FAA Examines Historical Flight Rules

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The FAA said on Tuesday it's ready to "reevaluate its policy" regarding the operation of historical aircraft for hire, and announced a series of public meetings on the topic. The meetings, which are open to the public, will be held June 26, 27, and 28 at FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C. The FAA said its current Living History Flight Experience policy, adopted in the mid-1990s, allows owner/operators of historic aircraft to sell passenger flights "as a way to generate funds needed to maintain and preserve these historically significant aircraft for future generations." However, the FAA said an "increasing number of requests [with a] clear market orientation" seek to operate types of aircraft, or offer various types of flight experiences, that aren't covered by the current policy.

At the public meeting, the FAA hopes to address a wide array of issues, such as whether replica, turbojet, and supersonic aircraft should be allowed to operate under the LHFE policy; should operators be allowed to modify single-seat aircraft to add a passenger seat; should "fitness standards" be set that operators must meet; should the FAA restrict or prohibit aerobatics and "aerial combat maneuvering" in LHFE operations; and more. The discussions will also address whether current operators should be "grandfathered" if the LFHE policy is modified. The complete FAA notice about the meeting is posted online.