Compliance Countdown: September 2013

 - October 5, 2013, 3:30 AM

Within Six Months

Oct. 15, 2013:

Extension of Comment Period on Use of Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS) and Pilot View Requirements for Vision Systems

This action extends the comment period for a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that was published on June 11, 2013. In that document, the FAA proposed to permit operators to use an EFVS in lieu of natural vision to continue descending from 100 feet above runway touchdown zone elevation and land on certain straight-in instrument approach procedures under instrument flight rules. This rule would also permit certain operators using EFVS-equipped aircraft to dispatch, release or take off under IFR, and to initiate and continue an approach, when the destination airport weather is below authorized visibility minimums for the runway of intended landing.

Because of the technical complexity of the NPRM, Dassault Aviation requested that the FAA extend the comment period to Oct. 15, 2013, to allow time to adequately analyze the NPRM and provide meaningful comments. The comment period was originally scheduled to close Sept. 9, 2013.

Pilot training, recent flight experience and proficiency would be required for operators who use EFVS in lieu of natural vision to descend below decision altitude, decision height or minimum descent altitude. EFVS-equipped aircraft conducting operations to touchdown and rollout would be required to meet additional airworthiness requirements. This rule would also revise pilot compartment view certification requirements for all vision systems.

Oct. 15, 2013:

Certified Flight Instructor Flight Reviews; Recent Pilot-in-Command Experience; Airmen Online Services

This direct final rule permits an airman who passes a practical test for issuance of a flight instructor certificate, a practical test for the addition of a rating to a flight instructor certificate, a practical test for renewal of a flight instructor certificate or a practical test for the reinstatement of a flight instructor certificate to meet the 24-calendar-month flight review requirements.

This rule also clarifies that the generally applicable recent flight experience requirements do not apply to a pilot-in-command who is employed by a commuter or on-demand operator if the pilot-in-command is in compliance with the specific pilot-in-command qualifications and recent experience requirements for that commuter or on-demand operator. Finally, this rule permits replacement airman and medical certificates to be requested online, or by any other method acceptable to the Administrator. These changes relieve regulatory burdens and clarify existing regulations. The effective date is Nov. 15, 2013.

The FAA is requesting comments on or before Oct. 16, 2013. If the agency receives an adverse comment or notice of intent to file an adverse comment, it will advise the public by publishing a document in the Federal Register before the effective date of this direct final rule. The document may withdraw the direct final rule in whole or in part.

Jan. 14, 2014:

Flight Crewmember Duty and Rest Requirements

This final rule amends the FAA’s existing flight, duty and rest regulations applicable to certificate holders operating under domestic, flag and supplemental operations rules. The new requirements eliminate the current distinctions among domestic, flag and supplemental passenger operations and are based on time of day, whether an individual is acclimated to a new time zone and the likelihood of being able to sleep under different circumstances. This rule places a joint responsibility on the certificate holder and each flight crewmember to report for a flight duty period (FDP) properly rested. For the crewmember to report properly rested, the certificate holder must provide the crewmember with a meaningful rest opportunity that will allow the crewmember to get the proper amount of sleep. Likewise, the crewmember bears the responsibility of actually sleeping. A pilot who reports for duty without being properly rested is prohibited from beginning or continuing an FDP until he or she is properly rested.

Within 12 Months

July 4, 2014:

Taws Equipage for Canadian Aircraft with Six or More Passenger Seats

Transport Canada (TC) announced on July 4, 2012, new regulations that would improve safety for small aircraft that fly into remote wilderness or mountainous areas where the danger of flying into terrain is highest. Under the new regulations, commercial operators will have to install a terrain awareness and warning system (Taws) in turbine-powered airplanes with six or more passenger seats. Operators will have two years from implementation to equip their airplanes with Taws. The regulations comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s standards and bring Canadian regulations close to those of other aviation authorities, including the U.S. and European Union. Canada’s TSB also recommended the wider use of Taws to help pilots assess their proximity to terrain. Operators will have five years to equip with an enhanced altitude accuracy function.

Beyond 12 Months

Jan. 1, 2017:

European Union Tcas Version 7.1 Rule

The FAA has published an Information for Operators regarding an EU mandate that certain operators use the latest version 7.1 of the traffic alert and collision avoidance system (Tcas II) software. Although the International Civil Aviation Organization does not require that version 7.1 software be installed for international flights in new and existing aircraft until Jan. 1, 2014, and Jan. 1, 2017, respectively, the EU mandated that all aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of more than 12,500 pounds or with an authorized capacity to carry 19 passengers have the upgrade installed by March 1 this year. However, aircraft with Tcas II version 7.0 that were certified before March 1 this year have an extended deadline of Dec. 1, 2015, to comply with the mandate. The FAA recommends that operators of aircraft with Tcas II installed and that plan on operating in EU airspace need to ensure that version 7.1 software is installed to comply with the EU implementing rule.