New Helicopter Rules Pushed Back A Year

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The FAA has delayed for a year the implementation of much of its revision of rules governing helicopter operations to allow operators, and itself, time to adopt the many changes. The final rule was published Feb. 21 and was to take effect on Tuesday but it was apparently too soon for all involved. "Since the publication of the rule, it has become evident that this effective date does not allow certificate holders sufficient time to complete all the necessary steps to implement the new rule," the postponement rule says. However, a little farther down, the FAA admits it isn't ready either. 

"In addition, the FAA has determined that the April 22, 2014 effective date does not provide sufficient time for the FAA or the regulated community to implement the other operational rules which are currently scheduled to take effect on that date," the new rule says.  Some of the rules were already delayed and they won't be delayed any further. The FAA says it will have the time to get ready for them so the operators will be expected to, also. Most of those cover the most expensive compliance measures, including the installation of avionics, emergency equipment and the creation of operations control centers, all of which will have to be in place between over the next four years.