The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) yesterday that would regulate “air charter brokers.” The agency says it is undertaking this action “to protect consumers, ensuring that consumers of single-entity charter air transportation have adequate information about the operator of chartered aircraft and enumerating certain prohibited unfair and deceptive practices by air taxis and commuter air carriers.”
August 2 is the implementation date for the new Part 121 regulation that requires all cockpit crewmembers to hold a Part 61-issued ATP certificate. That also means those airmen must have a first-class medical certificate if they intend to exercise the privileges of that ATP certificate. The FAA emphasizes that P.L. 111-216 does not include any grandfathering provisions for current flight-crew members who currently hold commercial pilot certificates.
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.”
The Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (IG) announced on January 23 that it is initiating an audit of the FAA’s ADS-B “information security controls.” While some concerns about insecurity of ADS-B signals have surfaced, it is not known if these concerns drove the decision to require the audit. The audit itself stems from a requirement in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.
Awash with negative comments regarding its proposed air carrier contract maintenance requirements rules, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has extended the original February 11 comment period to March 13. The proposed rule would change the maintenance regulations for domestic, flag and supplemental operations, and commuter and on-demand operations for aircraft type certified with 10 or more passenger seats (excluding any pilot seat).
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.
At the request of Congress, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general’s (IG) office has launched an audit into FAA efforts to improve the safety of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) operations. The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in 2009–but never a final rule–to address HEMS safety concerns and the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 requires that the FAA take specific actions to improve HEMS safety, including promotion of the use of night-vision goggles.
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.
A government-industry aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) that addressed inconsistency in regulatory interpretations issued its final report to the FAA on Friday. It concludes that the agency’s Flight Standards Service (AFS) and Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) offices should review all guidance documents and interpretations to identify and cancel outdated material, and cross-reference material to the applicable rule.
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.