VOLUME 2 Air Operator and Air Agency
Certification and Application Process
The certification process—Title 14 CFR Part 121
Section 1 General
OVERVIEW. A Certification Project Team (CPT), composed of
inspectors from the certificate-holding district office and Flight Standards
Certification and Surveillance Division, AFS‑900, accomplishes certification
of new Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121 air carriers.
Before issuing an air carrier Operating Certificate, the CPT
will verify that an applicant is capable of operating safely and is in compliance
with the regulations and standards prescribed by the Administrator. To do this,
the CPT will follow a structured process that uses a system safety-based approach
to thoroughly assess the design and performance of the system the applicant
proposes. Air Transportation Oversight System (ATOS) processes and tools form
the basis for part 121 air carrier certification.
Refer to Volume 10, Chapter 6, The Certification Process of
14 CFR Part 121 Air Carriers, for guidance.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 2‑297 through 2‑315.
VOLUME 3 GENERAL TECHNICAL ADMINISTRATION
Section 5 Part C Operations Specifications—Airplane
Terminal Instrument Procedures and Airport Authorizations and Limitations
GENERAL. Part C is issued to operators who conduct Title 14
of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121 or part 135 operations
with fixed wing airplanes. It is not issued to part 135 operators who conduct
only helicopter operations. Instrument flight rules (IFR) helicopter operators
are issued Part H. Part C is not usually issued to part 135 on‑demand operators
who are restricted to visual flight rules (VFR) only operations. In rare situations
operations specification (OpSpec) C070, of Part C is issued to part 135 VFR
only operators who are authorized to conduct commuter operations.
OPSPEC/MSPEC C049, DESTINATION
OpSpec C049 is an optional authorization for part 135 certificate
holders that have been issued OpSpec A057 as an eligible on‑demand operator
for reducing effective runway length requirements for turbine engine‑powered
large transport category airplanes that must be met prior to a flight’s release,
provided certain requirements are met by the operator. Management Specification
(MSpec) C049 is an optional authorization for 14 CFR part 91 subpart K (part
91K) Fractional Ownership Operations program managers to reduce effective runway
length requirements for turbine engine‑powered large transport category airplanes
that must be met prior to a flight’s release, provided certain requirements
are met by the program manager.
Destination Airport Analysis. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) regulations governing operations under part 91K and part 135 provide for
reducing effective runway length requirements for turbine engine‑powered
category airplanes that must be met prior to a flight’s release, provided certain
requirements are met by the operator. For destination airports, normal landing
distance requirements for parts 91 subpart K and 135 operations are 60 percent
of the available runway length. For alternate airport landing distance requirements,
part 91 subpart K remains at 60 percent, while part 135 allows for 70 percent
of the effective runway length. If an operator desires to reduce such requirements
below 60 percent of the available runway length, that operator must meet regulatory
requirements in two areas:
Part 135 Eligible On‑demand Operator (OpSpec A057 must be issued) or
part 91K program experience; and
FAA‑approved Destination Airport Analysis Program (DAAP). The DAAP must
address specific regulatory requirements and be approved for use through that
operator’s MSpecs or OpSpecs, as applicable.
Experience Requirements. An eligible on‑demand operator is
defined in part 135, § 135.4. Fractional ownership programs must meet the same
requirements and are identified in part 91K, §§ 91.1053 and 91.1055. The requirements
An on‑demand or fractional ownership program operation that meets the
Two‑pilot crew. The flightcrew must consist of at least two qualified
pilots employed or contracted by the certificate holder.
Flightcrew experience. The crewmembers must have met the applicable requirements
of 14 CFR part 61 and have the following experience and ratings:
Total flight time for all pilots:
Pilot in command (PIC)—A minimum of 1,500 hours.
Second in command (SIC)—A minimum of 500 hours.
For multi‑engine turbine‑powered fixed‑wing and powered‑lift aircraft,
the following FAA certification and ratings requirements:
PIC—Airline transport pilot and applicable type ratings.
SIC—Commercial pilot and instrument ratings.
For all other aircraft, the following FAA certification and rating
PIC—Commercial pilot and instrument ratings.
SIC—Commercial pilot and instrument ratings.
Pilot operating limitations. If the SIC of a fixed‑wing aircraft has
fewer than 100 hours of flight time as SIC flying in the aircraft make and model
and, if a type rating is required in the type aircraft being flown, and the
PIC is not an appropriately qualified check pilot, the PIC shall make all takeoffs
and landings in any of the following situations:
Landings at the destination airport when a Destination Airport Analysis
is required by § 135.385(f); and
In any of the following conditions:
The prevailing visibility for the airport is at or below 3/4 mile.
The runway visual range (RVR) for the runway to be used is at
or below 4,000 feet.
The runway to be used has water, snow, slush, ice, or similar
contamination that may adversely affect aircraft performance.
The braking action on the runway to be used is reported to be
less than “good.”
The crosswind component for the runway to be used is in excess
of 15 knots.
Wind shear is reported in the vicinity of the airport.
Any other condition in which the PIC determines it to be prudent
to exercise the PIC’s authority.
Crew pairing. Either the PIC or the SIC must have at least 75 hours of
flight time in that aircraft make or model and, if a type rating is required
for that type aircraft, either as PIC or SIC.
Deviations. The Administrator may authorize deviations from
the total flight time requirements of § 91.1053(a)(1) or crew pairing requirements
of § 91.1055(b) if the FAA office that issued the OpSpecs or MSpecs, as applicable,
finds that the crewmember has comparable experience, and can effectively perform
the functions associated with the position in accordance with the requirements
of this chapter. The Administrator may, at any time, terminate any grant of
deviation authority issued under this provision. Grants of deviation may be
authorized after consideration of the size and scope of the operation, the qualifications
of the intended operating pilots and the following circumstances:
A newly authorized certificate holder does not employ any pilots who
meet the minimum requirements of § 91.1055(b).
An existing certificate holder adds to its fleet a new category and class
aircraft not used before in its operation.
An existing certificate holder establishes a new base to which it assigns
pilots who will be required to become qualified on the aircraft operated from
Destination Airport Analysis Program (DAAP) Requirements.
DAAP requirements are found in § 91.1025 and § 135.23. Specifically, if required
by § 91.1037(c) or § 135.385, as applicable, the Destination Airport Analysis
establishing runway safety margins must include the following elements, supported
by aircraft performance data supplied by the aircraft manufacturer for the appropriate
runway conditions at the airport(s) to be used, if a reduction below 60 percent
of the available runway length is planned:
Pilot qualifications and experience. The operator is responsible for
including all applicable regulatory requirements to establish a pilot’s eligibility
to reduce effective runway planning requirements below 60 percent of the available
runway length. Experience requirements address pilots with less than 100 hours
flight time in type (high minimum), total flight time, and crew pairing limitations
(less than 75 hours in type).
Aircraft performance data to include normal, abnormal, and emergency
procedures as supplied by the aircraft manufacturer. Landing distance calculations
should be completed using FAA‑approved procedures and data. Consideration must
be given to abnormal and emergency procedures, as some of these procedures may
increase approach speeds and consequently, landing distance requirements. Additionally,
planned takeoff weight for the departure from that airport should be evaluated
before operating into that airport.
Airport facilities and topography. Consider what services are available
at the airport. Services such as communications, maintenance, and fueling may
have an impact on operations to and from that airport. Terrain features may
figure prominently in or near a particular airport. High, fast‑rising terrain
may require special approach or departure procedures (DP), which may impact
performance requirements. For example, an aircraft certification criterion uses
a 3.5‑degree glideslope angle in computing landing distance data. Glideslope
angles of 2.5 to 3 degrees are common and have the effect of lengthening actual
landing distance. Airports that sit on top of hilly terrain or downwind of mountainous
terrain may occasionally experience conditions that include gusty conditions
or winds shifting from a headwind to a tailwind. Such conditions are an important
consideration during the landing maneuver, particularly during the flare, and
increase landing distance requirements.
Runway conditions (including contamination). Runway features, such as
slope and surface composition, can cause the actual landing distance to be longer
than the calculated landing distance. Wet or slippery runways may preclude reductions
from being taken and, in fact, require 115 percent of the distance derived from
calculations, whether a reduction was used or not. This distance is calculated
by increasing the distance required under dry conditions by an additional 15
percent (i.e., if Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) data shows the actual landing
distance will be 2,000 feet, the effective runway length required is 3,334 feet
using 60 percent in this example. If the runway is expected to be wet or slippery
upon arrival, the effective runway length required is 3,834 feet). Braking action
always impacts the landing distance required as it deteriorates. Always consider
the most current braking action report and the likelihood of an update prior
to the flight’s arrival at a particular airport.
Airport or area weather reporting. Some airports may not have current
weather reports and forecasts available for flight planning. Others may have
automated observations for operational use. Still others may depend on a nearby
airport’s forecast for operations. Area forecasts are also very valuable in
evaluating weather conditions for a particular operation. Comparing forecasted
conditions to current conditions will lend insight to changes taking place as
weather systems move and forecasts are updated. Longer flight segments may lean
more heavily on the forecast for the estimated time of arrival (ETA), as current
conditions may change significantly as weather systems move. For example, if
a flight is planned for five hours en route, the current conditions may not
provide as much insight as a forecast for the arrival time, if a cold front
is expected to pass through the area while a flight is en route.
Appropriate additional runway safety margins, if required. Displaced
thresholds, airport construction, and temporary obstacles (such as cranes and
drawbridges) may impact runway length available for landing. Notices to Airmen
(NOTAMS) must be consulted prior to conducting a flight and are a good source
of information on items such as these.
Airplane inoperative equipment. Thrust reversers, on airplanes so equipped,
provide some effect of reducing landing rollout distance. However, they are
not considered in landing distance performance requirements and data provided
by airplane manufacturers during certification. Rather, they provide an added
margin of safety when used. If thrust reversers are inoperable or not installed,
that additional safety margin does not exist. Also, their effectiveness is directly
related to many factors, including pilot technique, reverser deployment rates,
engine speeds, and environmental conditions (e.g., wet or contaminated runways
in conjunction with crosswinds). Their actual effectiveness varies greatly.
Other airplane systems that directly impact landing distance requirements include
antiskid and ground spoilers (if installed), brake and tire condition, and landing
flap selection, to name a few.
Environmental conditions. Many environmental conditions directly and
indirectly affect actual landing distance requirements. Frontal passage usually
causes winds to shift, sometimes causing a tailwind component. Tailwinds generally
have a significantly greater impact on landing distance than headwinds. Thunderstorms
in the vicinity of airports can introduce wind gusts from different directions,
including wind shear, to varying degrees that are difficult to predict in advance
or during the actual landing maneuver itself. Density and pressure altitudes
also directly impact landing distance requirements. Landing distance tables
may take these factors into account. However, variations from planned conditions
and actual conditions at time of landing can vary and impact actual landing
distance requirements. Stronger than forecasted tailwinds en route can cause
the airplane to weigh more than projected, causing the actual landing distance
to be longer than planned. If icing conditions were encountered while en route
and temperatures above freezing are not reached prior to landing, any ice remaining
behind removal devices or on areas that are not protected add additional weight
and drag to the airplane, which in turn requires higher airspeeds and longer
Other criteria that affect aircraft performance. Many other variables
have an effect on landing distance. Approach speed, flap configuration, airplane
weight, tire and brake condition, airplane equipment, and environmental conditions,
to name a few, all directly impact required landing distance. With these and
many other factors considered, it is the pilot who must apply their application
through the use of procedures and technique, the latter being highly variable.
While specific additives are provided by manufacturer’s landing data, a pilot
usually applies techniques acquired through experience in dealing with similar
circumstances. Pilots may opt for an especially smooth landing on longer runways
by “floating” in ground effect, prior to touchdown. While possibly yielding
a smooth landing, this technique will add to the landing distance requirement,
as landing data provided by manufacturer’s data through the certification process
assumes a touchdown rate of descent of eight feet per second. The following
tables provide additional insight into factors that affect landing distance
requirements and policies and procedures addressing them should be included
in the operator’s FAA‑approved DAAP.
Table 3‑16, Reduction of Landing Distance Planning Requirements
3.5 degree glideslope angle.
2.5 to 3 degrees typical.
Actual landing distance will be longer than
calculated landing distance.
8 ft./sec touchdown rate of descent.
2 to 4 ft./sec typical.
Actual landing distance will be longer than
calculated landing distance.
Assumes all approach speed additives bled off
before reaching the 50‑foot height.
5 to 10 knots exceedances not uncommon.
Actual landing distance will be longer than
calculated landing distance.
Longer flare distance (“float”).
Actual landing distance will be longer than
calculated landing distance.
Less than full braking effort.
Actual landing distance will be longer than
calculated landing distance.
Delays in obtaining full braking configuration.
Actual landing distance will be longer than
calculated landing distance.
Higher temperatures not accounted for (temperature
accountability not required).
Actual landing distance will be longer than
calculated landing distance.
Downhill runway slope not accounted for (runway
slope accountability not required).
Actual landing distance will be longer than
calculated landing distance.
Icy, slippery, or contaminated runway surface.
Actual landing distance will be longer than
calculated landing distance.
Airplane heavier at time of landing than predicted
at time of dispatch.
Actual landing distance will be longer than
calculated landing distance.
Airplane higher than 50 feet over the threshold.
Actual landing distance will be longer than
calculated landing distance.
Airport pressure altitude higher than predicted
at time of dispatch.
Actual landing distance will be longer than
calculated landing distance.
Runway or direction (affecting slope)
Flight path deviations
Time to activate deceleration devices
Runway surface condition (dry, wet, icy, texture)
Flight path angle
Rate of descent at touch down
Environmental conditions (for example, temperature,
wind, pressure altitude)
Height at threshold
Operators are responsible for preparing their Destination
Airport Analysis program if they desire to reduce landing distance planning
requirements below 60 percent of the effective runway length. Operators must
ensure that their policies and procedures reflect at least minimum regulatory
requirements and adequate policies and procedures prior to submitting their
program to the FAA for approval.
Checklist. The checklist is available electronically in the
guidance subsystem of the automated Operations Safety System (OPSS) in association
with OpSpec/MSpec C049. The checklist should be used to ensure that the operator
and its DAAP meets minimum regulatory requirements. This checklist should be
completed by the operator and be provided to the FAA office having approval
authority, along with the DAAP and request for approval and issuance of OpSpec
C049 or MSpec C049, as applicable.
OPSPEC C050, SPECIAL PILOT‑IN‑COMMAND AIRPORT
OpSpec C050 is used to authorize part 121 air carrier certificate
holders to conduct IFR operations into special airports requiring special airport
qualification in accordance with the provisions and limitations of the OpSpec
and part 121, § 121.445. For detailed information refer to Volume 4, Aircraft
Equipment and Operational Authorizations, Chapter 3, Airplane Performance and
Airplane Data, Section 5, Selected Practices, paragraph 602, Special Airports
Requiring Special PIC Qualification.
Air carriers conducting domestic, flag, and supplemental operations
require PIC to be qualified for operations into special PIC qualification airports.
These PICs must be qualified in accordance with § 121.445.
OpSpec C050, Special PIC Airport Qualification, is used to authorize
special PIC qualification airports for domestic, flag, and supplemental part
121 air carriers.
The list of Special Qualification Airports can be found in the OPSS guidance
subsystem in association with OpSpec C050 and on the
http://www.opspecs.com Web site.
If both the ceiling and the visibility minima are not satisfied
as detailed in § 121.445(c), then the qualification requirements of § 121.445(b)
apply. Section 121.445(b) specifies that for a pilot to serve as PIC on a flight
to a special qualification airport, the PIC must have the benefit of one of
The PIC, within the preceding 12 calendar‑months, has made a takeoff
and landing at that airport while serving as a pilot flight crewmember;
The SIC, within the preceding 12 calendar‑months, has made a takeoff
and landing at that airport while serving as a pilot flight crewmember; or
Within the preceding 12 calendar‑months, the PIC has qualified by using
pictorial means acceptable to the Administrator for that airport.
The operator assesses the nature and complexity of certain
factors associated with the airport (i.e., high altitude, foreign airport, specific
terrain features, unique weather patterns may be present singly or in combination).
This assessment determines whether the airport should be included in the air
carrier’s airport listing in OpSpec paragraph C067, Special Airports or the
provisions of OpSpec C050, Special PIC Qualification Airports apply. For instance,
an airport with an approved IFR and or VFR approach/departure procedure and
an unusual characteristic such as a nearby politically sensitive international
boundary, or high terrain may require designation as a special PIC qualification
airport. In this case, the airport would need to be listed in OpSpec C067 and
the provisions of OpSpec C050 also apply. Refer to Volume 4, Chapter 3, Section
5, paragraph 602, and paragraph 3‑871 OpSpec C067 in this section.
The air carriers, in conjunction with the Air Transportation
Division (AFS‑200), will determine any airport additions or deletions from the
Special Airport Qualification list. These changes will be made on a quarterly
OPSPEC/MSPEC C051, TERMINAL INSTRUMENT PROCEDURES.
C051 is issued to all airplane operators who conduct any flight operations under
IFR. FAA Order 8260.31B, Foreign Terminal Instrument Procedures, provides direction
and guidance on acceptance of foreign terminal instrument procedures. Additional
information concerning terminal instrument procedures is in Volume 4, Chapter
2, All‑Weather Terminal Area Operations, Section 3, Factors Affecting All‑Weather
Terminal Area (AWTA) Operations. For helicopter authorization, see OpSpec H101.
OPSPEC/MSPEC/LOA C052—BASIC INSTRUMENT APPROACH
PROCEDURE AUTHORIZATIONS—ALL AIRPORTS.
Applicability. OpSpec/MSpec/letter of authorization (LOA)
C052 applies to operators conducting operations under parts 91K, 121, 125 (including
those operators conducting operations under a part 125 Letter of Deviation Authority
(LODA)), and 135. OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C052 specifies the types of instrument approaches
the operator is authorized to conduct under IFR and prohibits the use of other
types of instrument approaches.
Before authorizing a type of instrument approach procedure (IAP), the
principal operations inspector (POI) must ensure the operator has established
the aircraft system eligibility and the flightcrew training and checking requirements,
and has revised the training and operations manuals, as applicable, for the
types of approaches to be authorized.
Refer to Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section 1, Introduction to and Evolution
of All‑Weather Terminal Area Operations, for information on required training
for various types of approaches.
All the approaches approved by OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C052 must be published
in accordance with 14 CFR part 97 or the foreign state authority.
For part 135 operations, if the visibility and ceiling are below minimums,
the reported RVR may be used if that RVR is at or above the minimums for the
instrument procedure being used and authorized for that certificate holder.
Authorization. Three types of IAPs may be authorized in OpSpec/MSpec/LOA
C052. (If the certificate holder/program manager/operator is authorized to conduct
global positioning system (GPS) and/or GPS wide‑area augmentation system (WAAS)
instrument approach operations using the approved GPS and/or GPS WAAS equipment
with “…. or GPS”, GPS, or Area Navigation (RNAV) (GPS) or RNAV Global Navigation
Satellite System (GNSS) listed in table 1 of OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C052, the aircraft
and equipment must be listed in table 1 of paragraph/LOA B034.)
Column one of OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C052 provides for the authorization of
nonprecision IAPs without vertical guidance. Nonprecision approaches must be
trained and conducted in accordance with an approved procedure that ensures
descent will not go below minimum descent altitude (MDA), unless the required
visual references for continuing the approach, as specified in part 91, § 91.175,
Column two of OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C052 provides for the authorization of
approach procedures with vertical guidance (APV). These approaches provide vertical
guidance, but do not meet the same standards as precision approach systems (e.g.,
instrument landing systems (ILS) and microwave landing systems (MLS)) as defined
by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). These APVs are trained
using an approved method that allows descent to a published decision altitude.
The column heading agrees with the ICAO acronym, APV.
Column three of OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C052 provides for the authorization
of precision APVs from an electronic glideslope.
“*RNAV ILS” is a selectable for column 3 in table 1 of the C052 template.
For example, the United Arab Emirates publishes approach plates for Dubai titled,
“RNAV ILS” or “ILS RNAV.” The RNAV portion of the approach constitutes an RNAV
standard terminal arrival route (STAR) which must be authorized through the
issuance of OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C063, in accordance with guidance for RNAV departure
procedures and RNAV STARs.
Global Positioning System and GPS Wide Area Augmentation System
Authorization. Volume 4, Chapter 1, Section 2, Air Navigation Approval Requirements,
paragraphs 4‑31 and 4‑32, provide more extensive guidance on GPS and GPS WAAS
equipment. The applicant must show that it has the ability to safely conduct
GPS operations. The demonstration of GPS (using equipment certified under Technical
Standard Order (TSO) C‑129a) and/or GPS WAAS (using equipment certified under
TSO C‑145a/C 146a) instrument approaches may be credited for other equivalent
types of required approaches (e.g., nonprecision approaches). Foreign approach
procedures may be labeled as “RNAV (GNSS)” (instead of “RNAV (GPS)”) which is
provided as a selectable in OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C052.
For the certificate holder/program manager/operator using aircraft other
than those equipped with a multisensor flight management system (FMS), the flightcrew
must have successfully completed the certificate holder’s/program manager’s/operator’s
(approved-See subparagraph C5)h) below) training program curriculum segments
for GPS and/or GPS WAAS operations, as applicable, and the PIC and the SIC must
be checked for competency by an authorized check airman or FAA inspector for
instrument approach operations using the GPS in each aircraft type and GPS combination.
(Single‑pilot operators conducting operations under part 135 and issued OpSpec
A040 that do not have an approved training program must be checked for competency
by an FAA inspector for instrument approach operations using GPS/GPS WAAS, as
applicable, in each aircraft type and GPS combination.)
For operators whose aircraft are equipped with multisensor FMS RNAV systems
that include a GPS/GPS WAAS sensor, the requirement to demonstrate a GPS approach
during initial qualification checks as described below does not apply (although
an inspector or check airman always has the authority to see one demonstrated).
Operators with various types of stand-alone IFR GPS navigation equipment
and databases (other than aircraft equipped with a multisensor FMS) are required
to demonstrate a GPS approach during initial qualification checks and should
continue to be checked to ensure continued proficiency and understanding of
the applicable GPS navigation equipment and database performance, limitations
During the initial 6 months of operation with a particular aircraft type
and GPS combination, the certificate holder/program manager/operator must not
use IFR approach and landing minimums lower than 200 feet and 1/2 statute mile
above the lowest authorized MDA and visibility/RVR minimums using GPS or GPS
WAAS, as applicable.
The demonstration of any other nonprecision approaches may not
be credited toward the authorization requirement to demonstrate at least one
nonprecision approach utilizing GPS and/or GPS WAAS equipment during the competency
check required by part 135 § 135.297 and the proficiency check required by part
121 § 121.441(a)(1) and part 125 § 125.291.
Pilots may plan to use any instrument approach authorized for use with
WAAS avionics at a required alternate if the aircraft is equipped with GPS WAAS
equipment certified in accordance with TSO C‑145a/C‑146a. When using WAAS at
an alternate airport, flight planning must be based on flying the RNAV (GPS)
lateral navigation (LNAV) minimums line, or minimums on a GPS approach procedure,
or conventional approach procedure with “or GPS” in the title. Upon arrival
at an alternate, when the WAAS navigation system indicates that LNAV/vertical
navigation (VNAV) or localizer performance with vertical guidance service is
available, then vertical guidance may be used to complete the approach using
the displayed level of service. The FAA has begun removing the “NA” (alternate
minimums not authorized) symbol from select RNAV (GPS) and GPS approach procedures
so they may be used by approach approved WAAS receivers at alternate airports.
Some approach procedures will still require the NA for other reasons (e.g.,
no weather reporting), so it cannot be removed from all procedures. Because
every procedure must be individually evaluated, removal of “NA” from RNAV (GPS)
and GPS procedures will take some time.
Regarding application for approval to conduct GPS and/or GPS WAAS IFR
The operator must apply in accordance with Volume 3, Chapter 29, Proving
and Validation Tests; revise its manuals, procedures, and checklists; and alter
the flight training curriculums to include segments on GPS operations.
The discussion in the following paragraphs provides specific direction
and guidance related to GPS/GPS WAAS and is to be used in conjunction with existing
area/long range navigation guidance and instrument approach guidance contained
in Volume 4, Chapter 1, Air Navigation, Communications, and Surveillance. The
operator’s authorizations must specify these conditions.
The application must also provide documentation which validates approval
of the installed GPS airborne receiver in accordance with current editions of
Advisory Circular (AC) 20‑138, Airworthiness Approval of Global Navigation Satellite
System (GNSS) Equipment; and AC 20‑130, Airworthiness Approval of Navigation
or Flight Management Systems Integrating Multiple Navigation Sensors.
When it has been established that the airborne system has been certified
for the appropriate GPS IFR operations, the following criteria should be used
to determine the operational suitability of airborne systems for GPS/GPS WAAS
IFR operations in flight operations:
The operator must ensure that the equipment is properly installed and
maintained. No special requirements, other than the standard practices currently
applicable to navigation or landing systems, have been identified as unique
to GPS/GPS WAAS (Airworthiness Directives, Service Bulletins, etc.).
The operator’s manuals, policies, and procedures as described in Volume
3, Chapter 32, Manuals, Procedures, and Checklists for 14 CFR Parts 91K, 121,
125, and 135, must incorporate the manufacturer’s instructions for continuing
airworthiness of the applicable GPS system.
Operators should revise their minimum equipment list and operations and
maintenance procedures to incorporate the installed GPS/GPS WAAS equipment.
Operators that conduct operations under parts 121 and 135 must ensure
that service difficulties are reported in accordance with approved procedures
under parts 121 and 135. Operators conducting operations under part 125 must
include GPS service difficulty reporting procedures in the manual required by
part 125, § 125.73(f).
The applicant must document the proposed pilot training and qualification
program. This program must at least address the following training and qualification
Crew training and qualification for GPS instrument approach operations
should be consistent with the qualifications required for the use of ILS, VHF
omnidirectional range station/distance measuring equipment (VOR/DME), RNAV,
and multisensor RNAV FMS in Volume 3, Chapter 19, Training Programs and Airman
Qualifications; AC 120‑53, Crew Qualification and Pilot Type Rating Requirements
for Transport Category Aircraft Operated under FAR Part 121; 14 CFR parts 61,
91, 121, 125, 129, and 135; and Advanced Qualification Program requirements,
if applicable. Although these standards do not specifically address GPS/GPS
WAAS systems, the principles are equivalent and these criteria can be used to
evaluate crew knowledge, procedures, checking, and recency of experience until
other criteria are available. No special crew qualification requirements, other
than those necessary for RNAV and ILS instrument approach qualification are
currently specified for GPS/GPS WAAS operations.
Ground training must assure that each flight crewmember has the knowledge
required for the GPS/GPS WAAS procedures to be flown. Operators must successfully
complete the approved (for parts 91K, 121, and 135 operators) training curriculum
segment for GPS/GPS WAAS operations, as applicable. The ground training should
include at least the following subjects:
The principals of GPS and/or GPS WAAS, as applicable, navigation;
Hardware operation and integration with other navigation equipment;
Software use including updating;
Human factors issues (e.g., displays, charts, and approach plates);
The limitations of the GPS/GPS WAAS, as applicable, equipment;
The specific operating techniques and procedures to be used with
the applicable GPS/GPS WAAS equipment, including maintenance and dispatch procedures,
and the contents of the operator’s authorizations.
Initial qualification, recurrent qualification, and requalification flight
training must ensure that each flight crewmember has the skills and abilities
necessary to safely conduct the proposed operations. Flight crewmembers must
successfully complete that operator’s approved (for parts 121, 135, and 91K
operators) flight training program for GPS/GPS WAAS. Operators conducting operations
under part 125 (including those conducting operations under a LODA) must show
they have completed the required training for the applicable equipment.
The operator must provide written procedures which are specific for its
GPS and/or GPS WAAS operations, as applicable. The procedures must be consistent
with manufacturer’s recommended procedures for the use of the installed GPS/GPS
The operator must provide a validation program that ensures the GPS/GPS
WAAS airborne system is operationally accurate and reliable.
The operator must incorporate into its maintenance program the GPS/GPS
WAAS manufacturer’s requirements for maintenance and Instructions for Continued
Barometric Vertical Navigation (baro-VNAV). Approach systems
utilizing baro‑VNAV may be used to fly APVs to the LNAV/VNAV line of minimums.
The use of baro‑VNAV to fly APVs may be authorized for all applicable certificate
holders and operators in accordance with the guidance in Volume 4, Chapter 2,
Section 5, All‑Weather Terminal Area Approach and Landing Operations, paragraphs
4‑291F and 4‑293C
Air Carrier Aircraft/Commercial Operator Approval. Once an operator that
conducts operations under part 121, 125, 135, or 91K, has established the aircraft
system eligibility, the flightcrew training and checking requirements, and has
revised the training, maintenance, and operations manuals, as applicable; the
POI may give approval using this RNAV equipment to fly to the LNAV/VNAV DA as
shown on the published IAPs.
To authorize approach procedures with vertical guidance, select “RNAV
(GPS)” (for part 97 approaches) or “RNAV (GNSS)” (for foreign approaches) for
insertion into column two of the OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C052 template.
Precision Runway Monitoring (PRM). The FAA began the Multiple
Parallel Approach Program to research whether ILS approaches to parallel runways
would improve capacity. The objective was to achieve improvements in airport
arrival rates through the conduct of simultaneous, closely spaced parallel approaches.
That objective is being met using PRM.
ILS/PRM and Localizer-Type Directional Aid (LDA)/PRM Approaches. Where
parallel runway centerlines are 4,300 feet apart or less, but no less than 3,000
feet, simultaneous ILS approaches may be conducted. Similarly, where parallel
runway centerlines are 3,000 feet apart or less, but no less than 750 feet,
simultaneous offset instrument approaches (SOIA) may be conducted with ILS approaches.
Those approaches are labeled “ILS/PRM” and “LDA/PRM,” respectively, on instrument
approach charts. Air traffic control (ATC) provides an air traffic controller
using special PRM radar during these approaches. That controller is known as
the final monitor controller.
The Breakout Maneuver. Working with industry, the FAA conducted extensive
analysis of simulation data and determined that the implementation of PRM and
SOIA approach operations to closely spaced parallel runways requires additional
crew training. The primary focus of this training is to raise each pilot’s situational
awareness in ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM operations. The breakout maneuver must be flown
Traffic Alert. One important element of the additional training is the
pilot’s understanding of the difference between a normal missed approach initiated
by a pilot, and a breakout initiated by a PRM final monitor controller. It must
be clear to flightcrews that the words “Traffic Alert,” when used by the final
monitor controller, signal critical instructions that the pilot must act on
promptly to preserve adequate separation from an airplane straying into the
adjoining approach path.
ATC Breakout Maneuver Command to Turn and/or Descend, Climb, or Maintain
Altitude. The flightcrew must immediately follow the final monitor controller’s
vertical (climb/descend/maintain altitude) and horizontal (turn) commands. If
the flightcrew is operating the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System
(TCAS) in the traffic advisory (TA)/resolution advisory (RA) mode and receives
a TCAS RA at any time while following the final monitor controller’s command,
the flightcrew will simultaneously continue to turn to the controller’s assigned
heading and follow the vertical guidance provided by the TCAS RA.
Time-to-Turn Standard. Regardless of airplane type, tests and data analysis
revealed that pilots normally passed through an angle of bank of at least 3
degrees while rolling into a breakout turn, within 10 seconds of receiving a
breakout command. (Bank angles of between 20 and 30 degrees were normally achieved
during the breakout.) The operator must show that its pilots can readily meets
this time-to-initiate-turn standard prior to the POI authorizing ILS/PRM or
LDA/PRM approaches in OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C052. Flightcrews are required to manually
fly the breakout maneuver unless otherwise approved by AFS‑200 (AFS‑200 must
have concurrence from Flight Technologies and Procedures Division, AFS‑400 to
approve breakout in auto modes). The air carrier should demonstrate its ability
to meet this standard by having representative pilots perform the breakout maneuver
while the POI or the POI’s designated representative observes. The demonstration
should conform to procedures contained in the air carrier’s approved operating
manual for its flightcrews. The commercial operator should submit procedures
to its POI for this authorization.
In a breakout, ATC will never command a descent below the applicable
minimum vector altitude, thus assuring that no flight will be commanded to descend
below 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle during a breakout.
ILS/PRM, LDA/PRM, and the Use of TCAS. TCAS may be operated in TA/RA
mode while executing ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM approaches. However, when conducting
these operations, pilots must understand that the final monitor controller’s
instruction to turn is the primary means for ensuring safe separation from another
airplane. Pilots must bear in mind that TCAS does not provide separation in
the horizontal plane; TCAS accomplishes separation by commands solely in the
vertical plane. Therefore, during final approach only the final monitor controller
has the capability to command a turn for lateral separation. Flightcrews are
expected to follow any ATC instruction to turn.
ATC Command to Turn with TCAS RA. In the unlikely event that a flightcrew
should simultaneously receive a final monitor controller’s command to turn and
a TCAS RA, the flightcrew must follow both the final monitor controller’s turn
command and the TCAS RA’s climb or descent command.
TCAS RA Alone. In the extremely unlikely event that an RA occurs without
a concurrent breakout instruction from the final monitor controller, the pilot
should follow the RA and advise the controller of the action taken as soon as
possible. In this instance, it is likely that a breakout command would follow.
TCAS Not Required. An operative TCAS is not required to conduct ILS/PRM
or LDA/PRM approaches.
Pilot Training. Refer to Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section 5, paragraph 4‑293C
for information on pilot training required prior to authorizing PRM approaches.
ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM Authorizations. Operators will be authorized
ILS/PRM and/or LDA/PRM approaches in the OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C052 templates. Definitions
of ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM have been added to the A002 template.
OPSPEC/MSPEC C053, STRAIGHT‑IN CATEGORY I APPROACH
PROCEDURES OTHER THAN ILS, MLS, OR GPS AND IFR LANDING MINIMUMS—ALL AIRPORTS.
C053 specifies the lowest minima which can be used for Category (CAT) I
nonprecision approach procedures other than ILS, MLS, or global positioning
system (GPS) and IFR landing minima at all airports It also provides special
limitations and provisions for these IAPs at foreign airports. “Category I Approach
Procedures and IFR Landing Minimums‑All Airports,” (original title) was revised
C074 authorizes straight‑in CAT I precision approach procedures
and IFR landing minima at all airports; C075, authorizes circling maneuvers;
and C076, authorizes contact approaches. See Volume 4, Chapter 2 for information
on required training for circling maneuvers and contact approaches.
The previous nonprecision approach table now refers to CAT
I nonprecision approaches as “approaches other than ILS, MLS, or GPS Landing
For helicopter authorization, see OpSpec/MSpec H103.
OPSPEC/MSPEC C054, SPECIAL LIMITATIONS AND PROVISIONS
FOR INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES AND IFR LANDING MINIMUMS.
C054 is issued to all operators conducting operations under
part 121. It is also issued to operators who conduct turbine‑powered airplane
operations under parts 91 subpart K and 135. It is not issued to part 135 operators
who do not operate turbine‑powered airplanes unless that operator also conducts
operations under part 121. C054 specifies the RVR landing minimum equivalent
to the published RVR landing minimum which must be used by high minimum pilots
(less than 100 hours in aircraft type). It also specifies that before a PIC
of a turbojet can conduct an instrument approach with visibility conditions
reported to be below 3/4 mile or RVR 4000 (basic turbojet landing minima), the
pilot must be specifically qualified and authorized to use standard landing
minima. See Volume 4, Chapter 2 for information on the qualification and authorization
requirements to use the standard landing minima.
RVR 3000 and its correlation of RVR 5000 for high minimum
pilots was added to the RVR landing minimum table to recognize the medium intensity
approach lighting system with runway alignment indicator lights/simplified short
approach lighting system (MALS/SSALS) visibility credit given in C053.
OPSPEC/MSPEC C055, ALTERNATE AIRPORT IFR WEATHER
MINIMUMS. C055 is issued to all parts 121 and 135 operators, and part 91K
program managers who conduct IFR operations with airplanes. This paragraph provides
a two part table from which the operator, during the initial dispatch or flight
release planning segment of a flight, derives alternate airport IFR weather
minima in those cases where it has been determined that an alternate airport
The first part of the table is for airports with at least
one operational navigational facility providing a straight‑in nonprecision approach
procedure, or a straight‑in precision approach procedure, or, when applicable,
a circling maneuver from an IAP. The required ceiling and visibility is obtained
by adding 400 feet to the CAT I height above touchdown (HAT) or, when applicable,
the authorized height above airport (HAA) and by adding 1 statute mile to the
authorized CAT I landing minimum.
The second part of the table is for airports with at least
two operational navigational facilities, each providing a straight‑in nonprecision
approach procedure or a straight‑in precision approach procedure to different
suitable runways. The required ceiling and visibility is obtained by adding
200 feet to the higher CAT I HAT of the two approaches used and by adding 1/2
statute mile visibility to the higher authorized CAT I landing minimum of the
two approaches used.
In some cases, it is possible to have higher alternate minima
when using two operational navigational facilities than when using one. For
example, an airport with one straight‑in nonprecision approach procedure with
a HAT of 400 feet and 1 statute mile visibility would have alternate minima
of 800 feet and 2 statute mile visibility (400 feet + 400 feet and 1 statute
mile + 1 statute mile). On the other hand, an airport with two straight‑in approaches,
one a straight‑in precision approach with a HAT of 200 feet and 1/2 statute
mile visibility and the other a straight‑in nonprecision approach with a HAT
of 700 feet and 1 statute mile visibility, would have alternate minima of 900
feet and 1 1/2 statute mile visibility (200 feet + 700 feet and 1/2 statute
mile + 1 statute mile). Since the operations specifications require that the
higher ceiling and visibility be used, the minima for the airport with two straight‑in
approaches are higher than for the airport with only one straight‑in approach.
When this situation exists, the operator may elect to consider the airport as
having only one straight‑in approach procedure and may add the higher buffer
requirement (400 feet and 1 statute mile) to whichever straight‑in approach
procedure provides for the lowest possible ceiling and visibility minima.
Except for Extended Range Operations (ER‑OPS), two suitable
runways may be the different ends of the same physical runway surface (such
as, runway 4 and runway 22 are two different runways). When using an airport
as an alternate in ER‑OPS operations in accordance with OpSpec B042, two separate
physical surfaces must be used. The word suitable is defined in the latest version
of Advisory Circular (AC) 120‑42, Extended Range Operation with Two‑Engine Airplanes
OpSpec/MSpec paragraph C055 (see revision history in the OPSS
guidance subsystem) now allows credit for alternate minima based on CAT II or
CAT III capability. This change is located in the Alternate Airport Table in
row three. Flightcrews having that capability may take credit for CAT II/III‑qualified
aircraft and adjust minima accordingly. The alternate minima are based on CAT
III engine inoperative requirements. The following are some but not all of those
requirements. See criteria in AC 120‑28, current edition, for further engine
Aircraft is capable of engine inoperative CAT III.
Appropriate procedures are established.
Performance and obstruction clearance information is provided to the
Appropriate aircraft configuration, wind limits, and other appropriate
information is provided to the flightcrew.
Question: “Does the FAA consider an ILS facility which contains
a single transmitter frequency for an ILS, but with two different ILS identifications
(depending on which runway is being used) as one or two navigational facilities?”
The words “two operational facilities” have always meant that in the
event there is a single failure of one facility, the other would be operational.
In the situation where both ILS facilities share a single transmitter, it would
be considered “one operational navigational facility,” since both ILSs would
become inoperative in the event of a single transmitter failure.
The two ILS identifiers would have to be different even though the ILS
transmitter frequency is the same for both. The charts should tell pilots whether
there is one frequency or two. Thus, one or two navigational facilities.
For helicopter authorizations, see OpSpec/MSpec H105.
OPSPEC C056, IFR TAKEOFF MINIMUMS, PART 121 OPERATIONS—ALL
AIRPORTS. C056 is issued to all operators who conduct operations under part
C056 did not change in policy but was split into two paragraphs
for programming purposes in the new OPSS: C056, IFR Standard Takeoff Minimums,
14 CFR Part 121 (125) Airplane Operations‑All Airports and C078, IFR Lower Than
Standard Takeoff Minimums, 14 CFR Part 121 (125) Airplane Operations‑All Airports.
If an operator is not authorized to use lower than standard
takeoff minima, C078 will not be issued. See Volume 4, Chapter 2 for information
concerning requirements an operator must meet before being authorized to use
lower than standard takeoff minima. If an operator conducts operations under
both parts 121 and 135, C056 and C057 may need to be issued. For more information,
see the following:
Part 121, § 121.649.
Part 121, § 121.651(a)(1).
Part 91, § 91.175(f).
Volume 4, Chapter 2, All‑Weather Terminal Area Operations.
Flight Standardization Board (FSB) Report for specific aircraft.
This is not available or applicable to part 91K program managers.
See part 91, § 91.1039(e).
OPSPEC C057, IFR TAKEOFF MINIMUMS, PART 135 OPERATIONS—ALL
AIRPORTS. C057 is issued to all part 135 operators who conduct IFR airplane
operations to authorize an operator to use takeoff minima equal to the lowest
straight‑in landing minima (part 135, § 135.225(h)).
C057 is issued for conducting IFR standard takeoff minima
which are defined as 1 statute mile visibility or RVR 5000 for airplanes having
2 engines or less and 1/2 statute mile visibility or RVR 2400 for airplanes
having more than 2 engines. RVR reports, when available for a particular runway,
shall be used for all takeoff operations on that runway. All takeoff operations,
based on RVR, must use RVR reports from the locations along the runway specified
in this paragraph.
The POI, principal maintenance inspector (PMI), and principal
avionics inspector (PAI) must coordinate the issuance of OpSpec paragraphs A046,
Single‑Engine IFR (SEIFR), C057, and D071, Additional Maintenance Requirements,
once the operator has met the requirements for SEIFR operations. All three OpSpec
paragraphs must be issued for SEIFR authorization.
OpSpec paragraph A046, Single Engine IFR (SEIFR) Passenger‑Carrying Operations
under CFR Part 135, contains specific maintenance and operational limitations
and provisions necessary for authority to operate under IFR while carrying passengers
in a single‑engine airplane.
The standard OpSpec paragraph C079, 14 CFR Part 135 Operations Lower
Than Standard Takeoff Minimums, is not authorized for SEIFR operations. Single‑engine
IFR Part 135 passenger‑carrying operations are not authorized lower than standard
takeoff minima at any airport without concurrence and authorization from FAA
headquarters. Thus for SEIFR operations there is no automatic relief from the
requirements of § 135.225(e).
OpSpec paragraph D071, Additional Maintenance Requirements, contains
requirements for airplanes operated in SEIFR operations.
The following subparagraph is selectable for issuance in C057,
“c. When takeoff minimums are equal to or less than the applicable
standard takeoff minimum, the certificate holder is authorized to use a takeoff
minimum equal to the lowest authorized straight‑in CAT I IFR landing minimum
applicable to the certificate holder for that particular airport. The Touchdown
Zone RVR report, if available, is controlling.”
The following subparagraph is selectable for issuance in C057
for turbine‑powered singled engine airplanes only:
“d. Notwithstanding the requirements of the “NOTE” in subparagraph
b above, the certificate holder is authorized lower than standard takeoff minimums
for its part 135 single engine passenger‑carrying operations in its turbine‑powered
single engine airplanes only per the limitations and provisions of C057 including
OpSpec C079 is applicable for authorizing the part 135 operator
to use takeoff minima lower than 1/2 mile or RVR 1800. See AC 120‑29,
Criteria for Approval of Category I and Category II Weather Minimums
for Approach (current edition), for information concerning requirements an operator
must meet before being authorized to use lower than standard takeoff minima.
C057 is not applicable nor available for part 91K program
managers. See § 91.1039(e). For helicopter authorizations, see OpSpecs H106
OPSPEC C058, SPECIAL RESTRICTIONS FOR FOREIGN
TERMINAL INSTRUMENT PROCEDURES.
C058 is issued only when the POI (or region responsible for
the geographic area where a foreign airport is located) finds it necessary to
place special restrictions on a foreign terminal instrument procedure.
These special restrictions to foreign terminal instrument
procedures are applicable to U.S. air carriers (parts 121 and 135) and program
managers (part 91K). The purpose of these special restrictions is to establish
an equivalency between the foreign terminal instrument procedure and the ICAO
Procedures for Air Navigation Services Aircraft Operations (PANS‑OPS) or Terminal
Instrument Procedures (TERPS) criteria.
FAA Order 8260.31, Foreign Terminal Instrument Procedures
(current edition), provides direction and guidance on how to place restrictions
on foreign instrument procedures. This order also contains a list of foreign
terminal instrument procedures that are currently restricted. If an operator
conducts flights to any airport listed in the appendices of this order, the
POI must issue C058 with the name of the airport, airport identification, procedure
identification, and special restrictions listed.
On July 6, 1998, Hong Kong’s new airport (Chek Lap Kok) opened;
at the same time, Hong Kong’s old airport (Kai Tak) closed. Since there has
been no revision to the appendices of Order 8260.31, we recommend removing the
reference to Kai Tak airport from C058 reference the Chek Lap Kok airport. Consideration
and procedures shall be established for the following at the new Chek Lap Kok
Loss of navigation capability;
Severe reduction of aircraft climb performance due to engine or aircraft
system failures; and
Escape paths for the above situations.
For helicopter authorization, see OpSpec/MSpec H107.
OPSPEC/MSPEC C059, CATEGORY II INSTRUMENT APPROACH
AND LANDING OPERATIONS.
CAT II operations are approved by issuance of OpSpec C059
to certificate holders/operators and MSpec MC059 to program managers for part
91K fractional ownership operations.
All initial CAT II operations for each operator/program manager
and each airplane type used by that operator/program manager require Regional
Flight Standards Division and AFS‑400 review and concurrence before issuing
OpSpec/MSpec C059. CAT II operations are evaluated for approval in accordance
with the following:
Volume 4, Chapter 2.
An acceptable lower landing minimums (LLM) maintenance program in accordance
with Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section 11, Maintenance/Inspection Programs for Low
Approach Landing Minimums, in coordination with the principal avionics and maintenance
Concurrence of the Regional Flight Standards Division and AFS‑400 is
also required before amending OpSpec/MSpec C059 to include an airplane make/model/
series new to the operator/program manager.
Detailed guidance for helicopter CAT II/III operations can
be found in, Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section 4, Approve/Authorize Category I/Category
II/Category III Operations for a 14 CFR Part 91/125 Operator.
In addition to the standard CAT II operations authorized by
OpSpec/MSpec C059, nonstandard domestic CAT II operations can be authorized
to qualifying runways that do not meet the performance or equipment requirements
normally associated with a compliant CAT II operation (e.g., TDZ lighting, centerline
(CL) lighting, or Approach Lighting System with Sequenced Flashing Lights (ALSF)
‑1 & 2) by issuing the nonstandard OpSpec/MSpec C359. Specific guidance for
this nonstandard VAT II authorization is found in Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section
5, Part C Operations Specifications—Airplane Terminal Instrument Procedures
and Airport Authorizations and Limitations.
Each airplane type (make/model/series (M/M/S)) used in CAT
II operations must be listed in Table 3‑17 of C059 and have an acceptable LLM
maintenance program. The lowest decision height (DH) and lowest RVR authorized
for each airplane type must also be specified. The following example illustrates
the method for authorizing each airplane in OpSpec/MSpec C059:
Table 3‑17, Example CAT II Approach and Landing Minimums
AIRBUS 300 A300B4103
BOEING 727 217
DOUG DC9 31
DOUG DC9 32
DOUG DC9 51
DOUG DC9 81
LKHEED 1011 385114
CAT II operations, with a DH of 100 feet and RVR 1000 (300m)
(lower than standard) may be authorized at certain foreign airports and domestic
type III facilities when:
An autoland approach or head‑up guidance system (HGS) is used to touchdown;
The airplane and its automatic flight control guidance system, or manually
flown guidance system, are approved for approach and landing operations as specified
by paragraph C060, C061, or C062 of these OpSpecs/MSpecs;
The autopilot (AP) and approach coupler, or HGS system, is listed in
the required CAT II airborne equipment (Table 3‑18) of this OpSpec/MSpec;
Equipment is flown in the HGS CAT III mode(s) of operation or autoland
to touchdown, as appropriate;
The flightcrew has been trained at the lower visibilities before they
can be authorized. If the flightcrew is currently authorized CAT III operations,
no further training is required for this authorization in C059.
The authorization for RVR 1000 is selected as subparagraph j in OpSpec/MSpec
C059 and listed in Table 3‑17 of OpSpec/MSpec C059.
The notation of HGS CAT III mode(s) of operation or autoland, as appropriate,
is listed in the “Additional Equipment and Special Provisions” column of Table
The equipment required to conduct manually flown or automatically
flown CAT II operations is specified in Table 3‑18 of OpSpec/MSpec C059 for
each airplane M/M/S. The equipment required is established in accordance with
the applicable regulations, the approved AFM (if applicable), and AC 120‑29,
current edition. There are two acceptable methods of demonstrating that an airplane
is airworthy for CAT II operations. These acceptable methods are “type design
approval,” obtained by a manufacturer or STC holder, or an “operational demonstration,”
conducted by an operator/ program manager.
Type design approval. The approved AFM (or flight manual supplement),
for airplanes that have CAT II type design approval, contains a statement that
the airborne systems have demonstrated the reliability and redundancy necessary
for CAT II operations in accordance with AC 120‑29. AFMs also specify that certain
equipment is required for airworthiness approval of the various kinds of CAT
II operations. Some of the AFMs also indicate that acceptable CAT II performance
was demonstrated both with, and without, certain equipment (e.g., “autothrottles
w/wo”). AC 120‑29, current edition, also specifies that certain types of equipment
are required for operational approval of the various kinds of CAT II operations
(manual/AP). Therefore, both the approved AFM and AC 120‑29, current edition,
must be considered in determining if the additional equipment requirement must
be listed (specified) in Table 3‑18 of OpSpec/MSpec C059. The illustration below
shows how the additional or required equipment should be listed in Table 3‑18
of OpSpec/MSpec C059.
