...Less-Costly Alternatives Are Available, SBA Says

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The SBA concluded that the FAA needs to start over, and try harder to clarify its reasoning and support its assertions with solid data. The SBA suggested a few alternatives that the FAA should consider, such as requiring Part 91 operators who conduct sightseeing flights to report insurance coverage to the local FSDO. That would achieve the FAA's goal at much lower cost to the operators than the current proposal, the SBA said. The FAA should also take into account regional differences, for example, higher accident rates in Alaska, as well as differences in helicopter and airplane accident rates, rather than analyzing them all together. The SBA concluded that the FAA should conduct additional research and outreach to identify affected small operators, allow the industry to participate more fully in the development of the rule, determine the potential economic impacts of the rule, and identify less-burdensome alternatives.