...And Regulatory Rewrites

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Now that the new fractional-operations rules have a fork sticking from them, naturally the FAA has launched yet another major regulatory review: the Part 135/125 Aviation Rulemaking Committee. This undertaking, for which the Fractional Ownership Aviation Rulemaking Committee was but the opening act, began last summer and has met once more since then. Still, there are many more meetings -- and, perhaps, years -- to go before this rulemaking committee files its final recommendations. Meanwhile, air tour operators and charitable organizations in danger of being regulated out of existence by the FAA will be fortunate to even get face time with the agency. Recently, the FAA said it would conduct a virtual meeting with parties interested in the kind of casual sightseeing operations the proposed rules target but so far has refrained from consenting to a large, in-person meeting of the kind it grants to charter and frax operators and to the repair-station crowd. The agency has agreed to extend the comment period deadline from Jan. 20, 2004, to April 19, 2004 -- but that's the least it could do.

And so 2004 is off and running. Stay tuned ...