Equipment that is explicitly required by the airplane certification regulations
(14 CFR parts 23 and 25), the operating regulations (parts 91 subpart K, 121,
125, and 135) and/or the approved AFM should not be listed in Table 3‑18.
The standard text of C059 requires this equipment to be functional. Therefore,
the additional equipment or operational requirement that must be listed (specified)
in OpSpec/MSpec C059 is determined by cross‑checking the type of equipment required
by AC 120‑29, current edition, for the kinds of CAT II operations proposed,
against the equipment required by regulations and the approved AFM.
The equipment listed in Table 3‑18 of OpSpec/MSpec C059 as additional
equipment is only that equipment required by AC 120‑29, current edition, a Supplemental
Type Certificate (STC), an Aircraft Flight Manual Supplement (AFMS), etc., and/or
Order 8400.13, Procedures for the Approval of Special Authorization Category
II and Lowest Standard Category I Operations (current edition), as applicable,
for the kind(s) of CAT II operations to be authorized that is not explicitly
required by regulations and/or the AFM. This would include equipment such as
autoland for B‑747 operations below RVR 1600.
RVR 1000 authorization at certain foreign airports and domestic CAT
III facilities must be noted in the listing (Table 3‑18) of the additional equipment
for CAT II and it must be noted in the remarks column of Table 3‑18 that the
equipment is to be flown in the autoland or HGS CAT III mode(s) of operation.
Precision CAT II landing minima are authorized only for autoland or HGS‑equipped
aircraft when operated by a properly qualified flightcrew and flown in the HGS
CAT III mode(s) of operation. Additional guidance may be found in AC 120‑29,
When the AFM indicates acceptable performance both w/wo certain items
of equipment (which are not explicitly required by AC 120‑29, current edition),
it must be determined how the operator/program manager intends to conduct CAT
II operations and train flightcrews with those items of equipment. If the operator/program
manager proposes to conduct operations both w/wo certain items of equipment
(such as autothrottle, AP), flightcrews must be trained for both situations
and the item of equipment does not need to be listed in Table 3‑18 of OpSpec/MSpec
Equipment eligibility that is not stated in the AFM, the AFMS, or the
FSB report. The operational demonstration method of demonstrating the airworthiness
of CAT II equipment is only appropriate for airplanes and equipment that do
not have CAT II type design approval. The operational demonstration must be
conducted in accordance with AC 120‑29, current edition. A part 121, 125, 129,
135 operator or a part 91K program manager should request that its Flight Standards
District Office (FSDO) provide assistance in the eligibility assessment:
The operator or program manager should provide the FSDO with the aircraft
make, model and serial number, any evidence of instrument flight rules (IFR)
approach approval, and pertinent information from flightcrew operating procedures.
If the FSDO is unable to determine equipment eligibility from the approved
documentation, it should forward the request and supporting data through its
FAA Flight Standards Regional Division to the appropriate Aircraft Evaluation
Group (AEG). The AEG will verify that the aircraft and its landing system meet
the criteria for CAT II operations, and that the system can safely fly the CAT
II approach procedures. The AEG will provide written documentation (e.g., amended
FSB Report or other official documentation) to verify the eligibility of that
For CAT II authorization the operator or program manager must
have an acceptable LLM maintenance program in accordance with Volume 4, Chapter
2. This LLM maintenance program should be coordinated with the principal airworthiness
The kind of CAT II operation (manually‑flown HGS and/or AP)
must be specified for each item of equipment listed in Table 3‑18 of OpSpec/MSpec
C059. The following guidelines should be followed for filling out Table 3‑18:
CAT II equipment required by the regulations or the approved AFM
should not be listed.
The required airborne equipment table combines the manual and
AP columns into one column for programming purposes. Instead of putting an X
under the appropriate column, the POI will select the appropriate phrase, manual,
If an item of equipment is applicable to a specific airplane’s
M/M/S for both manual and AP CAT II operations, both manual and AP can be highlighted
and selected for insertion into the column.
Please note the equipment required for RVR 1000 CAT II authorization
is to be listed in the “Additional Equipment” column.
See the sample of Table 3‑18 below for examples of how the items
of equipment should be specified for the kind of CAT II operation.
Table 3‑18, Example of
CAT II Items of Equipment
Boeing 767 219
1. Approach coupler and FD must be operative
1. An independent FD and display for each pilot
(L and R or C and R)
Manual (HGS) or
NIHON YSII A200
AFM Supplement dtd 3/26/2003
The following equipment is required by the AFM and SHOULD NOT
be listed in Table 3‑18 of OpSpec C059:
One engine inoperative with flaps 20 degrees and manual throttle
or 2 engines operative.
Two electronic attitude director indicators (EADI).
Two Inertial Reference Units (IRU) in NAV mode.
Two sources of electrical power.
Authorized Airports and Runways. Airports and runways for
which an operator is authorized to conduct CAT II instrument approach and landing
operations are specified by Table 3‑19 of OpSpec/MSpec C059.
All foreign CAT II facilities approved for the program manager/operator’s
use must be listed in Table 3‑19 of OpSpec/MSpec C059.
If the airport and runways are approved for CAT II operations in part
97, they should not be routinely listed in Table 3‑19 of OpSpec/MSpec C059 unless
the POI determines there is a need to specify a special limitation for an operator
at a particular airport.
If the CAT II approach procedure is published in the National Aeronautical
Charting Office IAP flight information publication as a CAT II procedure, it
is approved under part 97.
The list of domestic‑ and foreign‑approved CAT II/III facilities is based
on Order 8400.8, Procedures for the Approval of Facilities for FAR Part 121
and Part 135 CAT III Operations, appendix 4, Facilities Approved or Approvable
for CAT IIIA Operations, or the current version of Order 8400.13, Procedures
for the Approval of Special Authorization Category II and Lowest Standard Category
I Operations, can be found on the Flight Operations Branch (AFS‑410) Web site.
Once a facility has been approved, AFS‑400 will put that facility on
its Web site and notify the requesting air carrier, program manager, or their
respective POIs of the approval.
For RVR 1000 authorization, the foreign approved airports and runways
for these operations must also be listed in Table 3‑19.
The following example of Table 3‑19 illustrates a method for listing
authorized airports and runways:
Table 3‑19, Example List of Authorized Airports and Runways
for CAT II Instrument Approach and Landing Operations
Chiang Kai Shek, Taiwan
Tokyo Narita, Japan
Note that in the “Operating Limitations” subparagraph, the
crosswind component on the runway of intended landing was increased from 10
knots to 15 knots (or in accordance with the AFM, whichever is more restrictive).
PIC who have not met the requirements of §§ 91.1039(c), 121.652,
or 135.225(d) as appropriate, shall use the high minimum pilot RVR landing
minimum equivalents as determined from the table in OpSpec/MSpec C054. For the
PIC to conduct the part 121 CAT II operations at the lower authorized minima,
he/she must have currently accumulated the hours required by § 121.652, in the
aircraft type that he/she is going to be flying for that carrier. The provision
of Air Transportation Association of America (ATA) exemption 5549 for part 121
air carriers may also apply.
Foreign lighting systems are accepted but may not be technically
equivalent to Approach Lighting System with Sequenced Flashing Lights (ALSF).
For landing minima not less than 1200 RVR, the TDZ sensor
and the rollout sensor of an RVR system is required and must be used. The TDZ
sensor RVR report is controlling for all operations and the rollout sensor RVR
report provides advisory information to pilots. A mid‑RVR sensor report, if
available, provides advisory information to pilots and may be substituted for
the rollout sensor RVR report if the rollout sensor RVR report is not available.
Some RVR reporting systems contain four sensors (e.g., TDZ, mid, rollout, and
far end). In those cases, a far end sensor also provides advisory information
to pilots and may be substituted for the rollout sensor RVR report if the rollout
sensor RVR report is not available.
OPSPEC/MSPEC C060, CATEGORY III INSTRUMENT APPROACH
AND LANDING OPERATIONS.
CAT III is an optional authorization. OpSpec/MSpec C060 issuance
is required for authorizing parts 121, 125, 135 and part 91K CAT III operations.
CAT III operations are evaluated in accordance with the latest version
of AC 120‑28, Criteria for Approval of Category III Weather Minimums for Takeoff,
Landing, and Rollout.
Initial CAT III authorization must be coordinated through the Regional
Flight Standards Division (RFSD) All Weather Operations (AWO) Program Manager
(see Volume 4, Chapter 2).
RFSD (AWO) concurrence is also required before amending OpSpec/MSpec
C060 to include an airplane M/M/S for an operator.
All reductions in CAT III operating minima for each operator and aircraft
also require RFSD (AWO) concurrence.
Initial authorizations may require higher minima for a period of time
or number of operations. The POI should issue the authorization using the higher
minima and re‑issue the OpSpec/MSpec at the appropriate time to authorize the
The authorization is applicable to operations conducted by:
Part 91K program managers.
Part 121 certificate holders.
Part 125 operators.
Part 129 foreign air carriers.
Part 135 certificate holders.
Airplanes Approved for CAT III operations. Airplanes with
an approved AFM entry authorizing CAT III may be approved for CAT III. In accordance
with the AFM, CAT III operations may be conducted with either fail operational
(FO) or fail passive (FP) systems. Tables 3‑20 and 3‑21 of OpSpec/MSpec C060
classifies all CAT III landing systems as either FP or FO and is specified in
Table 3‑22 for each airplane M/M/S.
Each airplane type M/M/S and the equipment authorized to conduct CAT
III operations must be listed in Table 3‑22 of OpSpec/MSpec C060. Aircraft,
including wide body aircraft such as the DC‑10, L‑1011, and B‑747, which are
authorized for FO CAT III but have not been demonstrated to meet the FP provisions
of appendix 3 of AC 120‑28, current edition, may be approved with landing minima
of RVR 1000.
The equipment required to conduct CAT III operations is established in
accordance with the applicable parts of 14 CFR, the approved AFM, and AC 120‑28,
The only acceptable method of demonstrating that an airplane is airworthy
for CAT III operations is through type design approval obtained by a manufacturer.
The approved AFM (or flight manual supplement) for airplanes which have
CAT III type design approval contains a statement to the effect that the airborne
systems have demonstrated the reliability and redundancy necessary for CAT III
operations in accordance with AC 120‑28 (or previous versions).
These AFMs also specify that certain equipment is required for airworthiness
approval of the various kinds of CAT III operations.
Some of the AFMs also indicate that acceptable CAT III performance was
demonstrated both with and without (w/wo) certain equipment (for example “autothrottles
w/wo”). AC 120‑28, current edition, also specifies that certain types of equipment
are required for operational approval of the various kinds of CAT III operations.
Therefore, both the approved AFM and AC 120‑28 must be considered in determining
the additional equipment which must be listed (specified) in Table 3‑22.
Equipment which is explicitly required by the airplane certification
regulations (parts 23 and 25), the operating regulations (parts 91, 121, 125,
and 135), and/or the approved AFM should not be listed in Table 3‑22.
The standard text of OpSpec/MSpec C060 requires this equipment to be
Therefore, only the additional equipment which must be listed (specified)
in Table 3‑22 of OpSpec/MSpec C060 is determined by cross checking the types
of equipment required by AC 120‑28, current edition, for the kind(s) of CAT
III operation proposed against the equipment required by the regulations and
the approved AFM.
The equipment to be listed in Table 3‑22 as additional equipment is only
that equipment which is not explicitly required by the regulations and/or the
AFM, but is required by AC 120‑28 and/or the guidance and direction in the AWOPM
concurrence letter for the kind(s) of CAT III operations to be authorized.
When the AFM indicates acceptable performance both w/wo certain items
of equipment (which are not explicitly required by AC 120‑28, current edition,
or the AWOPM AFS‑400 concurrence letter), it must be determined how the operator
intends to conduct CAT III operations and train flightcrews with those items
If the operator proposes to conduct operations both with and without
certain equipment (such as autothrottle), the operator must train flightcrews
for both situations and the item of equipment does not need to be listed in
If the operator proposes to conduct operations only when those items
of equipment (w/wo) are functional, then those items of equipment must be listed
in OpSpec/MSpec C060.
The authorizations for a DH/Alert Height (AH), the lowest RVR (see also
subparagraph I below), the field length factor (see subparagraph D below), and
the FP/FO landing systems must be specific for each airplane type. In general,
the following summary applies:
Table 3‑20, Fail Operational Landing Systems
1. Utilize an AH (typically 50 ft.)
2. Must go‑around if any system failure occurs
3. Could land safely if a failure occurs after
1. Lowest allowable RVR 600/600/600
2. Suitable visual prior to touchdown
1. No visual necessary
2. Any FAA‑approved rollout system
3. Lowest allowable RVR 600/400/400
1. No visual necessary
2. Lowest allowable RVR 400/400/400
1. No visual necessary
2. Lowest allowable RVR 300/300/300
Table 3‑21, Fail Passive Landing
1. Utilize a DH (no less than 50 ft.)
2. Must have visual references NLT DH to land,
otherwise missed approach
3. System not capable of autoland if a failure
occurs after DH.
4. If lose visual references after DH or a
failure after DH (prior to touchdown), missed approach.
Lowest allowable RVR 600/600/600
Lowest allowable RVR 600/400/400
The runway field length required for the various kinds of
CAT III operations must be specified in Table 3‑22 of OpSpec/MSpec C060 for
each airplane M/M/S.
For operations with a controlling RVR at or above RVR 600, the required
field length is 1.15 times the field length required by:
Part 121, § 121.195(b),
Part 135, § 135.385(b),
The AFM for part 125, or
Part 91, § 91.1037 and AFM.
For a precision instrument approach and landing with a controlling RVR
below 600 feet, the required field length is either 1.15 or 1.3 times the field
length required by the previously cited regulations depending on the operational
procedures and/or additional equipment used by the operator.
The “Special Operational Equipment and Limitations” column in Table 3‑22
is provided for equipment that is IN ADDITION to that required by 14 CFR and
not included in the AFM.
For example, additional equipment may be required if a field length factor
of 1.15 is used in operations below RVR 600 where a procedural means alone is
not acceptable (see AC 120‑28, current edition).
Operators currently authorized RVR 700 may be approved for
RVR 600 operations as follows:
When the operator has incorporated changes reflecting RVR 600 into the
approved training program (when applicable), bulletins, aircraft placards, etc.,
When a check airman or an FAA inspector has certified the flightcrews
to fly to these reduced minima.
An operator currently using RVR 600 or lower in its approved
training for FP operations may be approved for RVR 600 without further checking
when the operator has updated the approved training program (when applicable)
and flightcrew bulletins to reflect RVR 600 authorization.
The following is an example of Table 3‑22 with data inserted.
If an operator is not authorized to conduct those kinds of CAT III operations
with a particular airplane, or if the operator does not need special operational
equipment, put N/A under the appropriate column (do not delete or leave any
Include only that equipment which is not explicitly required by
the regulations and/or the AFM. For new CAT III operators, inspectors must coordinate
the operational equipment requirements with the AWOPM during normal review processing.
Table 3‑22, CAT III Approach
and Landing Minimums
Either Autoland or HGS must be operable
Either Autoland or HGS must be operable
1.30 required if thrust reverser or antiskid
inoperative below 600 RVR
Anti‑skid and thrust reverser system must be
fully operative for operations below RVR 600
1.30 required if thrust reverser or anti‑skid
inoperative below RVR600
Use 1.3 if autobrake is inoperative
1.30 required if thrust reverser or antiskid
inoperative below 600 RVR
Ground speed indicating system
Ground speed indicating system
Enter: *N/A = Not Applicable; FP = Fail‑passive Landing or Rollout
Control System; FO = Fail‑operational Landing or Rollout Control System; (i.e.,
FP/FO systems include autoland and HGSs);
Some European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) member States apply a DH
(as opposed to an AH) to operations at or below RVR 600 because of ILS facility
As part of FAA/EASA harmonization, it was agreed that U.S. operators
could continue to use AH when using an FO system in accordance with its OpSpec
Required RVR Reporting Equipment. The RVR reporting equipment
authorizations were expanded to enable the use of new and more robust EASA Approval
and AC 120‑28, current edition, certification criteria for autoflight or guidance
landing system(s) with FP rollout control or flight guidance landing systems.
OpSpec/MSpec C060 allows touchdown RVR 600, mid‑RVR 400, rollout RVR
400 (600/400/400) for appropriate FP landing/rollout systems and 400/400/400
for FO landing systems with FP rollout control or flight guidance landing systems.
Note that to use the touchdown RVR 600 with mid‑/rollout RVR 400, published
runway landing minima of RVR 400 or lower is required.
Mid‑ and rollout RVR 400 cannot be used at runways where RVR 600 is the
lowest published RVR minima.
RVR 300/300/300 is allowed for FO landing systems with FO rollout control
or flight guidance landing systems.
The operator or program manager is not authorized to conduct operations
using an RVR lower than the published minima at any runway (domestic or foreign)
even if the operator or program manager is authorized to conduct CAT III operations
at a lower RVR than is published for that approach.
The crosswind component allowed is either less than the AFM’s
crosswind limitations, or 15 knots or less, whichever is more restrictive. This
should be reflected in the approved training program and flightcrew bulletins.
Authorized CAT III Airports and Runways. With the issuance
of OpSpec/MSpec C060, the operator/program manager is authorized to conduct
CAT III operations at airports and runways using an approved part 97 CAT III
IAP unless a restrictive Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) is issued for that approach.
Domestic airports and runways (that have no restrictions) do not have to be
individually listed in OpSpec/MSpec C060; only foreign airports and runways
approved for CAT III operations need to be specifically identified and listed
in OpSpec/MSpec C060.
Foreign Airports and Runways. CAT III operations may be authorized at
the foreign airports and runways listed in Table 3‑22 from the selection list
provided for Table 3‑22.
U.S. Facilities with Restrictions or Conditions. The U.S. ILS facilities
provided in Table 3‑22 of C060 are approved only for the specific aircraft to
conduct CAT III operations. The characteristics of the pre‑threshold terrain
at these facilities may cause abnormal performance in flight control systems.
Additional analysis or flight demonstrations are required for each aircraft
type prior to approval of CAT III minima. Publication of a part 97 standard
instrument approach procedure (SIAP) or additional operators and their aircraft
may be approved by the regional all weather operations staff as provided in
AC 120‑28, appendix 8, current edition. Approved aircraft are equipped with
either autoland or HGS equipment The restrictions at U.S. facilities for the
certificate holder are provided as selectables for listing in Table 3‑22 of
OpSpec C060. If applicable, Providence, RI, (KPVD) should be selected and listed
with the following condition: “CAT III authorized with TDZ and RO RVR sensors,
both are controlling. Mid RVR used from adjacent runway.”
Inoperative Lights. OpSpec/MSpec C359 authorizes specific
minima for part 97 CAT II and III approaches when the TDZ and centerline lights
Lower Landing Minimums Maintenance Program. The operator/program
manager must maintain the aircraft and equipment listed in Table 3‑20 of OpSpec/MSpec
C060 in accordance with its approved LLM maintenance program or inspection program,
Non‑Standard Requests. All requests for operational non‑standard
OpSpec/MSpec authorizations must be submitted to the Air Transportation Division,
AFS‑200, using the non‑standard request policy outlined in Volume 3, Chapter
18, Section 2, paragraph 3‑713, Procedures for Requesting Nonstandard Authorizations.
For part 129 Operations, Foreign Air Carriers and Foreign
Operators of U.S.‑Registered Aircraft Engaged in Common Carriage, see Volume
12, Chapter 2.
OPSPEC/MSPEC C061, FLIGHT CONTROL GUIDANCE SYSTEMS
FOR AUTOMATIC LANDING OPERATIONS OTHER THAN CATEGORIES II AND III.
C061 authorizes an operator to use a flight control guidance
system with automatic landing capabilities to touchdown. Title 14 CFR §§ 121.579(c)
and 135.93(d) specify this type of operation must be authorized by OpSpecs.
A part 91K program manager is issued MC061, if applicable. Before issuing C061,
the POI must determine the following:
The AFM permits use of the flight control guidance system (autoland system)
Training on the use of the flight control guidance system and autoland
procedures to touchdown is provided to flight crewmembers; and
The operator continually maintains flight control guidance and autoland
systems in accordance with an approved maintenance program for autoland operations.
The airplanes (make/model) and the flight control guidance
systems (manufacturer/model) authorized for this type of operation must be listed
AC 120‑67, Criteria for Operational Approval of Auto Flight
Guidance Systems, provides additional information.
OPSPEC/MSPEC C062, MANUALLY FLOWN FLIGHT CONTROL
GUIDANCE SYSTEM CERTIFIED FOR LANDING OPERATIONS OTHER THAN CATEGORY II AND
OpSpec/MSpec C062 is optional for part 121, 135, and part
91K operations to authorize operators to use manually flown flight control guidance
systems to conduct approach and landing operations to fly a CAT I ILS using
an HGS. C062 is issued to use an HGS just as C061 is issued to use an autoland
system for other than CAT II or CAT III operations.
This authorization is independent of CAT II/III authorizations. Typically
this authorization is issued prior to CAT II/III authorizations and is kept
after the issuance of CAT II/III authorizations.
FAA Order 8400.13 also provides credit for lower than standard CAT I
minima using HGS or an autoland system to touchdown.
It is required to list series of aircraft in addition to make/model due
to the distinct differences in series of models (especially in the newer aircraft).
The aircraft listed must have a manual flight control guidance system installed
and certified for manually flown landings (HGS).
C062 is not required to be issued to fly a CAT I ILS when
the HGS CAT III guidance is not used to touchdown. Neither C061 or C062 is required
when the autoland or HGS are disconnected prior to or not used to touchdown.
NTSB safety recommendation A‑99‑40 recommends the FAA “issue
a flight standards information bulletin that directs principal operations inspectors
to ensure that MD‑11 training programs provide simulator instruction in the
proper procedure for AP disengagement and the subsequent manual control of the
airplane.” As a result, Flight Standards recommends that POIs ensure that each
operator conducting operations in an MD‑11:
Has included in its company flight manual information regarding the potential
for pitch attitude upsets caused by improper operation of the AP and disseminate
that information to each flight crewmember of the MD‑11 and;
Has included simulator instruction in the proper operating procedure
for AP disengagement and subsequent manual control of the airplane in its MD‑11
initial, upgrade, recurrent, transition, and re‑qualification training programs.
See OpSpec/MSpec H111 for the helicopter equivalent of this
OPSPEC/MSPEC/LOA C063—U.S. IFR RNAV DEPARTURE
PROCEDURES, RNAV ROUTES, AND RNAV STANDARD TERMINAL ARRIVALS.
The authorization provided by OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C063 is applicable
to operators conducting operations under parts 91K, 121, 125 (including the
part 125(M) operators issued a LODA), 129, and 135.
OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C063 authorizes operators to conduct operations using
part 97 U.S. IFR terminal RNAV DP and RNAV STAR in the National Airspace System
The term RNAV DP includes Standard Instrument Departures (SID) and Obstacle
Departure Procedures (ODP).
If an operator’s aircraft are not eligible (properly equipped) and/or
its flightcrews are not appropriately trained to conduct RNAV 1 DPs and STARs,
then the OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C063 authorization should not be issued.
The current edition of AC 90‑100, U.S. Terminal and En Route
Area Navigation (RNAV) Operations, provides detailed guidance for operators
regarding operations on RNAV DPs and RNAV STARs. The AC provides a link to the
AFS Flight Operations Policy and Guidance Web page, where a compliance table
is available as a checklist to determine aircraft eligibility.
Based on the information supplied by the operator, the POI must coordinate
with the PAI to determine equipment eligibility for RNAV DPs and STARs compliance
table referenced in AC 90-100.
An aircraft equipment compliance matrix is also available in the OPSS
guidance in association with OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C063 by clicking on “Other Useful
Procedures utilized under this approval should be outlined
in the appropriate operations manual or within the OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C063 template
for operators conducting operations under part 135 who have no operations manual.
Part 97 U.S. RNAV DPs and STARs throughout the NAS are designated
as RNAV 1 and published in accordance with part 97. Current and new terminal
RNAV DPs and STARs are charted as RNAV 1 to reflect the requirements specified
in AC 90‑100. The previous version of AC 90‑100 made reference to Type B procedures
and that guidance should no longer be used.
Some important definitions as they relate to this authorization:
Climb Via: An ATC instruction in development that will be issued to pilots
flying RNAV DPs. The instruction is issued to enable pilots to vertically navigate
(i.e., climb in accordance with published speed and/or altitude constraints)
on a DP as published.
Descend Via: An ATC instruction issued to pilots flying RNAV STARs or
Flight Management System Procedures (FMSP). The instruction is issued to enable
pilots to vertically navigate (i.e., descend in accordance with published speed
and/or altitude constraints) on an arrival procedure as published.
Flight Management System Procedure. An RNAV arrival, departure, or approach
procedure developed for use by aircraft equipped with an FMS.
The number of FMSPs in the NAS is limited and FMSP criteria are
no longer preferred for the design of RNAV procedures.
Instrument Departure Procedure. Instrument DPs are published IFR procedures
which provide obstruction clearance from the terminal area to the en route structure.
There are two types of DPs, SID and ODP.
Standard Instrument Departures. A SID is a published IFR ATC DP that
provides obstacle clearance and a transition from the terminal area to the en
route structure. SIDs are primarily designed for air traffic system enhancement
to expedite traffic flow and to reduce pilot/controller workload.
Obstacle Departure Procedure. An ODP is a published IFR DP that provides
obstruction clearance via the least onerous route from the terminal area to
the appropriate en route structure. ODPs are recommended for obstruction clearance
unless an alternate DP (such as a SID or radar vector) has been specifically
assigned by ATC. The RNAV ODP must be retrievable from the FMS database and
included in the filed flight plan.
Standard Terminal Arrival Route. An RNAV STAR is a published IFR ATC
arrival procedure that provides a transition from the en route structure to
the terminal area.
RNAV 1 DPs and STARs. RNAV terminal procedures requiring, as a minimum,
a DME,/DME/IRU-based and/or GPS‑based RNAV system satisfying the criteria of
AC 90‑100. RNAV 1 procedures require the aircraft’s trackkeeping accuracy remain
bounded by + 1 nautical mile for 95 percent of the total flight time.
Training. An operator’s FAA-approved training program should
include subject areas and frequency in accordance with the following:
Operators not required to have approved training programs must
include an RNAV SID, an RNAV ODP, and an RNAV DP and STAR on each part 61 qualification
Training and qualification should be conducted in the specific equipment
being used and type of procedure(s) approved under OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C063. Training
and qualification should include the following subject areas:
Operating procedures in AC 90‑100;
Pilot knowledge requirements and training described in AC 90‑100;
Importance of reducing flight technical error on RNAV procedures via
use of equipment such as flight director and/or autopilot;
Recognition that some manually selectable aircraft bank-limiting functions
might reduce the ability to satisfy ATC path expectations, especially during
turns of 70 degrees or greater;
Procedures for verification that the correct procedure and runway are
entered into the navigation system database prior to departure; and
Recognition of altitude restrictions on RNAV DPs and related aircraft
Recurrent training and continuing qualification should be based upon
These RNAV procedures should be trained to proficiency during the crewmembers
first training sequence in the specific airplane type with equipment being used
by the operator.
Pilot proficiency should be validated during each recurrent training
or continuing qualification cycle (i.e., every 12 months) in the use of RNAV
DPs and STARs that the operator is approved to use, in accordance with the operator’s
FAA‑approved training program. This may be accomplished during a Line-Oriented
Flight Training, Line-Operational Simulation, or other course of training, as
For parts 91K and 135 operators, pilot proficiency must be tested during
each recurring qualification cycle (i.e., every 6 months) in the use of the
RNAV system approved for conducting these RNAV DPs and STARs.
Typical pilot errors should be included in the operator’s training program.
The following are examples of RNAV FMS entry errors:
Proper Interpretation of Predeparture Clearance (PDC) and Printed Clearance
Routes. Pilots of operators using PDC and printed routes must be able to properly
interpret their assigned clearance. Specifically, pilots must be able to recognize
direct routings, assigned altitudes, revised clearances, SIDs, and en route
transitions. As an example, some pilots incorrectly inferred that the absence
of a period (“.”) in their PDC or printed clearance meant a direct routing.
By making this assumption, their navigation system missed waypoints on the assigned
en route transition segment. In the case of the NOBLY2 SID at Dallas–Fort Worth,
a PDC with the routing of “NOBLY2 LIT” did not mean direct from NOBLY to LIT.
In summary, pilots must understand their operator’s PDC notation and must request
clarification from ATC if any doubt exists with regard to their clearance.
Correct Entry of Runway and En Route Transitions into RNAV System/FMS
Prior to Takeoff. Prior to commencing takeoff, pilots must verify their aircraft
navigation system is operating correctly and that the correct airport, runway,
and DP (including any applicable en route transition) have been entered and
are properly depicted by their navigation system. Pilots who are assigned an
RNAV DP and subsequently receive a change of runway, procedure, or transition
must verify that the appropriate changes are entered and available for navigation.
A final check of proper runway entry and correct route depiction, shortly before
takeoff, is recommended.
Verification of Assigned Route and Correct Entry of Transitions into
DPs. Prior to flight, pilots must verify their aircraft navigation
system is operating correctly and the correct runway and DP (including any applicable
en route transition) are entered and properly depicted. Pilots who are assigned
an RNAV DP and subsequently receive a change of runway, procedure or transition
must verify the appropriate changes are entered and available for navigation.
A final check of proper runway entry and correct route depiction, shortly before
takeoff, is recommended.
STARs. Pilots must verify their aircraft navigation system is operating
correctly and the correct arrival procedure and runway (including any applicable
transition) are entered and properly depicted.
Use of Navigation Map Displays. Prior to takeoff, pilots of aircraft
with a navigation map display should verify that the relationship of the aircraft
position symbol to their assigned runway and route on their display matches
external visual cues, as well as charts. Specifically, once on or near their
assigned runway, pilots should ensure their navigation display reflects the
same relative position to the runway, and the route depiction reflects that
of the respective chart. During flight, these displays should be used in concert
with textual displays for route verification.
Manually Selectable Bank-Limiting Functions. Pilots should recognize
that manually selectable aircraft bank-limiting functions might reduce their
ability to satisfy ATC path expectations, especially when executing turns of
70 degrees or greater. Do not construe this request for awareness as a requirement
to deviate from AFM procedures; rather, pilots should be encouraged to limit
the selection of such functions within accepted procedures.
Aircraft Eligibility. Operators and pilots should use the
guidance in AC 90‑100, to determine their eligibility for domestic U.S. RNAV
terminal procedures. For the purpose of this authorization, “compliance” means
meeting operational and functional performance criteria.
Aircraft compliant with the current edition of AC 90-45, Approval
of Area Navigation Systems for Use in the U.S. National Airspace System, may
not be compliant with the criteria in AC 90‑100.
Per AC 90‑100, data suppliers and avionics data suppliers must
have an LOA in accordance with the current edition of AC 20-153, Acceptance
of Data Processes and Associated Navigation Databases, operators must ensure
that data supplier(s) are compliant.
RNAV 1 procedures require DME/DME/IRU sensors and/or GPS inputs. Due
to gaps in the DME infrastructure of the NAS, “RNAV 1” procedures require IRU
sensor inputs to augment DME/DME, which is often referred to as DME/DME/IRU.
The operator is responsible for providing equipment eligibility documented
by the AFM or other FAA recognized means. If the operator is unable to determine
that the aircraft is eligible, it must provide the following required documentation
for RNAV 1 terminal procedures to the certificate-holding district office:
RNAV system make, model, and part number(s);
Evidence of compliance with AC 90‑100 criteria;
Crew operations procedures;
Crew training program; and
Any other pertinent information.
AC 90‑100 includes terminology harmonized with ICAO procedures.
Formerly classified as either “Type A” and “Type B” procedures, they are now
referred to as RNAV 1 procedures.
Based on the information supplied by the operator, the POI must coordinate
with the PAI to determine equipment eligibility in accordance with the RNAV
DPs and STARs compliance table. An aircraft equipment compliance table is also
available in the OPSS guidance in association with all OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C063
templates and via the AFS‑410 Web site at:
As described in the AC 90‑100, the term “compliance” means meeting the
operational and functional performance criteria. For the intended purpose of
this policy, “compatible” means equipment and systems that perform their intended
function and meet performance requirements for RNAV 1 (and RNAV 2) operations,
as determined to be in “compliance” for approval.
The PAI determines the proper nomenclature of the equipment manufacturer’s
make, model, and software (version and that the area navigation equipment and
system is installed in accordance with approved data and meets the criteria
of the most recent version of AC 90‑100. To ensure the proper configuration
control of the approved RNAV operating system, it is required to list both the
hardware and the software part numbers or version/revision numbers in Table
1 of OpSpec C063.
If the certificate‑holding district office is unable to determine equipment
eligibility for RNAV DPs and STARs via the AFS‑410 Web site, contact AFS‑410
Some RNAV equipment and systems may not be able to perform multiple STAR
runway transitions, sometimes known as “route Type 3,” because of database limitations.
Operators of such RNAV systems must procure a “tailored” database and charts
to allow the use of multiple runway transitions in order to qualify for RNAV
After the POI and PAI agree that the operator’s navigation equipment,
procedures, and flightcrew training are eligible for RNAV 1 DPs and STARs operations,
the OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C063 template may be issued indicating the appropriate
Certificate Holders and Program Managers Authorized European Precision
RNAV (P‑RNAV) Operations. The criteria in AC 90‑100, required for U.S. RNAV
procedures, are generally consistent (but there are exceptions) with the criteria
for P‑RNAV operations in Europe.
P‑RNAV terminal and en route operations require a track-keeping accuracy
of ± 1 nautical mile for 95 percent of the flight time.
If an operator has met the requirements for and is authorized P-RNAV
(OpSpec/MSpec/LOA B034), that operator may also be eligible for RNAV 1 after
consideration of the following issues regarding equipment. POIs should still
evaluate their operator’s procedures and training to ensure compliance with
current edition of AC 90‑100.
If approval for the P‑RNAV included the use of VOR/DME, then RNAV system
performance must be based on the GNSS, DME/DME, or DME/DME/IRU for RNAV 1. However,
VOR/DME inputs do not have to be inhibited or deselected.
If approval for the P‑RNAV included the use of DME/DME: Operator can
ask manufacturer or check the FAA Web site for a list of compliant systems.
However, DME/DME‑only systems are not authorized to conduct RNAV 1 operations.
Operators must be able to follow RNAV guidance no later than 500 ft above
field elevation (AFE).
Appropriate P‑RNAV references are:
Current edition of AC 90‑96, Approval of U.S. Operators and Aircraft
to Operate Under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) in European Airspace Designated
for Basic Area Navigation (B-RNAV) and Precision Area Navigation (P-RNAV).
Joint Aviation Authority Temporary Guidance Leaflet Number 10, Airworthiness
and Operational Approval for Precision RNAV Operations in Designated European
Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 4, Paragraph, OpSpec/MSpec/LOA B034, IFR
Class I Terminal and En Route Navigation Using Area Navigation Systems.
14 CFR part 91, §§ 91.123, 91.205, and 91.503 (data currency);
14 CFR part 95;
14 CFR part 121, § 121.349;
14 CFR part 125, § 125.203;
14 CFR part 129, § 129.17;
14 CFR part 135, § 135.165; and
FAA Order 7110.65, Air Traffic Control, current edition.
OPSPEC C064, TERMINAL AREA IFR OPERATIONS IN
CLASS G AIRSPACE AND AT AIRPORTS WITHOUT AN OPERATING CONTROL TOWER—NONSCHEDULED
PASSENGER AND ALL‑CARGO OPERATIONS. C064 authorizes an operator to conduct
nonscheduled passenger and all‑cargo (scheduled and nonscheduled) terminal area
IFR operations in Class G airspace or into airports without an operating control
tower, with the following limitations and provisions:
Before authorizing C064, the POI must determine that the operator
has a method or procedure for obtaining and disseminating necessary operational
information. This operational information must include the following:
The airport is served by an authorized IAP (and departure procedure when
Applicable charts for crewmember use;
Operational weather data from an approved source for control of flight
movements and crewmember use;
Status of airport services and facilities at the time of the operation;
Suitable means for pilots to obtain traffic advisories.
Sources of Traffic and Airport Advisories.
Certificate holders may be authorized to use any two‑way radio
source of air traffic advisory information listed in the AIM (for operations
in U.S. airspace) or equivalent Aeronautical Information Publications (AIP)
(for foreign operations).
These sources include common traffic advisory frequencies, UNICOM, MULTICOM,
and flight service stations.
In those cases where two sources are listed at the same airport, inspectors
must ensure the operator’s manuals have procedures which require pilots to continuously
monitor and use the traffic advisory frequency when operating within 10 NM of
the airport. The procedures should require communication concerning airport
services and facilities to be completed while more than 10 miles from the airport.
At some airports no public use frequencies may be available. In those
cases, a certificate holder must arrange for radio communication of essential
information including surveillance of local or transient aircraft operations
by ground personnel. Ground personnel who operate a company radio for airport
status and traffic advisory must be able to view airspace around the airport.
OpSpecs C064 and/or C080 may need to be issued to the certificate
holder in order for the OpSpec C081, Special Non 14 CFR Part 97 Instrument Approach
or Departure Procedures, to be issued which authorizes the use of special (non‑part
97) instrument approach or departure procedures.
C064 is applicable to parts 121, 125, 121/135, and 135 certificate
holders. For helicopter authorization, see OpSpec H121. Part 91K program managers
should use MSpec A014 for Class G operations.
OPSPEC C065, POWERBACK OPERATIONS WITH AIRPLANES.
C065 authorizes the use of powerplant reversing systems for
rearward taxi operations. Before issuing C065, the POI must determine whether
the operator meets requirements discussed in AC 120‑29, current edition. Airplane
types (M/M/S) authorized for powerback operations must be listed in C065. Airports
where powerback operations are authorized must also be listed. If the POI and/or
operator determine that restrictions to powerback operations are required at
certain gates or ramp areas, the restrictions must be described (adjacent to
the airport name) in the “Restrictions and Limitations” column. OpSpecs worksheets
provide a template for listing authorized airplanes, airports, and restrictions.
Sections 121.133, 121.135, 135.21, and 134.23 require certificate
holders to prepare manuals setting forth procedures and policies which must
be used by ground and maintenance personnel in conducting their ground operations.
Sufficient procedures must be established to maintain an adequate level of passenger
and company ground personnel safety during ramp operations. Procedures should
emphasize safety during boarding and deplaning of passengers or cargo, specifically
during times when an engine(s) may be running or a propeller(s) is turning during
ground operations. Procedures should include, as a minimum, a means for defining
no‑access areas around the propeller(s) as well as the landing gear and tugs
during push and ground marshaling operations. Policies should provide that an
adequate number of ground personnel are assigned to ensure safety of company
personnel and passengers.
Procedures for pushback and ground marshaling activities should
be clearly defined and should include safety precautions and signals, and should
ensure adequate visibility of assigned personnel during the time of aircraft
FAA air carrier surveillance programs should emphasize increased
awareness by inspectors and the strict need to follow safety procedures around
turning propellers, in marshalling and pushback procedures, and/or other ground
Additional references can be found in NTSB Recommendations
91‑297, 91‑298, and 93‑146, and ACOB 8‑94‑2, Safety in Ground Operations.
OPSPEC C067, SPECIAL AIRPLANE AUTHORIZATIONS,
PROVISIONS, AND LIMITATIONS FOR CERTAIN AIRPORTS.
General. OpSpec C067 authorizes certificate holders to operate
airplanes into certain airports. The authorizations include the following:
Part 121 air carriers to conduct passenger‑carrying operations into uncertificated
airports (see C below),
Part 121 air carriers to conduct operations at airports that require
curfew limitations for flights into or out of specific airports (see D below),
Part 121 or 135 air carriers to conduct operations into airports that
have operational considerations such as special aircraft performance charts
and equipment, special lighting (flare pots, etc.), or unpaved runways, (See
Part 121 or 135 air carriers to conduct operations using the Reginald
Bennett International Runway Reflectorization System in Alaska (see D below),
Part 135 transport category airplane deviations from § 135.376(a)(3)
or § 135.379(d). (See D below and Volume 4, Chapter 3, Section 5, Selected Practices)
Authorizations Where Other OpSpecs are Applicable.
OpSpec C050 for “special PIC qualification airports” is applicable to
the authorization described in § 121.445. Do not list special PIC qualification
airports in OpSpec C067 unless one of the items in subparagraph A above also
OpSpec C081 should be used for listing the airports/runways where AFS‑400
has approved specific “Special” instrument procedures for a certificate holder.
OpSpec C058 is used for authorizing specific foreign terminal instrument
OpSpec C064 and C080 are used for authorizing a certificate holder to
conduct airplane operations in airport terminal areas in Class G and E airspace.
OpSpec C070 is used for authorizing airports where certificate holders
conduct scheduled operations.
In accordance with part 121, § 121.590(c) and (e), a certificate holder
may be authorized to conduct passenger‑carrying airplane operations into an
airport (non‑military) operated by the U.S. Government that is not certificated
under 14 CFR part 139 if those airports meet:
The equivalent safety standards for airports certificated under part
The equivalent airport classification requirements under part 139 to
serve the type airplanes to be operated and the type of operations to be conducted.
Authorization to use such airports may be granted by entering the location/identifier
of each airport, and the M/M (if applicable) of the airplanes to be operated
in Table 3‑23:
Operators should obtain permission from the airport manager of non‑military
airports to operate at these airports before starting operations.
This permission is not needed for operations at joint‑use civil and military
The FAA may authorize a certificate holder to conduct passenger‑carrying
airplane operations into a domestic military airport that is not certificated
under part 139 (by selecting this text in the OpSpec) if the certificate holder
ensures the following in advance of starting operations into that airport.
Certificate holders should obtain permission from the Base Commander
of military airports that are not certificated under part 139 in advance of
commencement of operations.
In accordance with the requirements of § 121.590, certificate holders
must ensure that the airport:
Meets the equivalent safety standards for airports certificated under
part 139 and
Meets the equivalent airport classification requirements under part
139 to serve the type airplanes to be operated and the type of operations to
Other Special Authorizations.
Other special authorizations include those that may require special operational
considerations and special flight crewmember training. (See guidance in Volume
4, Chapter 3, Section 5, paragraph 4‑601.) These authorizations may include
but are not limited to:
Operations into airports with special runway markings, such as flare
pots or trees;
High altitude airports with special airplane performance requirements;
Airports in or near precipitous terrain (§ 135.363(h)); and
Airports with unpaved runways or runways constructed on frozen lakes
Special authorization for conducting operations at airports in Alaska.
For authorization to conduct airplane operations using the Reginald Bennett
International (RBI) Runway Reflectorization System in Alaska:
The air carrier must provide a station agent at the airport trained to
give wind information to the flightcrew and
The air carrier must train its flightcrews on this specific system in
accordance with an approved training program. The training program must be approved
in accordance with the following criteria:
Each pilot must receive initial and follow‑on recurrent training
in accordance with the company approved training program.
Ground and flight personnel must complete initial training before
participation with this authorization.
Recurrent training must be completed every 12 calendar‑months following
completion of initial training.
Whenever a person who is required to take this recurrent training
completes the training in the calendar‑month before or the calendar‑month after
the month in which this recurrent training is required, that person is considered
to have completed it in the calendar‑month in which it was required.
The sample Table 3‑24, below, shows how to provide authorization for
conducting operations after curfew hours at specific airports or use of the
RBI Runway Reflectorization system at specific airports in Table 3‑24 of OpSpec
Unpaved runways for turbojet operations. To use an airport with unpaved
runways, an operator is required to have special operational procedures and
flight crewmember training. For approval of operations at an airport with unpaved
runways the POI must identify the airport and reference the appropriate section
of the operator’s manuals in Table 3‑24 of OpSpec C067. See Volume 4, Chapter
3, Section 5.
You may list in OpSpec C067 Flag or Supplemental destination airports
that do not have an available alternate airport (in accordance with § 121.621(a)(2)
or 121.623(b)), for use by airplanes that are dispatched in accordance with
the required fuel reserves set forth in § 121.641(b) or 121.645(c).
Although the FAA does not encourage operators to list aircraft limitations
at certain airports during curfew hours in their OpSpecs, if an airport authority
requires operators to list these limitations in their OpSpecs, then operators
may list them in Table 3‑24 of OpSpec C067. A sample of Table 3‑24 below shows
an example of limitations for air carrier operations into specific airports
during curfew hours.
Table 3‑24, Sample of Airports and Special Provisions
PKEK, Ekwok, Alaska
A station agent is required to give wind information
to the flightcrews and the flightcrew must have completed the required
approved training on the RBI Runway Reflectorization System
DCA, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
Limitations during the curfew hours
Boeing 737‑800Max Takeoff‑159,000 pounds
Max Landing 137, 600 pounds
Tahiti Island, Society IS; PPT/NTAA
Approved as destination airport without an
Deviation from the Requirement to Obtain Obstacle Clearance Data for
Takeoff. This OpSpec provides for the authorization of certain transport category
airplanes a deviation from part 135, § 135.367(a)(3) or 135.379(d). Guidance
for this deviation authorization is contained in Volume 4, Chapter 3, Section
5, paragraph 4‑599. To authorize this deviation, it must be listed in OpSpec
A005 and the following statement must be selected in OpSpec C067:
“The certificate holder is authorized to conduct takeoff operations
using transport category airplanes weighing no more than 19,000 pounds and having
a seating configuration of no more than 19 passenger seats without showing compliance
with part 135, §§ 135.367(a)(3) and 135.379(d). This authorization is limited
to only the following operations conducted:
At airports of 4,000 feet MSL or less field elevation;
On runways on which the available length of runway is equal to
or greater than 150 percent of the runway required by § 135.367(a)(1) and (2)
or § 135.379(c), as applicable; and
In weather conditions equal to or greater than straight‑in Category
I landing minimums for the runway being used.”
OPSPEC C068, NOISE ABATEMENT
DEPARTURE PROFILES (NADP) ITEM 7K.
C068 authorizes an operator to conduct NADPs using aircraft
with a maximum certificated gross takeoff weight of more than 75,000 pounds.
Operators may use either or both of two standard NADPs as described in AC 91‑53,
Noise Abatement Departure Profiles, current edition.
Before authorizing this paragraph, the POI must ensure that
all airplane vertical departure profiles described in the certificate holder
operations and/or training manuals comply with the minima criteria established
in AC 91‑53 for NADPs (Close‑In and Distant) before approving paragraph C068
for the certificate holder’s OpSpecs. The certificate holder shall not use any
other departure profile (except as stated in part 91) that is not defined within
Use of part 91 procedures does not require OpSpecs authorization.
If the operator does not meet the criteria established in AC 91‑53, then OpSpec
C068 will not be issued.
Proposed exceptions to the criteria as stated in this OpSpec
which would be less limiting (less than 800 feet above field elevation (AFE))
must be addressed by the certificate holder to the certificate holder’s POI
for concurrence by AFS‑400 of the Flight Standards Service.
AC 91‑53, effective July 22, 1993, established minimum acceptable
criteria for speed, thrust settings, airplane configurations and the criteria
for both the Close‑In and Distant NADPs. These NADPs can be combined with preferential
runway selection and flight path techniques to minimize noise impact. For helicopter
information, see AC 91‑66, Noise Abatement for Helicopters.
The Distant departure profiles requires an initiation of flaps/slats
retraction prior to thrust cutback initiation with the thrust cutback initiation
at an altitude of no less than 800 feet AFE. Configuration changes necessary
to meet regulatory performance or operations requirements shall not be affected
by this procedure. For those airplanes that have a performance requirement to
reduce takeoff flaps to an intermediate takeoff flap setting at 400 feet AFE
or above, the next flap/slats retraction should be initiated at an altitude
of no less than 800 feet AFE.
OPSPEC C070, AIRPORTS AUTHORIZED FOR SCHEDULED
Under 14 CFR part 119, § 119.49, the OpSpecs must prescribe
the authorizations and limitations for each type of operation. All regular airports
shall be listed in the OpSpecs of all operators conducting scheduled operations.
This includes domestic operations, flag operations, and commuter operations.
Provisional and refueling airports shall be listed for part 121 domestic and
Three letter identifier of the airport,
Airplanes authorized to use the airport, and
A notation as to whether the airport is regular (R), refueling
(F), or provisional (P) for each type of airplane authorized (refueling and
provisional airports are not applicable to part 135 operators).
If an airport is designated as provisional, the regular airport
or airports for which it serves as a provisional airport must be annotated.
(Except in unique situations, an airport should not be designated as a provisional
airport if it is located more than 100 statute miles outside of the metropolitan
area served by the regular airport.)
If the operator provides a list of airports to be incorporated
into C070, this list must provide the same type of information discussed in
subparagraph A. This list must be annotated with the effective date of the listing.
C070 specifies that the operator must maintain a list of alternate
airports which can be used. This list of alternates may be integrated into the
list provided by the operator, if desired. The POI should occasionally inspect
the list of alternates to determine airport and airplane compatibility.
OPSPEC C071, AUTOPILOT ENGAGEMENT AFTER TAKEOFF
AND DURING INITIAL CLIMB FOR AUTO FLIGHT GUIDANCE SYSTEM (AFGS).
