The FAA’s September 26 approval of a half dozen exemptions for some TV and film production companies to operate unmanned aerial systems (UAS) stopped just short of complete approval of those operations in the national airspace system. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the UAS to be used in the proposed operations do not need an FAA-issued certificate of airworthiness because they do not pose a threat to national airspace users or national security.
Civil aviation authorities
The task force set up in early August by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to assess risks to aircraft operating in conflict zones has defined a work program with two immediate objectives.
The FAA granted the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority category-one safety status last week after conducting inspections to ICAO standards of the country’s aviation infrastructure and regulatory framework. The new status will allow Ethiopian carriers direct access to the U.S. from Africa.
The FAA Van Nuys FSDO has named Dukes Aerospace of Northridge, Calif., in an Unapproved Parts Notification advising “all aircraft owners, operators, manufacturers, maintenance organizations, and parts suppliers and distributors regarding improper maintenance performed on aircraft components.”
The FAA extended until October 6 the comment period for its proposal to clarify the agency’s policy that hangars are to be used only for storage or maintenance of aircraft. Compliance inspections have found that some hangars are “routinely used” to store vehicles and large household items. “In some cases, this storage interferes with, or entirely displaces, aeronautical use of the hangar,” the FAA said.
Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), father of the original Pilot’s Bill of Rights (PBOR), is proposing some amendments and additions to his original law. According to a press release issued by the senator’s office at the end of June, “[T]he first Pilot’s Bill of Rights was a victory for the aviation community and made possible by the support of pilots and industry leaders across the nation.
Constant Aviation has received Mexican Civil Aviation Authority endorsement as an approved aircraft maintenance organization at its Las Vegas facility. “With the proximity of our Las Vegas location to Mexico, we had a significant number of maintenance requests from operators of Mexican-registered aircraft. These requests solidified our goal to secure the DGAC endorsement,” said Kevin Dillon, vice president of operations.
The FAA announced it will formally re-examine the certification standards for helicopters under FAR Parts 27 and 29. Currently Part 27 helicopters must weigh 7,000 pounds or less and have no more than nine passenger seats. Helicopters that weigh more than 7,000 pounds and have 10 or more seats fall under the more stringent Part 29.
The FAA has issued amended repair station regulations that allow the agency to deny an application for a new repair station certificate if the applicant or certain associated key individuals had materially contributed to the circumstances that caused a previous repair station certificate revocation action. The rule also adds a new section prohibiting fraudulent or intentionally false entries or omissions of material facts in any application, record or report made under the repair station rules.
The FAA plans to formally reexamine the certification standards for helicopters under Parts 27 and 29 of the FARs, the agency announced. Currently, Part 27 helicopters must weigh 7,000 pounds or less and have nine or fewer passenger seats. Helicopters that weigh more than 7,000 pounds and have 10 or more seats fall under the more stringent Part 29 rules.
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