Compliance Countdown: March 2014

 - March 6, 2014, 2:10 AM

Within Six Months

March 3, 2014:

Policy and Procedures Concerning the Use of Airport Revenue; Proceeds from Taxes on Aviation Fuel

To provide the public with more time to submit comments on the use of taxes levied on aviation fuel, the FAA is extending the public comment period for 30 days. Under federal law, airport operators that have accepted federal assistance may use airport revenues only for airport-related purposes. The revenue-use requirements apply to certain state and local taxes on aviation fuel as well as revenues received directly by an airport operator. An airport operator or state government submitting an application under the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) must provide assurance that revenues from state and local government taxes on aviation fuel are used for certain aviation-related purposes. These include airport capital and operating costs and state aviation programs. In view of the interests of sellers and consumers of aviation fuel, and of state and local government taxing authorities, in limits on use of proceeds from taxes touching aviation fuel, this notice solicits public comments on the proposed policy clarification. This notice also solicits comments about whether there are other reasonable interpretations regarding local taxes.

The FAA said comments received after March 3, 2014, “will be considered only to the extent possible.” [Docket No. FAA-2013-0988]

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.