New Rules for Air-tour Operators Move Closer
Controversial FAA regulations that would impose numerous new requirements on air-tour operators are one step closer to publication. The rulemaking, proposed in October 2003, is now under review at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OMB’s review and approval is the last step before the FAA can publish the regulations as a final rule. If the rules are adopted, commercial air-tour operators that are currently permitted to operate under Part 91 (those that fly within 25 miles nonstop to and from the same airport) will have to become certified under Part 135 or 121. Also, all commercial air-tour operators will have to meet new, more stringent regulations covering low-level flights, visibility limits and overwater flights. Commercial operators would have 120 days from the effective date of the rule to comply. Part 91 operators would get 180 days to file for certification under Part 135 or 121. More than 2,330 individuals and organizations submitted comments on the proposed rule.