OpSpec C071 is an optional authorization applicable to certificate
holders operating in accordance with parts 121, 125, and 135; there is no MSpec
C071 for part 91K operators. The authorization to engage the AFGS at an altitude
lower than 500 feet after takeoff and the initial climb segment requires authorization
through OpSpec C071 in accordance with the following criteria:
For certain aircraft, the AFM may specify a minimum altitude that has
been satisfactorily demonstrated for AFGS engagement after takeoff and the initial
climb phase of flight that is lower than 500 feet:
If the FSB report sets a higher altitude than the AFM, the higher FSB
altitude would be the authorized altitude; or
If an FSB report is not available, or does not address AP engagement
heights, the lowest authorized altitude shall be the altitude specified in the
If the FSB report sets a lower altitude than the AFM, the AFM value shall
Operator training material and pilot training program(s) have been reviewed,
incorporating appropriate changes, as necessary. The flightcrew must have successfully
completed the certificate holder’s approved training program curriculum segment(s)
for AFGS operations at the minimum engagement altitude(s).
The established maintenance and reliability program must be checked.
This program should be designed to ensure that the equipment functions to the
prescribed levels as delivered by the manufacturer, and include maintenance
and preventative maintenance. Appropriate manuals should be referenced for compliance
with manufacturers’ recommendations.
If the AFM does not specify an altitude for engaging the AFGS for the
initial climb, the lowest minimum altitude authorized is 500 feet, in accordance
with § 121.579(a), 125.329(a), or 135.93(a), as applicable.
The FSB Report for the aircraft may also contain further conditions or
limitations regarding AFGS engagement after takeoff and initial climb.
If there is uncertainty about applying AFM performance information, Airplane
Operations Manual (AOM), General Operations Manuals (GOM), or Flightcrew Operating
Manual (FCOM) procedures, or if there is a conflict between AFM and AOM, GOM,
or the FCOM, the Aircraft Evaluation Group (AEG) should be consulted.
Principal Inspectors approving, or who have approved, performance‑related
takeoff procedures and training for systems not specifically designed with a
takeoff mode should coordinate with the cognizant AEG.
The AEG, in coordination with the cognizant Aircraft Certification Office
(ACO), will concur or nonconcur with the procedure or propose conditions and
limitations, if any, as appropriate.
The AFM is the document which contains “FAA‑approved” “performance”
and “limitations.” Any use of the AP and/or FD modes should be consistent with
both the AFM and the applicable operating rules (e.g., § 121.189, Airplanes:
Turbine engine powered: Takeoff limitations).
The AFM establishes the basis to be used when developing the AOM or the
While AOMs, GOMs, and FCOMs are accepted by the FAA, they typically are
not used as the means to specify performance information, and they do not supersede
the limitations sections of the AFM.
FSB Report further addresses such issues for some, but not all, aircraft
Some AOMs, GOMs, or FCOMs contain takeoff procedures such
as using 1/2‑bank mode, go‑around mode, or capturing indicated airspeed (IAS)
for systems not specifically designed with a takeoff mode and should not, by
procedures themselves, be used as the basis for approving procedures and training
programs that relate to achieving necessary takeoff performance.
AC 120‑67 gives additional criteria applicable to operators
using commercial turbojet and/or turboprop aircraft operating under parts 121,
125, and 135.
OPSPEC C072, ENGINE‑OUT DEPARTURE PROCEDURES
WITH APPROVED TEN‑MINUTE TAKEOFF THRUST TIME LIMITS.
OpSpec C072 is optional and authorizes the certificate holder
to use engine‑out departure procedures under the provisions of parts 125, 121,
and/or 135, as appropriate, using airplanes that are equipped with powerplants
that are approved 10‑minute takeoff thrust time limits in accordance with the
provisions of this guidance and the OpSpec C070.
The manufacturer’s AFM must include takeoff obstacle climb
data for use with a 10‑minute engine‑out takeoff thrust time limit. This AFM
data must be applied to the certificate holder’s airplane engine‑out takeoff
obstacle analysis to provide critical obstacle clearance in the event of an
engine failure during takeoff.
The FAA Transport Airplane Directorate and the Engine and Propeller Directorate
have developed a procedure to certify and revise airplane manufacturer’s AFMs
to include takeoff obstacle climb data for use with a 10‑minute engine‑out takeoff
thrust time limit.
Previously, airplane operators’ AFM takeoff data only provided data for
a five‑minute takeoff thrust time limit. Airplane operators may obtain revised
AFMs from the airplane manufacturers for specific airplane/engine combinations.
This AFM data may then be applied to the airplane operator’s engine‑out takeoff
obstacle analysis to provide critical obstacle clearance in the event of an
engine failure during takeoff.
Since it is assumed that not all airplanes operated by an
air carrier will have their AFMs revised for 10‑minute takeoff thrust data some
operator’s airplane takeoff thrust limits and may be restricted to 5 minutes
while other airplanes in the same fleet may have the 10‑minute restriction,
certain criteria must be addressed to inform the pilot which limit is applicable
in the event of an engine failure during takeoff.
The certificate holder’s approved operations manual and training
program must include the engine‑out departure procedures specifically designed
to use the 10‑minute takeoff thrust time limits. These departure procedures
require that airplane operator’s training programs, manuals, and procedures
address the following areas:
Air carrier performance engineers evaluation of engine‑out departure
procedures specifically designed to use the 10‑minute takeoff thrust time limit.
An FAA‑AFM revision outlining operational procedures with specific airplane/engine
lists that involve the 10‑minute takeoff thrust time limit.
An FAA‑approved dispatch or similar acceptable system which provides
specific 10‑minute engine‑out takeoff thrust departure procedure information
to the pilot for the impending flight concerning the airport, aircraft weight,
and departure path.
Information readily available to the pilot that indicates airplanes authorized
for 10‑minute takeoff thrust operations in the event of an engine failure on
Pilot knowledge of the designed engine‑out departure procedure which
uses the 10‑minute takeoff thrust time limit.
Pilot training of the 10‑minute takeoff thrust time limit departure flight
OPSPEC C073, IFR APPROACH PROCEDURES USING VERTICAL
NAVIGATION (VNAV). TBD.
OpSpec C074, Straight-In Category I Precision
Approach Procedures and IFR Landing Minimums—All Airports (Split from C053):
14 CFR Parts 121, 125, 125M, 135, and 91 Subpart K Operators.
OpSpec C074 applies all operators conducting airplane operations
under parts 121, 125 (including the LODA 125 operators), 129, 135, and 91 subpart
K. Paragraph C074 authorizes the lowest straight-in CAT I precision approach
procedures and IFR landing minimums. Paragraph C074 applies to operators conducting
IFR CAT I precision approach procedures as follows:
OpSpec C074 is required to be issued to operators conducting operations
under part 121. This OpSpec is required to be issued to operators that using
turbojets in operations under part 135; however, it is optional for operators
conducting operations under part 135 with all other aircraft.
OpSpec C074 and letter of authorization (LOA) C074 is optional for certificated
operators that operate under part 125. LOA C074 is optional for operators conducting
operations under part 125 that are issued a deviation from the certificate and
OpSpec requirements of part 125 (125M).
MSpec C074 is required to be issued to those program managers conducting
operations under part 91K.
OpSpec C074 is optional for part 129 foreign air carriers.
Paragraph C074 specifies the lowest minimums applicable to
CAT I precision approaches based on runway lighting and approach lighting systems,
as well as the controlling RVR. Table 1 in C074 reflects CAT I 1800 RVR landing
minimums, including both the lighting systems and aircraft equipment requirements.
Paragraph C074 specifies the equipment usage requirements
and part 97 SIAP depiction required for reduced CAT I landing minimums. Credit
is given for FD, AP, and heads‑up display (HUD) usage. The POI should allow
the use of 1800 RVR minimums to runways without CL lighting or TDZ lighting,
provided the Special Instrument Approach Procedure (SIAP) contains a straight-in
ILS minimum with the chart note, “RVR 1800 Authorized with use of FD or AP or
HUD to DA.” Additionally, the operator issued OpSpec C074 may continue to use
1800 RVR line of minimums on SIAPs without the above procedural note when the
TDZ and/or CL lights are inoperative, if the approach is conducted in accordance
with the equipment requirements outlined in paragraph C074.
FAA Approval. Operators may continue to use the standard CAT I minimums
based solely on ground lighting systems without alteration of current authorizations
or procedures. Operators can utilize reduced CAT I landing minima provided the
SIAP contains a straight-in ILS minimum with the chart note, “RVR 1800 Authorized
with use of FD or AP or HUD to DA.” A part 129 foreign air carrier must present
documentation from its Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) authorizing lower than
standard CAT I operations to receive authorization for equivalent operations
in this paragraph.
Conditions of Approval. Before issuing the C074 authorization to use
CAT I minimums based on aircraft equipment and operation, inspectors must ensure
that each operator meets the following conditions:
Aircraft and Associated Aircraft Systems. The authorized aircraft must
be equipped with an FD, or AP with an approved approach coupler, or HUD that
provides guidance to DA. Inspectors must establish that the FD, AP, or HUD are
certified for use down to an altitude of 200 feet above ground level (AGL) or
Flightcrew Procedures. The flightcrew must use the FD, or AP with an
approved approach coupler, or HUD to DA or to the initiation of a missed approach,
unless visual references with the runway environment are established, thus allowing
safe continuation to a landing.
If the FD, AP, or HUD malfunctions or becomes disconnected, the flightcrew
must execute a missed approach unless the runway environment is in sight.
Single pilot operators are prohibited from using the FD to reduced
landing minima without accompanying use of an AP or HUD.
1800 RVR operations without TDZ and/or CL lighting are prohibited
if the crosswind is stronger than 15 knots.
Qualification. Each member of the flightcrew must have demonstrated proficiency
using the FD, AP, or HUD, (as appropriate) on the most recent instrument proficiency
check required in Order 8900.1, Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section 4, paragraph
4‑259C; and 14 CFR §§ 121.441, 135.297, 125.291, 91.1069, 61.57(e)(2), 61.58
(as applicable), or in an approved Advanced Qualification Program (AQP).
Paragraph C074 allows the operator to continue to utilize
reduced CAT I precision approach minimums when operating at an airport with
an approved Special Instrument Approach Procedure. A Special Instrument Approach
Procedure is one which is authorized by AFS‑400, which is not a 14 CFR part
97 approach procedure. To authorize reduced CAT I minimums on a Special Instrument
Approach Procedure, the procedure must be authorized by AFS‑400, and the airport
and runway must be listed in Table 2 of OpSpec paragraph C074. Table 2 should
only list airports and runways with an approval Special Instrument Approach
Paragraph C074 allows the operator to use reduced CAT I precision
approach minimums when operating at an airport with a part 97 Standard Instrument
Approach Procedure with an 1800 RVR minimums, published either on the approach
chart or via a temporary or permanent NOTAM. These runways do not need to be
listed in Table 2 of paragraph C074. The AFS‑410 public Web site contains a
list of all part 97 public approaches approved for reduced CAT I precision approach
C074 references the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAR‑OPS‑1), and specifies the
requirements for both CAT I precision and nonprecision approaches at foreign
airports. Sequenced flashing lights are not required when determining if the
approach lighting system is equivalent to U.S. standards. The HAT used for precision
approaches must not be below those specified in paragraph C074. This section
also specifies the requirements for determining DA/MDA when an Obstacle Clearance
Limit (OCL) or Obstacle Clearance Altitude (OCA) is specified.
OpSpec paragraph C074 subparagraph d, Limitations and Provisions
for Instrument Approach Procedures at Foreign Airports, is not applicable to
14 CFR part 129 foreign air carriers.
OPSPEC C075, CAT I IFR LANDING MINIMUMS—CIRCLING
APPROACHES. (SPLIT FROM C053).
OpSpec paragraph C075 is issued to operators who conduct parts
121, 135, and 125 operations with fixed‑wing airplanes. OpSpec C075 specifies
the lowest minima which can be used for CAT I circling approach maneuvers. It
also provides special limitations and provisions for IAPs at foreign airports.
See Volume 4, Chapter 2 for more information on required training for circling
For the purpose of this OpSpec authorization, any operator
issued this paragraph is authorized to conduct circle‑to‑land maneuvers. In
any weather condition, a certificate holder that permits its pilots to accept
a “circle to land” or a “circle to runway (runway number)” clearance from ATC
conducts circle‑to‑land maneuvers. The term “circle‑to‑land maneuver” includes
the maneuver that is referenced in various regulations, publications, and documents
as “circle‑to‑land maneuver,” “circling,” “circling maneuver,” “circle,” “circling
approach,” and “circling approach maneuver.” With regard to pilots, “conducting”
a circle‑to‑land maneuver means to act as the pilot flying when a circle‑to‑land
maneuver is being conducted.
Aircraft operating under IFR during all circle‑to‑land maneuvers
are required to remain clear of clouds. If visual reference to the airport is
lost while conducting a circle‑to‑land maneuver the missed approach procedure
specified for the applicable instrument approach must be followed, unless an
alternate missed approach procedure is specified by ATC.
Each certificate holder who is issued OpSpec C075, and who
is also required to have maneuver descriptions/ procedures, must publish in
its training manual, or must incorporate in its training manual by reference
to another approved manual, a detailed description of the procedures used to
conduct a circle‑to‑land maneuver. Pilots must conduct circle‑to‑land maneuvers
using those procedures.
Part 121 certificate holders may conduct circle‑to‑land maneuvers
under two separate provisions contained within OpSpec C075.
With flight training and flight checking. Part 121 certificate holders
whose pilots have been trained and checked for the circling maneuver in accordance
with part 121, appendix E and appendix F, or in accordance with an AQP, may
conduct a circle‑to‑land maneuver:
At the published circling landing minima for the instrument approach
to be used; or
At the minima specified in the chart contained within the OpSpec
paragraph, whichever is higher.
Appendix E does not require a part 121 certificate holder to train a
SIC in the circling maneuver if the certificate holder prohibits the SIC from
performing/conducting (acting as pilot‑flying) a circling maneuver. However,
an SIC must be trained and can be checked in those functions specific to the
circle‑to‑land maneuver that the SIC is required to perform while acting as
Any pilot who possesses a pilot certificate restricting circling approaches
to visual meteorological conditions (VMC) is not eligible to conduct circle‑to‑land
maneuvers except as provided in paragraph E.
Part 121 operations without flight training and flight checking. Certificate
holders conducting circle‑to‑land maneuvers without training and checking must
use a Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) of 1,000 feet (HAA) or the MDA of the published
circling landing minima for the instrument approach to be used, whichever is
higher. Certificate holders that conduct a circle‑to‑land maneuver under this
provision remain under an IFR clearance and must comply with those procedures
otherwise required for circle‑to‑land maneuvers. Certificate holders must ensure
pilots are familiar with those procedures. Part 121 pilots who have not
been trained and checked for the circling maneuver in accordance with part 121,
appendices E and F, or in accordance with an Advanced Qualification Program
(AQP), may conduct a circle‑to‑land maneuver when:
The reported ceiling is at least 1,000 feet and the visibility
is at least 3 statute miles (see part 121, appendices E and F).
The reported weather is at least equal to the published circling
landing minima for the instrument approach to be used, whichever is higher.
Part 125 certificate holders are not permitted to conduct
circle‑to‑land maneuvers in airplanes without their pilots having been checked
in that maneuver.
Section 125.291 Pilot‑in‑command: Instrument proficiency check requirements.
Subsection (b) states: “The IAP or procedures must include at least one straight‑in
approach, one circling approach, and one missed approach. Each type of approach
procedure demonstrated must be conducted to published minimums for that procedure.”
Required part 125 SIC. The SIC must complete the annual competency check
required by § 125.287. The circle‑to‑land maneuver is not part of the § 125.287
competency check. However, each SIC is evaluated for flightcrew coordination.
Pilot‑not‑flying duties. Each crewmember can be checked in those functions
specific to the circle‑to‑land maneuver that the pilot is required to perform
while acting as pilot‑not‑flying.
Part 135 certificate holders are not permitted to conduct
circle‑to‑land maneuvers in aircraft without their pilots having been checked
in that maneuver. (Helicopter IFR circle‑to‑land maneuvers are authorized in
Section 135.297 Pilot‑in‑command: Instrument proficiency check requirements.
Section 135.297(a) does not allow “any person to serve, as pilot‑in‑command
of an aircraft under IFR unless, since the beginning of the 6th calendar‑month
before that service, that pilot has passed an instrument proficiency check under
Section 135.297(b) requires, “The IAP or procedures must include at least
one straight‑in approach, one circling approach, and one missed approach. Each
type of approach procedure demonstrated must be conducted to published minimums
for that procedure.” The requirement to demonstrate a circle‑to‑land maneuver
is applicable to both airplanes and helicopters.
Part 135 single‑pilot and single PIC operators are not required to have
training programs. However, the circle‑to‑land maneuver must be successfully
demonstrated in every § 135.297 instrument proficiency check.
In accordance with § 135.293, a part 135 IFR operator is required to
ensure that each IFR SIC has an annual competency check. In accordance with
Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 7, paragraph 3‑1279, a SIC need not be evaluated
in “circling approaches” when an operator’s procedures restrict a SIC from conducting
(acting as pilot‑flying) this event in revenue service. However, each required
IFR SIC is evaluated for flightcrew coordination.
Pilot‑not‑flying duties. Each pilot must be trained and can be checked
in those functions specific to the circle‑to‑land maneuver that the pilot is
required to perform while acting as pilot‑not‑flying.
The standard of competence for part 135 instrument proficiency checks
is specified in § 135.293(d). This standard is also specified in the Airline
Transport Pilot Practical Test Standard (FAA‑S‑8081‑5) and the Instrument Rating
Practical Test Standard (FAA‑S‑8081‑4).
For helicopter authorization, see OpSpec H118.
OPSPEC/MSPEC C076, CAT I IFR LANDING MINIMUMS—CONTACT
APPROACHES. (SPLIT FROM C053). The certificate holder shall not use any
IFR CAT I landing minimum lower than that prescribed by the applicable published
IAP. The IFR landing minima prescribed in paragraphs C053 for nonprecision “other
than ILS, MLS, or GLS” approaches and C074 for precision “ILS, MLS, or GLS”
approaches of these operations specifications are the lowest CAT I minima authorized
for use at any airport. Those paragraphs must also be issued, as applicable.
For helicopter authorization, see OpSpec H119.
OPSPEC C077, TERMINAL FLIGHT RULES LIMITATIONS
AND PROVISIONS. (FORMERLY OPSPEC B033).
OpSpec C077. OpSpec paragraph C077 is an optional authorization
that is applicable to all operators conducting operations under the provisions
for part 135 on‑demand turbojet , all part 121, and part 129 foreign operators
(except for rotorcraft operations). OpSpec paragraph B051 “Part 121 En Route
Visual Flight Rules, Limitations, and Provisions,” is applicable for parts 121
and 129 VFR en route operations for propeller‑driven aircraft and may be issued
in conjunction with C077.
OpSpec C077 provides for operations under a Charted Visual
Flight Procedure (CVFP) unless operating under the provisions of 14 CFR part
93, SFAR 50‑2, if the minima in the CVFP are lower than those listed in § 121.649,
§ 121.649 prevails for all part 121 operations, conversely for part 135 operations
in class G airspace, § 135.205 prevails. There are no provisions in § 121.649
or 135.205 for a deviation. An exemption is required if the operator wants to
use a CVFP with lower than standard minima. For part 129 operators, the applicable
provisions and limitations of part 91 prevails.
The VFR weather conditions specified in part 91, § 91.155
may be used. However, where § 91.155(c) and (d) refers to § 91.157, “Special
VFR Minimums,” the minima set forth in § 121.649 or § 135.205, as applicable,
take precedence for operations conducted under part 121 or 135.
Subparagraph c(2)(b). Uncontrolled airports can be in either
controlled or uncontrolled airspace. As long as the provisions listed in this
subparagraph are met, the operator may operate VFR in uncontrolled airspace
in the terminal area in accordance with this OpSpec. For the purpose of direct
communication at uncontrolled airports, a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency
(CTAF) may be utilized as long as it is associated with an air/ground communication
facility. The CTAF may be a UNICOM, MULTICOM, FSS, or a tower frequency. Acceptable
air/ground communication is a demonstrated reliable means to directly relay
traffic advisories and information that is pertinent to conditions on and around
the landing surface during the terminal phase of flight. For example, if the
operator adequately demonstrates to the POI its reliability to relay essential
information, via radio or another type of communication, through an agent located
near the landing surface, it is considered to be a “demonstrated reliable means”
Subparagraph c(3). In lieu of a published CVFP, an authorized
visual guidance procedure such as the use of Visual Approach RNAV Reference
Points (VARRP), or Special RNAV Visual Flight Procedures (RVFP) is highly recommended
for all terminal VFR departures/arrivals that fall under this OpSpec. The POI
may approve that procedure. The proximity of obstacles to the departure flight
path, the seeing conditions, the accuracy of the guidance and control systems,
the pilot's proficiency, and the operator's training, should determine the size
of the area in which obstacle clearance or avoidance must be considered. The
POI should take into account the airplane performance data annotated in Volume
4, Aircraft Equipment and Operational Authorizations, Chapter 3, Airplane Performance
and Airport Data.
Where there is an operating ATC facility and it is possible
to obtain an IFR clearance, the flight must depart on an IFR flight plan, even
if authorized en route VFR under B051.
It is recognized that the IFR infrastructure at certain locations may
not always support an expeditious departure environment. If the certificate
holder is able to show that it is just as safe to depart on a VFR flight plan
at certain IFR airports, they may apply for a nonstandard OpSpec prescribing
VFR departure procedures for that airport. For procedures to apply for a nonstandard
OpSpec authorization, see Volume 3, Chapter 1, Section 2.
Subparagraph d(3). The requirement to obtain an IFR clearance no farther
than 50 NMs still is valid. However, it is recognized that this procedure may
not be practical in all situations. If a greater distance is necessary, the
certificate holder may apply for a nonstandard paragraph.
OpSpec paragraph B051 is for part 121 and 129 VFR en route operations
for propeller‑driven aircraft. Paragraph B052 is for certain VFR operations
in remote areas. If operating under those paragraphs, certain en route VFR provisions
in part 93, SFAR 50‑2, or SFAR 71, the flightcrew may depart VFR under the provision
of C077d, except the requirement to obtain an IFR clearance en route does not
Terminal Departure IFR Requirements in Subparagraph e. It
is acceptable if ATC clears the flight to execute a VMC takeoff and climb to
a specified point in the clearance as part of an IFR clearance. However, the
operator must ensure that the obstacle performance requirements are met. Further,
the flight must not depart on a VFR flight plan if the capability to go on an
IFR flight plan is evident.
Subparagraph f provides special limitations and provisions
for all VFR operations. This subparagraph is applicable to all the provisions
and limitations of C077.
Subparagraph f(1). In order for the certificate holder or operator to
conduct VFR operations under C077, they must have in place either a procedure
or program which can identify obstacles and the airport obstacle data. Further,
they must ensure use of that information by the flightcrew.
Subparagraph f(2). Although each subparagraph has specific details and
minima regarding VFR, the requirements for sufficient seeing conditions to identify
and avoid obstacles is required for all VFR operations.
For Alaska Operations. A nonstandard subparagraph (C077g)
for certain intrastate Alaskan operations was added. The operator may operate
under that nonstandard paragraph provided they qualify under the following requirements.
If the operator does not qualify, they will not be issued subparagraph g.
In view of Public Law 104‑264, section 1205, and in accordance with §
121.657(a), a deviation was granted from the minima set forth in § 121.657(b).
That deviation applied only to part 119 certificate holders that “transitioned”
from operations under part 135 to part 121 by March 20, 1997, and only for those
operations conducted SOLELY within the state of Alaska (intrastate). Operations
specification paragraph C077, subparagraph g, describes the provisions for that
deviation, and is controlling.
If a “transitioned” certificate holder applied the above deviation to
its operations, paragraph A005 “Exemptions and Deviations” of its OpSpec must
reference that deviation for authorization.
OPSPEC C078/C079, IFR LOWER THAN STANDARD TAKEOFF
MINIMA, 14 CFR PART 121 AIRPLANE OPERATIONS – ALL AIRPORTS.
C078 and C079 are optional for authorizing lower than standard
takeoff minima. The authority for lower than standard takeoff minima is contained
in part 91K, § 91.1039(e); part 121, § 121.651(a)(1); part 135, § 135.225(g)
and (h); and part 125, § 125.381(a)(1). When appropriate, POIs will issue OpSpec
paragraph C078 to part 121 or part 125 operators, LOA paragraph C078 to part
125M operators, OpSpec paragraph C079 to part 135 operators, and MSpec C079
to part 91K operators. These authorizations contain specific criteria regarding
pilots, training and qualifications, aircraft, and airports when lower than
standard takeoff minima are used.
C078 and C079 are applicable to all airports utilized by the operator.
There may be additional limitations and guidance for specific
airplanes in FSB reports, which are binding upon all part 135 and 121 operators.
For the purpose of this OpSpec/MSpec/LOA, the word “sensor” is
used to indicate all approved RVR systems.
C078 allows for lower than standard takeoff minima for operators
conducting operations under parts 121 or 125 (including holders of LODA operating
under part 125) with the following limitations and provisions:
Takeoff operations without runway CL lighting are not allowed at less
than RVR 1000 (300m),
Takeoff operations using only visual references are not allowed at less
than RVR 500 (150m),
Takeoff operations with visibility down to, but not lower than, RVR 300
(75m) using approved HUD takeoff guidance systems,
Authorization for pilot assessment of TDZ RVR for takeoff when the installed
RVR sensor is inoperative (see subparagraph H below), and
Lower than standard takeoff minima include paragraphs addressing takeoffs
down to RVR 1600 (500m), RVR 1200 (350m), RVR 1000 (300m), RVR 600 (175m), and
RVR 500 (150m).
C079 allows for lower than standard takeoff minima for operators
conducting operations under 14 CFR parts 135 and 91 subpart K with the following
limitations and provisions:
Lower than standard takeoff minima down to RVR 1600 (500m), RVR 1200
(350m), RVR 1000 (300m), or RVR 500 (150m) for part 135 domestic operations.
Part 135, § 135.225(f) restricts part 135 domestic operators to one mile visibility
for takeoffs at foreign or military airports.
Lower than standard takeoff minima down to RVR 1600 (500m), RVR 1200
(350m), RVR 1000 (300m), or RVR 600 (175m) for part 91K operations at all airports.
Each aircraft must be operated with a flightcrew consisting of at least
two pilots. Use of an AP in lieu of a required SIC is not authorized.
There are some circumstances in which an operations inspector for a part
121 or 135 carrier may consider issuing this OpSpec for airplanes certificated
under CAR 3 or part 23. Those airplanes have to meet the part 25 avionics equipment
requirements necessary to hold C079 authorization. The following statement becomes
binding on such aircraft, and must be added using the remarks paragraph selection
for C079 to be issued:
Each pilot station must have operational equipment which displays a reliable
indication of the following:
Aircraft pitch and bank information (attitude) (from a gyroscopic
or attitude heading reference system source);
Aircraft heading (from a gyroscopic or magnetic direction indicating
Each pilot station must have an independent source of power for the equipment
required by subparagraph C4)a)1., aircraft pitch and bank (attitude),
and C4)a)2., aircraft heading (above).
Each PIC must have at least 100 hours flight time as PIC in the specific
make and model airplane used under this authorization. Each PIC must have satisfactorily
completed the operator’s approved training program (as applicable) and qualification
check for the minima approved by this authorization. This includes the methods
to be used to ensure compliance with the aircraft performance limitations during
takeoffs with RVR less than RVR 1000 (300m), when applicable.
Any part 135 or part 91K SIC authorized to manipulate the flight controls
during lower than standard takeoff minima must have at least 100 hours flight
time as a pilot in the specific make and model airplane, and must have satisfactorily
completed the operator’s approved training program and qualifications check
for those minima, when applicable.
For takeoffs when the RVR is less than RVR 1000 (300m), each airplane
used must be operated at a takeoff weight which permits the airplane to achieve
the performance equivalent to the takeoff performance specified in part 135,
§ 135.367 (for reciprocating powered airplanes), § 135.379 (for turbine powered
airplanes), or § 135.398 (for commuter category airplanes).
C078 or C079 provide for the authorization of lower than standard
take off minima using HUD systems with certain limitations and provisions. Although
RVR 500 (150m) is the lowest authorized minima when the takeoff is based upon
outside visual references (with the exception of operations conducted under
part 91K and operations to foreign or military airports conducted under part
135), RVR 300 (75m) is the lowest authorized minima when using a HUD system
on a runway that has been determined to be served by a Localizer (LOC) providing
CAT III rollout guidance as indicated by a III/E/4 facility classification.
As the HUD systems uses the LOC signal for steering commands, the LOC needs
to be III/E/4 certified (III = CAT III, E = accurate to at least 2,000 feet
from the departure end of the runway, and 4 = 4,000 hours mean time between
failures for the LOC signal). A listing of runways with III/E/4 LOC classifications
is available on the AFS-410 Web site at: http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/afs/afs400/afs410/.
C078 or C079 authorize lower than standard takeoff minima
of TDZ RVR 1600 (500m). If TDZ RVR is inoperative, mid-point RVR may substitute
for TDZ RVR. Below RVR 1600, two operating RVR sensors are required and controlling.
If more than two RVR sensors are installed, all operating RVR sensors are controlling,
with the exception of a fourth, far-end RVR sensor which may be installed on
extremely long runways. A far-end RVR sensor is advisory only. C078 or C079
allow the selection of the following lower than standard takeoff minima based
on flightcrew training, checking, and allowed authorizations:
TDZ RVR 1200 (350M), mid-point (if installed) RVR 1200 (350m), and rollout
RVR 1000 (300m); or
TDZ, mid-point (if installed), and rollout RVR 1000 (300m); or
TDZ, mid-point (if installed), and rollout RVR 600 (175m) (part 91K);
TDZ, mid-point (if installed), and rollout RVR 500 (150m) (parts 121,
125 or 135). Part 91K program managers are limited by regulation to RVR 600
(175m) takeoff authorization without an exemption. The RVR 500 (150m) and RVR
300 (75m) authorization will not be available in the part 91K MSpec C079. Tables
3-25 and 3-26 below provide examples of tables that may be included in flightcrew
manuals such as the Flight Operations Manual (FOM).
Table 3-25A, Runway Equipment Requirements for Lower Than Standard Takeoff
If an RVR sensor is not available:
Adequate visual reference, OR any ONE of the following:
¼ sm (400m)
If an RVR sensor is available:
Note: Below RVR 1600, two operating RVR
sensors are required. All operating RVR sensors are controlling (except
per the note below for Far End sensors).
Adequate visual reference, OR any ONE of the following:
RVR 1600 ft. (500m)/NR/NR
Mid-point can substitute for an unavailable touchdown
Day: CLL or RCLM or HIRL
Night: CLL or HIRL
RVR 1200 ft. (350m)/1200 ft. (350m)/1000 ft. (300m)
RCLM and HIRL, or CLL
RVR 1000 ft./1000 ft./1000 ft. (300m)
HIRL and CLL
RVR 600 ft./600 ft./600 ft. (175m) or RVR 500
ft./500 ft./500 ft. (150m)
With an approved HUD takeoff guidance system,
HIRL, and CLL
RVR 300 ft./300 ft./300 ft. (75m)
Extremely long runways (e.g., DEN 16R) utilize four RVR sensors
(i.e., TDZ, mid, rollout, and far-end). When a fourth far-end RVR value is reported,
it is not controlling and is not to be used as one of the two required operative
Runway Equipment Requirements for Lower Than Standard Takeoff Minima
Runways with 1 RVR Sensor
RCLM or CLL or HIRL or Adequate
TDZ RVR 16
RVR 24 or 1/2
RVR 50 or 1
Runways with 2 RVR Sensors
Both RVR sensors are required
RCLM or CLL or HIRL or Adequate
HUD & CLL & HIRL
CLL & HIRL
CLL, or RCLM & HIRL
RCLM (day only) or CLL or HIRL
TDZ RVR 3
Rollout RVR 3
TDZ RVR 5
Rollout RVR 5
TDZ RVR 10
Rollout RVR 10
TDZ RVR 12
Rollout RVR 10
TDZ RVR 16
RVR 24 or 1/2
RVR 50 or 1
Runways with 3 RVR Sensors
Two operating RVR sensors are
required. All operating RVR sensors are controlling.
RCLM or CLL or HIRL or Adequate
HUD & CLL & HIRL
CLL & HIRL
CLL, or RCLM & HIRL
RCLM (day only) or CLL or HIRL
TDZ RVR 3
Mid RVR 3
Rollout RVR 3
TDZ RVR 5
Mid RVR 5
Rollout RVR 5
TDZ RVR 10
Mid RVR 10
Rollout RVR 10
TDZ RVR 12
Mid RVR 12
Rollout RVR 10
TDZ RVR 16
(if TDZ inop)
Mid RVR 16
RVR 24 or 1/2
RVR 50 or 1
Runways with 4 RVR Sensors
Two RVR sensors below must be
operational. All operating RVR sensors are controlling except Far End
which is advisory only.
RCLM or CLL or HIRL or Adequate
HUD & CLL & HIRL
CLL & HIRL
CLL, or RCLM & HIRL
RCLM (day only) or CLL or HIRL
TDZ RVR 3
Mid RVR 3
Rollout RVR 3
TDZ RVR 5
Mid RVR 5
Rollout RVR 5
TDZ RVR 10
Mid RVR 10
Rollout RVR 10
TDZ RVR 12
Mid RVR 12
Rollout RVR 10
TDZ RVR 16
(if TDZ inop)
Mid RVR 16
RVR 24 or 1/2
RVR 50 or 1
RVR Applicability to Lower Than Standard Takeoff Minima.
Other than the authorization for RVR 1600 (500m), which permits use of
RVV or “visibility values” under the appropriate authorization for an operator
issued C078 or C079, all the authorizations in C078 and C079 are based on RVR
reports that are generated by RVR sensors.
“Controlling” RVR means that RVR reports are used to determine operating
minima whenever operating minima are specified in terms of RVR, and RVR reports
are available for the runway being used.
All CAT I operating minima below 1/2 statute mile (RVR 2400) and all
CAT II and III operating minima are based on RVR. The use of visibility is prohibited
because the reported visibility may not represent the “seeing-conditions” on
the runway.” (See Order 8900.1, Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section 3, Factors Affecting
All Weather Terminal Area Operations, paragraphs 4-208 and 4-213.)
All takeoff minima below ¼ statue mile visibility require RVR values,
and the use of visibility values for takeoff clearances is prohibited. In these
situations RVR is said to be “controlling;” that is, RVR must be operating and
reporting (by requirement High Intensity Runway Lights (HIRL) also must be working),
and at a value equal to or greater than the lowest authorized RVR for the particular
clearance. Takeoffs or approaches and landings in these conditions require actual
RVR values to be authorized by the controlling agency.
The diagram above is intended as a memory aid intended to help
in remembering the various RVR breakdowns, and associated requirements within
each grouping. For example, 2 RVR sensors are required for all takeoffs at RVR
values less than 1600 (500m) (shown above the runway).
The following requirements and restrictions apply to the use of RVR values
below 1600 feet (500m). (In the C078 and C079 templates simplified wording is
Where only two RVR sensors are installed, the TDZ and rollout RVR sensors
are both required and controlling.
Where three RVR sensors are installed on the runway to be used:
The TDZ, mid and rollout RVR reports are controlling for all operations.
The failure of any one RVR will not affect operations provided the
remaining two RVR sensors are reporting values at or above the appropriate minima
in this subparagraph.
Extremely long runways (e.g., DEN 16R) utilize four RVR sensors
(e.g., TDZ, mid, rollout, and far-end). When a fourth far-end RVR value is reported,
it is not controlling and is not to be used as one of the two required operative
Flightcrew Training and Qualification Requirements. If an
operator requests authorization to conduct lower than standard takeoffs, the
flightcrew must be trained and qualified in their respective crew positions
for the applicable takeoff minima requested. The PIC is ultimately responsible
for ensuring that the flightcrew members are appropriately qualified before
conducting an authorized lower than standard takeoff.
Individual pilots must be trained in their respective crew positions
(parts 91 subpart K, 121, and 135) and checked (parts 91 subpart K, 121, 125,
and 135) in takeoffs using the appropriate requested minima, before being approved
for conducting such takeoffs.
Pilot qualification must consist of an initial check that includes one
takeoff at the lowest requested takeoff minima. It is also required during each
pilot’s recurrent qualification cycle. This qualification must be completed
in a flight simulator capable of replicating the applicable takeoff visibility,
and the simulator must be set at the applicable takeoff visibility, or lower,
during such takeoffs.
Additional crew qualification for a check airman or a qualified FAA inspector,
beyond that shown herein for regular flightcrews, is not required.
POIs shall ensure that operators requesting lower than standard takeoff
minima provide appropriate training for flightcrews, including the procedures
listed below, as appropriate:
Confirming the takeoff runway alignment (Safety Alert for Operators
(SAFO) 07003 includes guidance and/or advisory information about acceptable
Rejected takeoffs in a low visibility environment;
Low visibility instrument takeoff cross check priorities;
Engine failure during critical phases of takeoff in low visibility;
Acceleration and climb disorientation factors and illusions;
Use of HUD takeoff guidance systems (when installed in aircraft
for RVR 300 authorization only);
Taxiing in a low visibility environment with emphasis on preventing
runway incursion and SMGCS training AC 120-57A, Surface Movement Guidance and
Control System, includes guidance and/or advisory information about acceptable
Taxiway critical areas;
Crew coordination and planning;
Required ground-based visual aids (such as stop bars and taxi
holding position lights);
Required ground-based electronic aids (such as ILS/MLS and transmissometers);
Determination of takeoff alternate airports.
Pilot Assessment of IFR Lower than Standard Takeoff Minima.
C078 and C079 allows pilots to make an assessment of the touchdown RVR when
the TDZ RVR sensor is inoperative, is not reported, or the pilot determines
that reported TDZ RVR report is in error. This assessment, when equal to or
greater than the TDZ RVR requirement for takeoffs made with only outside visual
references, or for takeoffs using HUD systems, can be used for takeoff when
mid and rollout RVR sensors are available, and are equal to or greater than
the required minima. To be authorized for this pilot assessment, each operator
must meet the following requirements:
For each specific runway for which the assessment is allowed, have an
FAA‑approved procedure for assessing RVR values that includes:
Identification of actual distances between runway lights (from 160 feet
to 200 feet) on the particular runway for the takeoff in question.
Identification of an appropriate number and type of runway lights that
matches the particular RVR minima or required visual distance for the takeoff
Identification of runway markings of known spacing with corresponding
distances that must be visible to the pilot from the flight deck when the aircraft
is in the takeoff position.
This procedure must include the effects of variability of runway light
intensity settings and changing ambient lighting (day or night). Flightcrew
training and checking must assess knowledge of this specific subject area by
requiring crews to relate runway markings and number of lights visible to specific
For each type of runway where an assessment is allowed, have an FAA-approved
procedure for describing the actions to be taken when local visibility conditions,
as determined by the pilot, indicate that a significantly different visibility
exists from that reported for the TDZ recorded by RVR sensor. The procedure
will address types of runway markings, runway lights and distances between lights,
and any other runway environmental cues that permit precise distance evaluations
For each runway where an assessment is allowed, have an FAA-approved
procedure for coordinating release with ATC and dispatch for part 121 operations.
For part 135 air carriers, the operator must have an FAA-approved procedure
for conducting pilot assessment of Takeoff Visibility contained in their manual
as defined by § 135.21. That procedure will cover the following requirements:
How to determine actual visibility measured in number and type of runway
lights that are seen, or markings of known spacing that are visible to the pilot
when viewed from the cockpit in the takeoff position.
How all flight crewmembers will be trained and checked in the procedures
used to determine visibilities, as described above.
Have FAA-approved procedures for RVR assessment, for determining that
TDZ RVR sensor reports are in error, and for takeoff and flight release coordination
in operating manuals and in such materials that are readily available to the
flightcrew in the cockpit.
Have an FAA-approved training and validation program of the FAA-approved
procedures for all flightcrews authorized to participate. Validation of the
procedures will be accomplished in an FAA-qualified and approved flight simulator.
No flightcrew member may participate in these operations until this portion
of the approved training program is accomplished satisfactorily.
OPSPEC C080, TERMINAL AREA IFR OPERATIONS IN
CLASS G AIRSPACE AND AT AIRPORTS WITHOUT AN OPERATING CONTROL TOWER FOR SCHEDULED
PASSENGER OPERATIONS. C080 is used to authorize terminal area IFR operations
for scheduled passenger operations in Class G airspace or at airports without
an operating control tower.
Before authorizing scheduled terminal area IFR operations
in Class G airspace or at airports without an operating control tower, the POI
must obtain and list the following information in C080.
Names of airports.
Sources of weather information to be used by flightcrews (see Volume
3, Chapter 26, Section 3, and Volume 3, Chapter 2).
Source of traffic and airport advisories.
Sources of Traffic and Airport Advisories. Certificate holders
may be authorized to use any two‑way radio source of air traffic advisory information
listed in the AIM (for operations in U.S. airspace) or equivalent AIP (for foreign
These sources include common traffic advisory frequencies, UNICOM, MULTICOM,
and flight service stations.
If an air traffic advisory source is also suitable for determining the
status of airport services and facilities, it is the only source which needs
to be listed in C080.
When airport services and facilities information is on a different frequency,
both sources should be listed in C080.
In those cases where two sources are listed at the same airport, inspectors
must ensure the operator’s manuals have procedures which require pilots to continuously
monitor and use the traffic advisory frequency when operating within 10 NM of
the airport. The procedures should require communication concerning airport
services and facilities to be completed while more than 10 NM from the airport.
At some airports, no public use frequencies may be available. In those
cases, a certificate holder must arrange for radio communication of essential
information including surveillance of local or transient aircraft operations
by ground personnel. Ground personnel, who operate a company radio for airport
status and traffic advisory, must be able to view airspace around the airport.
OpSpec C080 may need to be issued to the certificate holder authorized
scheduled passenger operations in order for the C081, Special Non 14 CFR Part
97 Instrument Approach or Departure Procedures, to be issued.
C080 is not applicable for part 125 operators.
OPSPEC/MSPEC C081, SPECIAL NON 14 CFR PART 97
INSTRUMENT APPROACH OR DEPARTURE PROCEDURES. C081 authorizes special non
part 97 instrument approach or departure procedures and is applicable to parts
121, 125/135, 125, and 135 certificate holders.
C081 may require the authorization of OpSpec C064 and/or C080,
Special Terminal Instrument Approach or Departure Procedures.
(See Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section 10, Authorization and Use of Special Instrument
Procedures, or contact your regional flight procedures branch for more information.)
For helicopter authorization, see OpSpec H122.
OPSPEC/MPEC/LOA C358, SPECIAL RESTRICTIONS FOR
FOREIGN RNAV TERMINAL INSTRUMENT PROCEDURES WITH RNP LINES OF MINIMUMS.
To obtain the nonstandard authorization C358, the operator is
required to use the nonstandard request process. See Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section
2, paragraphs 3‑712 to 3‑713, for the nonstandard request process. For operators
conducting operations under parts 121 or 135, the formal request must be requested
through AFS‑200. For operators conducting operations under part 125, including
part 125 LODA holders, or under part 91K, the same nonstandard request process
must be used and submitted through the General Aviation Division, AFS‑800. The
airplane qualification package should be sent simultaneously to AFS‑400 for
evaluation. AFS‑400 will coordinate with the appropriate policy division for
final approval of this nonstandard authorization for all operator requests.
Nonstandard Authorization. The nonstandard template C358 authorizes
a qualified operator to conduct certain “RNP-like” foreign RNAV terminal instrument
procedures with required navigation procedures (RNP) lines of minimums. These
“RNP-like” foreign RNAV approaches are not designed to the same criteria as
U.S. part 97 RNAV RNP special aircraft and aircrew required (SAAAR) procedures.
Only the selectable procedures in Table 1 of the C358 template may be authorized.
ICAO uses the term Authorization Required (AR) rather than SAAAR. AR may appear
on “RNP-like” foreign RNAV procedures with RNP lines of minimums regardless
of the design criteria.
“RNP-like” foreign RNAV procedures with RNP minimums that meet
part 97 RNAV RNP SAAAR procedure design criteria are not available for selection
in the C358 template, Table 1, and require authorization via the authorization
of template C384.
C358 authorization is granted through the nonstandard authorization request
process (see Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 2, Operations Specifications: Automated
Operations Safety System (OPSS)).
C358 authorization is applicable to operators conducting operations under
parts 91, 91K, 121, 125 (including those with a LODA 125M), and 135.
Procedures with RNP lines of minimums. These “RNP-like” foreign RNAV
procedures have RNP lines of minimums of 0.3 or less, and/or a radius to a fix
(RF) leg required, and/or the missed approach requiring an RNP less than 1.0.
RNP less than 0.3 specified in the line of minimums (RNP line of minimums refers
to the minimum altitude for the approach and has an RNP requirement associated
with it, e.g., there may be minimums of 250 ft for RNP 0.11 and a separate line
of minimum of 350 ft. for RNP 0.20).
U.S. RNAV RNP SAAAR procedures are authorized (nonstandard template C384)
using the guidance in AC 90‑101, Approval Guidance for RNP Procedures With SAAAR.
The foreign “RNP-like” RNAV procedures in Table 1 are authorized using the portions
of AC 90‑101 that apply to the particular RNP procedure design criteria for
Figure 3‑66A, Sample Table 1—Special Restrictions for “RNP-like”
Foreign RNAV Terminal Instrument Procedures with RNP Lines of Minimums
(Only those procedures allowed
for authorization will be available as selectables in the C358 template.)
QUITO, Ecuador (SEQU-UIO) / RNAV (RNP) Rwy 17
/ VNAV path required, RF leg required, RNP 0.15, Missed approach RNP
QUITO, Ecuador (SEQU-UIO) / RNAV (RNP) Rwy 35
/ VNAV path required, RF leg required, RNP 0.15, Missed approach RNP
Airplane Qualification. The airplane qualification must meet
the guidelines established in AC 90‑101, appendix 2, with the following exceptions:
POIs should send the formal nonstandard request to the appropriate headquarters
division stating that the airplane qualification and operating procedures have
been sent to AFS‑400 for evaluation. POIs should simultaneously submit the airplane
qualification and operating procedures package to AFS‑400 as described in the
AC 90‑101, appendix 7 checklist.
The vertical accuracy requirement as written in AC 90‑101, appendix 2,
paragraph 2c is not required for this authorization. Vertical guidance in these
foreign “RNP-like” procedure(s) is based on baro‑VNAV. Eligible aircraft are
those with an AFM or AFMS that explicitly states that the VNAV system is approved
for approach operations in accordance with AC 20-129, Airworthiness Approval
of Vertical Navigation (VNAV) Systems for use in the U.S. NAS and Alaska, or
those with written documentation (e.g., FSB report or other official documentation)
Airspace Containment (AC 90-101, appendix 2, paragraph
2d). The airspace containment requirement as written in AC 90-101 is
not required for this authorization. Airplanes that are qualified to conduct
RNAV operations in accordance with applicable directives and have the proper
RNAV capability (e.g., global positioning system (GPS), RF leg capability) for
the procedure(s) listed may be authorized.
Operating Considerations. The operator must establish operating
procedures that meet the applicable guidelines of AC 90-101, appendix 4. Operating
procedures must incorporate all operational mitigations based on equipment authorization.
For example, if RF leg is authorized, an operational mitigation is required
if the equipment engages in “track hold” mode when a go-around is selected.
(Track Hold would not follow the Lateral Navigation (LNAV) path when a go-around
is initiated in or shortly after an RF leg.) Submit the operating procedures
package to AFS-400 as described in the AC 90‑101 checklist in appendix 7. The
operating procedures must meet the guidelines established in AC 90-101, appendix
4, with the following exceptions.
Vertical track deviation monitoring limit of 75 feet (AC 90‑101, appendix
4, paragraph 3g.). The track deviation monitoring limit of 75 feet vertically
as written in AC 90‑101 is not required for this authorization. Eligible airplanes,
in accordance with baro‑VNAV requirements, must be equipped with and operationally
using either a flight director or autopilot capable of following the vertical
Verification of the most current airport altimeter is set prior to the
final approach fix (FAF) but no earlier than the initial approach fix (IAF)
(AC 90‑101, appendix 4, paragraph 3k). The altimeter setting requirement as
written in AC 90‑101 is not required for this authorization. Although the listed
procedure(s) require(s) the current altimeter setting for the airport of intended
landing, the flightcrew is not required to verify the setting between the IAF
and the FAF. Normal flight deck procedures must meet this requirement.
Training. The flightcrew must complete the operator’s approved
RNP instrument approach procedure training program for these procedures and
qualify for RNP instrument approach operations by one of the operator’s check
airmen/check pilot, as applicable, or by an FAA inspector. The guidance of AC
90-101, appendix 5, must be addressed in the training program.
For operators authorized RNP SAAAR instrument approaches for the aircraft
equipment listed in Table 2 of the C358 authorization, only the specific differences
from RNP SAAAR procedures that apply to the “RNP-like” foreign RNAV instrument
procedures listed in Table 1 of the C358 authorization, must be trained.
Flightcrew members of operators that are not authorized for RNP SAAAR
for the aircraft equipment listed in Table 2 of the C358 authorization, the
applicable subjects of AC 90‑101, appendix 5 must be trained:
Guidance of AC 90‑101, appendix 5, must be followed except where a task
analysis has shown that the crew knowledge and skills for RNP SAAAR do not apply
to the “RNP-like” foreign RNAV instrument procedure(s) authorized in Table 1.
Unique RNP approach criteria that apply to the “RNP-like” foreign RNAV
instrument procedure(s) authorized in Table 1.
