The FAA now expects to publish the final rule on FAR Part 91 Subpart K by the end of this year, with implementation to follow in late 2003. The subpart will regulate fractional ownership operations and make some modifications to Part 135.
The notice of proposed rulemaking was issued in mid-July last year and its 90-day comment period closed in mid-October. The FAA received more than 200 responses, the vast majority of which supported Part 91 Subpart K in its entirety.
Most of the negative comments came from groups that were not part of the Fractional Ownership Aviation Rulemaking Committee (FOARC), the joint FAA-industry task force that developed the recommendations upon which the NPRM was based. These included objections from a fractional program pilots’ union, a group representing airline dispatchers, a union that represents FAA safety inspectors and some airport operators.
The FAA generally agreed with the FOARC that the recommendations in the proposed rule would satisfy the agency’s own concerns regarding shareowners’ and fractional- ownership program managers’ accountability and responsibility for compliance with regulations.
FAA has said it intends to implement the proposed rule within a 15-month compliance period using a phase-in schedule. This would allow continued operations under the existing Part 91 while incrementally transitioning to the new regulatory requirements. A 30- to 60-day training period for FAA employees would follow adoption of the final rule.