The FAA is extending NBAA’s “Small Aircraft Exemption” through March 31 next year. The extension, granted on March 20, continues an exemption that has been in place since 1972. But this year’s extension is for only one year; in many of the past years the FAA granted two-year extensions. Further, NBAA said the FAA is exploring the possibility of removing certain limitations for operations conducted outside the U.S.
The exemption, 7897G, permits operators of piston aircraft, small airplanes and helicopters to use certain cost-sharing options contained within Part 91 Subpart F of the Federal Aviation Regulations. NBAA cites as examples the carriage of a guest aboard a company aircraft or the use of an aircraft by a subsidiary company. It also covers time-sharing, interchange and joint-ownership agreements, and it permits certain alternative maintenance options.
Part 91 Subpart F otherwise would limit the cost-sharing options to use of aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds, multi-engine jets (no size limitations) or aircraft used in fractional programs (again, no size limitations). The exemption does not apply to use of aircraft under Part 135 or in fractional programs. And, it applies only to NBAA members.
Noting that many small aircraft fly to international destinations, NBAA has asked the FAA to remove limitations on the use of the exemption for operations outside the U.S. The agency is reviewing whether such a move would comply with International Civil Aviation Organization standards, NBAA said.
The exemption was last extended in 2013 for two years. While most of the exemptions have covered two years, not all have. In 2012 the FAA granted a one-year exemption. But NBAA was not as concerned about the one- or two-year differential, saying the FAA has supported its continuation over the years and has even moved to provide a little more flexibility.
“NBAA is pleased that the FAA continues to recognize the importance of this tool to NBAA member business aircraft owners seeking to maximize the efficiency and usability of a small aircraft,” said Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president of regulatory and international affairs.
The exemption originally carried the designation 1637 but in 2002, after it had reached the designation 1637U, the FAA switched to the new number.