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).
Federal Aviation Regulations
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.
With general aviation access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in an indefinite holding pattern, NBAA has decided to re-target its monthly update meetings at the airport to encompass all of the security issues that business aviation faces or may face in the future.
After conducting an internal investigation, last month Southwest Airlines leaders switched from defending the airline’s maintenance practices to suspending three maintenance employees and grounding a significant number of airplanes to re-inspect them for possible cracks. The FAA issued a statement on March 6 proposing that Southwest Airlines pay a $10.2 million civil penalty for its error.
Under the first major rulemaking of the DOT’s newly created Transportation Security Administration, scheduled for publication February 22, charter operations in Part 25 aircraft face a slew of new security regulations when passengers or crew are enplaning or deplaning in an airport’s “sterile” area (generally, the airline ramp or terminal and its gates).
Not a single person interviewed by AIN expressed the opinion that the business aviation security requirements to fly to the Winter Olympics either made sense or did much to protect the Salt Lake City site from attack by air. Everyone was sympathetic with the intent but left cold by with the implementation.
Penalties for violating temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) in the wake of September 11 could be severe. The FAA believes that any pilot who violates the TFRs has demonstrated “a substantial disregard for safety and security, warranting a 150- to 240-day suspension or revocation of pilot certificates,” according to the AOPA.
NBAA announced at its convention in Orlando, Fla., last month that additional dates have been scheduled for its new “Security Training for Part 91 Operators” seminar, completion of which is the first step to a TSA Access Certificate (TSAAC).
Aviation industry experts believe that the FAA’s next operational control focus will be on Part 91 operators, specifically management companies that manage Part 91 aircraft for owners. However, the FAA didn’t respond to AIN’s queries about whether the agency is focusing on Part 91 operational control or if it is interested in writing new regulations covering aircraft management companies.