The airplane(s) and navigation systems approved for “RNP-like”
foreign RNAV terminal instrument procedures with RNP lines of minimums must
be listed in Table 2 of the C358 authorization as follows:
The approved navigation systems and the specific software version
must be listed.
The table must identify the authorized use of a coupled autopilot or
a flight director which is provided as a selectable in the OPSS in processing
The lowest RNP authorized must be listed.
Figure 3‑66B, Sample Table 2—Airplanes and Navigation Systems
Eligible for “RNP-like” Foreign RNAV Terminal Instrument Procedures with RNP
Lines of Minimums
Smiths FMCS/FMC 2907A4 or 2907C1 with U10.5A
Not authorized to exceed temperature limits of the approach
Not authorized RNP parallel approach operations (RPA)
Not authorized RNP parallel approach runway transitions (RPAT)
Either FD or AP
Execution of an “RNP-like” foreign RNAV instrument procedure
requires the current, local altimeter setting for the airport of intended landing.
Remote altimeter settings are not allowed.
VNAV Path Requirements. An airplane(s) with an airworthiness
approval for baro‑VNAV approach operations in accordance with AC 20‑129 must
be equipped with and operationally use either a flight director or autopilot
capable of following the vertical path.
Unlike RNP SAAAR C384 authorization, there is no interim approval
required for this nonstandard authorization in C358. The operator must submit
the following information on a continuous basis every 30 days to the POI for
his/her evaluation of the continuing use of the authorization (AC 90‑101, appendix
6, paragraph 1):
Total number of the “RNP-like” foreign RNAV approach procedures conducted;
Number of satisfactory approaches by aircraft/system (satisfactory if
completed as planned without any navigation or guidance system anomalies); and
Unsatisfactory approaches must be included in the report and must include,
but are not limited to, the following:
UNABLE REQ NAV PERF, NAV ACCUR DOWNGRAD, or other RNP messages during
Excessive lateral or vertical deviation;
Terrain Awareness and Warning System warning;
Autopilot system disconnect;
Navigation data errors; and
Pilot report of any anomaly.
OPSPEC/MSPEC C359, SPECIAL AUTHORIZATION FOR
CERTAIN CATEGORY II OPERATIONS AT SPECIFICALLY APPROVED FACILITIES. OpSpec/MSpec
C359 is a special authorization for CAT II operations to approved ILS runways
which do not have TDZ and CL or CAT II approach lighting systems with sequenced
flashing lights (Approach Lighting System with Sequenced Flashing Lights (ALSF)‑1
& 2). (For special authorization for lower‑than‑standard CAT I operations to
RVR 1800, see OpSpec/MSpec C074.)
These special authorization CAT II operations at specifically
approved facilities with a single RVR reporting system are limited to a DH of
100 feet and no lower than RVR 1600. An approved runway facility with two RVR
reporting systems will be limited to DH of 100 feet and no lower than RVR 1200.
These special authorization CAT II approaches labeled as “Special
Aircrew and Aircraft Certification Required” cannot be authorized except in
accordance with the limitations and provisions of this OpSpec/MSpec and the
Conducted only when using an autoland system or a HGS to touchdown.
Only aircraft certified for autoland or HGS to touchdown capability are
eligible for these operations. Those aircraft and equipment must be listed in
Table 3‑18 of OpSpec/MSpec C059.
Should the autoland system or HGS malfunction or be disengaged during
the approach, the PIC must execute a missed approach not later than arrival
Pilots must be trained in the use of the autoland system or HGS, as applicable,
and demonstrate proficiency in ILS approaches to minima using this equipment
on checks conducted to satisfy part 91, § 91.1069, part 121, § 121.441, or part
135, § 135.297, as applicable.
The certificate holder/program manager must be authorized for CAT II
operations and issued OpSpec/MSpec C059.
Authorized Airports and Runways.
The approved airports and runways required to be listed in OpSpec/MSpec
C359 are those specific facilities that have been approved for these special
authorization CAT II operations in accordance with the procedures and requirements
in Order 8400.13, current edition. Once a facility has been approved and charted
in accordance with part 97, it can be listed on OpSpec/MSpec C359.
These special authorization CAT II operations can also be conducted at
runways approved for CAT II and CAT III operations under either OpSpec/MSpec
C059 or C060 and need not be listed in OpSpec/MSpec C359.
When lighting components, i.e., TDZ and runway centerline lights, that
are normally required for CAT II or CAT III operations become inoperative, the
operations authorized under OpSpec/MSpec C359 may be conducted without having
listed those airports and runways in OpSpec/MSpec C359, provided all the requirements
of OpSpec/MSpec C359 are met.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 3‑872 through 3‑920.
VOLUME 3 general technical administration
Operational control for carriers
Section 1 General Topics
BACKGROUND AND DEFINITIONS. This section contains background
information, definitions of terms, and direction and guidance to be used by
principal operations inspectors (POI) concerning operational control. POIs should
be thoroughly familiar with this information before reviewing an operator’s
General Operations Manual’s (GOM) operational control section, which with respect
to a flight means the exercise of authority over initiating, conducting or terminating
a flight. The operator’s operational control system should include all of the
elements of operational control and those would include e.g., crewmember and
aircraft requirements, lease agreements, and management personnel and persons
authorized to exercise operational control etc. POIs should be thoroughly familiar
with this material when preparing those portions of an operator’s operations
specifications (OpSpecs) that relate to operational control (OpsSpec A008).
Chapter Contents. Section 1 of this chapter contains general
information on topics pertinent to the operational control of all air transport
operations under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts
121 and 135. Section 2 contains information and guidance specifically related
to part 121 dispatch systems and domestic operating rules. Section 3 contains
information specifically related to part 121 flight release systems and supplemental
operating rules. Section 4 contains information specifically related to part
121 flag operations, supplemental operations conducted outside the contiguous
states, and extended overwater operations. Section 5 contains information specific
to part 135 flight locating requirements,
§ 135.179 and operational rules.
Regulatory Requirements. Part 121, §§ 121.531 through 121.537
require that part 121 operators exercise operational control over all common
carriage commercial and air transportation flights they conduct. Part 135, §
135.77 contains the same requirements for
part 135 operators.
Operational Control Functions—General. Operators conduct operational
control by making decisions and performing actions on a daily basis that are
necessary to operate flights safely and in compliance with the regulations.
Operational control functions include crew and aircraft scheduling, accepting
charter flights from the public, reviewing weather and Notices to Airmen (NOTAM),
and flight planning. Another aspect consists of developing and publishing flight
control policies and procedures for flightcrews and other operations personnel
to follow in the performance of their duties. Operators are responsible for
collecting and disseminating information that is needed to plan and conduct
flights safely, including information about en route and terminal weather conditions,
navigation, and airport facilities.
Operational Control Systems—General. Operational control systems vary
with the kind of operation the operator is authorized to conduct, the complexity
of the operations, the means of communication, and with the persons who are
involved in preparing for and conducting flights under the operator’s system.
Parts 121 and 135 contain a unique system of functional responsibility to allow
each air carrier to maintain operational control. Each facility contains multiple
functions which when consolidated can provide operational control. These various
functions form the basis for an operational control system which includes the
functions of aircraft dispatch, flight locating and flight following, however
those functions alone will not satisfy the overall goal of establishing an operational
Operator Oversight Responsibility. The operator’s oversight responsibility
includes ensuring that both its flightcrew and operational control employees
comply with published policies and procedures and meet the requirements of part
119, § 119.65.
Operator’s GOM. Sections 121.133 and 135.21 require that operators prepare
and keep current a manual for the guidance of flight, ground, and management
personnel in the performance of their duties and responsibilities. The operator’s
GOM must identify the person having overall responsibility for operational control
and those persons to whom authority to exercise operational control has been
delegated. The operator’s GOM must contain guidance on the conditions that must
be met before a flight may be initiated or continued, or under which a flight
must be diverted or terminated.
NOTE: Single pilot operators, single pilot in command (PIC)
operators, or operators granted a deviation to the requirements of part 135
by paragraph A016 of the OpSpecs are not required to prepare and keep a current
Specific Operational Control Functions. Operational control
includes, but is not limited to, the operator’s performance of the following
Ensuring that only those operations authorized by the OpSpecs
Ensuring that only crewmembers trained and qualified in accordance
with the applicable regulations are assigned to conduct a flight;
Ensuring that crewmembers are in compliance with flight and duty
time limitations and rest requirements prior to departing on a flight;
Designating a PIC and where applicable an second in command (SIC)
for each flight;
Providing the PIC and other personnel who perform operational
control functions; with access to the necessary information for the safe conduct
of the flight (such as weather, NOTAMs, and airport analysis);
Specifying the conditions under which a flight may be dispatched
or released (weather minimums, flight planning, airworthiness of aircraft, aircraft
loading, and fuel requirements);
Ensuring that each flight has complied with the authorization
specified for release before it is allowed to depart;
Ensuring that when the authorization specified for a flight’s
release cannot be met, the flight is either cancelled, delayed, rerouted, or
Monitoring the progress of each flight and initiating timely actions
when the flight cannot be completed as planned, including diverting or terminating
Specific Operational Control Systems. In descending order
of precision and complexity, the three general operational control systems are
flight dispatch, flight release, and flight locating. The operator must include,
in the GOM, policies and procedures appropriate to the system being used.
NOTE: The operator’s system for exercising operational control
must be described in paragraph A008 of the operator’s OpSpecs. Most operational
control systems are too complex, however, to be adequately described in a single
paragraph. In such cases, the operator’s system may be described in the operator’s
GOM, and the POI may reference the GOM location of this system description in
paragraph A008 of the operator’s OpSpecs.
Flight Dispatch Systems. Sections 121.533 and 121.535 require that both
flag and domestic operators employ certificated aircraft dispatchers to exercise
control of flights.
Part 121, § 121.99 requires that flag and domestic operators provide radio communication
facilities capable of quickly and reliably contacting a flight at all points
while en route.
Flight Release Systems. Section 121.537 places the major responsibility
for the operational control of supplemental air carriers and commercial operators
with the director of operations and the PIC. The director of operations may
delegate the functions for initiation, continuation, diversion and termination
of a flight to other employees; however, the director of operations always retains
full responsibility for these functions. For purposes of this handbook, the
employees exercising operational control in a part 121 flight release system
are termed flight followers. Inspectors should be aware that operators may apply
different job titles to these employees. Except for planned rerelease operations,
operators are not required to be able to establish direct radio contact with
supplemental flights while they are en route. The flight follower must, however,
concur with the PIC that a flight can be conducted safely before the flight
may be initiated. This requirement necessitates a suitable means of communication
between the flight follower and the PIC at each point of departure.
Flight Locating Systems. Part 135, §§ 135.23 and 135.77 require that
the name and title of each individual authorized to exercise operational control
be listed in the operator’s GOM. A part 135 operator may delegate the authority
for a specific flight to the PIC, but always retains full responsibility. If
a flight plan is not filed with air traffic control (ATC), the individual exercising
operational control must be able to establish the location of the flight to
provide timely notification should an aircraft be overdue or missing. The individual
exercising operational control is not required to be able to communicate with
the aircraft during a flight.
Organizational Structure. An operational control function
may be centralized in one individual or diversified throughout an operator’s
organization. In practice, it is not feasible for an individual to exercise
operational control without assistance in any but the simplest of flight operations.
Most operators create specialized departments for crew scheduling, load control,
and other functions. These functions may or may not be placed under the management
of the “flight control” department. When these functions are delegated to specialized
sections of the operator’s organization, the operator is responsible for the
Establishing a means to ensure that all functions have been accomplished
before a flight is authorized to depart;
Establishing effective internal communications, operating procedures,
and administrative controls to meet this obligation; and
Ensuring that these procedures are published in the operator’s
Complex Operations. Practical and economic considerations
may motivate operators to install operational control systems that are more
sophisticated than those required by the applicable regulation. Two operators
that conduct operations under the same regulation may require operational control
systems of differing degrees of sophistication. For example, a
part 135 on demand operator moving hunters to and from remote locations in the
bush may find a simple flight locating system to be adequate. A part 135 commuter
operator that conducts 100 flights a day to and from major terminal areas may
find, however, that a more sophisticated system is necessary to effectively
control operations. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may require that
an operator establish a sophisticated operational control system as a condition
of obtaining authorization to conduct specific operations, such as operation
of an Enhanced Weather Information System (EWINS).
FAA Evaluation. Inspectors must evaluate each operator’s operational
control system to ensure that the operator complies with the applicable regulations
and that the system is effective and provides for an adequate level of safety
in the operations actually being conducted.
Inadequate Operational Control. An inspector may find that an operator’s
operational control system provides an inadequate level of control to ensure
safety. In this case, the inspector should carefully document the facts and
report them to the POI through the Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem
(PTRS). The POI shall evaluate the facts and, if required, negotiate an acceptable
solution with the operator, ensuring that the changes are incorporated. Should
the operator be unwilling to negotiate, the POI may find it necessary to amend
the operator’s OpSpecs in accordance with part 121, § 121.79 and part 135, §
services provided by Contractors. Operators may contract for certain equipment,
facilities, and services of an aircraft dispatcher that are required by part
121 (for example, § 121.99). Operational control responsibilities must be retained
by the appropriate management personnel and anyone in a position to exercise
control over operations conducted under the operating certificate as listed
in § 119.65.
and Flag Operators. If a domestic or flag operator contracts for the service
of an aircraft dispatcher, the operator must maintain control over the duties,
functions, and responsibilities of the contract aircraft dispatcher. (See part
121, § 121.1(b) for the applicability of the part 121 rules governing such contract
services.) If a certificate holder proposed to contract for the services of
an aircraft dispatcher, the POIs must coordinate with their regional Flight
Standards divisions (RFSD). RFSDs are requested to thoroughly examine proposed
services arrangements and responsibilities and recommend approval of services
that are in compliance with the regulations. The FAA does not currently have
a means for approving non-certificated entities who are offering to provide
aircraft dispatcher services. Part 121 requires domestic and flag operators
to exercise operational control. Operational control must be provided by the
certificate holder, and that responsibility may not be contracted. In all cases,
RFSD’s are requested to forward all requests for review with the Air Transportation
121 Supplemental Operators and All Part 135 Operators. These operators may contract
some functions but not their responsibility to exercise operational control
over their operations. The operator is responsible for ensuring that the training
and qualification of contract personnel meets any regulatory requirements, that
contractor personnel are performing their duties diligently, and that the provisions
of the operator’s manual are being complied with by the contractor personnel.
The operator must also have an effective means of maintaining responsibility
for the actions and/or inactions of contractor personnel when set guidance and
policy is not complied with. Operators cannot under any circumstances contract
responsibility for operational control (§§ 121.537 and 135.77).
OpSpecs Authorization. Any contract arrangements must be clearly and
completely defined in the operator’s GOM and authorized by the POI in paragraph
A008 of the operator’s OpSpecs.
AIRCRAFT DISPATCHERS. An aircraft dispatcher is an airman
who holds an aircraft dispatcher certificate. Part 121 flag and domestic operators
must employ certificated aircraft dispatchers who are responsible for performing
certain specified operational control functions. Part 121 supplemental and part
135 operators are not required to use certificated aircraft dispatchers to exercise
control. A part 121 or 135 operator using an EWINS must employ either an aviation
meteorologist or a certificated aircraft dispatcher who has been specifically
trained to issue flight movement forecasts (FMF) (see Volume 3, Chapter 26,
Section 4, Sources of Weather Information).
FLIGHT INFORMATION. Operators must supply or ensure that the
information necessary to plan, conduct, and control operations is available
to operational control and flightcrew personnel. Most of this data can be obtained
through subscriptions to a government service or to a commercial aeronautical
information and charting service. Operators should be expected to supplement
these services if necessary and, in all cases, are responsible for ensuring
that the information used is accurate and complete. Operators must also supply
other data, such as NOTAMs, track messages, and airport obstruction data, when
applicable. The operator’s system to obtain and distribute airport data must
be described in paragraph a9 of the OpSpecs. The operator’s system may also
be described in a section of the GOM and referenced in paragraph a9 of the operator’s
OpSpecs. The operator’s GOM must contain the guidance and procedures by which
flightcrew and operational control personnel can acquire and apply this information.
Airport and Facilities. The Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD)
contains information on airports and facilities that is needed by flight crewmembers
and operational control personnel. For example, the information that certain
runways are closed to air carrier aircraft may be contained in the “Airport
Remarks” section for each airport listed in the A/FD. Inspectors should inform
their operators that such information is removed from the NOTAMs system when
it is published in the A/FD. This information is obtained from the Aeronautical
Information Publications (AIP) of the country for operations outside the United
States. Also, inspectors should ensure that operators understand their requirement
to make the A/FD information (for those airports at which operations are conducted)
available to their personnel.
NOTAMs. Operators must provide NOTAMs to flightcrews and operational
control personnel for domestic and international operations in airspace covered
by NOTAM systems. United States (U.S.) NOTAMs are edited into final form and
distributed by the U.S. NOTAM Office (USNOF). NOTAMs are disseminated by two
methods: electronically through what is termed, Service A, and in printed form
through the biweekly publication, Notices to Airmen. In general, NOTAMs originally
appear in electronic form and are later incorporated in the biweekly publication.
Once incorporated in writing, they are no longer transmitted electronically.
NOTAM information is classified into the following three groups: NOTAM (D)s,
NOTAM (L)s, and FDC NOTAMs. These groups, subdivisions of these groups, and
other information concerning the NOTAM system are described in the following
NOTE: Refer to FAA Order 7930.2, Notices to Airmen (NOTAM),
and to the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) paragraphs 5-3, Notice to Airmen
(NOTAM) System, and 7-3, Preflight Briefing, for detailed descriptions of the
current NOTAM system.
NOTAM (D)s. NOTAM (D), or distant dissemination information, pertains
to navigational aids (NAVAID), landing areas, airport runway lighting facilities,
and other data that is normally not published, such as parachute jumping areas,
restricted areas, and some air shows. NOTAM (D)s are appended to electronically
transmitted weather reports, such as the Service A network. NOTAM (D)s are disseminated
for all NAVAIDs that are part of the National Airspace System (NAS) as well
as all public use airports, seaplane bases, and heliports listed in the A/FD.
Center Area NOTAMs (CAN). CANs are issued on airway changes within controlled
airspace, and they are transmitted as FDC NOTAM information on Service A.
Special Notices. Special notices concern matters having a significant
impact on flight safety. They are transmitted only once on Service A, and then
are published in the biweekly, Notices to Airmen. An example of the kind of
information carried in the Special Notices section is that of available landing
distances when land and hold short operations (LAHSO) are in effect.
LRN NOTAMs. Loran systems are covered by NOTAMs. While these are technically
NOTAM (D)s, they are grouped in a special file entitled Long Range Navigation
(LRN) NOTAMs. Omega navigational system outages are also listed in the LRN NOTAM
file. These NOTAMs may be obtained from any Flight Service Station (FSS) on
request, or by phoning the Naval Observatory at (202) 653-1757.
NOTAM (L)s. NOTAM (L), or local information, includes such information
as airport and taxiway construction and certain airport lighting. This information
is directly relevant to surface movement guidance and control. NOTAM (L)s can
also contain information that is expected to be in effect for less than 1 hour
concerning NAVAIDs, lighting, and runways. NOTAM (L)s are not normally transmitted
beyond the area of coverage for the local FSS or automated flight service station
POI Responsibility. POIs must ensure that the operator’s GOM contains
specific procedures for the acquisition and dissemination of local NOTAM information
to flightcrews and operational control personnel. Operational control personnel
must be provided with a positive means to collect, analyze, and disseminate
current NOTAM (L) information to flightcrews.
Obtaining NOTAM (L) Information. This information may be obtained from
the FSS having responsibility for the geographic area in which the destination
airport is located. Another acceptable means for operators to acquire this information
is to task an authorized agent with collecting this information and reporting
it to the operator’s operational control center.
NOTE: FAA inspectors and National Transportation Safety Board
(NTSB) accident investigators have reported that a failure of operators to provide
NOTAM (L) data to flightcrews has been a contributing factor in several accidents
and incidents. For example, a Part 121 operator dispatched a flight of approximately
30 minutes duration to a destination at which the instrument landing system
(ILS) was reported by NOTAM (L) to be out of service. This particular flight
could not be dispatched in compliance with 14 CFR § 121.613 without an operational
NOTE: The details of what is included as NOTAM (D) and NOTAM
(L) are quite complex (see FAA Order 7930.2 for more specific information).
National Flight Data Center (NFDC) NOTAMs. FDC NOTAMs are issued by the
USNOF and are regulatory in nature. They are transmitted electronically and
are transmitted nationally only once. After national transmission, FDC NOTAMs
are normally only maintained in a file by FSSs and AFSSs within 400 nautical
miles (NM) of the respective FDC location. FDC NOTAMs are cancelled by a one
time notice that is transmitted electronically. FDC NOTAMs include, but are
not limited to, the following:
Interim instrument flight rules (IFR) flight procedures;
Temporary flight restrictions;
Presidential (and other parties) flight restrictions;
Permanent 14 CFR part 139 certified airport condition changes
pertaining to the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Equipment (ARFF) Index;
Snow conditions affecting glide slope operations;
Air defense emergencies;
Emergency flight rules; and
Substitute airway routes.
NOTE: POIs must ensure that the operator’s GOM contains specific
procedures for the acquisition, dissemination and cancellation of FDC NOTAM
information to flightcrews and dispatchers. Operators should clearly understand
that since FDC NOTAM dissemination is normally limited to within 400 NM of the
“tie in” FSS/AFSS, a means must be devised to collect en route, destination,
and alternate airport FDC NOTAMs that may impact operations.
NOTE: Very low frequency (VLF) stations are not covered by regular
NOTAMs service, but the Naval Observatory does provide certain information at
Global Positioning System (GPS) NOTAMs. At present the GPS system is
not covered by NOTAMs. GPS advisories are available by computer modem to a special
bulletin board operated by the GPS Information Center of the Coast Guard. Call
(703) 313-5910. A
24-hour voice bulletin board is also available by calling (703) 313-5907. GPS
NOTAM requirements and specifications are currently under development.
International NOTAMs. The means for transmission of International NOTAMs
differs from that used for domestic NOTAMs. International NOTAMs are transmitted
electronically to those operators that have arranged to receive them, and they
are available, on a request reply basis, for those offices with Aeronautical
Fix Telecommunication (AFTN) circuits. For all other operators, they are available
upon request by contacting the nearest FSS/AFSS. If the nearest FSS/AFSS is
unable to supply the information, inspectors should advise FAA Headquarters
by phone at (202) 267-8343. As a last resort, they can contact the USNOF by
phone at (202) 267-3390. International NOTAMs are also available from some commercial
Operations Not Covered by NOTAMs. Operators may need to establish procedures
or systems to develop or disseminate flight safety information concerning areas
not covered by domestic or international NOTAMs, such as isolated airports or
Limitations of FSS NOTAM Briefings. Inspectors and operators alike should
be aware that printed NOTAMs contained in the biweekly, Notices to Airmen, are
not provided by the FSS specialist unless specifically requested. Also, lengthy
and graphically depicted NOTAMs, because of their complexity, are normally not
obtainable during a telephone FSS briefing. Notwithstanding the above limitations,
POIs must ensure that operators that direct their crews to obtain FSS briefings
also make the following information available to flightcrew and operational
control personnel: electronically transmitted NOTAMs, local NOTAMs and other
flight safety data, such as special notices and information from the Airport
Remarks section of the A/FD.
Track Messages. Messages containing the coordinates of routes
to be followed on flexible track systems such as the North Atlantic organized
track structure or the Western Pacific flexible track structure are transmitted
approximately every 12 hours. Track messages are sent by FAA ATC centers to
various airline dispatch offices. Western Pacific and Northern Pacific Track
NOTAMs are also available as international NOTAMs under the location identifiers
of the respective air route traffic control center; examples are Oakland Center
(KZOA) or Anchorage Center (PAZA). Flightcrews operating over these routes are
required to have all current valid track coordinates available in the cockpit
to verify flight plan coordinates, should an in flight rerouting become necessary.
Inspectors must ensure that an operator’s operational control personnel have
this information for flight planning and flight monitoring purposes.
Aircraft Performance and Airport Obstacle Data. Inspectors
must ensure that operators of all types of airplanes comply with the performance
requirements of subpart I of part 121 or 135, as applicable, before a flight
departs. Operators of transport category and commuter category airplanes must
obtain and use airport obstacle data for takeoff performance calculations (see
Volume 4, Chapter 3, Airplane Performance and Airport Data). Operators of all
categories of aircraft must comply with en route obstacle clearance requirements,
including contingency planning for engine failure. Inspectors should refer to
8900.1, Volume 4, Chapter 3 for direction and guidance on aircraft performance
WEATHER INFORMATION FOR CONTROL OF FLIGHT OPERATIONS. Inspectors
must ensure that the system the operator uses to obtain and disseminate aeronautical
weather data is either described in OpSpec A010 of the operator’s OpSpecs or
that the system description, if in the operator’s GOM instead, is referenced
in OpSpec A010.
Sources of Weather Reports. Weather reports used to control
IFR flight operations under either part 121, part 135, or visual flight rules
(VFR) part 121 operations must be issued by either the U.S. National Weather
Service (NWS), a source approved by the NWS, or (for operations outside the
United States) by a source approved by the FAA Administrator. Part 135 VFR operations
may be conducted using pilot or other authorized observations when other reports
are not available (see Volume 3, Chapter 26, Section 4, for a detailed discussion
of approved weather sources).
Sources of Forecasts. All weather forecasts must be based
on data obtained from a qualified approved source as listed in subparagraph
A above. POIs should ensure that operators obtain forecasts from approved sources.
Weather Reports and Forecasts for Takeoffs and Landings. Operators
must obtain and use a current weather report or forecast before taking off,
landing, or beginning an instrument approach. The visibility and ceiling values
(when applicable) in the body of the report are controlling for these operations.
A reported observation of Runway Visual Range (RVR), Runway Visibility Value
(RVV), or Runway Visibility by Observer (RVO) on the runway to be used is controlling
(part 121 operations only) when such reports or forecasts are available. For
part 135 operations, if the visibility and ceiling are below minimums, the reported
RVR may be used if that RVR is at or above the minimums for the instrument procedure
being used and authorized for that certificate holder. For definitions of “current
weather” and “latest weather report,” see Volume 3, Chapter 26, Section 1, General
Weather for Flight Release. Parts 121 and 135 contain a number
of rules that require operators to use “appropriate weather reports or forecasts
or any combination thereof, (which) indicate the weather conditions at the estimated
time of arrival.” The FAA Office of the Chief Council (AGC) has interpreted
this language to mean that the critical time period is the estimated time of
arrival (ETA). Inspectors must ensure that operators use all available weather
reports and forecasts, as applicable, to cover this time period. If these weather
reports are accessed via the Public Internet, the operator must use a Qualified
Internet Communications Provider (QICP). The FAA public Internet Web site contains
the current list of all the QICPs that can be authorized to provide internet
communication services for accessing aviation weather and NOTAMs. These QICP
are approved only to the extent of their security practices which protect the
approved weather data from unauthorized modification.
Use of Forecasts for Long Range Operations. Clearly, current weather
reports are of less value than forecasts for long range operations. Under the
AGCs interpretation, a flight may be released to a destination that is currently
below minimums but that is forecast to be above minimums at the ETA. AGC goes
on to comment, however, that the use of hourly reports to monitor trends is
prudent and may be required to meet the intent of the rule.
Release of Flights Based on Forecast Weather Information. Operators may
be required to release flights with limited weather information. For example,
a transcontinental flight from the east coast to the west coast must depart
several hours before the destination airport opens and the first surface observations
(SA) of the day are taken. A similar situation occurs when a station SA is missing
from the hourly sequence reports. An operator, aircraft dispatcher, or PIC who
operates a flight under such conditions would be considered to be in compliance
with 14 CFR under the following conditions:
Those weather reports and forecasts which are available have been
obtained and used; and
Adequate contingency plans have been made to deal with the situation,
should later reports be unfavorable.
Use of Pilot Reports. The term, “available reports,” includes pilot reports
Specific Part 135 Requirements. Part 135, § 135.213(b) requires “weather
observations made and furnished to pilots to conduct IFR operations” to be taken
at the airport where those operations are conducted, unless the operator has
been issued authorization by OpSpecs to use an observation taken at another
location. The NTSB has ruled that a part 135 operator may file a flight plan
and fly IFR to a radio fix where VFR conditions exist, and then continue under
VFR to a destination (where weather reports are not available) when an area
forecast shows prevailing weather to be VFR.
NOTE: In these cases, operators must continue to comply with
the flight locating requirements of part 135, § 135.79.
Conditional Phrases in Weather Forecasts. An AGC opinion has
been given concerning conditional phrases contained in the remarks section of
a forecast. In AGC’s opinion, these remarks (in addition to the information
contained in the main body of the forecast) are controlling for purposes of
a flight dispatch or flight release (see Volume 3, Chapter 26, Section 1, paragraph
FMF. Under an EWINS, an EWINS qualified meteorologist or aircraft dispatcher
may issue an FMF based on a detailed analysis of the specific flight without
including conditional phrases. A FMF may be used for operational control purposes
(see Volume 3, Chapter 26, Section 1). It is an acceptable practice for an aircraft
dispatcher to release a flight to a destination (at which conditional remarks
of an NWS forecast indicate the possibility of the destination being below minimums)
when the FMF for that specific flight indicates the airport will be at or above
Exemptions from Weather Requirements. Many part 121 operators who conduct
domestic operations have obtained exemptions to release flights to destinations
at which the forecast remarks contain conditions below minimums. Inspectors
and POIs should be aware that these exemptions require those operators to exercise
a number of additional precautions. Typical precautions include the designation
of a second alternate airport and a requirement that the aircraft dispatcher
monitor and advise the flightcrew of conditions while the flight is en route.
POIs of operators using these exemptions should ensure that the operator’s GOM
contains adequate guidance.
Adverse Weather. Part 121, § 121.101 requires flag and domestic
operators to have a system for obtaining reports and forecasts of adverse weather
for each route and airport used. Part 121, § 121.601 requires that the aircraft
dispatcher provide this information to the PIC.
FLIGHT PLANNING. Inspectors must ensure that operators conduct
preflight planning so that flights are conducted as follows: to the standards
of navigational accuracy required in the airspace traversed, to meet regulatory
fuel requirements, to satisfy ATC information and reporting requirements, and
to ensure that flights are operated safely. The degree of sophistication and
accuracy required in flight planning depends on the type of navigation conducted
and on the airspace traversed. Operators may assign flight planning duties to
either flightcrew or operational control personnel. It is a common and acceptable
practice for operators to contract for flight planning from specialized services.
The operator, however, is responsible for the accuracy of any information the
contractor uses and for the accuracy of the results.
Flight Plans. The term “flight plan” means a paper document
or a file of electronic data prepared for purposes of flight planning, flight
control, and navigation. Flight planning consists of selecting an appropriate
aircraft cruise schedule and applying forecast wind, temperature, and aircraft
performance data to a planned route to predict estimated time en route (ETE)
and estimated fuel consumption. The term “ATC flight plan” is used in this chapter
to mean the subset of information extracted from the flight plan, which is filed
with ATC to obtain an ATC clearance.
Computation and Verification. A flight plan may be computed
manually or with computer aids. In either case, inspectors must ensure that
the operator’s GOM contains the specified procedures, formats, and forms to
be used. POIs shall ensure that operators understand their responsibility for
making sure that flightcrew and operational control personnel verify the accuracy
of planning. Since even computer generated flight plans are subject to input
errors, use of a computer system that contains internal software to check for
errors in flight plans is desirable. POIs shall also ensure that the operator’s
GOM contains adequate procedures for flightcrew and operational control personnel
to scrutinize all computer generated and all manually generated flight plans
Part 121 Requirements. Part 121 operators are required by
part 121, §§ 121.695(a) and 121.697(a) to carry a flight plan to destination
on all flights. Operators typically require that flightcrews record the flight
progress on the flight plan or on other documents.
NOTE: In international operations, POIs may require such procedures
as a condition of authorizing extended overwater navigation. When the flightcrew
is required to record the flight progress, the annotated flight plan becomes
a record of the flight. After completion of the flight, the flight plan is a
record that must be retained by the operator for a period of 30 days (see §
Part 135 Requirements. Part 135 operators are not specifically
required by regulation to carry a flight plan on all flights. POIs of Part 135
operators, however, should ensure that the operator’s GOM contains procedures
that accomplish the following:
Inform the PIC of the required information contained in center
stored flight plans that ensure compliance with 14 CFR part 91, § 91.169(a);
Ensure compliance with part 135, §§135.209 or 135.223 fuel supply
Ensure compliance with part 135, §§ 135.181 and 135.211(b)(1),
and applicable part 135, subpart I performance requirements;
Ensure compliance with part 135, §§ 135.211 and 135.217, and §
135.221 alternate requirements; and
Familiarize PICs with all available information required by part
91, § 91.103.
Load Manifests. Part 135, § 135.63(c) requires that a load manifest be
kept on board all multiengine aircraft flights. The load manifest must contain
Number of passengers;
Total weight of the loaded aircraft;
Maximum allowable takeoff weight for that flight;
Center of gravity (CG) limits of the loaded aircraft;
CG or an acceptable entry from an approved schedule;
Flight or registration number;
Origin and destination of flight; and
Identification of all crewmembers and their position assignments.
Valid Track Coordinates. Flightcrews must carry the valid track coordinates
in the cockpit during flights over flexible track systems.
Navigation Methods and Flight Plans. Inspectors should keep
in mind that the primary concerns in choosing navigation methods and procedures
are the degree of precision required for the separation of air traffic and obstacle
avoidance. Class I station reference navigation is VFR or IFR navigation within
the standard service volume of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO),
ground based, electronic NAVAIDs. Courses and distances are published on standard
IFR charts or may be determined by plotting courses on an IFR or VFR chart.
To be acceptable for Class I navigation, a simple flight plan should include
at least the following:
Fix or intersection identifiers, segment distances, ETEs for each
segment, and an estimate of fuel consumption for each segment (A segment or
zone is the distance between two check points); and
A summation of distance, time, and fuel to show regulatory compliance.
Long Range, Class II Navigation. Long range, Class II navigation is navigation
conducted beyond the operational service volume of standard ICAO NAVAIDs. Long
range, Class II navigation normally requires specialized long range navigation
systems such as Loran, Omega/VLF, inertial navigation systems (INS)/inertial
reference systems (IRS), GPS, or Doppler. In some cases, dead reckoning (DR),
pilotage, or celestial navigation may be used.
Long Range, Class II Flight Plan. An acceptable flight plan for long
range, Class II navigation should contain the following elements:
Waypoints (Fixes for the portion of the route conducted by Class
The waypoint coordinates identifier (located next to the waypoint
or on the line below);
The course leaving the waypoint;
Forecast segment wind, drift, or drift correction;
Forecast temperature (or temperature deviation) and true air speed
Segment distances, estimated ground speed, and segment ETE;
Estimate of fuel consumption for each segment;
Indication of equal time points (ETP), if they are used for compliance
with engine out fuel or oxygen requirements;
A summation of distance, time, and fuel to indicate regulatory
A means of predicting clear air turbulence, such as the height
of the tropopause, maximum wind level, temperature gradients, or shear index.
Celestial Navigation. When navigation is conducted by celestial means,
flight planning requires current navigation charts, a current air almanac, and
sight reduction tables. The operator’s GOM must contain specific procedures
to be used for flight planning, the required forms, and the procedures for checking
the validity of the planning conducted.
Organized Track Systems. When operations are conducted over an organized
track system, the flight plan coordinates must be checked against the track
message. The operator’s GOM must specify the individual responsible for the
check and the procedures to be used.
NOTE: Advisory Circular (AC) 90-76, Flight Operations in Oceanic
Airspace; AC 91-49, General Aviation Procedures for Flight in North Atlantic
Minimum Navigation Performance Specifications Airspace; and AC 120-33, Operational
Approval of Airborne Long Range Navigation Systems for Flight Within the North
Atlantic Minimum Navigation Performance Specifications Airspace, contain guidance
for approving operations in minimum navigation performance specification (MNPS)
Omega/Loran Systems. When Omega or Loran is used, appropriate NOTAMs
must be checked to ensure that adequate signal coverage is available.
Pilotage. Pilotage is navigation conducted solely by reference
to visually distinguishable checkpoints. Pilotage may be either Class I or Class
II navigation, but may only be approved over areas where checkpoints are readily
distinguishable and in airspace where such operations are authorized. VFR navigation
by pilotage may only be conducted by operators as follows:
Part 121. These operators may conduct VFR navigation only when and where
specifically authorized to do so by the OpSpecs.
Part 135. These operators may conduct VFR navigation by pilotage in airplanes
(other than turbojets) and helicopters without specific authorization by OpSpecs.
Turbojet Airplane Operations. These operations may be conducted by VFR
navigation by pilotage only according to paragraph B033 of the OpSpecs.
Flight Planning for VFR Pilotage. VFR pilotage requires the use of current
VFR navigation charts. Inspectors must evaluate an operator’s flight plan to
ensure that it includes, but is not limited to, the following elements as applicable
to the operation:
Checkpoints, segment distances, ETEs for each segment, and an
estimate of fuel consumption for each segment; and
A summation of distance, time, and fuel planning to show regulatory
compliance (departure point to destination, required reserve, and contingencies).
Flight Planning and Navigation for Class II, VFR Operations. Additional
precautions may be necessary, depending on the area of operations. For example,
in a polar or wilderness area, aircraft should always have adequate fuel to
fly to the nearest fueling point, along with a reserve of fuel. Helicopters
operating offshore should at all times have at least enough fuel to reach land,
and thereafter fly for an additional time as specified by the operator’s manual.
Dead Reckoning (DR). DR is navigation conducted solely by
the pilot flying a calculated heading and estimated groundspeed without a means
of obtaining a position. The pilot computes such headings by applying estimated
wind information to the measured track. Navigation by DR is only acceptable
under certain limited circumstances. For example, operators may be approved
by the OpSpecs to conduct either IFR or VFR flights between the service volumes
of two standard NAVAIDs on a direct course between the aids. Such operations
must be limited to periods of not more than 1 hour and to areas where ATC separation
standards do not preclude such operations. POIs must evaluate other DR operations
on a case by case basis.
SELECTION OF ALTERNATE AIRPORTS. A critical element of preflight
planning is the selection of alternate, takeoff, en route, and destination airports.
PICs and operational control personnel have a range of latitude to accommodate
individual circumstances. Operators must provide specific direction and guidance
to PICs and aircraft dispatchers for the selection of takeoff, en route, and
destination alternate airports.
Terrain. Part 91, § 91.103 requires that PICs familiarize
themselves with “all available alternatives if the planned flight cannot be
completed.” Part 121, § 121.565(a) requires the PIC to land at the “nearest
suitable airport” in case of an engine failure or shutdown. Section 121.565(b),
however, does allow a PIC operating an airplane of three or more engines to
proceed to an airport other than the nearest suitable airport when this course
of action is as safe as landing at the nearest suitable airport. While these
rules apply specifically to PICs, operational control personnel should be aware
of, and be guided by, these requirements when selecting alternate airports.
POIs shall ensure that operators and PICs take particular care in the selection
of alternate airports in mountainous areas. POIs should ensure that the operator
would be in compliance with subpart I of part 121 or 135 (in normal and engine
out configurations) while en route to the alternate airport.
Weather, NAVAIDs, and Airport Conditions. Aircraft dispatchers,
flight followers, and PICs must be aware of the distance to the alternate, the
effect of weather, inoperative NAVAIDs, and airport conditions when selecting
alternate airports. For example, when the winds switch from easterly to strong
westerly at Boseman, Montana, the alternate minimums increase from 600/1+½ to
1,200/3+½. Inoperative NAVAIDs, runway conditions, or runway closures can render
an airport unacceptable as an alternate airport.
LOAD CONTROL. When heavy payloads are carried aboard an aircraft,
the fuel load may have to be limited. In addition, the weight at which an aircraft
can be released is limited by takeoff, en route terrain clearance, and landing
performance limitations (see Volume 4, Chapter 3).
Loading Assumptions. Operational control personnel must have
either actual loading information or they must make assumptions about aircraft
loading before they can release a flight. For flights released using loading
assumptions, inspectors must ensure that the operator has established a means
for ensuring that flights actually do depart at, or below, the maximum weight
used for planning.
GOM. Inspectors must ensure that the operator’s GOM contains
information and procedures for the control of fuel load, payloads, takeoff weights,
and CG. The operator’s GOM must clearly delineate the category of employee responsible
for making these computations, adequate information and procedures for performing
such calculations, and the procedures by which the flightcrew and operational
control personnel can ensure that these functions have been accomplished before
the aircraft departs.
AIRWORTHINESS OF AIRCRAFT. Part 121, § 121.605 prohibits the
dispatch or release of an aircraft unless it is airworthy and has all required
equipment installed, as prescribed in § 121.303. Section 121.709 and part 135,
§ 135.443 require that before an aircraft can be operated it must have an Airworthiness
Release (or appropriate logbook entry) and be signed by a properly authorized
Compliance with Minimum Equipment List (MEL) or Configuration
Deviation List (CDL) Provisions. When an aircraft is released in accordance
with MEL or CDL provisions, the operator’s procedures, policies, instructions,
and controls for the use of the MEL or CDL must ensure that:
There are no known conditions that would make the airplane unairworthy,
The airplane is in condition for safe operation.
NOTE: Use of the MEL or CDL does not require a new airworthiness
release. Under certain circumstances, however, approved company procedures may
require the issuance of a new airworthiness release. In any event, inspectors
shall ensure that operators follow the approved procedures.
MEL or CDL Limitations in Dispatch or Flight Releases. When
MEL or CDL restrictions impose aircraft performance or weight limitations, the
aircraft dispatcher or the person exercising operational control must be notified
of these limitations before the flight is dispatched or released. It is not
unusual for additional discrepancies to arise after a release has been prepared
and transmitted. When a decision has been reached to operate the aircraft with
an additional deferred discrepancy after the release has been prepared, the
operator must have procedures for notifying the aircraft dispatcher or the individual
exercising operational control. If the flight cannot be operated as originally
released, a new release must be prepared or the original release must be amended.
Discrepancies After Departure. A flight is considered to have
departed when it moves under its own power (forward or backward) for purposes
of flight. After this time, any discrepancy that arises must be handled according
to the flight manual. If the flight manual has procedures for that particular
discrepancy, which allow for the continuation of the flight, and the PIC determines
that the flight can safely depart using those procedures, then the flight may
continue. If the flight manual does not permit continuation of the flight, or
if the PIC determines that the flight cannot safely depart, the discrepancy
must be entered in the maintenance log in accordance with § 121.563 or § 135.65(b)
and maintenance action must be taken in accordance with § 121.709 or § 135.65(c)
before the aircraft takes off. A new or amended release is required when the
flight cannot be operated as originally planned. For example, the anti skid
could fail during the taxi for takeoff. If the flight manual contains procedures
for adjusting performance computations which indicate that the flight can operate
within the required limits at the departure point, destination, and alternate
airport, the flight could continue. Conversely, if the flight handbook does
not contain any such procedures, the flight must return for maintenance action.
CREW QUALIFICATION AND CREW FLIGHT TIME LIMITATIONS AND REST REQUIREMENTS.
The operator is responsible for assigning specific personnel to operate each
flight, including the designation of a PIC. Crewmembers and the operator are
jointly responsible for ensuring that crewmembers are qualified in accordance
with the regulations (including special airport qualifications) and are in compliance
with crew flight time limitations and rest requirements before the flight departs.
Operators may delegate these responsibilities to departments (i.e., crew scheduling)
other than the operational control department, but must establish procedures
by which operational control personnel can verify that these requirements have
NOTE: Operators should have policies in place addressing flight
leg assignment and the division of crew duties during critical phases of flight
when environmental conditions (cold weather operations, windshear, thunderstorms,
etc.) are marginal. Special consideration should be given to line flying experience
and background qualifications in determining when the PIC may delegate control
of the aircraft and under what adverse weather conditions control of the aircraft
should be accomplished by the PIC.
CREW MEDICAL QUALIFICATION AND PROCEDURES DURING TEMPORARY MEDICAL
Responsibility of Operators and Flight Crewmembers. 14 CFR
part 61, § 61.53 and 14 CFR part 63, § 63.19 preclude required flight crewmembers
from flight duty while they have a known medical or physical deficiency. These
sections rely solely on the ability of flight crewmembers to honestly determine
their medical fitness. It is incumbent on individual airmen to be certain that
they have no illness or physical impairment that would affect their medical
fitness for flight. The NTSB believes that air carrier operators should share
the responsibility for verifying flight crewmembers medical fitness for flight
duty. However, it is not always easy for operators to determine the extent of
a crewmember’s medical fitness. In order to maintain the highest level of safety,
required flight crewmembers must not fly under conditions that would make them
unable to meet the requirements for their current medical certificate. This
decision should not be influenced by fear of company reprisals.
POI Responsibility. POIs should encourage their assigned air
carriers to have established sick leave policies and procedures, especially
those concerning the release of flight crewmembers from duty when they develop
sudden temporary illnesses, such as colds, flu, or fevers. These policies and
procedures should not discourage flight crewmembers from taking sick leave when
they are ill.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-1931 through 3-1945.
VOLUME 3 general technical administration
Operational control for carriers
Section 5 Title 14 CFR Part 135
Flight-Locating Systems and Operating Rules
GENERAL. This section contains direction and guidance to be
used by inspectors concerning Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14
CFR) part 135 flight‑locating systems and operating rules. Inspectors should
use this section with section 1 of this chapter when reviewing an operator’s
General Operations Manual (GOM) and when conducting inspections of part 135
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS. Although 14 CFR part 135, § 135.77 explicitly
requires that each operator exercise operational control, the method by which
an operator does so is not closely defined by 14 CFR. Part 135 operations range
from visual flight rules (VFR) operations in simple aircraft to extended overwater
operations in highly sophisticated jet transports. Section 135.77 provides operators
with the latitude necessary to design systems that fit the conditions surrounding
the operations they conduct. Operators and principal operations inspectors (POI)
must ensure, however, that each operator's system provides adequate control
of the operation being conducted. Inspectors should be aware of the following
requirements regarding operational functions:
Formal Releases. Part 135 does not require operators to prepare
a formal release authorizing a specific flight. Part 135, § 135.69 does require
that the operator restrict or suspend operations when either the pilot in command
(PIC) or the operator becomes aware of a hazardous condition. One acceptable
means an operator may use to comply with this requirement is to use a formal
GOM Requirements. The operator’s GOM must contain adequate
briefing and trip planning procedures to ensure that all safety requirements
are fulfilled. POIs shall ensure that each operator’s GOM contains detailed
policies, conditions, and specific procedures for each category of employee
responsible for the authorization or planning of a flight.
Delegation of Authority. Part 135 operators commonly delegate
the authority to PICs for initiating flights. Such delegation has generally
proven to be adequate for the operation of general purpose, single‑engine and
multiengine airplanes and helicopters in on‑demand operations. Such systems
may be inappropriate, however, for commuter operations, air ambulance services,
jet transport operations, operations conducted beyond the contiguous states,
extended overwater operations, and complex operations requiring extensive planning
or coordination. POIs should strongly recommend that operators establish operational
control systems that require the concurrence of an individual authorized to
exercise operational control and the PIC for all flight release decisions. National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) statistics show that police and
air ambulance service operators who have adopted such systems have had significantly
better safety records than operators of the same type who have not had such
FLIGHT‑LOCATING SYSTEMS. Part 135, § 135.79 requires
that each operator maintain a flight‑locating system. The system must provide
for the timely notification of an FAA facility or a search‑and‑rescue facility
if an aircraft is overdue or missing. The operator’s notification must be at
least as prompt as notifications provided by FAA procedures and facilities.
Flightplans Filed by PICs. Part 135 operators may require
PICs to file and activate air traffic control (ATC) flightplans as one means
of complying with § 135.79. In this case, the operator’s GOM must prohibit the
PIC from operating without an activated flightplan until arrival at the destination
airport. Operators may find that requiring the PIC to file a flightplan to satisfy
the requirements of § 135.79 precludes certain operations. For example, it is
impractical for a PIC to conduct a flight to a non‑controlled field by cancelling
instrument flight rules (IFR) at the last radio navigation fix and then proceeding
under VFR to destination on a VFR flightplan. ATC does not accept composite
IFR/VFR flightplans. Normally, ATC will not activate a VFR flight on an air
traffic control frequency. A PIC who cancels IFR and then changes to a flight‑watch
frequency to activate a VFR flightplan is not in compliance with
§ 135.79. One acceptable means an operator may use to comply with § 135.79 are
to require the PIC to telephone the person exercising operational control upon
arrival at a destination not served by an ATC facility.
Procedures in Lieu of Flightplans. When an FAA flightplan
is not filed, operators must have established procedures for following and locating
each flight. The individual authorized to conduct operational control must be
provided with at least the information required in a VFR flightplan.
Flight‑Locating Information When Radio Contact Cannot Be Maintained.
Part 135 operators are not required to maintain the capability to contact flights
while they are airborne. When operations are conducted in an area in which radio
contact cannot be maintained with ATC, the individual authorized to exercise
operational control must be provided with the location, date, and estimated
time at which the PIC will re‑establish radio or telephone communications. Flight‑locating
information must be retained at the operator’s principal base of operations,
or at other places designated by the operator, until the completion of the flight.
Operators should maintain sufficient records to show compliance with these requirements.
Flight Followers. Part 135 does not specify the qualifications
or titles of individuals authorized to authorize or follow flights. Section
135.77 does, however, require the operator to list the name of each individual
authorized to perform these duties in the GOM.
Contractors. Part 135 operators may contract with other operators
or organizations to perform direct operational control functions. The operator
remains fully responsible for ensuring that the operations conducted comply
with the CFR, the operator’s GOM, and with safe operating practices. The name
of each employee of the contractor authorized to perform operational control
functions for the operator must be placed in the operator’s GOM.
