According to a DOT report last month on significant rulemakings, the FAA is not expected to complete until January its work on a November 2003 proposal to require all air-tour operators to be certified under either Part 135 or 121. It is likely that the significant number of objections the FAA received from the public and members of Congress is responsible for the delays the proposal has encountered.
The FAA suspended the August 31 date for Part 135 operators to comply with airworthiness bulletin HBAW 04-06E, while it considers proposed rulemaking that would replace the term “type certificated” with “seating configuration.” The revision would allow methods other than a type certificate change to be an acceptable means of altering seating configurations.
Repair stations would be required to establish a quality-rating program under a notice of proposed rulemaking the FAA expects to publish next month. The new rules would revise the current ratings system and require shops to “establish a quality program.” Repair stations would be required to maintain a capability list, designate a chief inspector and have permanent housing for facilities, equipment, materials and personnel.
The FAA has amended new regulations regarding aircraft thermal and acoustic insulation in response to industry concerns that the requirements applied to a much broader range of components and airplanes than was originally intended.
The FAA is reviewing Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC)-recommended revisions to the FAR Part 125/135 rulebook. The industry representatives turned over the recommendations–including possible changes to flight- and duty-time regulations–late last year.
Responding to Dassault’s claim that an “unanticipated request by the FAA” had prompted a redesign of the Falcon 7X bleed-air system (see page 58), the FAA insists there is no new regulation on this issue. “We have no new transport policy or rulemaking (including proposed rulemaking),” an FAA spokesman told AIN. However, the 200 degrees C limit has been standard industry practice for decades.
The comment deadlines for a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to incorporate technology to reduce flammability exposure in fuel tanks and a related advisory circular have been extended from March 23 to May 8.
The DOT last month issued a rule amending the requirements for the transportation of hazardous materials by aircraft. This rule, which goes into effect October 1, clarifies the applicability of DOT Part 175; clarifies the exceptions for certain operator equipment and supplies, special aircraft operations, and passengers and crewmembers; and updates the regulations to comply with security requirements for explosive special permits.
May 8 is the comment deadline for a notice of proposed rulemaking to incorporate technology to reduce flammability exposure in transport aircraft fuel tanks. The proposal, published last November, would cover both new and in-production transport-category airplanes with a payload capacity of 7,500 pounds or more, as well as some 3,200 in-service Airbus and Boeing airplanes with center fuel tanks.
The FAA is developing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) addressing special requirements for the interiors of transport-category business jets. If enacted, these standards can be used instead of the current requirements, which were originally intended for transport-category airplanes operated by airlines.