The FAA recently issued Advisory Circular 120-91 “Airport Obstacle Analysis” for Part 121 and Part 135 commuter operators, to help them analyze takeoff procedures and allowable weights to guarantee adequate vertical and lateral obstacle clearance during one-engine-inoperative departures. The AC was issued in part, the FAA said, because aircraft flight manuals don’t address lateral clearance requirements.
Regulations and Government » Regulations
News about bills, laws and regulations affecting aviation and aerospace.
Changes to the FAA’s investigative and enforcement procedures (FAR Part 13) including inflation adjustments to civil monetary penalties–became effective June 15. The adjustments typically do not exceed 2 percent. The rule also includes references to additional and revised statutes.
Rules governing the construction of objects that could be an obstruction to safe aircraft operations might get a little more bite. Under proposed amendments to FAR Part 77 the obstruction standards for the so-called “imaginary surfaces” of airports would be revised, resulting in more structures that could be classified as obstructions.
The FAA has referred its civil penalty case against Platinum Jet Management to the U.S. Attorney General in the office of the Department of Justice for further action. Platinum Jet Management and the FAA last month apparently failed to reach a compromise agreement on the agency’s proposed July 2005 $1.86 million civil penalty against the company for allegedly operating numerous for-hire flights without an operating certificate.
Starting July 1, 2008, all airplanes operating internationally will need to carry at least one emergency locator transmitter (ELT), according to a proposed standard from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The FAA late last month adopted a 2004 notice of proposed rulemaking amending airman medical standards so that a refusal to submit to a required drug or alcohol test carries the same penalty as failure of a test–revocation or disqualification from holding an airman medical certificate. The same penalty awaits a pilot with an alcohol test result of an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater in a blood or breath specimen.
The FAA listed reasons why it believes that the 15-percent landing distance safety margin policy is needed:
After a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 ran off a snowy runway while landing at Chicago Midway Airport on December 8 last year, the FAA launched an internal audit of factors related to that accident. One result of that audit is a new FAA policy that imposes mandatory 15-percent landing distance safety margins on Part 91K (fractional), 125, 121 and 135 jet operators. The rule was published in the Federal Register on June 7.
The FAA has issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) to advise owners, operators and repair stations of aircraft equipped with the Rolls-Royce (formerly Allison) 250-C30, -C40 and -C47 series engines that a recent suspected unapproved parts investigation revealed that some combustion liners might have been modified with an unapproved metal alloy.
Investing in a new helicopter is not a decision to be made lightly–especially for a mom-and-pop operation working in a particularly volatile market sector. Helicopter tour firms have taken a big knock since 9/11 and, as the FAA and National Park Service implement “natural quiet” in the region, the Grand Canyon area of Nevada and Arizona will be subject to new, stricter noise rules and flight restrictions.