Part 135 flight and duty regulations are not yet on the front burner of aviation rulemaking, John Duncan, deputy director of FAA Flight Standards Services, told attendees at the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) safety symposium last month. The agency has a full plate writing new regulations because of congressional mandates included in the “Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act of 2010.”
Changes and amendments to FAA Operations Specifications (OpSpecs) often serve as a proxy for agency rulemaking or regulation, thus bypassing prescribed channels, according to a government-industry rulemaking committee.
The Consistency of Regulatory Interpretation (CRI) Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) found that the proliferation of OpSpecs creates inconsistent application and confusion among operators. To address this confusion, the committee recommended that the FAA periodically review the reasons for each OpSpecs paragraph.
The FAA has determined that its December 2011 rulemaking on pilot flight duty and rest requirements for Part 121 passenger carriers was correct in excluding all-cargo operators from the stricter rules.
The public is invited to the FAA’s aviation rulemaking advisory committee meeting on December 6 beginning at 1 p.m. at the agency’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. The meeting’s agenda includes recommendations from working groups such as those covering rulemaking prioritization, airmen testing standards and training, flight controls harmonization and airworthiness assurance. More information is available from the FAA’s Renee Butner at (202) 267-5093, or via e-mail at Renee.Butner@faa.gov.
Last week the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (Arsa) submitted its comments on the FAA’s rewrite of the federal regulation governing repair stations, urging the FAA to issue a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking that incorporates the substantive comments made by the association and other interested parties that will help the agency more ably meet industry needs and maintain the highest standards of safety
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is asking repair station operators to participate in a survey about the impact that complying with the FAA’s Part 145 repair station NPRM will have on their business.
“The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (Arsa) has been quite clear…it does not see the need for security rules at contract repair stations,” Edward Wytkind, president of U.S. trade union the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department, wrote in a letter to Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
“Decision errors in aviation are typically not slips or lapses, but mistakes,” concludes the introduction to the European Helicopter Safety Implementation Team’s new guide to rotorcraft decision making. “In other words, the problem doesn’t lie with a failure to execute a correct decision, but with making a poor decision in the first instance.”
The FAA has added 90 days to the comment period for the agency’s rewrite of Part 145 rules, moving the date to November 19. The change, which was posted in the U.S. Federal Register on August 17, comes in response to a letter from the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (Arsa) and other aviation industry associations requesting more time to comment.
The FAA has extended until June 4 the period to submit “clarifying questions” about the final rule that amends the existing flight, duty and rest regulations applicable to certificate holders and their flight crewmembers. In the rule, the FAA created a new Part 117, which replaces the existing flight, duty and rest regulations contained in Part 121 Subparts Q, R and S. As part of this rulemaking, the FAA also applied the new Part 117 to certain Part 91 operations.