In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget this week, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) requested the agency's intervention to ensure that the new FAA policy requiring landing performance assessments before landing, including a new requirement for a mandatory 15-percent margin, for fractional and charter jets complies with all statutory requirements.
For the time being, air-taxi and fractional jet operators will not be required to add a 15-percent safety margin to actual landing distance as described in a June FAA policy notice and an impending OpSpec. Trade groups had argued that since the policy notice was to become a requirement, the FAA is obligated to follow the rulemaking process, including, an initial notice of proposed rulemaking asking for comments.
According to a DOT report last month on significant rulemakings, the FAA is not expected to complete until January its work on a November 2003 proposal to require all air-tour operators to be certified under either Part 135 or 121. It is likely that the significant number of objections the FAA received from the public and members of Congress is responsible for the delays the proposal has encountered.
Repair stations would be required to establish a quality-rating program under a notice of proposed rulemaking the FAA expects to publish next month. The new rules would revise the current ratings system and require shops to “establish a quality program.” Repair stations would be required to maintain a capability list, designate a chief inspector and have permanent housing for facilities, equipment, materials and personnel.
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