Changing The Rules

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Parts 125, 135 Reviewed...

The FAA says it's time for its charter regulations to catch up with the times. The agency issued a notice Monday that it's doing a wholesale review of FAR Parts 125 and 135. "Industry dynamics, new technologies, new aircraft types and configurations and current operating issues and environment mandate a comprehensive review and rewrite of Parts 135 and 125," said the notice, which appeared in the Federal Register. Among the more pressing issues prompting the review are the new types of aircraft and technologies that can be applied to operations under those parts. For instance, the notice specifically mentions airships and powered-lift aircraft as types that don't get the attention they deserve in the current regs. It will also look at certain types of payload and passenger capacity mods on large aircraft and, in general, make the rules reflect the technology and equipment available in the 21st century. Harmonization with the regs in other countries and the International Civil Aviation Organization is also a component of the review.

...With A Committee To Oversee The Process...

The FAA will establish a part 135/125 Aviation Rulemaking Committee to conduct this regulatory review and make recommendations as necessary. The committee will act only in an advisory capacity and make recommendations to the FAA "to assist the agency in establishing a regulatory framework that will address industry trends and dynamics and issues, and to enhance safety in this segment of the industry." The steering committee will be made up of about 25 members representing all facets of the aviation industry, including aviation associations, industry representatives, employee groups and various government agencies. Want to join this committee? You can apply, but be aware the FAA will give priority "to those applicants representing an identified part of the aviation community who are empowered to speak for those interests." And you won't be paid for your time, either.

NOTE: See the Federal Register for the full text of the notice as published.

...And The 12-5 Compliance Deadline Is Extended

Another set of rules concerning business aviation is taking effect as well, this time for the benefit of charter operators. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has advised industry groups the compliance deadline for the so-called Twelve-Five Security Program has been moved back to April 1, 2003. The deadline was relaxed after it became clear that many Part 135 operators would not be able to fulfill all requirements of the rule by the original deadline of February 1, 2003, and that the TSA hasn't finished designing a training program required under the plan. Industry reaction to the extension was mixed, as NATA applauded the extension yet made clear its disappointment with the TSA's management, who "did not recognize these problems weeks ago and issue a revision on a more timely basis." The NBAA merely notified its members of the change and offers a download of the official notifications for both the Twelve-Five Standard Security Program and the Private Charter Standard Security Program, both available as an Adobe PDF document.