Training. Operators are responsible for ensuring that individuals
authorized to exercise operational control are adequately trained to perform
their assigned duties. One acceptable means an operator may use to meet this
requirement is to establish a training and qualification program such as that
described in chapter 22 of this volume.
NOTE: Individuals exercising operational control must be knowledgeable
of, and have access to, appropriate sections of the operator’s GOM while performing
their assigned duties.
PART 135 FUEL‑PLANNING REQUIREMENTS. The fuel‑planning requirements
of 14 CFR parts 91 and 135 are based on IFR and VFR Class I navigation within
the contiguous states. Other types of operations or operations outside of the
contiguous states may require additional or special planning.
VFR Operations in Airplanes. Section 135.209(a) prohibits
takeoff in an airplane under VFR rules unless the airplane has enough fuel to
fly to the airport of first intended landing. Thereafter the airplane must have
enough fuel (computed at normal cruise) to either fly for 30 minutes during
the day or for 45 minutes at night.
VFR Operations in Helicopters. Section 135.209(b) prohibits
takeoff in a helicopter under VFR rules unless the helicopter has enough fuel
to fly to the airport of first intended landing, and then to fly for 20 minutes
at normal cruising fuel consumption.
IFR Operations in Airplanes. Section 135.223 prohibits takeoff
in an airplane in IFR conditions unless the airplane has enough fuel to complete
the flight to the airport of first intended landing. Thereafter, the airplane
must have enough fuel to fly to the alternate airport, and then to fly for 45
minutes at normal cruise fuel consumption.
IFR Operations in Helicopters. Section 135.223 prohibits takeoff
in a helicopter in IFR conditions unless the helicopter has enough fuel to complete
the flight to the airport of first intended landing. Thereafter, the helicopter
must have enough fuel to fly to the designated alternate airport, and then to
fly for 30 minutes at normal cruise fuel consumption.
Contingency Fuel. Part 135 does not specifically require a
specific increment of contingency fuel. Part 91, § 91.103, however, does require
that such contingencies be considered in preflight planning. Therefore, an increment
of fuel to compensate for foreseeable contingencies must be on board for takeoff.
One such contingency would be a delay in receiving takeoff clearance at major
terminals. The operator’s GOM should contain specific policies and instructions
for computing the amount of contingency fuel to be carried under the circumstances
likely to be encountered in the operator's specific operation.
En Route Requirements. The fuel planning requirements discussed
in subparagraphs A through E apply for takeoff. Part 135 does not specify the
action the PIC must take if an alternate airport goes below minimums when the
flight is en route, or how much fuel must be on board when the flight arrives
overhead a destination or alternate airport. Section 135.69(b) allows a PIC
to continue toward a destination when a hazard to safe operations may reasonably
be expected to be corrected before arrival. Section 135.69(b) does prohibit
a PIC from continuing a flight toward a destination, however, when the operator
or the PIC knows of conditions that make continuation of the flight hazardous.
The operator’s GOM should contain specific policies and instructions on how
the PIC is to proceed in foreseeable circumstances that may be encountered in
the operator's specific operation.
WEATHER REQUIREMENTS. Part 135, § 135.213 requires that weather
reports and forecasts used in part 135 operations be prepared by the National
Weather Service (NWS), a source approved by the NWS, or a source approved by
the FAA (see section 1 of this chapter). Inspectors should ensure that part
135 operators are conducting operations in compliance with 14 CFR weather provisions,
VFR Operations. A flight may not depart under VFR rules unless
the ceiling and visibility en route are forecast to be above the applicable
VFR minimums until the aircraft arrives at the destination airport.
All available reports and forecasts must show that the flight can be
completed in visual meteorological conditions. Available reports include Pilot
Weather Reports (PIREP), which must be obtained and used when available.
When there is no information available from an approved source, § 135.213(a)
authorizes PICs to use their own observations or those of another competent
person for operations under VFR. This authority is limited to only those situations
in which a report from an approved source is not available. For example, these
procedures might be appropriate for floatplane operations at remote lakes where
no weather observer is stationed. This provision does not relieve PICs and operational
control personnel from obtaining and using the information that is available,
such as area forecasts and PIREPs.
The operator's GOM must specify the circumstances under which PICs may
use the provision of § 135.213(a). If observers other than PICs are used, operators
must specify the training and qualifications of these observers.
Point of Departure ‑ IFR Operations. A flight may not be originated
when the weather at the departure point is below that specified in paragraph
C057 or paragraph H106 of the operator’s operations specifications (OpSpecs).
Takeoff weather minimums may be below the authorized landing minimums.
For takeoff in such conditions, an alternate airport must be available, within
one hour of flying time from the departure airport at normal cruise speed.
Operators may be authorized to use “lower‑than‑standard” takeoff minimums
by paragraph C057(e)(1) of the OpSpecs. POIs, operators, and PICs must be aware
of the limitations associated with this authority. The operator must have an
approved “lower‑than‑standard takeoff” training program and qualification module.
The PIC (and second in command (SIC), when applicable) must have satisfactorily
demonstrated competency on their last competency check (135.293) or instrument
proficiency check (§ 135.297). A single pilot may not conduct lower‑than‑standard
takeoffs in weather conditions below Category I (CAT I) landing minimums.
Destination Weather ‑ IFR. A flight may not depart under IFR
or over‑the‑top rules unless appropriate weather reports or forecasts indicate
that conditions will be at or above the minimums required by the OpSpecs at
the destination airport at the estimated time of arrival (ETA). The reports
or forecasts used must be the most currently available at the time of takeoff.
CAT I weather minimums are contained in paragraphs C053, C054, and H103 of the
OpSpecs. CAT II and CAT III minimums are listed in paragraphs C059, C060, H108,
Designation of Alternate Airports. Section 135.223 specifies
when an alternate airport is required for IFR operations or over‑the‑top operations.
An alternate airport does not have to be designated when, for at least one hour
before and one hour after the ETA at the destination airport, the appropriate
weather reports or forecasts (or any combination of them), show the ceiling
will be as follows:
At least 1,500 feet above the lowest circling minimum descent altitude,
if a circling approach is authorized for the airport; or
If a circling approach is not authorized, at least 1,500 feet above the
lowest published instrument approach minimum or 2,000 feet above the airport
elevation, whichever is greater; and
The visibility at that airport will be at least three miles, or two miles
more than the lowest applicable visibility minimums, whichever is greater, for
the instrument approach procedures to be used.
Alternate Airport Weather. The forecast weather at the designated
alternate airport must exceed the requirements of the table in either paragraph
C055 or paragraph H105 of the OpSpecs, as applicable.
PASSENGER‑CARRYING, OVER‑THE‑TOP OPERATIONS. Part 135 contains a set of
rules that limit IFR passenger‑carrying, over‑the‑top flights. These limitations
do not apply to cargo‑only part 135 flights.
NOTE: Section 135.181 does not prohibit a pilot from operating
an aircraft in VFR conditions on an IFR clearance. An aircraft must be IFR equipped
and the pilot or pilots must be qualified according to part 135 before an IFR
clearance may be requested or IFR weather conditions are entered.
Operation of Single‑Engine Aircraft in Over‑The‑Top Operations.
Section 135.181 prohibit the operation of single‑engine aircraft (airplanes
and helicopters) in over‑the‑top operations unless the following conditions
can be met:
The flight may be planned to climb to VFR over‑the‑top conditions as
described in previous subparagraph A.
If a ceiling exists, VFR conditions must be forecast to exist under the
ceiling along the planned route from the time the flight begins operating over‑the‑top
until one hour after the flight is estimated to reach the destination.
At all points along the route, upon reaching destination, and for one
hour thereafter, the forecast must show that the flight will be able to descend
in VFR conditions (clear of clouds), should an engine fail.
Operation of Multiengine Aircraft in IFR, Over‑The‑Top, Passenger‑Carrying
Operations. A multi‑engine aircraft (airplane or helicopter) may be released
for IFR or VFR over‑the‑top, passenger‑carrying operations under the following
The flight may be operated under the conditions described in subparagraphs
A and B, or;
The operator may limit the takeoff weight so that the aircraft can climb
at 50 feet per minute at the minimum en route altitude (MEA) of the route to
be flown or at 5,000 feet mean sea level (MSL), whichever is higher, with the
critical engine inoperative. Passenger‑carrying, multiengine helicopters flying
offshore may be started when the helicopter can climb at 50 feet per minute
at the MEA or at 1,500 feet MSL, whichever is higher, with the critical engine
A flight may start when weather forecasts and reports indicate that the
flight will be able to operate in VFR conditions until it reaches the destination
and then descend in VFR conditions to beneath the ceiling. Conditions at the
destination must allow a VFR descent for the period of the ETA to one hour after
ETA. While operating over‑the‑top, the flight must be able to comply with subparagraphs
B 1) or B 2).
A flight may start when it can be operated clear of the clouds until
it reaches the final approach fix at the initial approach altitude under VFR
conditions and then conduct an instrument approach.
OVERWATER, PASSENGER‑CARRYING OPERATIONS. Except for takeoffs,
landings, and operations within gliding distance of land, all passenger‑carrying
flights operated over water must be operated as follows:
Airplanes. Operators must limit the takeoff weight of an airplane
so that it can climb at 50 feet per minute at an altitude of 1,000 feet above
the surface with the critical engine inoperative.
Helicopters. Helicopters must be equipped with flotation devices.
PART 135 EXTENDED OVERWATER OPERATIONS. Although part 135
does not specifically address the requirements for extended overwater operations,
14 CFR part 135, § 135.21(a) requires that each operator develop a manual establishing
the policies and procedures for operations that are acceptable to the FAA Administrator.
One means, but not the only means, that a part 135 operator may use to develop
acceptable extended overwater operations procedures is to show compliance with
those portions of 14 CFR part 121 that correspond to the operation conducted.
Flight Planning and Navigation. Flight planning and navigational
requirements do not differ from those of part 121 operators conducting operations
in the same airspace (see sections 1 and 4 of this Chapter ).
Fuel Planning. The operator must provide adequate procedures
for compensating with the limitations of forecast winds. One acceptable means
an operator may use is to comply with the requirements of, § 121.641 for reciprocating
or turbopropeller aircraft and with the requirements of, § 121.645 for turbojet
aircraft. These sections provide for appropriate en route reserves.
Engine‑Out En Route Performance Limits. The operator must
develop procedures to comply with the engine‑out performance limitations of
part 135, subpart I. The operator’s analysis must show compliance at the most
critical point on the route. Under most conditions, engine‑out operations require
drift down procedures. Inspectors must ensure that the operator’s analysis considers
how oxygen and aircraft systems are affected by engine loss.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-2029 through 3-2045.
VOLUME 3 General technical administration
APPROVE A MAINTENANCE RELIABILITY PROGRAM FOR 14 CFR PARTS 121/135
Section 1 Approve Maintenance
PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODES.
OBJECTIVE. This chapter provides guidance for approving Title
14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 121 and 135 reliability
programs and providing technical assistance to the certificate holder.
The Airworthiness aviation safety inspector (ASI) performs
this task, which needs to be closely coordinated between both the maintenance
and avionics specialties. Approving a reliability program is one of the most
complex duties of an Airworthiness ASI, who must give special attention to every
element of the proposed program.
Reliability programs establish the time limitations or standards
for determining intervals between overhauls, inspections, and checks of airframes,
engines, propellers, appliances, and emergency equipment.
Guidance on the program elements is listed in the current editions of:
Advisory Circular (AC) 120‑17, Maintenance Program Management
Through Reliability Methods;
The Airline/Manufacturer Maintenance Program Planning Document,
Maintenance Steering Group (MSG)‑2/3; and/or
It is important that the ASI explains all of the program requirements
to the operator/applicant.
PRIMARY MAINTENANCE PROCESSES.
MSG‑2, Primary Maintenance Processes Definitions.
Hard-Time (HT), Overhaul Time Limit, or Part Life‑Limit. This is a preventive
primary maintenance process that requires a system, component, or appliance
to be either overhauled periodically (time limits) or removed from service (life
limit). Time limits may only be adjusted based on operating experience or tests,
in accordance with (IAW) procedures in the operator’s approved reliability program.
On‑Condition (OC). This is also a preventive primary maintenance process
that requires a system, component, or appliance be inspected periodically or
checked against some appropriate physical standard to determine if it can continue
in service. The standard ensures that the unit is removed from service before
failure during normal operation. These standards may be adjusted based on operating
experience or tests, as appropriate, IAW a carrier’s approved reliability program
or maintenance manual.
Condition Monitoring (CM). MSG‑2 introduced condition monitoring. This
process is for systems, components, or appliances that have neither HT nor OC
maintenance as their primary maintenance process. It is accomplished by appropriate
means available to an operator for finding and solving problem areas. The user
must control the reliability of systems or equipment based on knowledge gained
through analysis of failures or other indications of deteriorations.
MSG‑3, Maintenance Task Definitions.
Lubrication/Servicing (LU/SV). Any act of lubrication or servicing for
the purpose of maintaining inherent design capabilities. The replenishment of
the consumable must reduce the rate of functional deterioration.
Operational/Visual Check (OP/VC). Hidden functional failure categories.
An operational check is a task to determine if an item is fulfilling its intended
purpose. The check does not require quantitative tolerances, but is a failure-finding
task. A visual check is an observation to determine that an item is fulfilling
its intended purpose and does not require quantitative tolerances. This is a
failure-finding task that ensures an adequate availability of the hidden function
to reduce the risk of a multiple safety failures and to avoid economic effects
of multiple failures and be cost-effective.
Inspection/Functional Check (IN/FC), All Categories.
Detailed inspection. An intensive visual examination of a specific
structural area, system, installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure,
or irregularity. Available lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source
of good lighting at an intensity deemed appropriate by the ASI. Inspection aids
such as mirrors or magnifying lenses may be used. Surface cleaning and elaborate
access procedures may be required.
General visual (surveillance) inspection. A visual examination of
an interior or exterior area, installation, or assembly to detect obvious damage,
failure, or irregularity. This level of inspection is made under normally available
lighting conditions, such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or drop-light,
and may require removal or opening of access panels or doors. Stands, ladders,
or platforms may be required to gain proximity to the area being checked.
Special detailed inspection. An intensive examination of a specific
item(s), installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity.
The examination is likely to make extensive use of specialized inspection techniques
and/or equipment. Intricate cleaning and substantial access or disassembly procedures
may be required.
Functional Check. A quantitative check to determine if one or more functions
of an item perform within specified limits. Reduced resistance to failure must
be detectable, and there must be a reasonably consistent interval between a
deterioration condition and functional failure.
Restoration (RS), All Categories. That work necessary to return an item
to a specific standard. Since restoration may vary from cleaning or replacement
of single parts to a complete overhaul, the scope of each assigned restoration
task has to be specified.
Discard (DS), All Categories. The removal from service of an item at
a specified life limit. Discard tasks are normally applied to so-called single-celled
parts, such as:
Engine disks, or
Safe‑life structural members.
The lack of real experience with new aircraft requires a careful, detailed study
of their characteristics to determine which components or systems would probably
benefit from scheduled maintenance (HT or OC).
Special teams of industry and Federal Aviation Administraion
(FAA) personnel developed the initial maintenance programs for the B‑747, DC‑10,
and L‑1011 aircraft. Using the MSG‑2 decision analysis, these teams identified
potential maintenance tasks and determined which of these tasks must be performed
to ensure operating safety or determine essential hidden function protection.
The remaining tasks were evaluated to determine if they were economically useful.
This evaluation provided a systematic review of the aircraft
design so that, in the absence of real experience, the best maintenance process
could be employed for each component or system. The B‑747, DC‑10, and L‑1011
aircraft operating experience confirmed the effectiveness of these procedures.
DATA COLLECTION SYSTEM.
Typical sources of data collection include:
Service difficulty reports,
Mechanical Interruption Summaries, and
Other sources the operator considers appropriate.
Not all of these sources may be covered in each and every
program. However, the availability of additional information provides the operator
with an invaluable source of operating history for determining success or failure
in meeting program goals.
Data collected must be accurate and factual to support a high
degree of confidence for any derived conclusion. It must be obtained from units
functioning under operational conditions and must relate directly to the established
levels of performance.
DATA ANALYSIS AND THE APPLICATION TO MAINTENANCE CONTROLS.
The objective of data analysis is to:
Recognize the need for corrective action,
Establish what corrective action is needed, and
Determine the effectiveness of that action.
Data Analysis Systems. Data analysis is the process of evaluating
mechanical performance data to identify characteristics indicating a need for
program adjustment, revising maintenance practices, improving (modifying) hardware,
etc. The first step in analysis is to compare or measure data against acceptable
performance levels. The standard may be a running average, tabulation of removal
rates for past periods, graphs, charts, or any other means of depicting a “norm.”
Programs Incorporating Statistical Performance Standards (“Alert”
Reliability programs developed under AC 120‑17, current edition, and
earlier criteria use parameters for reliability analysis such as delays per
100 departures for an aircraft system. They incorporate performance standards
as described in paragraph 3‑3788. These standards define acceptable performance.
System performance data usually is reinforced by component removal or
confirmed failure data. The condition-monitored process can be readily accommodated
by this type of program.
Programs Using Other Analysis Standards (“Non-Alert” Programs).
Data compiled to assist in the day-to-day operation of the maintenance program
may be used effectively as a basis for continuous mechanical performance analysis.
The following are examples of the types of information suitable for this
Mechanical interruption summaries,
Flight record review,
Engine monitoring reports,
Incident reports, and
Engine and component analysis reports.
The number and range of inputs must be sufficient to provide a basis
for analysis equivalent to the statistical programs standards.
Actuarial analysis should be conducted periodically to ensure that the
current process classifications are correct.
The following factors are acceptable for establishing or revising
a reliability program’s performance standards:
Past and present individual operator and industry experience. If industry
experience is used, the program must include a provision for reviewing the standards
after the operator has gained one year of operating experience.
Performance analysis of similar equipment currently in service.
Aircraft or equipment manufacturers’ reliability engineering analysis.
History of experience where reliability standards were acceptable to
the airline industry.
If the program does not incorporate statistical performance
standards or significantly deviates from the instructions in AC 120‑17.
Performance measurements expressed numerically in terms of:
System or component failure,
A/C operating hours,
Number of landings,
Standards adjusted to:
Procedures for periodic review:
Upward adjustment, and
New aircraft, and
Computing performance standards.
No statistical performance standards:
Do not approve program.
Submit package by letter to region for review/forward to AFS‑300,
Also any significant deviation from AC 120‑17, current edition.
EVALUATING PROGRAM DISPLAYS AND STATUS OF CORRECTIVE ACTION PROGRAMS
Corrective Action System. Corrective action should be positive
enough to restore performance effectively to an acceptable level within a reasonable
time. The corrective action system must include provisions for the following:
Notifying the organization responsible for taking the action.
Obtaining periodic feedback until performance reaches an acceptable level.
Encompassing methods that have been established for the overall maintenance
program, such as:
Special inspection procedures,
Engineering Orders, and
Critical failures in which loss of function or the secondary effects
of failure could affect the airworthiness of the aircraft.
Statistical Performance Standards System.
A performance measurement expressed numerically in terms of system or
component failure, pilot report, delay, etc (bracketed by hours of aircraft
operation, number of landing, operating cycles, or other exposure measurement)
serves as the basis for the standard. Control limits or alert values are usually
based on accepted statistical methods, such as standard deviations or the Poisson
Some applications use an average or baseline method. The standard should
be adjustable and should reflect the operator’s experience during seasonal and
environmental condition changes and variations.
The program should include procedures for periodic review and adjusting
the program as appropriate.
The program should include procedures for monitoring new aircraft until
sufficient operating experience is available to compute performance standards,
normally one year.
Data Display and Reporting System.
Operators with programs incorporating statistical performance standards
(“alert” programs) should develop a monthly report, with appropriate data displays
summarizing the previous month’s activity. This report should include the following:
All aircraft systems controlled by the program in sufficient depth
to enable the FAA and other recipients to evaluate the effectiveness of the
total maintenance program;
Systems that exceeded the established performance standards and
discussion of what action has been taken or planned;
An explanation of changes that have been made or are planned in
the aircraft maintenance program, including changes in maintenance and inspection
intervals and changes from one maintenance process/task to another;
A discussion of continuing over-alert conditions carried forward
from previous reports; and
The progress of corrective action programs.
Programs using other analytical standards (“non‑alert” programs) should
consolidate or summarize significant reports used in controlling their program
to provide for evaluating program effectiveness. These reports may be computer
printouts, summaries, or other forms. A typical program of this type reports
the following information:
Mechanical Interruption Summary (MIS) reports,
Maintenance process/task and interval assignments (master specification),
Weekly update to the maintenance process and interval assignments,
Daily repetitive item listing by aircraft,
Monthly component premature removal report, including removal
Monthly engine shutdown and removal report,
Quarterly engine reliability analysis report,
Engine threshold adjustment report, and
Worksheets for maintenance process/task and interval changes (not
provided to the FAA, but the FAA approves the process/task changes).
Program Review System. The program should include a procedure
for revision which is compatible with FAA approvals. The procedures should identify
organizational elements involved in the revision process and the authority.
The program areas requiring formal FAA approval include any changes to the program
that involve the following:
Procedures relating to reliability measurement/performance standards,
Data analysis methods and application to the total maintenance
Process/task changes ,
Adding or deleting components/systems,
Adding or deleting aircraft types, or
Procedural and organizational changes concerning administration
of the program.
INTERVAL ADJUSTMENTS, PROCESS, AND/OR TASK CHANGES.
Maintenance Interval Adjustment, Process Category, and/or Task
Change System. Reliability programs provide an operator with a method of
adjusting maintenance, inspection, and overhaul intervals without prior FAA
approval. This does not relieve the operator or the FAA of their responsibilities
regarding the effects of the program on safety.
the ASI has any doubt as to the soundness of a requested maintenance interval
adjustment or task change, the inspector should coordinate the request with
the appropriate Aircraft Certification Office (ACO).
Procedures. Procedures for adjusting maintenance intervals
must be included in the program. Maintenance interval adjustments should not
interfere with ongoing corrective action. There should be special procedures
for escalating systems or components whose current performance exceeds control
Typical considerations for adjusting HT or OC intervals include the following:
Inspector or maintenance findings, and
Methods for adjusting aircraft/engine check intervals should be included
if the program controls these intervals. Sampling criteria should be specified.
Classifying the Maintenance Processes and/or Tasks. The program
should include procedures for the classification and assignment of maintenance
processes and/or tasks and for changing from one process and/or task to another.
Refer to MSG‑2 for maintenance processes and MSG‑3 for maintenance tasks. It
should include the authority and procedures for changing maintenance specifications
and the related documents to reflect the interval adjustments or process and/or
PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.
Prerequisites. Previous experience with the type of equipment
the operator/applicant proposes to include in the program.
Coordination. This task requires coordination between the
Airworthiness ASIs, to include both maintenance and avionics. Further coordination
may be required with regional and national headquarters.
REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.
References (current editions):
AC 120‑17, Maintenance Control by Reliability Methods.
FAA Order 8900.1, Volume 8, Chapter 2, Section 7.
Job Aids. Automated operations specifications (OpSpecs) checklists
Meet With Operator/Applicant. In addition to providing AC
120‑17, current edition, inform the operator/applicant of the following program
Data collection system,
Methods of data analysis and application to maintenance control,
Procedures for establishing and revising performance standards,
Definition of significant terms,
Program displays and status of corrective action programs,
Procedures for program revision, and
Procedures for maintenance control changes.
Evaluate the Program Application Procedures. When the applicant
submits a formal program, ensure that the program document defines the following:
Components, systems, or complete aircraft controlled by the program.
Individual systems and/or components are identified by Air Transport Association
of America (ATA) Specification 100. A list of all components controlled by the
program must be included as an appendix to the program document or included
by reference (e.g., time limits, manuals, or computer report).
The portion of the maintenance program controlled by the reliability
program (e.g., overhaul and/or inspection, check periods).
Evaluate Organizational Structure. The structure must be described
adequately and address committee membership, if appropriate, and meeting frequency.
Ensure that the reliability program includes an organizational chart that shows
The relationships among organizational elements responsible for administering
The two organizational elements responsible for approving changes to
maintenance controls and specifying the duties and responsibilities for initiating
maintenance program revisions.
of the two organizations must have inspection or quality control responsibility
or have overall program responsibility.
Evaluate the Organizational Responsibilities.
Determine if the reliability program document addresses the following:
The method of exchanging information among organizational elements. This
may be displayed in a diagram.
Activities and responsibilities of each organizational element and/or
reliability control committee for enforcing policy and ensuring corrective action.
Ensure that authority is delegated to each organizational element to
Evaluate the Data Collection System.
Ensure that the reliability document fully describes the data collection
system for the aircraft, component, and/or systems to be controlled. The following
must be addressed:
Flow of information,
Identification of sources of information,
Steps of data development from source to analysis, and
Organizational responsibilities for each step of data development.
Ensure that the document includes samples of data to be collected, such
Powerplant disassembly and inspection reports,
Component condition reports,
Mechanical delay and cancellation reports,
Flight record reports,
Premature removal reports,
Confirmed failure reports,
Internal leakage reports, and
Engine shutdown reports.
Ensure that the reliability document includes a graphic portrayal of
program operations. It must be a closed loop and show source data, data collection,
Evaluate the Methods of Data Analysis and Application to Maintenance
Controls. Ensure that the data analysis system includes the following:
One or more of the types of action appropriate to the trend or level
of reliability experienced, including:
Actuarial or engineering studies employed to determine a need
for maintenance program changes;
Maintenance program changes involving inspection frequency and
content, functional checks, overhaul procedures, and time limits;
Aircraft, aircraft system, or component modification or repair;
Changes in operating procedures and techniques.
The effects on maintenance controls such as overhaul time, inspection
and check periods, and overhaul and/or inspection procedures.
Procedures for evaluating critical failures as they occur.
Documentation used to support and initiate changes to the maintenance
program, including modifications, special inspections, or fleet campaigns. The
program must reference the operator’s manual procedures for handling these documents.
A corrective action program that shows the results of corrective actions
in a reasonable period of time. Depending on the effect on safety, a “reasonable”
period of time can vary from immediate to an overhaul cycle period. Each corrective
action plan or program must be made a matter of record and include a planned
completion date. Samples of forms used to implement these actions must be included
in the program document.
A description of statistical techniques used to determine operating reliability
Evaluate the Procedures for Establishing and Revising Performance
Ensure that each program includes one of the following for each aircraft
system and/or component controlled by the program:
Initial performance standards defining the area of acceptable
Methods, data, and a schedule to establish the performance standard.
Ensure that the performance standard is responsive and sensitive to the
level of reliability experienced and is stable without being fixed. The standard
should not be so high that abnormal variations would not cause an alert or so
low that it is constantly exceeded in spite of the best known corrective action
Ensure that the procedures specify the organizational elements responsible
for monitoring and revising the performance standard, as well as when and how
to revise the standard.
Evaluate Definitions. Verify that each program clearly defines
all significant terms used in the program. Definitions must reflect their intended
use in the program and will therefore vary from program to program. Acronyms
and abbreviations unique to the program must also be defined.
Evaluate Program Displays and Status of Corrective Action
Programs and Reporting.
Ensure that the program describes reports, charts, and graphs used to
document operating experience. Responsibilities for these reports must be established
and the reporting elements must be clearly identified and described.
Ensure that the program displays containing the essential information
for each aircraft, aircraft system, and component controlled by the program
are addressed. Each system and component must be identified by the appropriate
ATA Specification 100 system code number.
Ensure that the program includes displays showing:
The current month’s performance,
A minimum of 12 months’ experience , and
Reliability performance standards (“alert” values).
The program must include the status of corrective action programs. This
includes all corrective action programs implemented since the last reporting
Evaluate the Interval Adjustments and Process and/or Task
Review the change system procedures. Ensure that there are special procedures
for escalating systems or components whose current performance exceeds control
Ensure that the program does not allow for the maintenance interval adjustment
of any Certification Maintenance Requirements (CMR) items. CMRs are part of
the certification basis. No CMR item may be escalated through the operator maintenance/reliability
program. CMRs are the responsibility of FAA engineering as far as approval and
operator may not use its reliability program as a basis for adjusting the repeat
interval for its corrosion prevention and control program; however, the operator
may use the reliability program for recording data for later submission to the
FAA to help substantiate repeat interval changes.
Ensure that the program includes provisions for notifying the certificate‑holding
district office (CHDO) when changes are made.
Evaluate the Procedures for Program Revisions. The reliability
document must accomplish the following:
Identify and isolate areas which require FAA approval for program revision,
including the following:
Changes involving performance standards, including instructions
relating to the development of these standards;
Data collection system;
Data analysis methods and application to maintenance program;
Any procedural or organizational change concerning program administration.
If the operator proposes that the FAA approve all revisions to the program
document, isolation of those areas requiring FAA approval is not required. However,
the document must recognize each of the above requirements and must contain
procedures for adequately administering and implementing changes required by
Identify the organizational element responsible for approving amendments
to the program.
Provide a periodic review to determine that the established performance
standard is still realistic.
Provide procedures for distributing approved revisions.
Reference the operator’s manual and provide the overhaul and inspection
periods, work content, and other maintenance program activities controlled by
Evaluate the Procedures for Maintenance Control Changes. Ensure
that the reliability program document addresses the following:
Procedures for maintenance control changes to the reliability program.
The organizational elements responsible for preparing substantiation
reports to justify maintenance control changes. At least two separate organizational
elements are required, one of which exercises inspection or quality control
responsibility for the operator.
Processes used to specify maintenance control changes (e.g., sampling,
functional checks, bench checks, decision tree analysis, and unscheduled removal).
Procedures covering all maintenance program activities controlled by
Procedures for amending OpSpecs, as required.
Procedures to ensure maintenance interval adjustments are not interfering
with ongoing corrective actions.
Critical failures and procedures for taking corrective action.
Procedures for notifying the CHDO, when increased time limit adjustments
or other program adjustments are addressed.
Analyze Reliability Program Evaluation. Upon completion, record
all deficiencies noted. Determine the appropriate corrective action(s) to be
taken. Deficiencies noted in the program must be given to the operator/applicant
Complete the PTRS Record.
Complete the Task. Successful completion of this task will
result in the approval of the operator/applicant’s reliability program and OpSpecs
IAW Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 6, Parts D and E—Maintenance Mspecs/OpSpecs.
Document the Task. File all supporting paperwork in the operator/applicant’s
FUTURE ACTIVITIES. Normal surveillance.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 3‑3796 through 3‑3810.
VOLUME 3 GENERAL TECHNICAL ADMINISTRATION
EVALUATE CONTINUOUS AIRWORTHINESS MAINTENANCE PROGRAM/REVISION
Section 1 Evaluating a CAMP Program
PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODES.
Maintenance: 3330, 3341.
Avionics: 5330, 5341.
OBJECTIVE. This chapter provides guidance for evaluating a
Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program (CAMP) developed by an operator/applicant
subject to Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121 or
135, or a fractional program manager (hereafter referred to as the program manager)
under part 91 subpart K.
GENERAL. A CAMP combines the maintenance and inspection functions
used to fulfill an operator/applicant’s or program manager’s total maintenance
needs. The regulations specify that each operator/applicant or program manager
must have a maintenance program adequate to perform the work and a separate
inspection program adequate to perform required inspections.
Airworthiness. A condition in which the aircraft, airframe, engine, propeller,
accessories, and appliances meet their type design and are in a condition for
Inspection. The routine performance of inspection tasks at prescribed
intervals. The inspection must ensure the airworthiness of an aircraft up to
and including its overhaul or lifelimits.
Scheduled (Routine) Maintenance. The performance of maintenance tasks
at prescribed intervals.
Unscheduled (Non-Routine) Maintenance. The performance of maintenance
tasks when mechanical irregularities occur. These irregularities are categorized
as to whether or not they occur during flight time.
Structural Inspection. A detailed inspection of the airframe structure
that may require special inspection techniques to determine the continuous integrity
of the airframe and its related parts.
Program Requirements. Basic requirements of a CAMP include
Overhaul and repair,
Required Inspection Items (RII),
Continuing Analysis and Surveillance System (CASS), and
Manuals. Instructions and standards for unscheduled maintenance
should be in the operator/program manager/applicant’s technical manuals. The
manuals must contain procedures to be followed when using these manuals and
recording scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.
Operations Specifications (OpSpecs)/ Management Specifications
(MSpecs). CAMPs are authorized according to the OpSpecs for certificate
holders and MSpecs for fractional ownership programs. These OpSpecs/MSpecs describe
the scope of the program and reference manuals and other technical data. Details
of the program must be included in the operator/program manager/applicant’s
MSpecs apply only to those operations
conducted under part 91 subpart K. All other operators must use OpSpecs.
Operator/Program Manager/Applicant’s Organization. The operator/program
manager/applicant must have an organization adequate to carry out the provisions
of the CAMP. If the work is to be performed outside of the operator/program
manager/applicant’s organization, the contractor must meet the same requirements.
In determining the adequacy of the organization, the following must be considered:
The complexity of the organization,
The experience of the personnel, and
The number of personnel.
Applicability. During the original certification process of
an operator/program manager/applicant, the aviation safety inspector (ASI) should
ensure that the CAMP is applicable to the operation in question. To do so, the
ASI will inform the operator/program manager/applicant of the relevant policies,
procedures, and requirements of the regulations. This is also true during the
process for issuing MSpecs to a program manager.
Scheduling. The operator/program manager/ applicant and the
ASI should develop a plan to determine a schedule for submitting required documents.
Scheduled Maintenance. Maintenance tasks performed at prescribed intervals
are considered scheduled maintenance. Some of these tasks are performed concurrently
with inspection tasks and may be included on the same work form. Work forms
that include maintenance instructions must be provided for a record of the accomplishment
of these tasks.
Scheduled tasks include replacement of life-limited items and components
requiring periodic overhaul, special nondestructive inspections (such as X-rays),
and checks or tests for on-condition items, lubrications, and weighing aircraft.
Prime factors considered for inspection intervals are aircraft use, environmental
conditions, and the type of operation. Examples include changes in temperature,
frequency of landings and takeoffs, operation in areas of high industrial pollutants,
and passenger or cargo operations.
To ensure proper maintenance, each inspection interval must be stated
in terms of calendar times, cycles, and hours, as required.
Unscheduled Maintenance. Unscheduled maintenance takes place when mechanical
Mechanical Irregularities Occurring During Flight Time (Block-to-Block).
These include operational failures and malfunctions and abnormal flight operations,
such as hard or overweight landings. The aircraft maintenance record, required
by part 91, § 91.1439, part 121, §§ 121.563 and 121.701, and part 135, § 135.65,
must be used to record each irregularity and its corrective action.
Mechanical Irregularities Not Occurring During Flight Time. These include
all other failures, malfunctions, and discrepancies, including, but not limited
to, inspection findings. A discrepancy form or equivalent system must be used
to record each irregularity and its corrective action.
Types of Maintenance.
Overhaul and Repair (Airframe, Engine, Propeller, and Appliance). Maintenance
for these items, whether scheduled or unscheduled, may be independent from maintenance
performed on the aircraft. The operator/program manager/applicant must provide
instructions and standards for repair and overhaul, and a method of approving
and recording the work. Appropriate life-limited parts replacement requirements
should be included in this portion of a CAMP.
Each level of inspection must be clearly defined in the operator/program
manager/ applicant’s CAMP. For example, a specific area of the aircraft may
require only a visual inspection during pre-flight “A” and “B” checks, but will
require a detailed X-ray or Zyglo inspection in the same area for a “C” or “D”
Some aircraft are subject to a supplemental structural inspection document,
which requires additional age-related structural inspections to be incorporated
into the maintenance program.
Requirements. If a certificated operator or program manager
proposes changes to the CAMP, the ASI must determine the impact of the revision
on the program. Because CAMPs vary, depending on the operator/program manager/applicant’s
complexity of operation, the ASI must become familiar with all of the pertinent
technical and regulatory aspects of the program.
Return to Service. Through the provisions of 14 CFR part 43,
either part 121 or 135 operators using a CAMP are considered maintenance organizations.
As such, they are authorized to approve aircraft and/or equipment for return
to service and are responsible for meeting the requirements of part 43, § 43.13.
Program managers are not maintenance organizations and do not have the privileges
of a certificated organization, although they may have related organizations,
such as repair stations that are certificated.
The persons exercising certificate privileges have always had the responsibility
to show compliance with regulatory requirements and to make a determination
of conformance and safety. The need to ensure that a replacement part was produced
by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved source is therefore critical.
Principal inspectors (PI), during the process of certification and surveillance,
must ensure that the operator/program manager/applicant fully understands §
43.13 and the following resulting responsibilities:
Showing that any/all parts and/or materials used, from any source,
are airworthy (i.e., conform to type design);
That such parts are equal to the original or properly altered
That parts and materials have been maintained properly.
Additionally, the PI must ensure that the operator/program manager/applicant’s
manual contains adequate procedures at the incoming inspection to determine
the compliance with § 43.13, prior to the material being stocked or used.
Part 135 (Nine or Less) Operators. An operator with a CAMP
must maintain its aircraft according to that program. This includes aircraft
of nine or less passengers maintained under an operator’s CAMP in accordance
with § 135.411(b).
Maintenance Performed for Other Operators. An operator maintaining
their aircraft under a CAMP under part 121 or 135 may also perform maintenance
for another certificate holder under the same 14 CFR part. Such maintenance
must be performed in accordance with that certificate holder’s CAMP, including
aircraft of nine or less passenger seats. However, an operator under part 135
is NOT authorized to perform maintenance for an operator under part 121, and
Although program managers may use
a CAMP, they are not authorized to perform maintenance for other program managers
unless they also hold an appropriate certificate, such as a repair station certificate
or a mechanic’s certificate. Having approval to use a CAMP does not give them
the same privilege to perform maintenance that an air carrier certificated under
part 121 or part 135 has.
MAINTENANCE PROGRAM. The maintenance program must incorporate
a set of procedures that ensures the following:
Maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations performed
by air carriers or by other persons/organizations (outsourcing maintenance)
are performed according to the operator’s or program manager’s manual;
Competent personnel and adequate facilities/equipment are provided
for the proper performance of maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations
Each aircraft released to service is airworthy;
Airworthiness inspections and RII are performed per the operator’s
manual, by qualified personnel; and
A system is in place that addresses how specific RII are developed,
controlled, and reviewed to ensure the continued airworthiness of aircraft.
operators are not required to base their maintenance inspection
programs on original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) programs, Principal
Inspectors should utilize the Maintenance Review Board Report (MRBR) and Maintenance
Planning Document (MPD) for the pertinent aircraft, as a basis for reviewing
a new entrant carrier’s initial program, as well as revisions to an existing
Airworthiness Inspections. Section 121.135(b)(19) and similar
provisions of part 135 and part 91 subpart K stipulate that each operator/program
manager’s manual must discuss airworthiness inspections, including instructions
covering procedures, standards, responsibilities, and authority of inspection
personnel. The methods and procedures established by the manual must be followed
as prescribed by § 121.367 and § 135.427. Items not designated as RII will also
be inspected according to the manual’s instructions.
RII. Sections 91.1427(b)(2), 121.369(b)(2), and 135.427(b)(2)
discuss the designation of maintenance and alteration work that must be inspected.
The manual must contain a designation of the items of maintenance and
alteration that must be inspected. These will include, at a minimum, those items
that could result in failure, malfunction, or defect, endangering the safe operation
of the aircraft if maintenance is not performed properly or if improper parts
or materials are used. Each operator must evaluate its work program to identify
RII. Such items may be identified with the abbreviation “RII,” an asterisk,
or any similar method.
In determining the work items that are to be categorized as RII, the
operator or program manager should consider the importance of the following:
Installation, rigging, and adjustments of flight control;
Installation and repair of major structural components;
Installation of aircraft engines, propellers, and rotors; and
Overhaul, calibration, or rigging of components such as engines,
propellers, transmissions, gearboxes, and navigation equipment.
INSPECTION ORGANIZATION. Each operator/program manager must
have an organization adequate to perform required inspections. The performance
of required inspections must be organized so as to separate the required inspection
functions from other maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alteration functions.
Section 91.1423(b) requires that if the program manager maintains its aircraft
under a CAMP, each organization with which the program manager arranges to perform
the work must also have an adequate organization to perform the work.
Personnel Considerations. The operator/applicant or program
manager must maintain a current listing of persons qualified to inspect its
RII. Where such maintenance is performed by other organizations, the operator
must determine that the contractor maintains such a list. Each individual must
be identified by name, occupational title, and the RII that individual is authorized
To comply with these requirements, the operator/program manager’s personnel
roster (or the contractor’s roster) may be used. This roster should include
a method for positive identification of those who are trained, qualified, authorized,
certificated, and current.
Authorized individuals may be informed by letter or by a list showing
the extent of their responsibilities, authorities, and inspection limitations.
If a list is used, it should be signed by each authorized individual to confirm
that the authorized person is fully aware of any inspection limitations.
Maintenance and Inspections. The separation of the operator’s
maintenance organization from the inspection organization applies to required
Sections 121.367(a) and 135.425(a) require that all maintenance,
preventive maintenance, or alterations performed by other persons be performed
in accordance with the air carrier’s manual. Air carriers must detail in their
manuals the policies, procedures, instructions, and methods for the accomplishment
of all outsourced maintenance. Outsourcing of maintenance can be accomplished
at many different levels. From line maintenance and on-call maintenance to component/accessory
repairs to the accomplishment of heavy maintenance checks and substantial maintenance,
outsourcing of maintenance is an integral component of every air carrier’s CAMP.
To determine if the air carrier has the appropriate policies,
procedures, instructions, and methods of performing outsourcing maintenance
refer to Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 42, Section 1, Evaluate
Part 121/135 (10 or More) Outsource Maintenance Arrangement.
PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.
Knowledge of the regulatory requirements of parts 91, 121, and
135, as applicable; and
Successful completion of the Airworthiness Inspector Indoctrination
course(s), or equivalent.
Coordination. This task must be coordinated between Airworthiness
ASIs, Operations ASIs, and regional specialists.
REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.
Maintenance Review Board Document,
14 CFR parts 43, 65, 91, and 145,
Appropriate current advisory circulars (AC), (e.g., AC 120-16,
Air Carrier Maintenance Program), and
ATOS Elements: 1.3.1, 1.3.2.
Forms. FAA Form 8400-8, Operations Specifications.
Job Aids. Job Task Analysis (JTA): 3.3.41.
Brief the Operator/Program Manager/ Applicant. Provide the
operator/program manager/applicant with the applicable ACs and advise him or
her of the current policies and regulatory requirements.
Review the Schedule of Events. If this task is performed as
a part of an original certification, review the schedule of events to ensure
that this task can be accomplished within the schedule.
Evaluate the Organization Documentation. The CAMP must contain
A complete description of the operator/program manager/applicant’s organization
as it relates to the program, including the duties and responsibilities of the
A list of persons with whom the operator/program manager/applicant has
arranged for the performance of any work, along with a general description of
A proper separation of maintenance and inspection functions for the performance
of required inspections.
Evaluate the Inspection and Maintenance Programs. The CAMP
must contain inspection and maintenance procedures for the performance of maintenance,
preventive maintenance, and alterations. These procedures must, at a minimum,
include the following:
The method of performing routine and non-routine maintenance, preventive
maintenance, and alterations.
A list of designated items that must be inspected.
The method for performing required inspections.
A system that addresses how specific required inspections are developed,
controlled, and reviewed to ensure the continued airworthiness of aircraft.
The method of designating personnel performing required inspections by
occupational title, name, and authorization.
Procedures for the reinspection of work performed as a result of previous
required inspection findings (buy-back procedures).
Procedures, standards, and limits necessary for required inspections,
including identifying RII within work forms or job cards.
Procedures for the periodic inspection and calibration of precision tools,
measuring devices, and test equipment.
Procedures for maintaining records and control of the inspections and
Procedures to ensure that all required inspections are performed.
Instructions to prevent any person who has performed any item of work
from performing any required inspection of that work.
Instructions and procedures to prevent any decision of an inspector regarding
any required inspection from being countermanded. Only supervisory personnel
of the inspection unit or an administrative person with overall responsibility
for both the required inspection and other maintenance and alteration functions
can override an inspector’s decision.
Procedures to ensure that required inspections, maintenance, and alterations
that are left incomplete as a result of a work interruption are properly completed
before the aircraft is returned to service.
Work forms, job cards, and detailed procedures for performing inspections
and other maintenance.
The necessary policies, procedures, instructions, and methods for the
performance of outsourcing maintenance (ref. vol. 3, ch. 42).
Evaluate the Maintenance Records/System. The CAMP must contain
a maintenance recordkeeping system. The operator/program manager/applicant must
meet the requirements of §§ 91.1113, 121.380, and 135.439. In addition, the
operator must have a system for the retention and retrieval of maintenance records
to provide the following:
A description of the work performed;
The name of the person performing the work and/or the name of
the organization if other than the operator/program manager/applicant;
The name of the person approving the work; and
Transfer maintenance records from outsource maintenance providers
to the air carrier.
Evaluate Personnel. The CAMP must contain the following:
Procedures to determine the qualifications of personnel, including
management and supervisory personnel;
Procedures to ensure that only persons who currently are appropriately
certificated, properly trained, authorized, and qualified perform any required
Instructions to ensure that those persons performing required
inspections are under the control of the inspection unit; and
Instructions to relieve any person performing maintenance for
a period of at least 24 hours per a 7 day period, or the equivalent thereof,
within any calendar-month. (This is a part 121 requirement only.)
Evaluate the Structural Inspection Procedures. This part of
the CAMP must include the following:
Corrosion control procedures;
A detailed inspection of areas where maintenance is being performed
to detect cracks, distortion, and corrosion, to examine attachment of parts,
and to determine the condition of the area; and
Maintenance Review Board/ manufacturer’s routine structural inspection
Analyze the Findings.
Evaluate all deficiencies to determine what, if any, corrective actions
will be required.
If the CAMP has deficiencies, schedule a meeting with the operator/program
manager/applicant to discuss needed program changes and deficiency resolutions.
Complete PTRS Record.
Complete the Task. Successful completion of this task will
result in the following:
When all requirements for the program have been met, accept and authorize
the use of the program by issuing OpSpecs/MSpecs in accordance with Volume 3,
Chapter 18, Operations Specifications, or part 91 subpart K, § 91.1015.
Providing the operator/program manager/applicant with the original CAMP,
with instructions to provide a copy of the program to the certificate-holding
district office (CHDO).
Document The Task. File all supporting paperwork in the operator/program
manager/ applicant’s office file.
FUTURE ACTIVITIES. Normal surveillance.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-3878 through 3-3890.
VOLUME 3 general technical administration
continuing analysis and surveillance system for parts 121 and 135
Section 1 Evaluating an
Air Carrier’s CASS
PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) AND AIR TRANSPORTATION
OVERSIGHT SYSTEM (ATOS) ACTIVITIES.
ATOS. ATOS Safety Attribute Inspection (SAI) or Element Performance
Inspection (EPI) Data Collection Tool (DCT), as appropriate, for the CASS element
OBJECTIVE. This section provides guidance and information
on the design, implementation, functions, and other considerations of an air
carrier’s Continuing Analysis and Surveillance System (CASS).
Regulatory Requirements. Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations
(14 CFR) part 121, § 121.373 and part 135, § 135.431 require an air carrier
operating under part 121 or 135 to establish and maintain a CASS. These sections
also allow the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to require revisions to
an operator’s maintenance program based on deficiencies or irregularities revealed
by the CASS.
The FAA implemented the regulatory requirement for a CASS in 1964 in
response to safety concerns and discoveries of systemic weaknesses in the maintenance
programs of some air carriers. These concerns were identified during accident
investigations and FAA surveillance activities accomplished during the 1950s.
The FAA introduced CASS as an element of a Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance
Program (CAMP) that contained other elements such as a manual, an adequate maintenance
organization, a maintenance recordkeeping system, Required Inspection Items
(RII), and more.
CASS is required for air carriers operating under parts 121 and § 135.411(a)(2)
applicability. CASS is a safety management tool that permits air carriers to
identify and understand maintenance program deficiencies well enough to develop
and implement permanent solutions for those discrepancies. CASS is a keystone
of an air carrier’s ability to produce airworthy aircraft on a consistent basis.
Authority. The power to design or change fundamental policy or procedures
without having to seek a higher-level management approval. Authority is a permission;
it is a right coupled with an autonomous power to accomplish certain acts or
order others to act. Often, one person grants another authority to act as an
employer to an employee, a corporation to its officers, or as a governmental
empowerment to perform certain functions.
Carried Out by the Certificate Holder or Other Person. The certificate
holder must maintain operational control over maintenance that any person performs
on its aircraft. Operational control includes independently determining the
scope and type of maintenance that may be required, when to accomplish that
maintenance, and if the maintenance was done in accordance with its manual and
program, regardless of who accomplished the maintenance.
Continuing Analysis and Surveillance (CAS). The elements of the system
are always working. For example, continuing surveillance means someone is always
looking and collecting information. Continuing analysis means that someone is
always analyzing the information that is always being collected.
Correction. An action that is designed to eliminate or mitigate a deficiency
that has been identified within one of the nine maintenance program elements.
Deficiency. A condition which is insufficient or incomplete, or where
something required is lacking. In CASS, it is something that is missing from
the air carrier maintenance program that should be there, or it is something
that is there but not producing the desired results. Alternatively, it could
indicate the maintenance program documentation is not being followed. For example,
a program element that has failed and is not working, or a program element that
has faults and is not working as it should are deficiencies.
