FAA Updates Guidance for EFVS Operations

 - May 9, 2022, 11:07 AM
An update to the FAA's previously published 2018 advisory circular, providing regulatory guidance for operators to obtain approval for using enhanced flight vision systems—such as Dassault's FalconEye Combined Vision System—clarifies the regulatory requirements for operators to meet the enhanced flight visibility requirement “the entire way to the runway and through rollout.” (Photo: Dassault Aviation)

The FAA has issued an update of its previously published 2018 advisory circular (AC) that provides regulatory guidance for operators to obtain approval for using enhanced flight vision systems (EFVS) to fly instrument approaches to 100 feet above the touchdown zone elevation. 

Changes clarify the regulatory requirements for operators to meet the enhanced flight visibility requirement “the entire way to the runway and through rollout,” not just to 100 feet above the touchdown zone elevation. A figure illustrating this requirement has also been modified.

In addition, the AC clarifies the means for obtaining an EFVS authorization, developing an EFVS training curriculum, and using EFVS “operational credit.” The latter refers to the portion of flight visibility prescribed by the instrument approach being flown that is satisfied by the enhanced image provided by the EFVS.

Other guidance provided in the circular are the various approval authorizations applicable to each specific operating flight regulation: Part 91, 91K, 135, 121, and 125. The FAA notes this information is applicable only to fixed-wing aircraft because airworthiness criteria, procedures, and specific authorizations have not been developed to support rotorcraft EFVS operations.

The AC also cautions that it does not provide information for the use of an EFVS for situational awareness during other aircraft operations such as taxi, takeoff, or approach operations that do not require its use. Nor does its contents necessarily apply to conducting EFVS operations outside the U.S. Specific policies and procedures related to EFVS operations may be published in a country's aeronautical information publications or ICAO's manual of all-weather operations.

“We have made every attempt to write EFVS regulations that are performance-based and not limited to a specific sensor technology,” concludes the AC. “The regulations accommodate future growth in real-time sensor technologies used in most EFVSs and maximize the benefits of rapidly evolving instrument approach procedures and advanced flight deck technology to increase safety and access during low-visibility operations.”