allow the agency more time to review industry comments and to evaluate alternative solutions.
To meet a nine or fewer passenger-seat configuration standard, many operators have placarded or otherwise blocked certain seats to make them unusable. These aircraft are then generally maintained under 135.411(a)(1) requirements. The new guidance requires the physical removal of these seats or a switch to the 135.411(a)(2) maintenance program, which requires most operators to obtain a costly STC for seat removal. Under this new policy, using a placard to make a seat unusable, even if previously approved by the FAA, would not be acceptable.