Effective. Producing or capable of producing a result. The maintenance
program is producing the desired results:
Competent personnel, and
Establish and Maintain. To establish means that the air carrier develops
a CASS that is appropriate for the type and scope of its operation. To maintain
means that the air carrier keeps its CASS current and appropriate in response
to changes in the type and scope of its operation.
Program and the Program Covering Other Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance,
and Alterations. The air carrier maintenance program outlined in § 121.367 and
other sections of part 121, subpart L, and described in some detail in the current
edition of Advisory Circular (AC) 120‑16, Air Carrier Maintenance Programs.
Maintenance. Inspection, overhaul, repair, preservation, and the replacement
of parts, excluding preventive maintenance.
Performance. The act of doing something successfully; the successful
execution of an action. In CASS, performance means that the maintenance program
is being accomplished or executed as outlined in the air carrier manual.
Person. An individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association,
joint-stock association, or governmental entity. It includes a trustee, receiver,
assignee, or similar representative of any of them.
Program. An organized list of procedures.
Responsibility. The obligation to ensure that a task or function is successfully
carried out. Responsibility includes accounting for actions related to the task
or function. This is a key attribute of operational control.
Risk. Risk is the degree of probability that hurt, injury, or loss will
occur over a specific period of time or number of operational cycles. Risk has
two elements, severity and likelihood.
Severity is the harm that will be inflicted if an unsafe event happens.
Likelihood is a qualitative expression of the probability that a specific
unsafe event will occur.
System. A functionally related group of elements. In CASS, the elements
Corrective action, and
OVERVIEW OF A CASS.
What CASS Does. CASS functions as an air carrier safety management
tool that includes continuous and methodical monitoring and evaluation of an
air carrier maintenance program. An air carrier’s CASS uses a continuous, system
safety-based, closed-loop cycle of surveillance, data collection and analysis,
corrective action, and monitoring/followup to continually evaluate the performance
and effectiveness of the maintenance program. Through CASS, the air carrier
ensures that it is performing the right maintenance at the right time and that
the intended results are produced. CASS is one of the tools an air carrier uses
to exercise operational control over maintenance activities conducted on its
CASS Does It. CASS enables an air carrier to detect and correct discrepancies
in all elements of its maintenance program by proactively looking for indicators
and symptoms of deficiencies and reactively looking at the results of deficiencies.
CASS monitors maintenance program performance and effectiveness through a closed-loop
system of four major activities:
Corrective action, and
Surveillance. The air carrier conducts surveillance so it can
gather information and conduct analysis that is used to evaluate all elements
of its program (including its maintenance providers) from two different perspectives:
performance and effectiveness.
Surveillance to verify performance involves the use of audits, specifically
work-in-progress audits, that are used to make sure the manual and program are
Surveillance to verify effectiveness involves the collection and analysis
of operational data and aircraft systems failure data so that the air carrier
can make conclusions about the degree of effectiveness of the maintenance program.
Data Collection and Analysis. Data collection and analysis is the identification
of system deficiencies in an air carrier’s maintenance program through analysis
of the various kinds of data that the air carrier has chosen to collect. Data
collection and analysis is also used to verify an acceptable level of program
performance or effectiveness.
A major analytical process that CASS uses to accomplish this function
is Root Cause Analysis (RCA). Stated very simply, RCA is a methodology for finding
and correcting the most central cause of the occurrence of a discrepancy. RCA
differs from troubleshooting and problem solving in that these processes typically
seek to resolve a specific discrepancy, while RCA is focused on identification
of the underlying issues (i.e., root causes; why the discrepancy occurred in
the first place).
The performance (program execution) surveillance and analysis function
of CASS is carried out through the accomplishment of work-in-progress audits
and the analysis of audit data. These audits examine the actual accomplishment
of the activities and tasks of a maintenance program element relative to the
standard (i.e., the air carrier manual and the maintenance program). Accomplishment
of audits and analysis of audit data measure program execution.
The effectiveness (intended results produced) surveillance and analysis
function of CASS is carried out through the collection and analysis of operational
data. Collection and analysis of operational data allow the air carrier to measure
the output of the maintenance program relative to its objectives. Collection
and analysis of data the aircraft operations generate measure maintenance program
Action. CASS finds deficiencies through analysis of the audit and operational
data that it collects. CASS conducts RCA to identify the causal factor(s) for
any identified discrepancy. Following the identification of a discrepancy, the
next step is to address it. A comprehensive corrective action is a strategy
designed to deal with an identified deficiency. However, not all deficiencies
will require corrective action. For example, a number of mechanical delays or
cancellations may be acceptable in the eyes of the air carrier. This can be
acceptable as long as safety is not compromised.
Monitoring/Followup. Monitoring/followup is the very important function
that ensures the corrective action has been implemented and it has addressed
or is addressing the deficiency. Monitoring/followup ensures the corrective
action accomplishes what the air carrier intended it to do. Monitoring/followup
connects the closed loop back to surveillance.
CASS in an Air Carrier’s Operation. An air carrier should
tailor its CASS to its individual operation. Therefore, to a large degree, what
CASS looks like will depend on the design of the maintenance organization and
the size, complexity, and the level of flight operations of that air carrier.
The basic CASS functions are always the same, but the personnel who carry
out each function and the manner in which the functions are carried out will
be different from one air carrier to another.
For example, an air carrier with a high level of daily aircraft utilization
and a very large fleet of many different kinds of aircraft may have a separate
department dedicated to performing CASS activities. An air carrier with a fleet
of 25 aircraft, operating seasonally or weekly may find it more efficient to
use its quality assurance (QA) department to perform CASS activities. A part
135 on-demand operator with few employees and one or two aircraft having an
average annual utilization of less than 1,000 hours may outsource most of its
Regardless of the air carrier’s size and level of flight operations,
a well-structured CASS helps an air carrier exercise operational control over
maintenance activities. This involves taking a systems approach to enhancing
safety and eliminating deficiencies as well as systematically determining the
level of performance and effectiveness of its maintenance program. This is a
key to achieving operations with the highest possible degree of safety as well
as a very high degree of efficiency.
What CASS Examines. CASS monitors all nine elements of the
air carrier’s maintenance program. CASS accounts for the consequences of various
internal and external influences on the maintenance program. The following are
examples of some, but not all, of the items within each element that CASS looks
at. You should note that all of these items are predisposed to surveillance
of the maintenance program performance function of CASS. This is accomplished
through audits. However, in addition to real time events such as accidents/incidents,
CASS will address effectiveness discrepancies that are identified through collection
and analysis of operational data (i.e., RCA).
Air carriers are primarily responsible for performance of maintenance,
including work done by maintenance providers on its aircraft. All maintenance,
including work done by outside persons, must be done in accordance with the
air carrier’s maintenance program and maintenance manual.
An air carrier certificate makes the certificate holder a maintenance
entity. Each person who accomplishes maintenance on a certificate holder’s aircraft
does so on behalf of the certificate holder as an agent for the certificate
holder. Consistent with the privileges and limitations of its air carrier certificate,
air carriers, through their maintenance organization, are responsible for executing
operational control over maintenance activities anyone accomplishes on its aircraft.
Such activities include determining when maintenance is required, what maintenance
is required, accomplishing the maintenance, determining if the maintenance was
done satisfactorily, and approving its aircraft for return to service. Consistent
with the regulations, an air carrier certificate holder may not delegate this
responsibility to outside persons.
Maintenance Manuals. CASS ensures that:
The content of all manuals, including maintenance manuals and technical
content, is the responsibility of the air carrier. The manuals may be based
on the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) manuals or other information, but
the air carrier is required to use its own manual, not the OEM manuals.
Manuals, publications, and forms are useable, current, correct, and readily
available to all personnel who are required to use them.
Each person who is required to comply with the air carrier’s manual has
access to it during performance of normal duties.
Consistent with the responsibility described above, air carriers have
a maintenance organization that is able to effectively exercise and maintain
operational control over all persons performing, supervising, managing, and
amending the maintenance program. The maintenance organization must be able
to manage and guide its maintenance personnel and provide the direction necessary
to achieve overall maintenance program objectives.
In order to be effective, an adequate maintenance organization will have
the following four characteristics as a foundation of its basic organizational
duties and responsibilities:
Defines the environment within which individuals conduct their
Defines the policies and procedures that individuals must follow
Allocates the resources that individuals need in order to achieve
safety and production goals, and
Investigates system failures and takes all needed remedial action
to avoid a repetition.
A maintenance organization will become ineffective if the following failures
Failure to understand the effect of people on safety and reliability
of aircraft maintenance operations,
Failure to organize its employees’ work,
Failure to monitor its employees’ work effectively, and
Failure to implement corrective actions.
The individual with overall maintenance program authority and responsibility
is the Director of Maintenance (DOM) who functions as the accountable manager
for the maintenance program. This individual must be clearly identified within
the organization and must be qualified in accordance with part 119, §§ 119.65
and 119.67(c) or §§ 119.69 and 119.71(e), as appropriate. While retaining overall
authority and responsibility, the accountable manager may delegate responsibility
for elements of the program as appropriate for its size and structure.
The air carrier manual must contain a chart or a description of the maintenance
organization showing clear authority and responsibility, including delegated
responsibility, for the overall maintenance program and all of its elements
and functions. The air carrier should include a description of each person’s
duties and responsibilities in its maintenance manual so that there is not a
fragmented organizational system with high risk of confusion over who is responsible
for a given task.
The performance of the RII function(s) must be organizationally separated
from the performance of the other maintenance (including inspection), preventive
maintenance, and alteration functions. This organizational separation must be
below the level of the individual who has primary responsibility for the RII
function, other maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations functions.
In simple terms, this means that the part of the maintenance organization that
accomplishes the maintenance (including inspection), preventive maintenance,
and alterations function cannot be the same part of the maintenance organization
that accomplishes your RII function.
Maintenance Schedule. This sets out the appropriate item, task, and interval
of the air carrier’s scheduled maintenance effort. The FAA expects the air carrier’s
maintenance schedule to be task based and appropriately modified in accordance
with the CASS data collection and analysis findings. The initial selection and
the continuous validation of each scheduled maintenance task and its associated
interval is accomplished according to well defined criteria throughout the service
life of the item, system, or structure.
The air carrier has specific procedures, standards, and limits necessary
for the acceptance or rejection of each RII and for periodic inspection and
calibration of precision tools, measuring devices, and test equipment.
Personnel who are authorized to accomplish RII inspections are properly
trained and qualified for each RII task they are authorized to perform.
Designated RII inspectors who perform an item of work do not perform
the required inspection on that item.
The structure of the maintenance organization is designed to organizationally
separate the accomplishment of the required inspection function from the accomplishment
of the other maintenance, including other inspection, preventive maintenance,
and alteration functions.
The manual contains procedures to ensure that only supervisory personnel
of an inspection unit or the person who has overall responsibility for the RII
function as well as the other maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alteration
functions may countermand the decision of any RII inspector regarding an RII.
Contract Maintenance. Vendors and suppliers are qualified and
provide services and products according to the air carrier's maintenance program
and manual. There should be little difference between the way work is done by
air carrier personnel or by contract maintenance providers.
Personnel, including those of contract maintenance providers, are competent
to accomplish their duties.
The air carrier has a training program for personnel (including inspection
personnel and contract maintenance provider personnel) that determine the adequacy
of accomplished maintenance. The program ensures that these personnel are fully
informed about procedures, techniques, and new equipment in use, and that they
are competent to perform their duties.
Accomplishment and Approval of Maintenance and Inspection.
Maintenance facilities and equipment, including base and line stations
as well as contract maintenance providers’ facilities and equipment are adequate
to perform the maintenance.
Parts and components are properly stored, dispensed, identified, and
Tools and equipment are properly calibrated.
for specialized tools or training are identified and the tools are provided.
Maintenance and alterations are performed according to methods, standards,
and techniques specified in the air carrier’s manuals.
Work interruptions and deferred maintenance are properly documented in
shift turnover records and accomplished according to applicable procedures.
Major repairs and major alterations are properly classified and accomplished
with approved technical data.
Log entries and Airworthiness Release Forms are executed by appropriately
certificated mechanics or repairmen who are authorized by the air carrier to
Log entries and Airworthiness Release Forms are completed according to
the air carrier's written policies and procedures.
Maintenance Recordkeeping System.
Maintenance records and current status records are generated and retained
in accordance with the air carrier's manual procedures.
Maintenance records and current status records are complete and correct.
Airworthiness Directives (AD) are appropriately evaluated, accomplished,
Life-limited parts are identified and the current status time in service
CASS has four major activities that ensure, with a system-oriented, structured
approach, that all elements of the air carrier maintenance program are properly
executed and are consistently effective by design rather than by chance.
Senior management reviews CASS issues on a regularly scheduled basis.
Meetings of CASS or maintenance management committees or boards are also held
on a regular basis to discuss findings, analysis, and the progress of corrective
actions. These meetings may address events, as well as statistical data and
Four Major Activities of CASS. The regulations require that
CASS accomplish surveillance and analysis of the air carrier maintenance program
from two perspectives: performance and effectiveness. The first two steps in
the CASS process (surveillance and analysis) are carried out in two different
ways. One is primarily based on auditing, while the other is primarily based
on operational data collection and analysis. The results of these two types
of surveillance and analysis feed into the third and fourth basic CASS activities
(corrective action and followup). Table 3‑124 summarizes the flow of the four
basic steps of a CASS.
3‑124, The CASS Process
1. Surveillance: Audit process.
__Create an audit plan based on risk
__Perform transaction audits.
__Perform systems evaluation.
1. Surveillance: Data collection process.
__Select data sets.
__Collect operational data.
__Collect equipment failure data.
__Note trends, anomalies, and potential hazards.
2. Analysis: Accomplish hazard risk assessment
and preliminary RCA.
2. Analysis: Investigate adverse indicators; accomplish
risk assessment and preliminary RCA.
3. Corrective Action: Complete final RCA, develop
corrective action options, risk assessment, decision-making, and develop
and implement a corrective action plan.
4. Followup (Performance Measurement): Monitor
corrective action implementation, verify the corrective action is effective,
and initiate risk based followup surveillance planning.
How CASS Monitors Maintenance Program Performance. The program
performance part of CASS ensures that everyone, including all of the air carrier’s
maintenance providers, comply with the air carrier’s manual and program and
with all applicable regulations and statutes.
Generally, the program execution part of CASS functions through a system
of scheduled audits and investigations of operational events. The air carrier
should consider each negative audit and each operational event as an indicator
or symptom of a program or systemic failure. Each one should be evaluated. However,
depending on the results of the evaluation, every symptom or indicator may not
require corrective action.
The program execution part of CASS should include a continuous cycle
of both scheduled and unscheduled (proactive and reactive) surveillance and
investigations, data collection and analysis, corrective action and monitoring
How CASS Monitors Maintenance Program Effectiveness. The program
effectiveness part of CASS ensures that the maintenance program is producing
the desired results. Primary indicators of the level of maintenance program
The level of unscheduled maintenance, and
The rate of availability of the aircraft for use in air transportation.
the program effectiveness part of CASS functions through a system of data collection
and analysis of operational data that results from operation of the aircraft.
Operational data and equipment failure data should be collected that measures
the output (results) of the maintenance program.
Since one of the primary objectives of a maintenance program is to produce
airworthy aircraft for operations in air transportation, data sets such as the
rate of aircraft availability, the rate of unscheduled landings, and the rate
of schedule and dispatch reliability are useful for this purpose. This data
can be collected in relation to a particular aircraft or a particular fleet.
While the FAA does not mandate the specific data an operator should collect,
the FAA does expect an operator to have an effective process that is designed
to select appropriate, relevant, and useful types of data that is collected.
This data selection process should also ensure that any data collected is useful
for its intended purpose. Moreover, a periodic review of the type of data collected
ensures that the data that is collected remains appropriate, relevant, and useful.
PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.
Knowledge of the requirements of parts 119, 121 and/or 135.
Successful completion of the Air Carrier Airworthiness Inspectors
Successful completion of FAA25712, Air Carrier Continuing Analysis
and Surveillance System.
Coordination. This task may require coordination between the
principal maintenance inspector (PMI) and the principal avionics inspector (PAI).
REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.
References (current editions):
AC 120‑16, Air Carrier Maintenance Programs.
AC 120‑79, Developing and Implementing a Continuous Analysis and
FAA Order 8040.4, Safety Risk Management.
Job Aids. None.
VERIFY THE CASS ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE.
Surveillance of the Performance of Maintenance Programs. Identify
the positions within the company that have authority and responsibility for
CASS. The definitions below have meaning within the context of an air carrier’s
organization. Consistent with existing regulations, there should be a chart
or description of the CASS organization in the air carrier’s manual.
is the power to create or modify fundamental policy or procedures without higher
level review or approval. Authority also means the power to accomplish a function,
as well as the power to assign responsibility for carrying out the various functions
of the maintenance program. The individual with authority for the CASS may design
or change the CASS without having to seek approval from a higher level of management.
CASS procedures should include a process to modify or revise the CASS.
Responsibility is the obligation, with attendant accountability, for
ensuring tasks and functions are successfully accomplished in accordance with
applicable policies, procedures, and standards. This work may be accomplished
directly by the individual with the responsibility, or the responsibility for
the work may be delegated. The individual with responsibility for the CASS has
the obligation to carry out the functions of the CASS, including overseeing
and managing any personnel to whom responsibility for CASS functions and duties
are delegated. Note that for smaller organizations where personnel share duties
and may only carry out CASS functions part-time, this oversight and management
responsibility relates only to those part-time tasks.
Authority and Responsibility.
An individual or position within the maintenance organization should
have authority for the CASS, and an individual or position within the maintenance
organization should have overall responsibility for managing and implementing
the CASS. An individual may have both responsibility and authority for the CASS.
That individual might also have responsibility for other functions as well as
the CASS. It is common for the individual with responsibility for CASS functions
to delegate some or much of this work to others within the organization, depending
on the size and staffing of the operator. What the FAA expects is clear responsibility
for the overall CASS functions so that there is not a fragmented system with
high risk of confusion over who is responsible for a given task or function.
Personnel with CASS responsibilities and duties should be as independent
as possible from the day-to-day operations of the maintenance program. Theoretically,
the most independent, objective audits are conducted by outside agency personnel
who are contracted to perform such work for the air carrier. Air carrier personnel
who are conducting audits should work in separate departments from the departments
performing the actual inspection and maintenance activities that are being audited.
However, this is not necessarily feasible for small operators. At small operators,
personnel performing CASS functions, particularly audits, may consist of one
or more of the following:
Borrowed personnel from other shops or departments. The operator’s procedures
should include ways to avoid having these individuals assigned to audit areas
where they normally work.
The company owner or chief executive officer, particularly if there are
no other employees and the CASS audits are focused on outside vendors and maintenance
providers because all or most of the actual inspection and maintenance work
is accomplished through contracts.
resources contracted to perform audits and analysis for the company.
Others deemed qualified by the operator to provide the operator with
an independent objective audit, operational data collection, and analysis services
that fulfill the requirements of a CASS.
Risk Assessment. In concert with the attributes of a good
organization, personnel and resources for CASS should be prioritized as part
of the overall risk management process. Essentially, any methodology that is
used to prioritize surveillance personnel and resources (as well as to formulate
corrective action decisions later in the process) involves principles of risk
assessment. Risk assessment is a concept applicable in many aspects of an aviation
operation. See Order 8040.4 for additional information. Order 8040.4 is an example
and is not the only source of risk assessment procedures; however, it provides
insight into FAA expectations.
In an effective CASS, you should be able to identify the principles of
the systematic risk assessment process that:
Establish a plan, including the scope of the process and priorities
(for example, detect and prevent noncompliance);
Specify the areas of concern for surveillance and analysis (personnel,
maintenance and inspection programs and organizations, operations, aircraft,
Identify hazards or potential threats to the operation;
Determine how likely such hazards are to be realized and actually
Determine the severity of the consequences if the hazard is realized;
Express a combination of the likelihood and severity of harm as
Evaluate the appropriate response to the identified risk.
A CASS should take into account four principal potential sources of hazards:
Personnel (hiring, capabilities, interaction),
Equipment (design, maintenance, logistics, technology),
Workplace (environment, sanitation), and
Organization (standards, procedures, controls).
A number of quantitative and graphical off-the-shelf tools exist to help
a user determine the gradations of a risk (high, medium, or low) based on the
likelihood of an unwanted event occurring and the severity of the consequences
if it does occur. In the initial steps of the CASS process, the appropriate
response involves setting surveillance priorities based on risk assessments
aimed at maintaining compliance and safety in inspection and maintenance. A
CASS risk assessment, through the feedback loop, helps to set the audit and
data collection priorities. The process is best accomplished by an interdisciplinary
team, guided by CASS management but involving representatives of the relevant
THE CASS FUNCTIONS CONCERNING THE PERFORMANCE OF THE MAINTENANCE PROGRAM.
Surveillance of the Performance Maintenance Programs.
The main tool for surveying whether the operator and its contractors
are properly performing the maintenance program is audits. For purposes of a
CASS, an audit is a formal examination of the activities of a department or
area of an operator’s maintenance program based on an established standard such
as the applicable manual. Audits are intended to ensure operator maintenance
personnel and outside maintenance providers comply with the operator’s manual,
program, and all applicable requirements.
Consistent with the “performance” part of the CASS regulation,
the primary type of audit that the operator should be accomplishing is the work-in-progress
The operator should have written procedures to guide its auditing process,
including the scheduling of audits. The CASS must address both internal and
external audits. Internal audits are audits the operator conducts within the
company. External audits are audits the operator conducts of vendors supplying
parts and services to the operator. CASS procedures should include a risk-based
methodology for determining priorities and for establishing and adjusting audit
cycles (for example, 12-, 18-, 24-, or 36‑month cycles) so that resources are
focused on the most pressing issues. This is a risk assessment and risk management
process. You should note that a risk assessment and risk management process
may show that a department or maintenance provider self audit is applicable
Although the majority of the inputs to this process would be generated
internally, one additional input may be the results of outside audits of the
operator or its vendors conducted by entities other than the operator. For example,
the results of audits or inspections conducted by the FAA or the Department
of Defense (DOD) may be useful by providing an operator with:
Specific findings requiring RCA and possible corrective action,
Information useful in focusing the operator’s own audits and operational
Planning Audits. The operator may approach this initial scheduling
task in many different ways, ranging from resource allocation based on company
experience and very basic analysis to use of a sophisticated, software-supported
risk analysis process. Within this range of possible methodologies, expect the
operator’s CASS audit scheduling procedures to contain processes to systematically
make those decisions that are compatible with the size and complexity of its
operations. Encourage your operator to make this process as structured as possible.
The operator should place priority first on safety and regulatory compliance,
and second on issues of operational efficiency. However, an effective CASS will
meet all three of these objectives.
To identify the areas to audit and to set priorities, the CASS process
should include consideration of factors in outside reports. These factors could
include inspections, reports, special studies, or audits conducted by outside
entities such as the FAA, DOD, Department of Transportation (DOT), Office of
the Inspector General (OIG), or National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Outside reports may address:
Information specific to the operator or its vendors;
Information related to the industry as a whole and of interest
to the operator; or
Information about an accident, incident, procedure/process, or
equipment type that is relevant.
The operator should equip CASS auditors with checklists to ensure consistency
and completeness of audits. The accountable manager responsible for the CASS
should ensure the checklists are updated as needed. An auditor should also be
permitted a level of flexibility to ask questions not contained in the checklist
if he or she finds an area that requires further investigation.
An operator’s procedures should include identification of all areas that
need to be audited, along with a process for updating this list. The following
list presents examples of areas operators should consider for routine audit.
A CASS audit should verify that:
Manuals, publications, and forms (paper and electronic versions)
are useable, up-to-date, accurate, and accessible to users when they are performing
Maintenance and alterations are performed according to the methods,
standards, and techniques specified in the operator’s manuals, including ensuring
major repairs and alterations are properly classified and accomplished consistent
with technical data approved by the Administrator;
Parts and components are properly stored, dispensed, identified,
ADs are appropriately evaluated, accomplished, and tracked;
Maintenance records are generated in accordance with manual procedures
and are complete and correct;
RIIs are identified and addressed according to the operator’s
Section 121.709 and 135.443 Airworthiness Release Forms and Log
Entries are executed by authorized individuals according to the operator’s procedures;
Shift turnover records, work interruptions, and deferred maintenance
are accomplished according to applicable procedures;
Maintenance facilities and equipment, including base and line
stations and contract maintenance providers’ facilities, are adequate for the
work that is to be done;
Personnel, including those of contract maintenance providers,
are qualified and competent to accomplish their duties;
Tools and equipment are properly calibrated;
Requirements for specialized tools or training are met, such as
for nondestructive testing, Category II/III maintenance, and run-up/taxi;
Computer programs for the maintenance program are used in accordance
Maintenance providers, vendors, and suppliers provide services
and products according to the operator’s policies and procedures; and
Each aircraft released to service is airworthy.
CASS audits should be primarily proactive, searching out potential problem
areas before they can result in undesirable events. However, CASS procedures
should also address how to direct unscheduled audits in response to events or
a series of events. For example, rejected takeoffs, unscheduled landings, in-flight
shutdowns, accidents, or incidents may indicate the need for special audits
or surveillance under a CASS. One of the primary purposes of a CASS is to detect
and analyze trends for indications of program weaknesses or deficiencies. For
example, CASS auditors would not necessarily audit a single maintenance-related
rejected takeoff, although the CASS would investigate the event as part of the
reactive function. A CASS would, however, consider whether that instance indicated
a need to focus audits on a particular area from the trending proactive point
Auditors and analysts should maintain informal lines of communication
with personnel in the other departments so that maintenance personnel can discuss
concerns they may have. Through this informal communications process, the operator
can learn about potential hazards in the system. For example, the operator may
learn about an event that could have occurred but, because of some intervention,
did not. This event would be known to shop personnel but is otherwise difficult
or impossible to detect in routine audits. With informal lines of communication
open to shop personnel, a CASS may detect this near-event. You should ensure
that the operator’s CASS procedures address how to encourage this type of communication
Analysis of Audits.
Audit results should undergo risk assessment and preliminary RCA to identify
a deficiency, or potential deficiency, in any aspect or element of the maintenance
program. A risk assessment process tells operators where to allocate resources
and helps them understand what is found. This preliminary analysis helps CASS
personnel determine the level of priority the issue merits and what type of
additional technical expertise may be required to complete the RCA and evaluate
corrective action options.
RCA treats errors as defects in the system rather than in an individual.
RCA looks beyond the symptom to find the organizational defect that permitted
an error to occur, to correct the fundamental problem, and to prevent recurrence.
The more thorough the analysis, the greater the likelihood the operator will
uncover why the system deficiency occurred and how the organization can respond
definitively. The process starts during the audit itself, because auditors must
collect information conducive to later analysis. If a CASS is to uncover a procedural
weakness, for example, information about the procedure must be collected. This
should be factual and objective information, not premature judgment about root
cause. RCA is a key to any complete CASS, even though procedures may vary in
complexity from operator to operator.
The objective of the audit analysis is to allow the operator to address
the problem in such a way as to avoid recurrence of the deficiencies. To the
extent possible, the operator should set forth the analysis process in the CASS
documentation. The analysis process should be as objective as possible to avoid
any tendency to promote individual or commercial interests. The system should
also place priority on finding the systemic or root cause of a program deficiency
over seeking to assign personal blame, at any level of the organization, for
that the operator’s procedures or corporate culture do not advocate the blame
culture. The blame culture can have a significant negative effect on safe operations.
Terminating the individual who has the blame assigned is usually not consistent
with effective RCA. Operators that adopt the blame culture:
Fix the blame and move on,
Focus on the individual(s) who made the error,
Stop short of identifying systemic problems and root causes,
Never fix the problem, and
Allow mishaps/mistakes to recur.
While audits are designed mainly to verify that an operator is performing
maintenance in accordance with its manual, the regulations, and applicable requirements,
auditors and analysts should also be alert for systemic deficiencies. That is,
there may be procedures in the manual that are correctly followed, but that
have become outdated, conflict with other manual procedures, or for some other
reason are in need of change.
Auditors and analysts should be encouraged to be inquisitive and think
in terms of “what if?” so that the CASS functions proactively, detecting problem
areas or trends before they lead to an accident, incident, or infraction of
regulations. For example, what if event x occurred in conjunction with
observed condition y?
This approach is closely tied to the CASS analysis process but would
require an analytical approach that permeates the CASS organization, from determining
audit priorities and scheduling through auditing and analyzing, and including
monitoring and evaluating corrective actions.
The audit analysis process is not as typically oriented toward quantitative
analysis as the operational data analysis discussed below. However, operators
may find it useful to manage the data through database or quantitative applications.
Be aware that this approach does not have to be complicated or costly. The level
of formality and sophistication should match the operator’s conditions.
VERIFY THE CASS FUNCTIONS CONCERNING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE
Surveillance of the Effectiveness of the Maintenance Program.
The main tool for assessing whether the air carrier’s maintenance program
is effective is the collection of operational data (data resulting from airplane
operations). This way, the output of the maintenance program can be measured.
However, not all operational data or information may be useful for determining
maintenance program effectiveness.
with the “effectiveness” part of the CASS regulation, the primary type of effectiveness
surveillance that the operator should be accomplishing is the collection of
A primary goal of air carrier maintenance programs is to ensure that
each air carrier aircraft is airworthy at all times as well as to provide the
maximum level of availability for operations in air transportation. However,
in order to consistently reach these goals, the air carrier must have a means
of determining if the maintenance program is producing the intended results
so that the appropriate intervention may be initiated.
Generally speaking, at the end product level, an indicator of the effectiveness
of the maintenance program is the amount of time an air carrier aircraft is
not available for operations in air transportation due to issues controlled
by the maintenance program. This particular effectiveness indicator can be broken
down into fleet availability or individual aircraft availability, and broken
down still further to the reliability of aircraft systems, subsystems, and components.
In simple terms, the amount of unscheduled maintenance that reduces the availability
of an air carrier aircraft for operations in air transportation is a primary
indicator of whether or not the maintenance program is producing its intended
Collecting Operational Data.
Air carrier operational data collection systems under the CASS effectiveness
activity are critical to the air carrier’s ability to determine the level of
effectiveness of its maintenance program. These systems should have capabilities
for collecting, storing, managing, and retrieving all types of operational data
that the air carrier can use to help it determine the level of maintenance program
Current systems that collect information regarding the status of aircraft
structures, systems, and engines have a wide variance ranging from simple paper
systems administered manually by air carrier personnel to the very sophisticated,
complex, and automatic real time data collection systems that use information
collected from sensors embedded all over the aircraft. As of this writing, there
are operational data collection systems planned that will manage, and sometimes
repair, system faults through automatic computer activity. Newer transport category
aircraft are delivered with sophisticated electronic, propulsion, flight control,
and structural monitoring and data acquisition systems.
In recent years, an increased emphasis has been placed on using these
automatic data collection capabilities, in conjunction with emerging sensor,
data processing, and systems status monitoring and assessment technologies to
realize real time conditions of aircraft components. While most of these automatic
systems are not well defined, the goal is to use real-time flight data to detect
system flaws or defects or abnormal operating conditions early enough to allow
The key thing to remember is that these new maintenance management systems
are part of the continuing evolution of maintenance. They should be characterized
as a new and different way of doing maintenance, not a means of eliminating
maintenance. As maintenance is still being accomplished, these systems do not
eliminate maintenance actions. They may, however, eliminate some scheduled maintenance
the Aircraft Maintenance Division (AFS‑300) for guidance before you authorize
an air carrier to use an automatic data collection system or automatic Aircraft
Systems Health Monitoring and Management System.
Operational Data Procedures.
The operator should have written procedures to guide its operational
data collection process. CASS procedures should include a risk-based methodology
for determining the type and frequency of operational data collection so that
resources are focused on the most revealing data, with regards to maintenance
program effectiveness. This is a risk assessment and risk management process.
An air carrier CASS should include clear procedures for determining:
What operational data to collect,
How to collect it, and
What to do with it.
Operational data can be divided into routine or non-routine data collection
and analysis. The routine data element uses a proactive data collection and
analysis process that seeks to identify indicators of maintenance program ineffectiveness
before they can progress to a functional failure that results in a reduction
in aircraft availability. Some examples are:
Aircraft logbook information detailing unscheduled maintenance,
including maintenance deferred in accordance with the minimum equipment list
(MEL)/Configuration Deviation List (CDL);
“Chronic” aircraft systems that have repeat write-ups within a
specified time period (for example, 10 to 15 days);
Corrosion prevention and control program findings;
Engine condition trend monitoring data;
Individual item failure rates; and
Mechanical reliability reports, mechanical interruption summaries,
and similar data.
The non-routine operational data element is a reactive data collection
and analysis process that seeks to identify indicators of maintenance program
ineffectiveness after an undesirable event has occurred. Some examples are:
Accidents and incidents,
In-flight engine and propeller separations and uncontained engine
In-flight engine shutdowns,
High load events,
Flight delays and cancellations related to mechanical issues,
Unscheduled parts replacement or unscheduled maintenance,
Unscheduled landings due to mechanical issues,
Lightning strikes, and
As with reactive audit surveillance, a CASS generally approaches problems
from the analytical, systems perspective. For example, in response to one or
more rejected takeoffs, a CASS might focus the operational data collection and
analysis to determine if a pattern in rejected takeoffs was evident, or if other
types of data might be examined in relation to the rejected takeoff situation.
The above data sets are presented only as examples. Although the data
sets are oriented toward equipment, this area of a CASS may also collect other
types of data, such as information on the different types of maintenance errors
experienced by the operator.
The operator’s CASS documentation should include a means of identifying
data that is relevant and useful for that operator to use in monitoring the
effectiveness of its specific maintenance program. The operator should periodically
review and reevaluate the usefulness of the data it collects and analyzes to
accomplish this portion of the CASS.
Analysis of Operational Data.
Provide analysts with an understanding of the potential significance
of each data set and how to process the data to understand its significance.
This may require statistical analysis to compare the frequency of certain events
or equipment failures with a determined norm, or qualitative analysis to evaluate
reports of certain types of events.
This process is not necessarily the same as what would be used
in an FAA-approved reliability program.
Emphasize that the analysis of operational data should consider root
causes of negative trends or anomalies. This preliminary RCA, including human
factors, may require collaboration with technical personnel in the affected
areas or specialists in engineering and reliability departments, or the OEM.
Delineate the roles of the CASS analysts as well as other departments
or personnel in the analysis of operational data.
Some operators select a system that uses alerts or warnings if results
of the analysis exceed certain predetermined parameters. A CASS should not rely
completely on such alerts to the exclusion of analysts’ judgment. The FAA’s
expectation of a CASS in this regard is that the operator has a complete, written
procedure to review and analyze the operational data collected and to determine
when further review is necessary.
While the surveillance and analysis steps differ for the verification
of the performance of the maintenance program versus verification of the effectiveness
of the program, the process merges when responding to CASS findings. The two
types of analyses identify potential deficiencies in the maintenance program.
In responding to these findings and analyses, the objective of a CASS is to
determine the root causes of program deficiencies and address them appropriately,
regardless of the perspective from which the deficiencies are found. Note that
the discussion is focused on a CASS function, not an organization. For a given
operator, that function might be performed by more than one organization.
the area responsible for surveillance will present their results to the technical
or production area of the operator with a preliminary analysis of the collected
information and, in some cases, possible underlying causes of the problem. Personnel
in technical or production areas usually complete the RCA (if necessary) and
develop proposed corrective action alternatives.
Analysis of audit findings or operational data requires evaluating mechanical
and human performance, or other results generated by the CASS process, to determine
the condition of a process, maintenance practices, or equipment. In the case
of operational data, analysis begins with comparison of the data to a standard
representing acceptable performance. The standard may be in the form of an average
or other means of calculating a reference. The standard may be set by the FAA,
industry common practice, or the operator, as appropriate.
The key is to have a CASS structure that addresses the basic disciplines
and elements involved in finding and correcting program deficiencies. The CASS
procedures should note that in performing RCA, all relevant areas should be
considered, including the role of senior management in setting appropriate policies,
procedures, and an environment of communication.
RCA applies to both audit findings and analysis of results and trends
in the operational data. For example, either audits or operational data analysis
may point to maintenance errors being committed because of inadequate training.
Analysis should not stop with simply determining which mechanics were inadequately
trained and then retraining the mechanics. Rather, the analysis should determine
why the training breach occurred and consider areas in management, communications,
scheduling, or training program design that may be involved.
Principles and considerations of RCA are closely related to those of
risk assessment, particularly in terms of the thoroughness of the analysis.
Both processes do not simply consider the person involved in an issue (for example,
the mechanic made a mistake), but all aspects of the organization within which
that person works. This approach includes the premise that human error is a
consequence of the system rather than a deliberate action of an individual,
and that proactive measures and continuous reform of different aspects of the
processes and organization can address “latent conditions” in the system and
increase the system’s resistance to operational hazards. The term latent condition
refers to flawed procedures or organizational characteristics that are capable
of creating hazards if the right conditions or actions occur.
Systems analysis plays an increasingly important role in a CASS because
of the increasing complexity and variety of operations, equipment, and organizations.
analysis emphasizes a coordinated approach to an enterprise, including:
Specific written procedures and planning for all activities;
Clearly established authority and responsibilities;
Communications processes; and
Methods of measuring results, detecting system errors, and preventing
This approach recognizes the wide range of interrelated issues potentially
associated with a problem in the system, such as management policies, communications,
and pilot technique, in addition to the maintenance activities themselves.
Human factors analysis looks at how humans communicate and perform in
the work environment and then seeks to incorporate that knowledge into the design
of equipment, processes, and organizations. This enhances safety and maximizes
the human contribution, partly by designing systems to anticipate the inevitability
of human error. Human factors include basic issues that can be addressed in
audit checklists, such as whether there is adequate lighting for mechanics and
inspectors to perform their work, and whether schedules permit personnel to
be properly rested. But the discipline addresses a wider range of issues affecting
how people interface with technology and the operational system, including:
How people learn and perceive;
Equipment, technology, and documentation; and
Knowledge gained from human factors analysis can:
Help avoid maintenance errors,
Ensure that personnel skill sets match task requirements,
Ensure skill sets are maintained and improved, and
Enhance the work environment.
This knowledge can help CASS analysts perform RCA.
Continuing with the previous example of inadequate training, with insufficient
awareness of human factors issues, operators may trace a maintenance error to
a mechanic or technician who appears to be insufficiently trained for the task,
and determine that the solution is more technical training. Further analysis
may reveal, however, that there are contributing flaws in equipment design,
job cards, manuals, the work environment, or organizational procedures such
as shift turnover that more training will not satisfactorily overcome. Or, it
may turn out that a different kind of training, perhaps involving decisionmaking
skills, is called for.
As of this writing, the FAA is deeply involved in cooperative efforts
with industry and academia in promoting human factors in aviation. This field
is rapidly evolving, particularly in its application to aviation maintenance.
According to a study conducted for the FAA, which cited Boeing research, maintenance
error contributes to a significant portion of air carrier accidents, with shift-turnover
errors and work interruptions standing out as leading underlying causes. Based
on the growing importance of human factors and information available to industry,
the FAA expects that operators will apply concepts of human factors to their
CASS surveillance and analysis.
surveillance also should ensure that RCA considers human factors and that personnel
designated to respond to events such as rejected takeoffs also include human
factors as part of the investigation of individual events. Otherwise, data reviewed
in a CASS may be incomplete.
One challenge presented by the increasing emphasis on human factors is
how to balance two seemingly contradictory purposes.
On the one hand, the FAA and industry need to encourage personnel to
cooperate in addressing system organization and design issues without inhibitions
caused by fear of discipline or enforcement. On the other hand, in some cases,
individual employees or the operator may bear a degree of culpability (e.g.,
deliberately bypassing important controls or committing a serious regulatory
infraction in the commission of a maintenance error).
In some rare instances, disciplinary action or even FAA administrative
or legal enforcement may be indicated, if the action was deliberate and not
a result of corporate culture. In any case, a RCA should be accomplished. This
is a common issue in industry and FAA programs designed to promote the greater
good of the system by encouraging voluntary reporting of errors and infractions
by aviation personnel and operators without threat of disciplinary action or
A CASS, in any event, is concerned specifically with identifying and
correcting deficiencies in the maintenance programs, not assigning blame to
any individual or individuals. CASS should be designed to that objective, rather
than specific event resolution, even if CASS analysts research specific events.
Analytical Tools and Processes. While it is not a requirement
for an operator to implement any specific externally developed system, analytical
tools or processes are available to assist in the analysis process. In view
of the continuing evolution of this process, as of this writing, some examples
of these tools are:
The Maintenance Error Decision Aid (MEDA) tool was developed by the Boeing
Human Factors Engineering group in collaboration with the FAA, airlines, and
the International Association of Machinists for analyzing human performance
issues related to maintenance errors and trends. Operators use MEDA to track
events, investigate and prevent maintenance errors, and identify contributing
factors, corrective actions, and prevention strategies. A software analysis
package has been developed to work with this aid and facilitate analysis of
The Managing Engineering Safety Health tool was developed by the University
of Manchester in collaboration with British Airways Engineering. This system
is geared toward researching the workplace and organizational environment in
aircraft maintenance to find the issues with the greatest potential to contribute
to human factors problems. The system uses software, diagnostic, and sampling
tools. Managing Engineering Safety Health conducts anonymous survey-like assessments
among personnel at the work location. This is a more structured, data-intensive
approach toward determining and monitoring personnel attitudes toward the system
than the interview process discussed earlier. The industry has far less practical
experience with Managing Engineering Safety Health than with MEDA.
Human Factors Accident Classification System Maintenance Extension tool was
developed by the U.S. Naval Safety Center in collaboration with the FAA for
use in the air carrier industry as well as naval aviation. This comprehensive
system incorporates a number of analytical tools and has profiled maintenance
errors and contributing conditions, permitting development of potential prevention
measures. While the Human Factors Accident Classification System Maintenance
Extension may be more sophisticated than many operators would need, it demonstrates
principles and techniques of software-aided analysis that could be applied to
Corrective Action Options.
Once the CASS auditors and analysts have identified a problem or deficiency,
the operator must determine if a corrective action is warranted and, if so,
the details of the corrective action.
CASS procedures for determining whether to proceed with a corrective
action should outline:
How such a determination will be made,
Who will make the determination, and
What levels of review, if any, will be performed.
Technical area personnel should have primary responsibility for developing
the proposed corrective action, as they are most familiar with the technical
workings of the area in question and are sensitive to the possibility of creating
new problems as a result of the corrective action.
CASS procedures should emphasize a team approach. Team members may include
the CASS auditors or analysts, but should include technical area personnel in
the affected maintenance and inspection disciplines, and perhaps other affected
areas such as training or flight operations.
The CASS auditors should not develop the corrective action. This would
compromise any later audits of the corrective action.
There are several possible types of general corrective actions or responses,
depending on the outcome of the risk assessment.
Prevent recurrence through engineering or system changes designed to
eliminate the risk.
the underlying cause of a trend or discrepancy, but reduce the risk through
implementing controls or countermeasures. Examples are training, policy or procedure
revisions, or warning devices. Other countermeasures might involve modifying
or introducing new equipment or technology.
Accept that under certain conditions a discrepancy may occur, and be
prepared to contain or mitigate the results of that situation.
A CASS does not necessarily have to implement corrective actions
for every apparently negative trend or finding. Analysis of findings or trends
may identify problem areas that do not present safety hazards and that the operator
is willing to accept, in accordance with its risk assessment process.
For example, the operator might find that a higher than average number
of component removals with “no fault found” occurs at a particular location.
The operator might determine that the reason for this situation is that the
aircraft spends insufficient time on the ground for line maintenance to completely
isolate the fault. The operator might prefer to continue the brief turn times
and simply switch components. This would be a business decision for the operator
to make. However, more comprehensive corrective actions would be mandatory if
the CASS detects that the maintenance program lacks adequate procedures and
standards to meet the requirements of part 121 or part 135, as applicable.
Written Procedures for Developing and Implementing Corrective
Actions. A CASS should provide written procedures for developing and implementing
corrective action. The procedures should:
Result in a specific corrective action plan that addresses basic questions
Development of the corrective action proposal;
Analysis and final approval level of the corrective action, including
who is accountable for approval of the corrective action;
Who will implement the corrective action;
How the accountable individual person will implement the corrective
When the corrective action should be completed;
Who will evaluate the outcome, and how, including identification
of data to be collected, awareness of the possibility of unintended consequences,
and events that should trigger a response;
Who will monitor the status of the corrective action, and how;
Reporting the status of the corrective action (to whom, with what
Maintain the appropriate role of auditors in developing responses to
findings so that they continue to remain independent from the corrective actions
they may subsequently audit.
Distinguish clearly between the technical area personnel’s responsibility
for developing and implementing corrective actions, and CASS personnel’s responsibility
for producing the findings.
the position or organization responsible for evaluating and approving proposed
corrective actions. The CASS director or other designated manager may appoint
a corrective action team to design and propose a corrective action. The team—which
typically represents a cross section of the departments involved in audits,
operational data collection, analysis, and production—oversees the implementation
of the corrective action. Technical and reliability control boards are most
often used in conjunction with FAA-approved reliability programs; however, a
similar concept applies to a CASS, even if no FAA-approved reliability program
Corrective Action Risk Assessment.
CASS procedures should:
Specify that personnel will analyze a corrective action proposal carefully
before its selection and implementation to ensure corrective action is necessary
and will actually fix the problem and not lead to unintended negative consequences.
Remind both CASS and technical area personnel of the need to consider
the impact of the proposed corrective action on other aspects of the operation.
This includes other areas of the inspection and maintenance programs, such as
manuals. The corrective action may require coordination with other areas, such
as flight operations, that might be affected.
Technical area personnel play the key role in risk assessment, but the
process should include the CASS analysts, who will act as resources in support
of the technical area managers and bring risk assessment and systems analysis
techniques to the process. The auditor and analyst should be qualified (through
training or experience) in systems analysis and can contribute to the evaluation
of a proposed corrective action by determining if the basic system elements
have been considered. However, the technical personnel have the expertise to
actually develop and implement the corrective action, and to evaluate it in
practical terms. Thus, the corrective action is a result of cooperation between
the technical personnel and the CASS personnel.
Personnel working on the proposed corrective actions should ensure they
consider issues of a timetable for the corrective action implementation, as
well as the safety attributes of:
Process measurement, and
Corrective Action Plan.
With the RCA complete, corrective action options identified, and risk
assessment performed as appropriate, a final decision can be made on the proposed
corrective action plan. The corrective action plan should address all relevant
issues, including a timetable for completion of the action, with milestones,
if appropriate. The appropriate technical department (and other departments,
such as flight operations, if the corrective action goes beyond the inspection
and maintenance organizations) should then implement the plan.
CASS procedures should identify how this plan will be approved and at what level
of the company, as well as the parties responsible for implementing, monitoring,
and ensuring all affected parties are notified, both within the company and
externally, if necessary.
Monitoring Corrective Actions. The CASS procedures should:
Specify how implementation of corrective actions will be monitored and
evaluated. This may require the following:
Followup audits of a specific area,
Regular communication from the affected technical area as to the
status of the corrective action, and/or
Other forms of verification action by the auditors or analysts
tracking the implementation.
Identify the person or entity (such as a CASS board) accountable for
determining if any changes in the status of a corrective action are acceptable.
The CASS auditors or analysts may have the duty of ensuring the corrective action
has been implemented in accordance with the established timetable or, if not,
determining why the timetable has changed.
Include responsibilities and guidelines for:
Tracking the implementation of corrective actions in accordance
with the timeline;
The role of auditors, managers, management committees, and senior
How automation or computerized systems will be used;
How risk assessment and/or systems analysis will be used to guard
against unintended consequences;
Measures to evaluate the effect of the corrective action; and
The affected technical area to communicate the status of the corrective
action to the person responsible for monitoring implementation.
Getting Help from a Manufacturer. In some cases, the operator
may require data or assistance from a manufacturer to help correct a deficiency
detected by the CASS. However, manufacturers may not always assign these issues
the same priority as the operator does. The operator should offer guidance in
its CASS procedures, based on its particular experience, on how CASS and other
personnel should address the need for assistance or information from manufacturers,
and how to proceed in case of unsatisfactory or slow responses. This may include
developing a standardized letter citing the need for this information or assistance
to satisfy the requirements of §§ 121.373, 135.431, or other pertinent regulations.
It may also include working with you, the FAA principal inspector (PI), to find
Surveillance Plan. CASS procedures should include how to determine the level
of follow-up audits for verifying corrective action implementation. For example,
based on the risk assessment or complexity of the corrective action, the designated
CASS analyst or team may schedule special, less frequent, or more frequent audits.
They may also change the data collection process or institute other means of
verification. The FAA expects the operator to have a well-designed and logical
process to design the follow-up actions.
Closed-Loop. The information and analysis performed through
the closed-loop, continuous cycle of surveillance, investigations, analysis,
and corrective action permits the operator to refine its audit and data collection
priorities through the risk assessment process.
Analyze Results. Upon completion of the review/surveillance,
analyze the results and determine if the operator/applicant’s CASS meets all
of the requirements. If deficiencies are identified, initiate collaborative
discussions with the operator/applicant to resolve the issues.
Complete the PTRS Record.
Complete the Task. Complete ATOS SAI or EPI DCT, as appropriate,
for the CASS Element 1.3.11. Successful completion of this task will result
in the acceptance of CASS program or revision and/or a determination that the
CASS is being performed properly and is producing the desired results.
Document the Task. File all supporting paperwork in the operator/applicant's
FUTURE ACTIVITIES. Normal surveillance.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 3‑3902 through 3‑3915.
