FAA, Groups Work On COVID Rule Relaxation

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The FAA has put all its COVID-19-related exemptions, policy deviations and various other pronouncements approved so far on a single webpage to help pilots, operators and maintenance organizations navigate the myriad time and personal-contact dependent regs that govern aviation enterprise. The agency has essentially thrown out the book that it normally throws at violators of the tightly governed system of checks and tests that rule participation in the industry. Friday’s list had 17 specific memos, exemptions and policy changes that will allow aircraft to fly while the virus battle is fought. It’s likely the list will be expanded as the agency has asked aviation organizations to point out possible exemptions. GA groups have sent a shortlist.

A letter signed by eight general aviation groups highlights seven regulatory requirements that are difficult or impossible to achieve during the current regime of physical distancing and FAA service curtailments and are necessary to keep everything from medevac flights to critical supply deliveries and even mosquito control operating. “The agency stated that a challenge to expand these regulatory approaches to other segments of the aviation industry that conduct operations in general aviation is the requirement to justify the exemption or accommodation by showing a benefit to the public,” the letter reads. “Our industry can easily show its important role to the U.S. and worldwide economy and an overall public benefit.”

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