With today’s dedication of the country’s first major September 11 memorial at the Pentagon, Americans are recalling the events of that fateful day when airliners were turned into weapons of mass destruction. Although general aviation had nothing to do with the tragic events of 9/11, many of the security measures instituted in the aftermath of the attacks that affect GA operations remain in effect.
Federal Aviation Regulations
With the end-of-summer political conventions set for Minneapolis and Denver, the FAA transferred the general aviation security program designed for access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area to provide top cover for the Republican gathering.
Pilots are urged to check notams carefully when operating in airspace affected by Presidential temporary flight restrictions, including the temporary closure of airports, because each one is tailored to unique conditions and circumstances due to the “unpredictable nature of the current security environment,” according to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey.
The FAA last month issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FAA-2007-29281) to remove wording in Parts 91, 125 and 135 that currently allows pilots to take off with frost on wings, stabilizers and flight controls “if the frost has been polished to make it smooth.” The polished frost rules are found in 14 CFR 91.527(a), 125.221(a) and 135.227(a).
Now, after being somewhat dormant on the subject for a number of years, the Federal Aviation Administration has expressed concern about airline pilot duty days, which according to the Federal Aviation Regulations allow for a 16-hr duty day with no more than eight hours flying time.
General aviation continues to make some, albeit slow, progress towards regaining at least limited access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) with the announcement by a top Transportation Security Administration (TSA) official that the agency hoped to publish the required security procedures this month.
Prompted in part by NTSB recommendations arising from the July 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 off Long Island, the FAA has developed an enhanced airworthiness program for airplane systems (EAPAS) to increase awareness of wiring system degradation and improve both maintenance and design of electrical systems.
The FAA today issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to remove wording in Parts 91, 125 and 135 allowing pilots to take off with frost on wings, stabilizers and flight controls “if the frost has been polished to make it smooth.” The polished frost rules are found in 14 CFR 91.527(a), 125.221(a) and 135.227(a).
When the call went out in those early, panicky hours of the crisis that’s collectively come to be called “9/11,” some 4,500 aircraft were airborne in U.S. airspace. The vast majority of them were Part 121 airliners; this was, after all, the bustling Tuesday morning of what no one knew would be the last day of business as usual for a long time.
In an August 8 memo, James Ballough, director of the FAA Flight Standards Service, confirmed that large-transport-category airplanes, including the Boeing Business Jet and Airbus Corporate Jetliner, may be operated under Part 135 if their type certificates indicate that modifications have been made that limit the number of passenger seats to 30 or fewer and payload capacity of 7,500 lb or less.