VOLUME 3 General technical administration
PART 121/125/135 (10 OR MORE AND TURBINE-POWERED AIRCRAFT) OPERATOR’S WEIGHT
AND BALANCE CONTROL PROGRAM
Evaluating an Operator/Applicant’s Weight and Balance Control Program
PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODES.
Maintenance: 3328, 3329,
Avionics: 5328, 5329,
Surveillance Activity: 3639, 5639, and
121 Air Carriers use the appropriate Air Transportation Oversight System (ATOS)
Data Collection Tools (DCT).
OBJECTIVE. This chapter provides guidance for evaluating an
operator/applicant’s weight and balance control program procedures.
Approved weight and balance control program procedures are
the only means for an operator/applicant to authorize the use of other than
known weights for crew, passengers, carry‑on baggage, or cargo. This program
must be included in the operator/applicant’s manual system. The weight and balance
control program is approved on the automated Operations Safety System (OPSS)
by the principal maintenance inspector (PMI). If an operator chooses to use
average passenger and baggage weights, the process for establishing these weights
and surveys that validate them must be approved by the principal operations
inspector (POI). Reports of the established average passenger and baggage weights
and surveys are entered in OPSS.
The operator/applicant may develop and submit for approval
any method or procedure by which they can show that an aircraft:
Is properly loaded according to approved configuration (loading
schedules or charts);
Will not exceed authorized weight and balance limitations during
all ground and flight operations;
Will be periodically reweighed and its data reevaluated; and
Will have its data recalculated, if needed due to changes.
The operator/applicant’s weight and balance control program
should be an independently controlled document that includes all the instructions
and procedures for weight and balance control, or it may be included as a controlled
part of another manual. The weight and balance control program should undergo
periodic reviews to ensure compliance.
AC 120‑85, Air Cargo Operations defines cargo as freight, baggage, company materials
(COMAT), or hazardous material (hazmat).
CERTIFICATION BASIS (TYPE CERTIFICATE (TC)/AMENDED TC/SUPPLEMENTAL
TYPE CERTIFICATE (STC)).
When the design of an aircraft is approved by the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA), an approved TC and type certificate data sheet
(TCDS) are issued. The TCDS includes all of the pertinent specifications for
the aircraft. The weight and balance information is located in the TCDS under
“Data Pertinent to All Models.”
Conformity to type design is considered attained when the
required and proper components are installed, and they are consistent with the
drawings, specifications, and other data that are part of the TC. Conformity
would include amended TCs, applicable STCs, and field-approved alterations.
Before an aircraft can be properly weighed and its empty-weight
center of gravity (EWCG) computed, certain information must be known. This information
is furnished by the FAA for every certificated aircraft in the TCDS or Aircraft
Specifications available to all operators and can be accessed via the Internet
Additionally, the equipment list that comprises the basic operating weight (BOW)
of the aircraft must be validated to ensure that it is current.
MANUFACTURER DOCUMENTATION: AIRCRAFT FLIGHT MANUAL (AFM)/WEIGHT
AND BALANCE DOCUMENT.
Review the manufacturer’s program in the approved weight and
balance control document and AFM/Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM).
Verify that the weight and balance information in the weight
and balance control document and AFM, includes current weight and balance information
Center of gravity (CG) envelopes,
Index tables, and
The manual may refer to a weight and balance plotter. If so, ensure that this
device is available.
that the manufacturer’s procedures cover all aspects of the Title 14 of the
Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 121/125/135 operator/applicant’s
Submitted Program. The operator/applicant can submit any method
or procedure by which it can show that all aircraft are properly loaded and
will not exceed authorized weight and balance limitations during all operations.
These procedures can be provided in the operator’s manual or they may
be an independently-controlled document that includes all instructions and procedures
for maintenance, operations, and cargo handling.
The weight and balance document must include company procedures and instructions
for completing forms used in aircraft weight control and aircraft loading. Mathematical
justification for loading provisions or schedules should be included in the
The weight and balance document must indicate the source of the data
used to develop the program. This data may come from the manufacturer’s weight
and balance documentation referenced from the TCDS, the AFM/RFM, STC information,
or other FAA approved source.
The program shall contain the duties, responsibilities, and authority
for flight, ground operations, maintenance, and management personnel.
Unusual or Complex Programs. If the operator/applicant proposes
an unusual or complex weight and balance program, or that program is substantially
different from the weight and balance document or approved AFM/RFM, request
assistance from regional specialists.
Load Schedules. The load schedule must include a manageable
system for aircraft loading under all loading situations, including alternate
procedures for nonstandard weight persons or groups. The operator’s procedures
must provide all necessary information (charts, graphs, tables, etc.), with
related instructions for the loading.
Major Alterations. Occasionally, an operator/applicant may
request approval to operate an aircraft with an increase in gross weight and/or
change in CG range. This constitutes a major design change, and requires approval
by the FAA per 14 CFR part 21, § 21.113.
Determining the Loaded Weight and CG. An important part of
preflight planning is to determine that the aircraft is loaded so its weight
and CG location are within the allowable limits. There are two ways of doing
this: by the computational method using weights, arms, and moments; and by the
loading graph method, using weight and moment indexes.
Program Approval. The weight and balance control program is
approved by the PMI. Coordination with POIs will be necessary relative to those
pertinent parts of the program, such as calculation of average passenger and
baggage weights and surveys that require POI oversight responsibility.
operated under parts 125/135 are required to be weighed at least once every
36 calendar-months. Both the operator/applicant’s OPSS and manual must reflect
Aircraft operated under part 121 are required to be weighed
at intervals contained in the FAA-approved weight and balance control program.
Aircraft may be weighed individually on a fixed interval schedule such
as every 36 months.
Aircraft may be weighed based on fleet weights, as defined in Figure
Procedures that establish BOW, establishment of zone weights and compartment
weight within the aircraft, and tables or charts that depict proper weight and
CG ranges and limitations are contained in the Original Equipment Manufacturer
(OEM) weight and balance requirements, STC holder’s weight and balance supplement,
or other FAA-approved data. See AC 120‑27, Aircraft Weight and Balance Control
(current edition), for additional guidance.
Scales used to weigh passengers, aircraft, and cargo must
be calibrated and traceable to a National Institute of Standards and Technology
(NIST) standard or equivalent. Calibration must be performed in accordance with
the civil authority for weights and measures having jurisdiction over the area
in which the scales are used. The frequency of calibration testing depends on
use and handling. Certification documents should be in the English language.
Periodic testing of scales using a known weight to ensure
accuracy should be included in an operator’s program.
If a scale is out of calibration it may be used if there is
a procedure in place to verify accuracy using a known weight that is representative
of the load to be carried.
LOADING SCHEDULE AND PROVISIONS.
Loading Schedule. Loading schedules should be simple and orderly,
based on sound principles, thus reducing the elements of human error. Loading
schedules may be applied to individual aircraft or to a complete fleet. When
an operator uses several types or models of aircraft, a loading schedule, which
may be index-type, tabular-type, or a computer, should be identified in the
OPSS with the type or model of aircraft for which it is designed.
Loading Provisions. All seats, compartments, and other loading
stations should be properly marked and the identification used should correspond
with the instructions established for computing weight and balance of the aircraft.
When the loading procedures provide for blocking off seats or compartments to
remain within the CG limits, the operator/applicant should provide effective
means to ensure that such seats or compartments are not occupied during operations
specified. In such cases, instructions should be prepared for crewmembers, load
agents, cargo handlers, and other personnel concerned, giving complete information
regarding distribution of passengers, cargo, fuel, and other items. Information
relative to maximum capacities and other pertinent limitations affecting the
weight or balance of the aircraft should be included in these instructions.
When it is possible by adverse distribution of passengers and/or cargo to exceed
the approved CG limits of the aircraft, special instructions should be issued
to the pilot in command and appropriate personnel so that the load distribution
can be maintained within the approved limitation.
Standard Passenger Weights. Actual weights, or when appropriate,
average passenger weights, are used to compute passenger loads over any segment
of a certificate holder’s operations. Actual weights are generally used for
operations with aircraft having nine or less passenger seats and aircraft carrying
nonstandard passenger loads. The loading system should readily accommodate nonstandard
weight groups, and the manifest should indicate whether average or actual weights,
or a combination thereof, were used in the computation.
intent of the current edition of AC 120‑27 is to provide methods and procedures
for developing weight and balance control systems, not to address the entire
spectrum of all possible weight configurations. Therefore, the operator will
provide the FAA with a reliable survey to establish an average passenger weight
for its specific operation.
Average Passenger Weights. The standard average passenger weights listed
in AC 120‑27, were developed for conventional airline passenger groups. They
cannot be arbitrarily adopted for operations with passenger groups that appreciably
differ from the basis or where the mix of male and female passengers is known
to be different from a 60 percent male/40 percent female operation. Special
average weights or special ratios may be established for particular operations
based on surveys that:
Indicate that those weights consistently provide for loading within
prescribed weight and balance limits; and
Meet the criteria for surveys and statistical analysis in AC 120‑27.
Average Baggage Weight or Actual Weights. An operator may establish average
passenger baggage weights predicated on a study of actual baggage weights for
the operations or routes involved that consider seasonal and other variables.
otherwise authorized by the FAA-approved weight and balance control manual,
the actual passenger and baggage weights shall be used in computing the weight
and balance of charter flights and other special services involving the carriage
of special groups.
Passenger and Crew Baggage. Procedures should be provided
so that all baggage, including that carried onboard by the flightcrew, is properly
accounted for. If desired by the operator, a standard crew baggage weight may
be used. Checked baggage average weights may be used as described below. Actual
weights should be used for aircraft of nine or less passenger seats or when
checked baggage noticeably exceeds the average weights.
OPERATOR’S PASSENGERS AND CARGO LOADING PROCEDURES TRAINING.
for Weight and Balance Control. Weight and balance is one of the most important
factors affecting safety of flight. An overweight aircraft, or one whose CG
is outside the allowable limits, is inefficient and dangerous to fly. The responsibility
for proper weight and balance control begins with the air carrier/operator,
extends to ground operations persons who load the aircraft, the Aviation Maintenance
Technician (AMT) who maintains the aircraft, and the pilot who operates the
aircraft. Normal loading of aircraft using load persons must have procedures
and training to ensure proper weight and balance, with a system to direct the
proper loading of the aircraft within limits. The system must comply with the
load manifest requirements of part 121, § 121.665; part 125, § 125.383; and
part 135, § 135.63(c).
Operator Personnel Qualification Identification. Employees involved in
cargo loading must be trained, authorized, and qualified. This training must
be easily identified by documentation in training records and authorization
Responsibility. The operator’s training program must convey to the three
employee groups (maintenance, ground operations, and flight operations) that
although they have different functions in an approved weight and balance control
program, each group has individual responsibilities that ensure safety in air
Weight and Balance (CG Control). Operators must have training
programs for personnel involved with weight and balance calculations. These
programs should contain the processes and procedures to maintain the weight
and CG of aircraft dispatched. Topics in the training programs would include:
Notification of flightcrew;
Position of cargo and baggage;
Calculations for average weights of persons and baggage, seasonal
changes, unusual loads such as sports teams, military, and manifest weights
of cargo, etc;
Calculations for actual weights and when to use them;
Processes that take into account CG offsets for containers, both
loaded into unit load devices (ULD) and loaded onto the aircraft; and
Computer programs used and processes and procedures to certify
personnel to calculate weight and balance.
Training Program Curriculum. Operators must provide:
Programs for Load Personnel. Training programs for aircraft loaders are
Basic aircraft load procedures, such as step loading containers
on all-cargo aircraft, loading containers in passenger aircraft, and bulk loading
in lower lobes and uppers lobes on all-cargo and combi‑aircraft;
Procedures for training load contractors, and audit requirements
for those contractors;
Training on expectations of loaders and proper load procedures,
including safety and hazmat; and
Frangible load requirements for certain positions.
Programs for Load Supervisors. Training for persons responsible for the
load on an aircraft must teach understanding of those responsibilities, to include
ULD load, aircraft load, serviceability of ULDs, aircraft cargo handling, and
Training on ULD Buildup. Training on recognition of proper ULD configuration,
including operational standards, net attachments, container configurations and
condition, CG offsets, profiling, and authorization for use on particular aircraft.
Training on how to build up a ULD to comply with CG control. Personnel to receive
this training include contractors and freight forwarders.
Programs for Freight Forwarders. Programs should include procedures for
training freight forwarders on air carrier/operator requirements, including
ULD buildup with attention to CG offsets and profile.
Programs for Maintenance Personnel. Training for maintenance personnel
must consist of:
Aircraft weighing procedures;
Weight and balance changes due to alterations;
Cargo loading system maintenance;
and balance control program audit function under the Continuing Analysis and
Surveillance System (CASS) program (parts 121/135);
Repair of ULDs and cargo restraint systems;
Receiving inspection requirements for components contracted out;
Training on Records. Programs should include procedures to retain training
records for personnel trained in cargo loading and checking serviceability of
ULDs. Training should address computerized recordkeeping and recurrency requirements.
Flightcrew Awareness Training. Programs should include procedures to
train flightcrews in cargo loading awareness, to include examples of unserviceable
ULDs, restraints, aircraft configuration, and duties and responsibilities of
PASSENGER AND CARGO LOADING PROCEDURES. Procedures should
be written in the air carrier/operator’s manuals and be consistent throughout
CARGO HANDLING PROCEDURES.
Cargo. Procedures must be provided for loading/unloading freight
into upper main cargo compartments on all-cargo and combi‑aircraft and into
lower lobe compartments on all aircraft. This includes forward and/or aft compartments
on regional type aircraft as well as cargo pods. Cargo handling should include
Loading, based on aircraft configuration, i.e., all-cargo, passenger,
combi, and convertible. These procedures may vary depending on the type of cargo
handling system installed, restraint equipment installed or used, and cargo
Loading aircraft to ensure that tail tipping is not an issue on all-cargo
Loading for passenger and cargo aircraft so that containers, if used,
are loaded onto the aircraft and restrained.
Ensuring that if bulk-loaded on lower lobe or forward or aft compartments
or pods, that cargo or baggage is properly restrained using the restraint system
required by the airplane weight and balance documents.
Ensuring that cargo bulk-loaded on the main deck is loaded per the original
equipment manufacturer’s and operator’s weight and balance procedures.
ULD. ULDs are certified to a Technical Standard Order (TSO),
STC, production certificate, and military standard. Uncertified ULDs are built
to an industry standard and are allowed only on certain aircraft as described
in the aircraft weight and balance manual or STC weight and balance supplement.
Operators must have procedures for the following:
Procedures on buildup of containers and pallets to ensure proper CG control,
so as not to exceed certification limitations for horizontal and vertical CG.
Buildup procedures for palletized and bulk cargo that ensure that the
load fits the fuselage profile of the aircraft being loaded.
CG offset control to ensure that loaded pallets or containers do not
exceed certification limitations for horizontal and vertical CG. For bulk load
procedures to ensure that the load does not exceed CG offset for the compartment
being loaded. This would include ULDs loaded in double configuration with vacant
Procedures to ensure that ULDs are operational before loading on an aircraft,
and designate a responsible person to perform these checks and validate to the
flightcrew on the load sheet, manifest, or other form, that operational checks
have been performed.
Operators should have a program to maintain ULDs in accordance with the
ULD manufacturer’s recommendations or procedures developed by the operator and
acceptable to the FAA. This program should include serviceability limits, inspection
limits, inspection frequency, and receiving inspection requirements. Control
of ULDs should be shown along with reweigh procedures to establish tare weights.
Procedures to route unserviceable ULDs to repair facilities should be
established, along with procedures to add repair facilities to approved vendor
ULDs. “ Active ULDs” are ULDs with active temperature control systems for
transporting temperature sensitive (Cool Chain) cargo.
Unlike the typical ULD (or “Can”), Active ULDs are capable of heating
and/or refrigerating as required. These systems consist of a highly insulated
container with a battery-operated heating/cooling system integrated into the
construction of the container; they are battery-powered in flight and are only
recharged while on the ground. The “active” component of these units usually
consists of a vapor cycle refrigeration/heat pump type system that is powered
by various types of large batteries, depending on the manufacturer.
Only Active ULDs approved under 14 CFR § 21.305(d), a TC, or a STC, may
be utilized on U.S.-registered aircraft (not applicable to part 129). In addition
to the markings required by the above, they will also bear a placard as depicted
in Figure 3‑133. Additionally, if an operator intends to deploy these containers
in their fleet, they should follow the guidance in AC 120‑85, Air Cargo Operations,
and at a minimum prepare the following in their manual:
Operators must have procedures that ensure only containers that are properly
prepared, and meet the handling and airworthiness requirements of the manufacturer
are carried on an aircraft. The operator should address these requirements in
the appropriate manual.
Although the certification basis (§ 21.305(d) TC or STC) ensures Active
ULDs do not present a hazard, aircrew and ground personnel need to recognize
that they are different, due to their design and contents.
The maintenance and inspections procedures are normally derived from
the Active ULD manufacturers’ instructions for continued airworthiness and/or
limitations documents. This program must also include training to ensure that
only qualified personnel perform maintenance on, and return these devices to
service in accordance with the operators’ procedures.
OTHER RESTRAINTS. Restraints such as straps, tie-downs, nets,
etc., may be certified by original type design, STC, or major alteration. The
restraints that are allowed on an individual aircraft are listed in the weight
and balance manual, STC weight and balance supplement, or major alteration documentation
for each aircraft.
CONTRACTORS. An operator/applicant may use a contractor to
weigh items required to be weighed. However, the operator/applicant is responsible
for ensuring that the contractor complies with the operator/applicant’s approved
weight and balance control program. This includes ensuring that scales are calibrated
and tested in accordance with the operator/applicant’s policies and procedures
manual. The operator/applicant must have procedures for the following:
Freight Forwarders. Procedures to train freight forwarders
or contract loaders to the operator’s requirements. Procedures to audit forwarders
Interlining. Procedures to ensure that ULDs received from
other operators, whether U.S. or foreign, meet the gaining operators requirements
for load and serviceability.
CARGO HANDLING SYSTEMS.
Cargo handling systems, both upper and lower deck, are approved
by various means. They may be certified as part of the certification basis of
an aircraft, by STC, or by major alteration for an individual aircraft installation.
These systems consist of locks, end stops, vertical side restraints, ball mats,
roller sections, side guides, etc. Cargo handling systems are also designed
as a conveyance for ULDs, allowing them to move easily in and out of the aircraft.
In addition, some cargo handling systems are powered.
Repair of system components should be part of the operator’s
manual system, along with ability to substitute load-bearing components. Substitution
should be based on FAA-approved data. Substitution would include those subparts
of a load-bearing component. The operator should show that if substitution is
done that it is backed up with approved data, and the operator’s manual system
should show that modified configuration and how that configuration is controlled.
That control may be in the form of an Engineering Order, Engineering Report,
or other vehicle described in the operator’s manual.
No matter the means of approval used, minimum equipment list
concerns should be addressed. This includes operation with missing restraint
devices along with weight and/or performance penalties for the missing device.
VERIFYING MAINTENANCE DOCUMENTATION PROCEDURES.
Addition or Removal of Equipment.
CG Change After Repair or Alteration. The largest weight changes that
occur during the lifetime of an aircraft are those caused by alterations and
repairs. It is the responsibility of the air carrier/operator doing the work
to accurately document the weight change and record it in the aircraft record.
When air carriers/operators make conversions, modifications, repairs,
or major alterations to an aircraft that change the current weight and balance
requirements and/or limitations, the FAA generally approves a weight and balance
supplement or other control documents, such as STCs, FAA Form 337, Major Repair
and Alteration, or other weight and balance reports. This supplementary information
describes the effect of the conversion or modification on the aircraft, and
the FAA generally approves it as part of an STC or major alteration.
When an air carrier/operator makes a conversion, modification, or major
alteration to an aircraft that changes its weight and balance characteristics,
the air carrier/operator should have a procedure in place to ensure that all
supplemental information developed, issued, and approved for that aircraft is
incorporated into the air carrier/operator’s weight and balance control program.
An air carrier/operator must apply the most restrictive ranges of the incorporated
modifications to the operation of that aircraft. For example, if multiple STCs
apply, the air carrier/operator must use the STC with the most restrictive weight
and balance limitations when incorporating the supplemental information into
air carrier/operator’s weight and balance control programs. In all cases of
multiple STCs applied to a single aircraft, the STCs should be evaluated for
effect on each other and the appropriate limitations applied. At a minimum,
an air carrier/operator should:
Include the supplemental information described above or cross‑reference
the supplemental information in air carrier/operator’s weight and balance manual;
Organize the supplemental information according to aircraft type
or in a way that facilitates use by loading personnel.
Include the supplemental information in its air carrier/operator weight
and balance manual and any charts or tables that indicate proper weight and
CG range limitations.
If a repair or alteration causes the aircraft CG to fall outside of its
limits, permanent ballast can be installed. Permanent ballast may consist of
blocks of lead or other material. It should be marked “Permanent Ballast/Do
Not Remove.” It should be attached to the structure so that it does not interfere
with any control action, and attached rigidly enough that it cannot be dislodged
by any flight maneuvers or rough landing.
Two things must first be known to determine the amount of ballast needed
to bring the CG within limits: the amount the CG is out of limits, and the distance
between the location of the ballast and the limit that is affected.
Temporary Ballast. Temporary ballast, in the form of lead bars or heavy
canvas bags of sand or lead shot, is often carried in the baggage compartments
to adjust the balance for certain flight conditions. The bags should be marked
as ballast and secured. Removal may require recalculation of the aircraft BOW.
Temporary ballast must be secured so it cannot shift its location in flight,
and the structural limits of the baggage compartment must not be exceeded. All
temporary ballast must be removed before the aircraft is weighed.
Weight and Balance Revision Record.
Each revision record should be identified by the date and the aircraft
make, model, and serial number. The pages should be signed by the person making
The computations for a weight and balance revision are included on a
weight and balance revision form. Appropriate fore and aft extreme loading conditions
should be investigated and the computations shown. The weight and balance revision
sheet should clearly show the revised empty weight, empty weight arm, and/or
moment index, and the new BOW.
BOW is defined as the weight of an aircraft with unusable fuel, all fluids,
crew, and installed equipment, as defined by the operator’s program based on
TC, STC, or other FAA-approved data.
WEIGHT AND BALANCE RECORDS SURVEILLANCE.
Maintenance weighing records, training records, and air cargo
operations audit records must reflect compliance with the weight and balance
control program. Cargo handling systems and ULDs must have records of maintenance,
preventive maintenance, and inspections located in the aircraft maintenance
Ground operations load manifest records, load verification
sheets, and personnel training records must reflect compliance with the weight
and balance control program.
Flight operations records (flight papers), and personnel training
records must reflect compliance with the weight and balance control program.
AUTHORITY FOR WEIGHT AND BALANCE (OPSS).
The weight and balance control program is not just an isolated
program for maintenance to comply with weighing the aircraft. It covers all
employee disciplines that must interact together to operate the aircraft within
the weight and balance limitations. Manuals must be consistent in text to provide
guidance for the weight and balance system to work properly.
Approval of weight and balance control programs is affected
on operations specifications (OpSpecs). The OpSpecs will list the appropriate
documents used for weight and balance control. Average passenger and baggage
weights, along with surveys to validate these weights, will be entered into
guidance for OPSS can be found in FAA Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section
2, Automated Operations Safety System.
CONTINUOUS ANALYSIS AND SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM (CASS) (parts 121/135).
The CASS periodically monitors the performance of and audits the weight and
balance control program to ensure constant compliance.
The CASS program should define how and when weight and balance
control systems are audited, to include, but not limited to:
Personnel training, and
System performance should be monitored to include such items
as load plans, load manifests, aircraft configuration changes, cargo handling
system performance, and human factors issues with loaders, load supervisors,
The PMIs are to review their assigned air carrier/operators
weight and balance control procedures. This review shall include the subject
areas discussed in this chapter, along with the appropriate air carrier/operator’s
manuals, OpSpecs, and wet lease agreements. It is imperative that any contractors
used for cargo loading are qualified and authorized by the certificate holder
to perform these functions. PMIs are encouraged to review any training program
their certificate holder accomplishes for personnel who supervise the loading
of aircraft, prepare load manifest forms, or qualify and authorize other persons
to accomplish these requirements.
Air carriers/operators have a statutory mandate to perform
their services with the highest possible degree of safety. Achievement of that
goal requires a concerted effort between the FAA and the carrier. Special emphasis
ramp checks are to be conducted to validate the current state of weight and
balance control procedures and cargo loading operations. The FAA should make
special efforts to keep all carriers apprised of the methods by which FAA inspections
are carried out and inform them of any instances of noncompliance discovered
in those inspections. Air carriers/operators are encouraged, in turn, to use
such information to evaluate their own systems, programs, and operations.
safety inspectors (ASI) assigned to an operator should be trained on the specific
requirements of that operator’s weight and balance control program.
PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.
Knowledge of the regulatory requirements of 14 CFR parts 121,
125 and 135;
Successful completion of the Airworthiness Inspector Indoctrination
course(s) or equivalent; and
Previous experience with part 121, 125, or 135 weight and balance
Coordination. This task requires close coordination between
maintenance and operations inspectors.
REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.
References (current editions).
Title 14 CFR parts 21, 23, 25, 43, 91, 121, 125, and 135;
Civil Air Regulations Part 3 (CAR 3), Airplane Airworthiness—Normal,
Utility, Acrobatic, and Restricted Purpose Categories;
AC 43.13‑1, Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices—Aircraft
Inspection and Repair;
FAA‑H‑8083‑1, Aircraft Weight and Balance Handbook, as amended
(replaces AC 91‑23, Pilot’s Weight and Balance Handbook);
AC 120‑27, Aircraft Weight and Balance Control;
Approved Pilot’s Operating Handbooks (POH);
Approved weight and balance manuals;
TCDS and aircraft specifications;
Aircraft equipment lists;
Aircraft Maintenance Records (weight and balance records);
ATOS Element Performance Inspection (EPI)/Safety Attribute Inspection
(SAI) 1.3.17, Weight and Balance Program, and 1.3.25, Cargo Handling Equipment,
Systems, and Appliances; and
ATOS Element 1.3.17.
Forms. FAA Form 8400‑7, Operations Specifications
Automated OpSpecs checklists and worksheets; and
Job Task Analysis (JTA): 3.3.38.
This job aid is for use in evaluating an operator’s weight and balance control
program. The job aid recommends six areas that can be used in the evaluation
of the weight and balance control program. The option of using all of the parts
of this job aid or any individual part is the decision of the inspector that
is doing the evaluation.
Coordinate with the Operator/Applicant. The operator/applicant
must submit the following for review:
Manual or revision;
Weight and balance program document (if not part of a manual);
Pertinent company procedures;
Instructions for completing forms used in aircraft weight control
and aircraft loading; and
Mathematical justification for loading provisions or schedules.
the Operator/Applicant’s Manual/Program Document. The manual must include
procedures, levels of authority, and information appropriate to part 121, 125
or 135. In addition, the ASI must confirm that the following are included:
Ensure that the manual, as presented, adheres to the System Safety attributes:
Responsibility and authority,
Manual introduction, to include:
Description of the philosophy and the goals of the manual;
Description of the division of contents between volumes, if more
than one volume; and
List of effective pages, including dates.
Manual revision and distribution procedures, to ensure:
Current information is provided to all manual holders
Manuals are available to maintenance, operations, and ground personnel
and are furnished to the certificate-holding district office (CHDO)
Definitions of all significant terms used in the program. The definitions
must reflect their intended use and include any acronyms or abbreviations unique
to the manual.
Description of the organizational unit responsible for the control and
maintenance of the weight and balance program, to include:
Definitions of lines of authority; and
Description of the support structure.
Job descriptions for all elements (ATOS’s EPI/SAI).
Training programs for the following:
Operations and dispatch personnel; and
Ground handling personnel.
A means of documenting and retaining individual training records.
Determining standards and schedules for calibration of aircraft
Preweighing instructions and requirements;
Determining which aircraft are to be weighed;
Establishing and maintaining BOW equipment lists for each aircraft;
Recording the type and serial number for each scale used, airplane
weight, residual fluids, and scale tare weights;
Initial weighing of aircraft;
Monitoring and adjusting individual aircraft or fleet, empty weight,
Periodic reweighing of aircraft;
Ensuring aircraft are configured in accordance with approved data;
Control of ULDs, including serviceability standards, CG offset,
and buildup; and
Control and oversight of contractors including freight forwarders.
A loading schedule consisting of graphs/tables or a special loading schedule
for a calculator or computerized program. These schedules must ensure that pertinent
data is available for all probable weight and balance conditions of the aircraft.
A load manifest on which all required loading information shall be entered
by personnel responsible for weight and balance control, including procedures
Completing the load manifest;
Ensuring the load manifest is carried on the aircraft;
Retaining the load manifest for the time periods specified in
the CFRs; and
of the load manifest in accordance with part 121, §§ 121.695 and/or 121.697
(as applicable); part 125, § 125.405 , and part 135, § 135.63(c).
Procedures to be used by crewmembers, cargo handlers, and other personnel
concerned with aircraft loading, for the following:
Distribution of passengers;
Distribution of fuel;
Distribution of cargo;
Verification and acceptance of actual cargo weights as listed
on a bill of lading;
Restriction of passenger movement during flight, if applicable;
Hazmat requirements, if applicable.
A drawing of each cargo and/or passenger configuration, to include emergency
Mathematical justification for loading provisions or schedules. This
may be included under separate cover and not as part of the company manual.
An alternate procedure for allowing manual computations, if a computerized
weight and balance program is used.
Procedures for a weight range system, if applicable, that ensures:
The range is typical of passengers carried on similar operations;
Computations for critical load considerations support the ranges;
Personnel responsible for loading the aircraft are required to
prepare appropriate loading records;
The system includes methods for loading passengers whose weights
are outside the range; and
Loading records indicate the number of passengers within the stated
range and account for passengers who fall outside the range.
A system for loading nonstandard weight groups, such as athletic squads
or military groups and their baggage, which must use actual weights for both
passengers and baggage.
Procedures to verify actual weight of cargo.
Standards and schedules for calibration of commercial scales used to
determine baggage/cargo weights.
Procedures to ensure that carry-on baggage is limited to articles which
may be placed in overhead compartments or under seats. Carry‑on baggage weight
must be accounted for in the same manner as checked baggage or added to the
average passenger weight.
Review the Operator/Applicant’s OpSpecs.
Review the draft OpSpecs to ensure that OpSpec E096 or E097 includes
Type of loading schedule.
Loading schedule instructions for:
Passengers and crew (average or actual weight).
Baggage (average or actual weight) and cargo (actual).
Nonstandard weight groups.
Weight and balance control procedures.
The above items must be referenced by indicating the locations in the operator/applicant’s
manuals; e.g., volume, chapter.
Review draft OpSpec A011 for accuracy of average passenger and baggage
weight calculations along with weight and balance survey requirements and completion.
Coordinate this activity with the POI.
Analyze the Results. Upon completion of review, analyze the
results and determine whether the operator/applicant’s manual and OpSpecs meet
Meet with Operator/Applicant. Discuss any discrepancies with
the operator/applicant and advise them on areas that need corrective action.
Complete the PTRS Record. Part 121 Air Carriers use the appropriate
ATOS Data Collection Tools (DCT)
Complete the Task. Approve OpSpec E096, E097, or A011 in accordance
with Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 18.
Document the Task. File all supporting paperwork in the operator/applicant’s
ACTIVITIES. Normal surveillance to be conducted using PTRS codes 3639/5639.
Part 121 Carriers will use the appropriate ATOS EPI to document surveillance.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 3‑3991 through 3‑4005.
Figure 3-132, Glossary/ Index
of Definition and Terms
Aircraft Arms, Weights, and Moments.
The term arm, usually measured in inches, refers to the distance
between the CG of an item or object and the reference datum. Arms
ahead of or to the left of the datum are negative (-), and those
behind or to the right of the datum are positive (+). When the datum
is ahead of the aircraft, all of the arms are positive and computational
errors are minimized. Weight is normally measured in pounds. When
weight is removed from an aircraft, it is negative (-), and when
added, it is positive (+). A moment is a force that tries to cause
rotation, and is the product of the arm, in inches, and the weight,
in pounds. Moments are generally expressed in pound-inches (lb-in)
and may be either positive or negative.
A number of weights must be considered in aircraft weight and balance.
Terms for various weights listed here are used by the General Aviation
Manufacturer’s Association (GAMA).
Airplane Flight Manual (AFM).
document, prepared by the holder of a TC for an airplane or rotorcraft,
that specifies the operating limitations and contains the required
markings, placards, and other information applicable to the regulations.
the pertinent specifications for aircraft certificated under the
Approved Type Certificate.
A certificate of
approval issued by the FAA for the design of an airplane, engine,
Basic Empty Weight.
The empty weight
of the aircraft plus the weight of the undrainable fuel, oils, and
hydraulic fluid outlined in the manufacturer’s maintenance manual.
Basic Operating Index.
The moment of the
airplane at its basic operating weight (BOW) divided by the appropriate
Basic Operating Weight.
The weight of an
aircraft with unusable fuel, all fluids, crew, and installed equipment,
as defined by the operator’s program based on TC, STC, or other
Cargo refers to passenger-checked baggage,
freight, dangerous goods, company materials, and hazmats. Cargo
does not include passenger carry-on baggage.
equipment must be part of the preweight checklist and be stored
in its assigned position specified by the operator’s manual.
of Gravity (EWCG).
The CG of an aircraft
when it contains only the items specified in the aircraft empty
of Gravity Range
The distance between the allowable forward and aft empty-weight
A list of items
approved by the FAA for installation in a particular aircraft. The
list includes the name, part number, weight, and arm of the component.
Installation or removal of an item in the equipment list is considered
to be a minor alteration.
An average weight
accepted by the FAA for aircraft of identical make and model that
have the same equipment installed. When a fleet weight control program
is in effect, the fleet weight of the aircraft can be used rather
than having to weigh every individual aircraft.
A flyaway kit would
considered part of the empty weight when it is installed. Spare
parts loaded onboard must be considered as COMAT.
A location specified
by the aircraft manufacturer from which arms used in weight and
balance computations are measured. Arms measured from the index
point are called index arms.
Manufacturer’s Empty Weight.
empty weight contains only the basic equipment when the aircraft
is delivered to the operator. The operator may install additional
equipment required for its specific operation creating the basic
empty weight for that operator.
Maximum Allowable Gross Weight.
The maximum weight
authorized for the aircraft and all of its contents as specified
in the TCDS or Aircraft Specifications for the aircraft.
Maximum Landing Weight.
The greatest weight
that an aircraft normally is allowed to have when it lands.
Maximum Ramp Weight.
The total weight
of a loaded aircraft, including all fuel. It is greater than the
takeoff weight due to the fuel that will be burned during the taxi
and runup operations. Ramp weight is also called taxi weight.
Maximum Takeoff Weight.
The maximum allowable weight at the start of
the takeoff run.
Maximum Zero Fuel Weight.
The maximum authorized weight of an aircraft
without fuel. This is the sum of the BOW and payload.
The weight of the passengers, baggage, and
cargo that produces revenue.
Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH).
An FAA-approved document published by the airframe
manufacturer that lists the operating conditions for a particular
model of aircraft and its engines.
Standard Empty Weight.
The weight of the airframe, engines, and all
items of operation weight that have fixed locations and are permanently
installed in the aircraft. This weight must be recorded in the aircraft
weight and balance records. The basic empty weight includes the
standard empty weight plus any optional equipment that has been
installed. Depending upon the part of the Federal regulations under
which the aircraft was certificated, either the undrainable oil
or full reservoir of oil is included.
Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) Data.
Provided it specifically applies to the item
being repaired/altered, such data may be used in whole or part as
included within the design data associated with the STC.
Unit Load Device (ULD).
A device for grouping, transferring, and restraining
cargo for transit. The ULD may consist of a pallet and net or may
be a container.
Figure 3-133, Active
VOLUME 3 General Technical Administration
PART 142 TRAINING CENTERS
Section 1 Part
142 Training Centers: Training Center and Training Center Program Manager Overview
PURPOSE. This chapter incorporates the Title 14 of the Code
of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 142 training center guidance previously
located in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Order 8700.1, chapters 148
through 154. This chapter supersedes all previous guidance issued concerning
FAA policy and procedures for the management of part 142 training centers.
BACKGROUND. Prior to the implementation of part 142, regulations
did not permit organizations other than certificated air carriers to use qualified
simulators or flight training devices (FTD) to conduct the training, checking,
or testing required by the regulations to qualify flight crewmembers. To acknowledge
the advantages of using simulation technology, the FAA issued various regulatory
exemptions to training organizations that enabled them to conduct training and
qualification through the use of flight simulation devices. In 1996, part 142
was implemented and provided the regulatory basis to certificate training centers
using approved curricula, qualified instructors, and authorized evaluators to
conduct the training, testing, and checking of airmen in qualified simulators
The certification of part 142 training centers also made additional
resources available to air operators (14 CFR parts 121, 125, 135, and 91 subpart
K (part 91K)) to enable them to enter into agreements with a training center
to conduct simulator flight training and checking for their crewmembers. With
approval of the operator’s principal operations inspector (POI), a training
center may conduct authorized portions of the operator’s approved training program.
This provision has enabled approved centers to provide a valuable service to
operators who would otherwise not have the benefit of advanced flight training
devices (AFTD) or simulators to use in their crewmember training curricula.
In addition to adopting part 142, the FAA also revised applicable
sections of 14 CFR parts 61, 63, 91K, 121, 125, 135, and 141 to afford a means
for crediting the training, testing, and checking accomplished in flight simulators
toward the flight training requirements of those parts.
GENERAL. Part 142 permits a certificated training center to
use approved simulators, FTDs, and aircraft in conjunction with approved curricula,
qualified instructors, and evaluators to accomplish airman training, testing,
and checking to meet the requirements of parts 61 and 63. Title 14 CFR part
119 air operators conducting operations under parts 121, 125, and 135 as well
as operators under part 91K and 14 CFR part 137 may also, under certain conditions,
permit training centers to conduct the required training and checking of their
crewmembers. Conditions under which an air operator may permit a training center
to conduct required training, testing and checking are outlined later in this
DEFINITIONS. The following definitions are provided to clarify
their use as they pertain to this chapter and part 142 training centers. Other
training and technical terms not specifically listed, but which appear in this
chapter, must carry the same definition and/or connotation used elsewhere within
this order, 14 CFR, part 1, and/or appropriate FAA guidance.
For the purpose of this chapter and the certification of part 142 training
centers, the term AFTD applies to Level 6 or 7 FTDs as approved and described
in Advisory Circular (AC) 120‑45, Airplane Flight Training Device Qualification,
NOTE: When 14 CFR part 60 becomes effective, the terminology
and definition of flight training devices within that rule will take precedence
over the definitions contained in this chapter.
Air Carrier and Air Operator (“Carrier” or “Operator”). As
used in this chapter, these terms are interchangeable and apply to each person
operating or intending to operate civil aircraft as an air carrier or commercial
operator, in air commerce. These terms also refer to any operator who receives
an air carrier or operator certificate authorizing operations under parts 121,
125, and 135; and for the purpose of this chapter also applies to fractional
ownership program managers conducting flights under part 91K.
Assistant Training Center Program Manager (ATCPM). The certificate-holding
district office (CHDO) may assign ATCPMs on an as required basis for the training
center. ATCPMs have responsibility for the complexity assigned to the Training
Center Program Manager (TCPM) and as such, normally participate in the full
range of TCPM duties. This position can be used only in conjunction with an
existing authorized TCPM position. The TCPM maintains technical oversight for
the center. Based on a center’s activity, the CHDO may or may not assign an
ATCPM to a particular certificate.
Courseware. Instructional material developed for each course
or curriculum, including lesson plans, flight event descriptions, syllabi, computer
software programs, audiovisual programs, workbooks, and handouts. Courseware
is an integral portion of a curriculum or course, and is subject to approval
in accordance with part 142, § 142.39.
Fleet Training Program Manager (FTPM). An FAA‑qualified inspector
assigned to support a part 142 principal training center’s curriculum for a
specific fleet or aircraft type/group/category. FTPMs report to the principal
centers TCPM and may be remotely assigned inspectors. Based on a center’s activity,
the CHDO may or may not assign an ATCPM to a particular certificate.
Foreign Training Center. A training center or satellite training
center that is located outside of the 50 United States.
Partial Program Manager (PPM). PPMs are assigned as aircraft
subject matter experts to assist TCPMs when the number of aircraft at a particular
training center requires such assistance.
Remote Training Site. A site that is temporary in nature and
operated to accommodate a specific or limited training center need. Remote sites
are distinguished by the use of facilities, such as simulators or classrooms,
which may be dry leased and may or may not be under the direct operational control
of the certificated training center (principal training center). Management,
staffing, training curricula, and courseware remain under the control of the
principal training center. The TCPM may authorize remote training sites on a
temporary basis through the issuance of an approval letter for periods not to
exceed 120 days. Extensions may be granted for extenuating circumstances.
Training Center. Satellite training centers are considered to be permanent
in nature and function under the operational and management control of the principal
training center. Although physically separated from the principal training center,
responsibility for regulatory compliance of the satellite rests with the principal
training center. The principal center is also responsible for the successful
maintenance and delivery of all assigned curricula, and courseware used by the
satellite. Approval of a satellite’s flight training equipment (FTDs and simulators)
is also the responsibility of the principal center. Satellite training centers
receive their authority to operate through the training specifications issued
to the principal training center.
Syllabus. A detailed summary or outline describing the main
points of a course of study. A syllabus describes the course content in a sufficient
level of detail to ensure that all knowledge areas and required skills are covered
adequately. It includes those materials that are necessary to support the course
(courseware). It includes details of course requirements, course content, and
evaluation plans, including programmed hours, media, and all courseware. Each
curriculum must, by regulation, include a syllabus.
TCPM. TCPMs have regulatory oversight responsibility for training
centers and are responsible for overall FAA technical administration, certification,
surveillance, and investigation. TCPMs are the primary FAA focal point for relations
with training centers and are responsible for coordinating FAA activity at training
centers, satellites, and remote training sites. Their role is to verify that
the training, testing, and checking conducted by the center continually meets
regulatory standards; the terms and conditions of the center’s training specifications;
and complies with established FAA policy and guidance.
Training Specifications. A document issued by the Administrator
to a training center and forms part of the center’s certificate. This legally
binding document prescribes the center’s training, checking, and testing authorizations
and limitations, and specifies training program requirements such as approved
flight training equipment.
AUTHORIZED TRAINING FACILITIES—SATELLITES, FOREIGN CENTERS, AND
Satellites. Part 142 provides that a training center certificate‑holder
may establish one or more satellites to provide some or all the services that
are authorized for the certificated “principal” center. The approval process
for satellite centers is the same as that of the principal center, except for
required management positions, which may be shared with the principal. Consequently,
the responsibility for operational control of satellite centers remains with
the principal center. Contractual agreements for the use of flight simulators,
FTDs, and classroom/briefing facilities are an essential requirement for selected
A satellite’s authority to provide training services is provided through
the principal center’s training specifications. Removal of the satellite from
the principals training specifications does not normally affect the principal
center’s authority to operate. If the principal training center’s certificate
is surrendered, suspended, revoked, or expires, the satellite center’s authority
to operate is similarly affected.
are descriptions of the five basic combinations of training centers and associated
Certificate Management Office‑ or Unit‑Managed Satellite. Satellites
of principal centers whose certificate is managed by a certificate management
unit or office (CMU or CMO) will normally have their surveillance activities
carried out by the assigned CMU/CMO. In other words, the surveillance responsibilities
for these satellites normally reside with the assigned CMU or CMO and not the
Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) with geographic responsibility for the
satellites location. Surveillance responsibilities for satellites attached to
principal centers under the supervision of a CHDO are described in paragraph
(b) through (e) below.
U.S. Satellite of a Domestic Training Center. The U.S.‑based training
center (principal center) holds the training center certificate, and its U.S.‑based
satellite is listed in paragraph A008 of the principal’s training specifications.
Surveillance of the satellite will be coordinated between the TCPM and the FAA
office holding geographic responsibilities for the area containing the satellite.
Authority for the satellite to operate remains in effect as long as the principal
center’s certificate remains effective. Domestic training center certificates
are issued without an expiration date.
U.S. Satellite of a Foreign‑based Training Center. The foreign‑based
training center (principal center) holds the training center certificate, and
its U.S.‑based satellite is listed in paragraph A008 of the principal’s training
specifications. The surveillance responsibilities for the domestic‑based satellite
are the same as those for a satellite of a domestic‑based principal. However,
a foreign training center’s certificate expires every 12 months from the date
of issuance. Consequently, all U.S.‑based satellite(s) of a foreign principal
certificate holder will lose their authority to operate unless the foreign principal’s
certificate is renewed annually. If the foreign principal’s certificate is not
renewed for any reason, the domestic satellite’s authority to provide training
Foreign Satellite of a U.S. Domestic Training Center. The U.S.‑based
principal holds a permanent training center certificate; however, the principal
center’s TCPM is responsible for coordinating required surveillance of the foreign
satellite with the appropriate International Field Office (IFO) or FSDO. Adverse
action and/or suspension of the U.S. based principal will affect the foreign
satellite’s ability to continue operations. An adverse action against the foreign
satellite could result in removal of the satellite from the principal training
specifications, and may lead to sanctions against the principal’s operating
certification depending on the type and severity of the infraction.
NOTE: Satellites of principal centers are not issued operating
certificates or training specifications; therefore, are not subject to the annual
renewal requirements of part 142, § 142.7(b). However, part 142, § 142.17 requires
satellite centers to comply with all other applicable requirements of part 142.
TCPMs must ensure that each foreign satellite is included in their surveillance
plan and may remove any satellite from the principals training specifications
should the satellite fail to maintain the requirements of part 142 or this order.
Satellite of a Foreign Training Center. The satellite’s foreign training center
authority to operate is based on the principal’s operating authority and training
specifications. In this example, both the principal and satellite are subject
to annual renewal. The foreign satellite’s authority is typically renewed concurrently
with the principal center’s certificate renewal. The reissuance of the foreign
satellite authority to operate is therefore dependent upon the outcome of the
normal surveillance and oversight of both the satellite and the foreign principal
center. The TCPM for the foreign principal is typically assigned from the IFO/FSDO
responsible for the geographic area containing the principal center.
NOTE: If the training certificate of a principal foreign center
expires or is not renewed, all of the principal center’s satellite(s), regardless
of their location, also expires.
Foreign Training Centers. Part 142 permits the certification
of training centers outside the United States. Other than the differences addressed
below, training centers, and/or satellites located outside the United States
must meet the same regulatory requirements as those outlined for a domestic
training center. The following identifies some of the operational and management
differences between domestic and foreign training centers/satellites.
Foreign training centers are issued an operating certificate valid for
12 calendar-months whereas a domestic training center’s certificate is valid
until surrendered, suspended, or revoked. Foreign centers and satellites must
have their operating certificate/authority renewed annually.
Surveillance and Investigation. While the surveillance and oversight
of domestic training centers and their associated satellites is typically conducted
on a daily or weekly basis, the surveillance and oversight of foreign training
centers and associated foreign satellites may be conducted on a less frequent
basis. The reduced frequency is primarily associated with the difficulties associated
with travel and in some instances country clearances. The reduced frequency,
however, does not lessen the inspection detail; it merely changes the scheduling
of required inspections to accommodate travel restrictions.
Part 142 certificated foreign training centers and associated foreign
satellite/remote sites are prohibited from providing initial and transition
training as defined below unless the provisions of subparagraph 3)b) below are
met. Additionally, the training and evaluations that may lead to the initial
issuance of a pilot certificate at the private and commercial level are also
Initial Training. The training required for crewmembers who have
not qualified and served in the same capacity on another airplane of the same
Training. The training required for crewmembers and dispatchers who have qualified
and served in the same capacity on another airplane of the same group.
Foreign training centers and their associated satellites/remote sites
are required to comply with all Transportation Security Administration, FAA,
and other applicable U.S. Government agency requirements concerning student
enrollment and training.
Foreign Center/Satellite Renewal. The processes for renewal or recertification
of a foreign training center include a review of all of the steps required for
initial certification. However, a phased inspection process conducted throughout
the year is considered to be more practical than one large annual inspection.
While more frequent or day‑to‑day surveillance is preferred, a combination of
inspections that will also meet renewal requirements may be used as a method
of renewing the foreign‑based training center’s certificate. When warranted,
a complete recertification evaluation should be conducted.
Coordination. Surveillance leading to investigation and/or enforcement
action against a foreign training center certificated by the FAA will be handled
through normal FAA enforcement processes. Inspectors are cautioned not to become
involved with another country’s pilot certification issues or the policies,
procedures, and regulations of a foreign state. These events are to be coordinated
with the host country’s civil aviation authority. A fraudulent foreign airman
certificate and or fraudulent training record entries are representative situations
that must be coordinated with the host government authorities.
Cost. All activities associated with the certification, approval and/or
authorization of a foreign training center, satellite center, or remote site,
and associated equipment and personnel are to be charged to the applicant. Inspections
required for or conducted as part of the certification and/or recertification
of the center, equipment, and personnel are also subject to these charges. The
regulatory requirements for recovering costs of this type are provided in 14
CFR part 187. Fee structures for associated surveillance are outlined in the
current edition of AC 187‑1, Flight Standards Service Schedule of Charges Outside
the United States.
Surveillance Responsibilities. The Flight Standards IFO with geographical
responsibility for the area containing the foreign center or satellite has surveillance
responsibility for the foreign operation. The CHDO and TCPM of a domestic training
center with a foreign satellite(s) will need to coordinate the surveillance
responsibility for the subject satellite(s) with the appropriate IFO.
Remote Training Sites. A remote training site is characterized
by its temporary nature. It is distinguished by the fact that it uses facilities,
such as simulators or classrooms, which are typically dry leased or not under
the direct or full time operational control of the certificated (principal)
The management, staffing, instructors, training center evaluators (TCE),
training curricula, and courseware that are used at the remote site are provided
by the principal training center and remain under the control of the principal
center. Instructors and TCEs that have authority to provide instruction or evaluations
at the principal center or satellite may also provide instruction and evaluations
at a remote site providing they have been trained on the operation of associated
flight training equipment.
Before a TCE may conduct evaluations at a remote site that is outside of the
TCPM’s geographic area of responsibility, the TCPM must coordinate associated
evaluations with the FAA office with geographical responsibility for the remote
site. Because the TCE’s activities are temporary, this coordination does not
require additional Vital Information Subsystem entries by the FSDO that has
geographic oversight responsibility for the remote site.
The TCPM must authorize remote training sites before the accomplishment
of any training authorized by the principal center’s training specifications.
Remote site authorization will be granted by letter and typically for periods
not exceeding 120 days. Letters of authorization may be renewed for extenuating
circumstances for not more than 60 days at a time. If, due to emergency situations,
longer periods are required, consideration should be given to upgrading and
designating the facility as a satellite center.
TRAINING CENTER PROGRAM MANAGERS.
The FAA CHDO will assign a TCPM to each training center certificate-holder.
The TCPM will have oversight responsibility for the training center and is responsible
for overall FAA technical administration, certification, surveillance, and investigations
relating to the certificate holder. The CHDO may consider the assignment of
an ATCPM when:
A TCPM’s duties exceed 70 percent of the TCPM’s available time; or
The complexity of the training center is such that the TCPM could not
reasonably be expected to provide required surveillance of the activities of
the center and associated satellite(s).
TCPMs serve as the primary operations coordinator between
the FAA and the training center. They oversee includes TCEs, ground/flight instructors,
facilities, equipment, and curriculum approvals. The TCPM’s role is to ensure
that the training conducted by the center, its personnel, and facilities meets
the regulatory standards of part 142, and complies with established policy and
procedures. TCPMs also coordinate with training center management regarding
regulatory changes in FAA policy matters.
TCPMs are responsible for reviewing and granting approval of core and/or
specialty curricula that are submitted by the center. Once initially approved,
each curriculum will be entered into the center’s training specifications as
either a core or a specialty curriculum. The TCPM must advise the Air Carrier
Training Branch’s, AFS‑210, part 142 program lead of each core curriculum that
is initially approved for a center’s use. The TCPM may notify by e‑mail and
should provide the curriculum name and the training requirement that it is intended
TCPMs may be called upon to assist POIs of air carriers that are requesting
to use the services of the TCPM’s assigned training center. For those operators
that may wish to use a training center’s core or specialty curricula to accomplish
a portion of their training requirements, the TCPM may assist the POI with his/her
evaluation of the center’s capabilities to meet the operator’s training requirements.
If approved by the POI, the center’s curriculum may become a part of that operators
may function as a geographic resource for POIs whose operator(s) have been authorized
to use the assigned training center or their satellites. Surveillance of this
type is determined through mutual agreement between the POI and TCPM. The surveillance
of foreign training centers or satellites that have been approved to conduct
an air carrier’s training will require POIs to coordinate required surveillance
with both the TCPM and IFO.
TCPM Surveillance Responsibilities. (See Section 7 for a discussion of
the coordination activities associated with an air operator outsourcing a portion
of their crewmember training to an authorized training center.)
The TCPM must develop and conduct a surveillance program of all training
center curricula that are authorized in section B of the center’s training specifications.
Coordinate and conduct various surveillance and certification activities,
as appropriate, with other FAA inspectors. This activity will primarily involve
POIs for air carriers who have been approved to use the training center.
Determine through surveillance and investigation that the training center
is adequately staffed with appropriately qualified instructors and TCEs.
Monitor TCEs to determine adequacy and quality of approved training programs
as well as the quality of checking and testing.
Monitor instructors to determine adequacy and quality of approved training
Monitor flight training equipment status, including discrepancy logs
as required by part 142, § 142.59 to assure continued compliance with qualification
standards and authorized maneuvers.
Monitor training programs conducted in support of the center’s training
specifications to ensure compliance with center procedures, FAA regulations,
policies, and procedures.
TCPM Certification Responsibilities.
Conduct practical tests for the issuance of airman certificates and ratings.
Conduct or observe the reexamination of certificated airmen following
failures to meet the minimum standards required for the certificate they hold.
Initiate and/or assist in the emergency suspension of airmen certificates.
Conduct enforcement investigations and prepare final reports in those
cases requiring legal disposition.
technical assistance to legal counsel, give depositions, and testify at court
trials and formal hearings.
Review, recommend necessary changes, and approve training specification,
training center curricula, courseware, and associated revisions.
Recommend amendments to previously approved programs to eliminate unsafe
practices, and/or improve the efficiency of the curriculum.
Conduct formal inspections on a regular basis and evaluate methods and
plans for any necessary corrective actions, including followup inspections to
ensure that appropriate corrective action has been taken.
Approve individual maneuvers and functions in support of the center’s
curriculum for simulator and flight training devices that have been appropriately
qualified by the National Simulator Program team, AFS‑205.
Conduct periodic record evaluations to determine the centers compliance
with 14 CFR, center policies, and other regulatory requirements.
Approval and oversight of TCEs.
Train and examine TCEs for initial designation, recertification, and
standardization as an evaluator as necessary.
Approve TCEs for specific types of aircraft and simulators operated by
the training center and enters appropriate authorizations in the center training
Monitor TCEs during the conduct of airman certification and recurring
evaluations to ensure compliance with established standards and approved procedures
and TCE authorization letters.
Ensure compliance with the memorandum of understanding between the center
and FAA regional Flight Standards division.
TCPM Simulator and FTD Surveillance Responsibilities.
Review applications for initial or upgrade evaluation of flight simulators
Assist AFS‑205, as required, with the initial and requalification of
the center’s simulator(s) and FTDs.
Periodically conduct practical evaluations of FTDs to determine that
they continue to meet AFS‑205’s initial approval performance standards.
Review and approve simulator inoperative component guides.
simulator discrepancy logs for deficiencies that have not been corrected in
a timely manner and that may affect the capabilities of the flight training
equipment to meet training curriculum requirements.
Verify through actual flights or operation of training devices that each
maneuver, procedure, crewmember function, circling approach, and runway scene
required to support proposed curricula can be accomplished in accordance with
the device’s qualification.
Monitor the centers notification of any discrepancies and or modifications
that may require reevaluation by AFS‑205.
The TCPM must maintain technical oversight of each ATCPM, FTPM, and PPM,
assigned to the TCPM’s training center whose duties include responsibility for
one or more specific aircraft training programs conducted by a training center.
ATCPM duties include the following:
Conduct surveillance and assist the TCPM with assigned responsibilities
on an as required basis.
Additional duties as assigned by the ATCPM’s supervisor.
PPM duties include the following:
Conduct surveillance and assist the TCPM with assigned responsibilities
on an as required basis. Particular emphasis is placed on the types of aircraft
the PPM is qualified and remains current on.
Coordinate with the TCPM regarding FAA policy, updated training requirements,
and any necessary changes to regulatory requirements for the types of aircraft
in which rated.
Review and submit to the TCPM training curricula, courseware, associated
revisions, and any recommendations for assigned aircraft.
Conduct surveillance programs for all training center activities within
the assigned aircraft program.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 3‑4337 through 3‑4352.
VOLUME 3 General Technical Administration
PART 142 TRAINING CENTERS
Section 2 Part 142 Training Centers:
Training, Qualification, and Designation of Training Center Instructors and
Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part
142 requires each training center to have adequately trained personnel to accomplish
the center’s approved training curricula. Part 142, subpart C outlines the qualifications,
prerequisites, training requirements, and limitations of training center instructors
and evaluators who are employed by training centers to conduct instruction and
evaluations on their behalf.
Part 142 requires that each approved curriculum specify minimum
instructor and evaluator qualifications and the initial and continuing training
required by those individuals to conduct the assigned curricula. The qualifications
and training required to ensure center instructors and evaluators are competent
to conduct the assigned training curricula is an integral part of a center’s
approved program. Training Center Program Managers (TCPM) must ensure that the
center has developed and received approval for their instructor and evaluator
training curricula. The various curricula and syllabi must identify, in a modular
format (including specific elements and events), the specifics of each required
course of training for their instructors and evaluators.
INSTRUCTOR TRAINING, QUALIFICATION, AND DESIGNATION. Although
part 142 does not specifically address the differences or distinguish between
ground and flight instructors, it is a well-established practice to make this
distinction. The distinction between ground and flight instructors at training
centers is appropriate for a number of reasons. First, it enables the centers
to distinguish between medical and pilot certification requirements as well
as the training required to qualify an individual to conduct a specific portion
of an approved curriculum. Additionally, it affords the centers the flexibility
currently provided to air carriers by their operating rules and policies governing
ground and flight instructors.
A training center ground instructor is an “authorized instructor” similar
to the holder of a ground instructor certificate issued in accordance with 14
CFR part 61. Training center ground instructors, when properly qualified, may
provide instruction in the ground-training segment of a center’s core and/or
specialty curricula. Individuals that a center wishes to designate as a ground
instructor may only be authorized to conduct training that is not considered
flight training. Training centers must have an approved process to train and
qualify ground instructors to ensure those individuals are knowledgeable in
the subject matter and qualified to conduct assigned curricula. Subpart C of
part 142 requires that training centers identify the training, experience, and
evaluations that will be administered to perspective instructors prior to permitting
the individual to conduct an approved curriculum.
may employ subject matter experts (SME) on occasion to support specific curriculum
elements that demand specialized technical training and experience that would
not otherwise be available. For example, it may be appropriate to use emergency
medical service personnel to conduct cardiopulmonary resuscitation training
or request that the airport fire department personnel assist to discuss aircraft
crash and rescue procedures. SMEs, such as engine and equipment manufacturers,
may also be used to assist regular training center ground instructors in a particular
subject area to provide additional information and experience to enhance the
As required by part 142, § 142.47 all instructors must be able to read,
write, understand, and speak English. Fluency in reading, comprehension, and
especially speaking are critical attributes for all instructors. Ground school
instructors who conduct systems integration sessions in flight training devices
(FTD) must also receive training in the applicable portions of the center’s
flight training segment to ensure an adequate level of knowledge and skill are
obtained to support the assigned curriculum. Training centers must also develop
training curricula to qualify ground instructors in the use of all hardware,
software, and training devices (both ground and flight) that are identified
in the curriculum modules/elements that the instructor will be assigned to conduct.
These training curricula must contain both knowledge and skill demonstration
testing modules. The instructors training record must contain a record showing
the satisfactory completion of these tests. Both initial and recurrent training
and testing records must be maintained in the instructor’s file. If the instructor
is assigned to deliver modules/elements that incorporate a simulator or an FTD
for system review, the instructor must also demonstrate their proficiency in
the use of the supporting FTD(s) or simulators(s). Again, ground instructors,
if authorized, are limited to nonflight activities.
Each instructor designated as a ground instructor must complete the applicable
training and testing requirements specified in part 142, subpart C not specifically
related to flight duties.
Flight Instructors (Simulator/FTD).
Part 142, §§ 142.47 and 142.49 outline the instructors’ eligibility,
airman qualifications, and experience requirements that each center must address
in their instructor training curricula. A center’s instructor training curriculum
must describe in detail how the training center will train their flight instructors
in the areas required by part 142 and the center’s policies and procedures.
The training center must have an approved curriculum, including syllabus
and courseware, to train flight instructors to ensure that instructors are knowledgeable
and proficient in the subject matter, maneuvers, and procedures the instructor
will be assigned to conduct. This curriculum must include:
Training in the operation of the associated hardware, software,
and flight training equipment that will be used;
Required prior experience, training to be received, and evaluations
that will be accomplished as part of the instructor’s qualification; and
Recurrent ground training in basic instructional methods, operation
of simulators and FTDs as well as instruction in the specific content of each
training course in which the instructor is designated to instruct.
When evaluating a center’s instructor training curriculum, TCPMs must
ensure that the items specified in §§ 142.47(c)(1) and (2) have been adequately
covered. The following guidance is provided to clarify the intent and scope
of the items listed in § 142.47(c)(1).
Principles of Learning, Including Instructional Methods and Techniques.
The TCPM may waive requirements for instruction in “Instructional
Methods and Techniques” and “The Fundamental Principles of The Learning Process”
for individuals who hold a current teacher’s certificate or its equivalent (issued
by a state, county, or city) that authorizes that person to teach in a junior
or senior high school, or a person regularly employed as an instructor in an
accredited college or university; or holder of a current flight or ground instructor
certificate. If the TCPM issues a waiver to either of these instructional requirements,
it must be in writing and made a permanent part of the instructor’s record.
Training center policies and procedures. (Forms and distribution, briefings/debriefings,
unsatisfactory performance, crew pairing limitations, maximum training day length,
checklist usage, customer read files, etc.)
Instructor duties, privileges, responsibilities, and limitations. (Customer
contact, scheduling, applicable regulations/orders/notices/advisory circulars
(AC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) policy memos, authorized deviations/waivers/exemptions,
Proper operation of the simulator or FTD, including controls and limitations,
the use of simulator discrepancy logs, simulator component inoperative guides.
Customer requirements and applicable differences training, etc.
Minimum equipment requirements for each curriculum. (Operation of audiovisual
systems, who to contact for inoperative equipment, acceptable alternate presentation
Crew resource management and crew coordination.
Evaluation of student performance. (Center policy on reporting, customer
policy on reporting, corrective action in the event of substandard performance,
Content and revisions to each training curricula. (How to request amendments,
amendment process, how to validate the currency of center/customer material,
Except for center‑specific items such as training center policies
and procedures, FTD or simulator operation, recordkeeping, deviations, etc.
An instructor who has satisfactorily completed the instructor training requirements
for a part 121 or 135 certificate holder within the last 36 months may be given
credit for satisfying appropriate portions of the instructor training required
by § 142.47 if the TCPM determines that the training previously received is
equivalent to and meets part 142 regulatory requirements.
flight instructor must satisfactorily complete a written test on the subject
areas outlined in § 142.47(c)(1). The test must be approved by the TCPM and
be comprised of questions that are equivalent in difficulty, complexity, and
scope to those specified by the FAA for the Flight Instructor Airplane, and
the Instrument Flight Instructor knowledge tests. Written testing on simulator
operations is required by § 142.47, which is not normally covered by the aforementioned
Flight instructors are required, prior to initial designation and annually
thereafter, to demonstrate to an inspector or evaluator the knowledge, ability,
and proficiency to instruct each authorized maneuver, procedure, and crewmember
function for a representative segment of each curriculum for which that instructor
is designated to instruct at the center. The demonstration of instructing ability
must be performed from the instructor panel in a flight simulator or FTD (as
applicable) representing each type of aircraft in which the individual will
instruct. In addition, if authorized to instruct in an aircraft due to the limitations
of the simulator or FTD not permitting 100 percent training, testing, and checking,
the flight instructor must accomplish an annual proficiency check in the aircraft
on at least the maneuvers that are not authorized to be accomplished in the
simulator or FTD. (See appropriate practical test standards)
Part 142, § 142.53(a)(1), requires a training center instructor
to demonstrate his or her knowledge and proficiency in conducting a representative
segment of each curriculum for which that instructor is authorized to instruct.
If an instructor is authorized to conduct multiple curricula, then the instructor
must demonstrate his or her ability to conduct a representative segment of each
of the curricula for which he/she is authorized to provide instruction. Each
authorized curriculum will be evaluated separately unless the TCPM has made
a determination that the commonality between two or more curricula or courses
is sufficient to accept concurrent approval. Credit for concurrent instructional
demonstration applies only to ground training segments and the operation of
Section 142.53(a)(7) requires all instructors who conduct training in
an approved simulator or FTD to satisfactorily accomplish a written test and
proficiency check on the content of each course the instructor is authorized
to conduct, prior to initial designation and annually thereafter. It is important
that the center’s instructor training curriculum provide detailed information
on the training to be given to each flight instructor in which the instructor
is authorized to conduct. This is important because the instructor will be evaluated
initially and annually on his/her ability to instruct as well as pilot the flight
simulator or FTD in the maneuvers, procedures, and crewmember functions authorized
to be conducted. Written tests must encompass and evaluate the instructor’s
knowledge on the specifics of aircraft systems, operating procedures, maneuvers,
and crewmember functions that are part of the curriculum.
Proficiency check requirements (§ 142.53(a)(7)):
further restricted by the training center, the standards for satisfactory performance
during proficiency checks are those stated in the applicable practical test
Administered by a qualified FAA inspector, TCPM, or authorized evaluator.
Encompass subject matter and maneuvers of a representative segment of
each curriculum the instructor is authorized to conduct. If an instructor
is authorized to instruct in multiple curricula for the same aircraft, then
the instructor must be evaluated annually in each of those curricula for which
he/she is authorized to provide instruction. The TCPM must ensure that annual
proficiency checks, which are designed to cover a representative segment of
a particular curriculum or course, are sufficiently comprehensive to ensure
that the instructor is proficient and capable of instructing the subject course.
The TCPM or authorized evaluator must determine the specific content
of the required proficiency check. These evaluations must cover as many subject
areas, maneuvers, procedures and crewmember functions as necessary to determine
the instructor’s knowledge of, and proficiency in, operating the aircraft.
The proficiency check must be conducted in the same flight training equipment
that the instructor will be using to conduct instruction. Instructors who provide
instruction in multiple simulators, representing different model or series covered
by the same type rating, are to accomplish a proficiency check in each of the
The proficiency check requirements of § 142.53 may be met by satisfactorily
completing a proficiency/competency check accomplished under the requirements
of parts 91 subpart K, 121, or 135 provided: each instructor who instructs in
a Level C or D flight simulator must annually meet one of the practical experience
requirements listed in § 142.53(b). The center’s approved instructor training
curriculum must describe how the center will ensure one of these practical experience
requirements will be met. The aircraft used to accomplish the flight experience
or in‑flight observation/line observation and Line‑Oriented Flight Training
(LOFT) must be the same type as the simulator in which the instructor is designated
The annual requirement of § 142.53(b) may be considered met if
the instructor participates in an approved line observation program for an air
carrier under part 135, § 135.338(f)(2) or part 121, § 121.412(f)(2) including
an additional LOFT approved by the TCPM and conducted by the center.
Flight Instructors (Aircraft). A flight instructor who provides
instruction in an aircraft in those maneuvers and procedures unable to be accomplished
in an approved simulator or FTD must meet the same qualifications and training/evaluation
requirements that are specified for a simulator or FTD instructor plus the additional
training requirements stated in § 142.53(a)(5) and (6). In addition, if instruction
is given in an aircraft from a required crewmember position, each instructor
must hold a medical certificate, a current FAA flight instructor certificate
with appropriate category, class, and type rating and must maintain recency
of flight experience as required by 14 CFR part 61, § 61.57. If instruction
is provided from a noncrewmember position or observer seat, the pilot in command
(PIC) must be qualified and current as a flight instructor in the aircraft.
simulator instructors and evaluators who also instruct or evaluate in an aircraft
may maintain recency of flight experience in a flight simulator, as authorized
by § 142.63.
Designation of Instructors.
The training center must authorize and designate each ground and flight
instructor in writing who is qualified to provide instruction on behalf of the
center. Authorization letters or records must include the:
Initial qualification date for each authorized curriculum,
Curriculum/module/element name and course number (if appropriate),
Other qualifying information the TCPM deems appropriate.
The training specifications (paragraph A013) issued to each training
center require that the center maintain a list of qualified instructors. This
listing must also identify the curriculum(s) that the instructor is authorized
to conduct on behalf of the training center. The TCPM should advise the training
center that all changes or additions to this list will require notification
to the TCPM within five working days.
SELECTION, TRAINING, AND DESIGNATION OF TRAINING CENTER EVALUATORS
Regulatory Basis. The regulatory basis for the designation
of a training center evaluator (TCE) may be found in 14 CFR parts 183 and 142.
The FAA considers TCEs with certification authority to be examiners as that
term is used in part 183. Training centers certificated under part 142 are required
to have sufficient personnel to support their training objectives, which may
include the appointment of a number of TCEs. Part 142 also outlines the prerequisites,
training requirements, operating procedures, and limitations of TCEs who are
authorized by the center’s TCPM.
The determination of a “sufficient” number of TCEs for a particular center
will require a careful evaluation of:
TCE projected workload relative to the center’s customer base
and request authorization;
Number of advanced FTDs and simulators;
The make, model, and series of aircraft trained at the center
and FAA available support and oversight;
Number of satellites and geographical location with respect to
available FAA surveillance; and
Projected number of evaluations the training center predicts over
a particular period.
Order VS 1100.2, Managing AVS Delegation Programs, current edition, provides
direction for the management of Aviation Safety delegation programs including
the FAA’s roles and responsibilities, delegation principles, oversight staff
qualifications and training, and management of designees. This order must be
reviewed when considering the appointment of a TCE.
There is no fixed formula that will definitively answer this question.
However, a center’s ability to manage their standardization quality program
and memorandum of understanding between the center and the FAA are primary factors
in determining the resources required to adequately supervise center evaluators.
Other primary considerations include an equitable balance between the center’s
workload and their ability to reasonably meet their customer’s needs without
compromising standardization, the quality of instruction, or safety.
TCPMs must carefully evaluate the FAA’s and center’s resources
to ensure the surveillance demands required to adequately monitor TCE activities
and to ensure the center and the FAA can properly train, supervise, and evaluate
each evaluator is not compromised.
To be eligible for consideration as a TCE, candidates must first:
Hold an unrestricted FAA pilot or flight engineer (FE) certificate as
appropriate, to act as PIC or FE for the specific aircraft;
Have met the instructor qualification and training requirements of part
142, subpart C and this chapter;
Be currently assigned as an instructor at the employing training center;
Be qualified in each specific curriculum and the associated flight training
equipment for which TCE privileges are requested.
Individuals that meet the eligibility criteria in the above paragraph
will be evaluated on the following criteria before proceeding with formal training:
Have a history of cooperation with the FAA, and a good record as an airman
regarding accidents, incidents. The TCPM must verify the airman information
through the FAA’s recordkeeping system(s) before scheduling any training or
qualification observations. The airman’s information will be retained in the
Have a reputation for integrity and dependability within the industry
and the community.
Have at least one year of training center experience as a simulator instructor
and have accumulated at least 100 hours of simulator/FTD operating experience
within the previous 12 months in the same aircraft make, model, series, and
type (if type is applicable) of simulator or aircraft for which the designation
is requested. TCPMs may consider the candidate’s previous experience as an alternative
to the 1‑years’ experience requirement if such experience is appropriate, timely
(within the last 36 months), and equivalent to the 1‑year prerequisite. When
considering a candidate’s previous experience to determine its equivalency relative
to the authorization(s) being requested, the TCPM must carefully evaluate the
candidate’s overall experience in the type of operation and aircraft he or she
will be authorized to evaluate. Examples of experience that may be considered
include prior experience as an examiner, (aircrew program designee (APD), Designated
Examiner (DE)), part 91K check pilot, or a part 119 certificated air carrier
requesting authorization to conduct evaluations in an aircraft while acting
as a required crewmember must have logged at least 100 hours as PIC in the make,
model, and series of aircraft, except when approved as initial cadre on newly
certificated aircraft types or newly acquired aircraft for the employing center.
The 1‑year training center experience and/or the 100‑hour requirement
to be considered as a TCE does not apply to the introduction of a new aircraft
type into the center’s program. In this case the policies and procedures in
volumes 3 and 5, as appropriate, relating to initial cadre airmen should be
Although current regulations do not require TCEs to be a full‑time
employee of the employing center, caution must be exercised when selecting part‑time
individuals. The task of remaining proficient in the conduct of evaluations
becomes more difficult as active participation becomes less frequent.
To ensure standardization, regional office 200s may authorize waivers
to the requirements outlined in subparagraphs 2)c) and d) above. Other listed
requirements are not subject to wavier. In addition to the foregoing guidance,
FAA Order 8710.3, Designated Pilot and FE Examiner’s Handbook, current edition,
provides additional guidelines that may be appropriate when considering a waiver
Not all provisions of that order apply to TCEs, and there are
requirements for TCEs that the order does not contain.
Selection, Training, and Designation.
The process for the selection, training, and designation of TCEs generally
mirrors that of APDs and DEs as outlined in 8900.1 Volume 13, Chapter 1, Section
1 and 2. TCPMs should refer to Volume 13, Chapter 1 for guidance on:
Training and observation,
Oversight and support,
Processing of initial request,
Examiner’s authority abroad,
Shared oversight responsibilities,
Amendment of designations,
Renewal of designations,
Processing of examiner’s paper work,
Review of examiner decisions,
Termination of examiner designation,
Cancellation for cause procedures, and
Other actions that may be relative to the designation of TCEs.
The following subparagraphs 2)–9) contain information specific
to training center TCEs and is provided as a supplement to the examiner information
provided in Volume 13, Chapter 1, Sections 1 and 2. The following paragraphs
are meant to provide additional guidance and clarification and not designed
to replace the guidance contained in Volume 13, Chapter 1, Sections 1 and 2.
TCE Application and Processing. The application process to designate
a TCE is initiated by the employing training center. The center must submit
an application letter and completed FAA Form 8710‑6, Examiner Designation and
Qualification Record, (front side) to the TCPM for each TCE nominee. The application
letter must include at a minimum, the data requested in Volume 13, Chapter 1,
Section 2. Appropriate guidance for processing the application letter and Form
8710‑6 is located in 8900.1 Volume 13, Chapter 1, Sections 1 and 2. “Training
Center Evaluator Designation/Renewal Checklist” may be used to assist with the
processing of the application. This checklist is located on AFS‑210’s part 142
training center Web site.
TCE Training and Qualification. TCE applicants must satisfactorily complete
the training outlined in Volume 13, Chapter 1, Section 2 by the TCPM or his
designated representative. The training conducted by the TCPM must include,
as a minimum, the items under § 142.55(a)(3). Each candidate will also be observed
and evaluated conducting each portion of a practical test (or proficiency check,
if authorization is limited to § 61.58 proficiency checks only) by an FAA inspector
qualified in accordance with Order 4040, as amended. This evaluation will include
an observation of the applicant conducting a complete oral, simulator, and (if
appropriate) aircraft flight-testing modules as well as associated briefings
and debriefings appropriate for the authorization(s) requested. The qualification
evaluation(s) referenced above must be conducted in accordance with a core curriculum
approved for the employing training center and appropriate for the evaluation
authority being sought. The applicant must also demonstrate the proper completion
of the airman certification and/or qualification paperwork required by the employing
center as well as appropriate FAA documentation and reporting.
TCE Proficiency Check(s).
TCEs must remain qualified as an instructor in all curricula/courses
for which he/she holds evaluation authority. Therefore, TCEs must meet all instructor
training and testing/checking requirements in order to remain authorized as
a TCE for a particular curricula/course.
Section 142.55 requires a TCE to satisfactorily pass an annual proficiency
check in the flight training equipment in which he or she is authorized to conduct
evaluations. This proficiency check must be taken in a simulator or FTD (as
applicable), in an aircraft that represents the make, model, and series of aircraft
in which the TCE will be conducting evaluations. In addition, if authorized
to evaluate in the aircraft due to the limitations of the simulator or FTD for
100 percent testing and checking, the TCE must accomplish an annual proficiency
check in the aircraft on the maneuvers that cannot be accomplished in the simulator
instructor proficiency check that is designed to evaluate “a representative
segment of each curriculum” as permitted by § 142.53 (as opposed to the full
requirements of the appropriate practical test standard) does not meet the checking/testing
requirements for a TCE. A TCE proficiency check, however, may be considered
to meet the instructor proficiency requirements in § 142.53.
A TCE may accomplish required part 142, subpart C proficiency check
requirements by one of the following methods:
Accomplish the annual proficiency evaluation as required by §
Complete an air carrier’s proficiency evaluation in accordance
with §§ 121.441 or 135.293 and 135.297 for the make, model, and series of aircraft
for which the TCE holds evaluation authority; or
Accomplish the evaluation required for initial or the addition
of an aircraft type to the TCE’s letter of authorization (LOA).
TCEs that maintain their § 142.55 qualification through an approved
air carrier program must accomplish all of the maneuvers required by the Air
Transport Pilot Practical Test Standard regardless of the specific operator’s
proficiency check requirements. For example, an operator may not be approved
to conduct circling approaches at published minimums or authorized global positioning
system approaches. In order for the TCE to remain qualified to instruct/evaluate
circling approaches, at published minimums, the TCE must be evaluated accomplishing
the circling maneuver at published minimums during his/her proficiency check.
This requirement must be met to ensure the TCE’s part 61 qualifications are
An Inspector that is qualified in the aircraft and current in accordance
with FAA Order 4040, must conduct the TCE proficiency check in the applicable
flight training equipment unless otherwise authorized by the TCPM. The content
of the proficiency check must include a demonstration of the following:
The knowledge and skill areas required for the original issuance
of the certificate for which the TCE holds authority; and
All maneuvers and procedures listed in the practical test standard
for the applicable certificate and rating. At the discretion of the evaluator,
this check may include other crewmember functions that the TCE may be expected
to evaluate in the accomplishment of assigned duties.
of Authorization and General Restrictions.
Following the satisfactory completion of all required training and testing,
TCPM’s will issue a LOA to each TCE outlining their evaluation authority. The
TCE’s LOA will become a permanent part of their training record maintained by
the employing center. A TCE cannot be granted authorization to evaluate graduates
of a curriculum or course that the employing center does not hold the authority
to conduct. For example, TCPMs may not authorize a TCE to act as a contract
check airman or conduct evaluations for air carriers operating under parts 91,
subpart K, 121, or 135. The operators POI may only approve contract check airmen.
(See section 7 for additional details on the approval process for authorizing
center personnel to act as contract check airmen or contract instructors for
an operator.) Training centers are limited to conducting crewmember training
and evaluations pursuant to parts 61 and 63 certifications only.
TCEs may not be authorized to:
Evaluate in more than two aircraft types or two different models/series
within the same type if they are significantly different; (For example, LR‑25
and LR‑55 are considered significantly different aircraft and therefore are
considered as two separate aircraft for the proposes of this order.)
Remain qualified to conduct evaluations in training courses for
three or more grades of pilot certificate unless specifically justified and
approved by the TCPM;
Conduct evaluations in more than one aircraft type and one training
course for nontype‑rated aircraft; or
Conduct evaluations in five or more different series of one aircraft
In addition, the TCPM must consider limiting a TCE’s evaluation authority
when evaluations are conducted in different models that are significantly different
as determined by the differences table in Volume 3, Chapter 2 of this order.
If a TCE’s authorization is limited to the PIC proficiency check required
by § 61.58 only, airmen type certification privileges § 61.157 are not authorized.
Before a TCE can be approved for a second aircraft, the TCPM must carefully
evaluate the differences between the aircraft currently authorized and that
of the second type requested. In many cases, an aircraft type rating will encompass
a number of different models and series of aircraft within that type rating.
Different models and/or series within a specific type may have vastly different
operating characteristics and systems. Levels of differences (designated A–E)
are described in 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 19. Because the TCEs knowledge and
skills directly affect the quality of an evaluation, the TCPM must consider
the following guidelines when determining the reasonable number of aircraft
in which a TCE may be authorized to conduct evaluations.
Authorization as a TCE (not limited to proficiency pilot examiner
(PPE)‑only) includes the authorization to conduct airman certification tests
and PIC proficiency checks (§ 61.58) for the aircraft covered by that type rating
or curriculum for nontype‑rated aircraft.
to conduct evaluations in an aircraft model or series that encompass Level A
or B differences are relatively easy to accomplish (e.g., DHC‑8‑100 versus DHC‑8‑200)
and may not affect the TCE’s ability to effectively transition between the two
Authorization to evaluate in a model and series that requires Level
C, D, E, or Flight Standards Board differences training will affect the complexity
of the evaluation and must be considered before additional authority is granted.
(e.g., LR‑25 versus LR‑55)
Authorization to evaluate in aircraft that have a common type rating
but require separate curriculum and/or flight training equipment should be considered
essentially the same complexity as another type rating (e.g., DC‑9‑30 versus
MD‑88 or B‑717).
Evaluations resulting from a specialty curriculum, such a Category
II, also affect overall complexity.
Consideration must also be given to the number of annual proficiency
checks and training required to maintain the TCE’s currency.
TCE Limitations. The following limitations must be observed by TCEs in
the accomplishment of their authorization evaluations.
TCEs must comply with the provisions of § 142.49 as required by § 142.55
during the accomplishment of their evaluation duties. Specifically, TCEs must
comply with the requirement that their combined instruction and evaluation time
in a simulator or flight training device may not exceed 8 hours in a 24‑hour
period. This limitation does not include pre and post briefings associated with
Except as outlined in paragraph 6)d) below, TCEs may only conduct evaluations
for graduates of the employing training center or satellite associate center(s).
When conducting evaluations at one of the principal’s satellites or remote
sites the TCE will remain under the direct supervision of the principal training
center manager and the terms and conditions of the TCEs LOA. If the satellite
or remote center(s) is located outside of the TCPMs geographical area of responsibility
the TCE must notify their center manager and ensure the TCPM is contacted prior
to conducting such evaluations. The TCPM must contact the FAA field office with
geographic responsibility for the satellite/remote center’s location and coordinate
required surveillance requirements.
TCEs may not act as examiners at large by conducting practical tests
or proficiency checks for the general pilot population or in violation of their
LOA as issued by the employing center’s TCPM.
A TCE may not function as a required crewmember while conducting simulator
the expressed written permission of the TCPM or their authorized representative,
a TCE must not evaluate an applicant for a certificate or additional rating
if the TCE participated in one or more of the three flight training periods
immediately preceding the proposed evaluation. Exceptions to this policy may
be granted on a case‑by‑case basis after considering any unique or extenuating
operational circumstances surrounding the particular request. Scheduling convenience
and or trainee availability are not valid reasons to grant such permission.
TCEs of U.S. domestic centers including Alaska and Hawaii, must not conduct
any evaluation services outside of the 50 United States without the expressed
permission of their assigned TCPM/assistant TCPM. The TCPM or assistant TCPM
will coordinate all international activities (other than Canadian) with the
applicable International Field Office or certificate‑holding district office
with geographic responsibility for the requested evaluation.
A TCE must not conduct any evaluation after the expiration date listed
on his/her FAA Form 8430‑9.
Pilot TCEs may accomplish their recency of experience requirements in
an approved Level C or D flight simulator. FE TCEs may accomplish their recency
of experience requirements in an approved Level 6 or 7 FTD as well as all levels
of authorized simulators.
TCEs, not limited to PPE privileges only, may issue an “SIC Type Rating”
to applicants in conjunction with the satisfactory completion of a center’s
curriculum provided the second in command is enrolled in a curriculum that:
Is approved to meet the requirements of § 61.157, or
Is approved to meet the requirements of § 61.58, or
Meets the requirements of § 61.55.
This does not apply to part 119 certificate holders or part 91,
subpart K air operators who are conducting training at the center.
TCEs may issue “SIC Type ratings” to qualified pilots of part 119 certificate
holders or part 91, subpart K air operators for which they hold check airman
authority. This authorization is limited to pilots employed by the air carriers
for which the TCE holds contract check airman authority.
A TCE who is authorized as a contract check airman for an air carrier
may also issue type ratings in accordance with the provisions of § 61.157 if
specifically authorized by the air carrier’s POI. POIs should issue such authorizations
in conjunction with and as part of the TCE’s check airman approval letter. However,
this privilege may only be exercised at the TCEs employing center and for air
carriers accomplishing training at that center.
TCE Recurrent Training.
TCPM or his designee normally conducts this training within 60 days of renewal.
It may be accomplished in multiple sessions during the year; therefore, a record
review to ensure that the TCE attended each session within the previous 12 months
should be part of the annual renewal.
Each TCE must satisfactorily complete annual training in those subject
areas required for initial qualification and changes to FAA regulations and
policy. In addition, a discussion of pertinent accidents and incidents as well
as National Transportation Safety Board recommendations on those models or similar
model aircraft should be reviewed. The TCPM may exercise discretion in choosing
which of those areas to emphasize during this training.
Due dates for renewal of TCE authorizations must be considered. Completion
of the annual training and/or checking in the calendar‑month before or the calendar‑month
after the due month is considered to have been completed in the month it was
Recurrent TCE Proficiency Check(s):
Each TCE must satisfactorily accomplish a written test and proficiency
check in a flight simulator/FTD/aircraft in which evaluations will be given.
The TCE must also comply with the annual instructor qualification requirements,
including a proficiency check in each curriculum, and specific flight training
equipment in which instruction will be given. The proficiency check required
by §§ 142.53 and 142.55 may be combined provided the content of the check meets
the proficiency check requirements for a TCE and is appropriate to the make,
model, and series of aircraft represented by the simulator in which evaluations
have been authorized.
TCEs must maintain their qualifications as instructors in order to retain
their evaluator’s authorization as a TCE. Each required proficiency check must
have been accomplished within the 12 months prior to the expiration date of
the TCE designation except as permitted in paragraph 7)c) above, or that portion
of the designation will become invalid.
If approved by the TCPM, the TCE proficiency check required by § 142.55
may be conducted by a TCE, qualified and current in the specific curriculum
and flight training equipment. Approval to permit a TCE to conduct these checks
may be granted on a one‑time basis or other reasonable time period that the
TCPM deems appropriate. Such approvals will be made in writing and not to be
included in the TCE’s LOA. Approvals to conduct the subject evaluations will
have an expiration date not later than the TCE’s current LOA.
Observation and Evaluation.
Ninety days before the expiration date of a TCE’s designation, the TCPM
or other TCPM‑authorized FAA inspector will be schedule to observe the TCE conduct
a complete practical test for at least one of the authorizations held.
The purpose of this observation is to evaluate the TCE’s ability
to administer a test or check as an evaluator. The TCE’s aircraft‑specific knowledge
and flight training equipment proficiency is evaluated during the annual instructor
proficiency check for each curriculum. If, for good reason, a certification
practical test cannot be observed as required for TCE renewal, a proficiency
check administered under §§ 61.58, 121.441, or combined competency/proficiency
checks under §§ 135.293/135.297 may be substituted at the discretion of the
TCPM. If credit will be for the completion of either a § 121.441 proficiency
check or a combined §§ 135.293/135.297 competency and proficiency checks, these
specific checks must be accomplished using the curriculum of one of the center
customers that the TCE has also been authorized as a contract check airman.
For TCEs with authorizations limited to proficiency checks only, a complete
proficiency check will be required for renewal. The TCE will be observed in
the context of all phases applicable to the TCEs authority (oral, simulator,
and aircraft). If the observation is conducted during a part 121/135 proficiency
check, the Inspector should sign FAA Form 8410‑3, Airman Competency/Proficiency
Check, or equivalent form to document the observation requirements of §§ 121.413
the TCE is qualified in more than one type of aircraft, alternating annual observation
of an evaluation should be planned. If the aircraft are not in the same category
and class, evaluations that are more frequent should be scheduled. In this situation,
the TCE’s next renewal must be accomplished in the alternate aircraft. It is
important to note that the TCE’s renewal evaluations are not the same as the
requirement for each instructor to annually demonstrate instructional proficiency
in a representative segment of each curriculum in which he/she is authorized
to instruct (§ 142.53(a)(1)).
TCPMs must specify in each evaluator’s LOA the specific subjects
by curricula or course name the evaluator is authorized to test and/or check.
A sample letter of designation, entitled “Training Center Evaluator Letter of
Authorization” and a “Training Center Evaluator Designation or Renewal Check
List” is available on AFS‑210’s part 142 training center Web site.
TCE Identification Numbers. Each TCE will be issued a unique identification
number made up of their pilot certificate number followed by the four‑letter
identifier of the employing center or satellite. For example: (Pilot/FE certificate
#) plus (center or satellite 4 letter ID).
RESERVED. Paragraphs 3‑4356 through 3‑4371.
VOLUME 3 General Technical Administration
PART 142 TRAINING CENTERS
Section 5 Part 142 Training Centers:
Outsource Training—Air Operators and/or Fractional Ownership Program Managers
Contracting With Training Providers
This section provides policy guidance for principal operations inspectors (POI)
that have operators or receive requests from their operators to outsource a
portion of their required crewmember training. The information in this section
may also be useful for Training Center Program Managers (TCPM), operators, and
training center managers.
In addition to adopting Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations
(14 CFR) part 142, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also revised applicable
sections of 14 CFR parts 61, 63, 91 subpart K (91K), 121, 125, 135, and 141
to provide a means for crediting the training, testing, and checking accomplished
in flight simulators and flight training devices (FTD) toward the flight training
requirements of those parts. The adoption of part 142 enabled operators to pursue
training alternatives not previously available under the regulations. Part 142
has made the use of training centers by operators more widely accepted as an
alternative means of providing training to its employees.
NOTE: “Alternative means” as used in part 142 has in some cases
been misunderstood and has been interpreted to mean that compliance with a training
center’s approved courses will meet the training requirements required by the
appropriate operating rules for an operator. This is not the case. “Alternative
means” permits an operator to outsource or arrange to have its approved training
conducted by a third party. It does not mean that an operator has an “alternative
means” to meet the training approval requirements governing its particular operation.
Programs approved in accordance with part 142 may not be used as an alternative
means of satisfying the requirements of the appropriate operating rules as approved
by the operator’s POI.
As the use of training centers continues to increase, the
interrelationship between a center’s TCPM and an operator’s POI have become
increasingly important. When an operator wishes to use the services of a part
142 training center, the most common operational issues that POIs must resolve—and
this section will address—are below:
Exactly what portion of the operator’s required crewmember training,
checking, and/or testing will the center be authorized to conduct?
What qualification requirements are necessary to enable the training
center flight instructors to conduct the requested training? (Reference part
91, §§ 91.1075, 91.1089, and 91.1093; part 121, §§ 121.412 and 121.414; and
part 135, §§ 135.338 and 135.340.)
How does the operator propose to qualify training center evaluators (TCE)
or other personnel to become contract check airmen? (Reference part 91, § 91.1063;
§§ 121.411 and 121.413, and part 135, §§ 135.337 and 135.339.)
What documentation is required to ensure the training conducted by the
center complies with the operator’s approved curricula, and how does the operator
propose to document this training?
The operating rules of parts 121, 135, and 91K permit operators
to use the services of another operator certificated under the same part or
a certificated part 142 training center to conduct some or all of their required
crewmember training. If approved by the operator’s POI, an operator may use
the training provider’s facilities, equipment, and personnel to varying degrees
to accomplish the training, checking, and testing required by their approved/accepted
Regardless of who actually developed an operator’s training
curriculum, the operator is responsible for its approval, oversight, content,
and currency. Regulations are very clear regarding an operator’s requirement
to have appropriate crewmember training programs that support their particular
operation. The regulations are also clear concerning the requirement to have
these programs approved/accepted by the Administrator. In the case of the operator,
this approval is delegated to the operator’s POI. In similar fashion, training
centers certificated under part 142 are also required to have their curricula
approved by the Administrator. For training centers, the approval authority
is delegated to the center’s TCPM.
The following cases are the two most common arrangements that
are formed between air carriers and training centers.
Case One—Dry Lease.
The least complicated way in which an operator may use the facilities
and equipment of a training center is through a “dry lease” agreement. In this
case, the operator has developed and maintains its own approved training curriculum,
associated courseware, materials, checklists, procedures, and personnel to conduct
training and checking, but elects to dry lease flight training equipment and
facilities from a training center. Associated airman certification functions
and proficiency requirements are completed by check airman employed by the carrier
(not the training center), the operator’s aircrew program designee (APD) or
the FAA. The operator accomplishes recordkeeping, although required training
records may be maintained at the training facility if approved by their POI.
POIs will make all Vital Information Subsystem (VIS) entries concerning the
operator’s check airman activities. The operator’s POI approves the use of the
center’s flight training equipment; however, the operator is responsible for
ensuring that the center’s equipment and facilities continue to meet the standards
required to accomplish required training. The training center simply acts as
a host for the operator and center personnel are not involved in the training
or checking of the operator’s crewmembers.
POIs are responsible for providing required surveillance to determine
if contracted facilities and training equipment meet the requirements for continued
approval. Due to the center’s physical location in relation to the POI’s office,
the POI may request the center’s TCPM to provide information concerning the
training center facility and equipment as well as assistance in performing required
Operators who conduct training in this manner (dry lease) are not outsourcing
their training from another training provider and therefore do not require approval
for outsourced training in their operations specification (OpSpec)/management
specification (MSpec) A031.
Case Two—The Training Center Provides Facilities, Instructors, and/or
Evaluators Under Contract to the Operator.
The second most common way operators use the services of part 142 training
centers is to enter into an agreement with the center to provide instructors
and/or evaluators to act on behalf of the operator in the conduct of the operator’s
training curricula. In this situation the operator may have developed its own
training curricula, hired a consultant to develop their curricula, or adopted
the training center’s curricula. Regardless of the source, each curriculum must
be approved by the operator’s POI for their use. However, it is not uncommon
for operators to submit one of the center’s core or specialty curricula without
revision to their POI for approval. To determine if this is possible, the operator
must conduct a detailed comparison and analysis of the center’s curriculum,
courseware, procedures, equipment, and personnel to determine if the training
center’s curricula will meet their operational needs. If the operator determines
that the center’s curricula will meet their needs, they may submit it to their
POI for approval. If the POI accepts the submitted curriculum and grants approval,
the curriculum becomes part of the operator’s approved program, and in effect
becomes the operator’s curriculum. This trend is particularly evident among
part 135 and new entrant part 121 operators for whom the development of a complete
in‑house pilot qualification program using modern flight simulation devices
often entails prohibitive costs and logistics.
Training center personnel (flight instructors) conducting flight training
activities for an operator must be trained and qualified in accordance with
the air carrier’s approved program to become eligible to conduct training under
the air carrier’s approved curriculum (§§ 121.412 and 121.414 or §§ 135.338
and 135.340 as appropriate). If an air carrier wishes to have the center provide
flight checking or testing services, they must ensure nominated individuals
are trained and qualified as a check airman in accordance with the operator’s
approved training program (§§ 121.411 and 121.413 or §§ 135.337 and 135.339,
The center may maintain the operator’s training records if approved by
the POI. However, the responsibility for the adequacy of the records remains
with the operator, not the training center.
If the operator elects to nominate one or more of the center’s personnel
to act as a contract check airman, and the operator’s POI authorizes such check
airmen, the POI must maintain all check airman entries in the VIS. In other
words, whether an operator uses its own personnel as check airmen (as outlined
in case one) or elects to use center employees as contract check airmen, all
required VIS entries relating to check airmen will be made by the POI. This
will help ensure that both the POI and the operator maintain proper operational
control over persons performing check airmen/contract check airmen functions.
The POI must be assured that the center’s facilities and equipment are
adequate to conduct the training as specified in the training program. The center’s
TCPM is one of the POI’s best sources of information to enable him/her to make
that determination and assist in surveillance activities.
Operators who wish to engage a training center to accomplish the aircraft-specific
training modules of their curricula create special surveillance requirements.
The division of an operator’s required training between the operator and a training
center creates a unique recordkeeping situation as well as specialized training
for the center instructors. POIs must be extremely vigilant in determining that
all elements of the operator’s program are being completed by each party. POIs
should communicate regularly with the training center’s TCPM and are encouraged
to request assistance with surveillance of the operator’s activities at the
training center. The TCPM’s assistance will typically afford the POI greater
flexibility and a higher level of surveillance than would normally be possible
without the TCPM’s assistance. An operator should develop and keep up to date
a “Training Source Document” or similar statement detailing what training will
be provided in-house and what will be provided by the training center. See the
Air Carrier Training and 142 Training Center Branch’s Web site for a sample
of such a document.
PART 142 APPROVED CURRICULA. A short review of the various
types of training center curricula and their approval process will assist with
our understanding of the appropriateness of these curricula for use by an air
carrier/operator. It is important to emphasize that a center’s approved curricula
may not be used by an air carrier/operator without first being evaluated by
the operator for appropriateness and secondly, being approved/accepted for use
by the operator’s POI.
A core curriculum is a training center‑developed course that is approved
by the Administrator (through the TCPM) for the purpose of meeting the training
and certification requirements of airman under parts 61 and/or 63. (Reference
In order for a training course to be approved as a core curriculum it
Meet the applicable requirements of part 142, subpart B and part 61/63;
Contain all the events and maneuvers required by the appropriate practical
test standards for the issuance of the particular airman certificate for which
the curricula was designed;
Meet the requirements of the Flight Standardization Board report for
that specific aircraft;
Consist of training segments that identify training and testing requirements
for the issuance of a particular certificate;
Follow the guidance in Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 54, Section 6
and Volume 3, Chapter 19 Section 5 concerning ground and flight training threshold
Include maneuver descriptions, standard operating procedures, checklists,
and other supporting courseware.
Part 142 pilot training curricula are designed to meet the certification
requirements of part 61 and therefore do not include many of the operator‑specific
elements required by the operating rules associated with an air carrier. For
example, a part 142 core curriculum does not require a training center to specify
the training that is normally found in an operator’s OpSpecs, such as authorized
takeoff or landing minimums, types of authorized approaches, and captain high
minimum requirements. Additionally, ground training in areas such as hazardous
materials handling, security, aircraft maintenance, logbook procedures and flight
following is also not required to be part of a part 142 training center’s core
curriculum. A sample part 142 core curriculum may be found on the Air Carrier
Training and 142 Training Center Branch’s Web site. Although a training center’s
part 142 approved core curricula may meet the aircraft specific requirements
for an operator, these curricula do not qualify operator’s pilots for line operations
and may not be used by an operator without the specific approval of the operator’s