3/27/09                        FY09 SECOND quarter Editorial updates             8900.1 CHG 0

Volume 2  AIR OPERATOR AND AIR AGENCY CERTIFICATION AND APPLICATION PROCESS

chapter 5  THE APPLICATION PROCESS—TITLE 14 CFR PART 91, SUBPART K

Section 2  Phase 1—Preapplication

2-556      INITIAL INQUIRIES OR REQUESTS.

A.     Initial Inquiries. Initial application inquiries or requests may come in various formats from individuals or organizations. These inquiries may be in writing or in the form of meetings with Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) personnel.

B.     Applicant Orientation. Upon initial contact, FSDO personnel should direct the applicant to the Web at http://www.faa.gov/?other_visit/?aviation_industry/?airline_operators/?airline_cert/. This site provides additional information the applicant needs to complete the application process. The inspector should ask the applicant to schedule an appointment for an initial contact meeting. While the regulation does not require specific management personnel or qualifications (unless the program manager is requesting a Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program (CAMP)), the program manager should identify management personnel, points of contact (POC) within the company, and persons authorized to sign the management specifications (MSpecs). These key personnel should attend the initial contact meeting and be prepared to discuss, in general terms, the plans of the proposed operation.

2-557      INITIAL CONTACT MEETING.

A.     General. The applicant should be prepared to discuss, in general terms, specific aspects of the applicant’s proposed operation. FSDO personnel should discuss the application process in depth. Emphasis should be placed on the expectations of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), what the applicant should expect from the FAA, and the sequence of events. The five phases of application and the requirements of the gate system (see Figure 2‑19) should receive emphasis, and the applicant should be encouraged to ask questions during the discussion. Applicants should be thoroughly familiar with the gate system requirements before continuing with the process.

B.     Preapplication Information. The initial contact meeting between the FSDO and the applicant sets the tone for the rest of the application process. Therefore, it is important that the FAA personnel be thoroughly prepared to conduct the meeting. The FSDO should provide an application package to the applicant containing the following documents:

·        Guidance documents including applicable sections of this handbook,

·        Fractional ownership rule and preamble,

·        Preapplication statement of intent (SOI) for fractional ownership programs (see Figure 2‑18),

·        Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 91, 119, and 135, as applicable, and

·        Schedule of Events (SOE) that outlines the approval process (see Figure 2‑14).

2-558      SECOND CONTACT MEETING.

A.     Applicant Submission of Completed SOI. The first item for discussion should be verification of the information on the SOI, such as the type of operation, types of aircraft, geographic areas of operation, and location of facilities. When changes to this information occur, the applicant must annotate the changes on the SOI. If the changes significantly affect the anticipated scope and/or type of operation, a copy of the revised SOI will be forwarded to the regional Flight Standards division (RFSD). If the changes indicate the need for reassignment of application responsibilities to another FSDO, the RFSD will notify, without delay, the affected FSDOs so that the application project can be reassigned. In this situation, it may be appropriate to terminate the preapplication meeting.

B.     Additional Items Submitted by Applicant. At the second meeting, the applicant should submit, to the FSDO, a proposed application SOE and documentation to substantiate a fractional ownership program or business plan. In addition, the applicant will identify locations for training, maintenance, and a principal base of operations.

C.     Phase I Completion. Once the FSDO has accepted everything in the preapplication phase, the applicant may advance to Phase II—Formal Application.

2-559      STATEMENT OF INTENT FOR FRACTIONAL OWNERSHIP PROGRAMS. (See Figure 2‑18.)

A.     Purposes of an SOI. Often, a program manager for a fractional ownership operation may not be fully aware of the regulatory and policy requirements as well as the resources necessary for the issuance of MSpecs. The principal inspectors (PI) should make the program manager aware of the following:

1)      Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 2, Automated Operations Safety System, provides general guidance in regard to the automated Operations Safety System (OPSS) and the issuance of MSpec authorizations.
2)      All program managers operating under 14 CFR part 91 subpart K (part 91K) are required to be on the Industry Operations Safety System (IOPSS) at the beginning of operations.
3)      The completed SOI denotes intent by the program manager to continue the application process. It also allows the FAA to plan activities and prepare to commit resources.

B.     Processing the SOI. The FSDO manager uses the SOI to evaluate the complexity of the proposed fractional ownership operation and to determine whether appropriately trained and experienced inspectors are available in the FSDO to conduct the proper surveillance of the anticipated fractional ownership operation and its program manager. The SOI is used to initiate the FSDO files such as the Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS).

C.     District Office Review of SOI.

1)      Review upon Receipt. Upon receipt of a signed SOI, the FSDO will review the form to ensure that there is sufficient information to further process the preapplication. The FSDO will ascertain that the proposed fractional ownership operation is consistent with part 91K, under which the program manager will be required to operate.
2)      Unacceptable SOI. If the SOI is unacceptable, the reasons why it is unacceptable must be described in section 2 of the worksheet and returned to the future program manager. The FSDO will notify the program manager, either verbally or by letter, that the SOI is unacceptable for the reasons detailed in section 2 of the worksheet and that a new SOI is required. A copy of the rejected SOI will be retained in the FSDO files for 3 years.
3)      Acceptance of a SOI. When the SOI is acceptable, the FSDO will check the “Action” box and complete section 2 of the form.
a)      Within 5 working days, the SOI will be forwarded electronically to 9‑AWA‑AFS‑OPSSPROB@FAA.GOV.
b)      The OPSS technical operations center will assign a unique identification number for that program manager in the OPSS. Please note that in 2009, MSpecs will be issued under WEBOPSS.
c)      The OPSS technical operations center will then notify the principal operations inspector (POI) of the identification number and that the program manager is available in IOPSS/WEBOPSS for MSpec issuance.
d)      The OPSS technical operations center will assist in the coordination of the IOPSS training for the program manager and its principal inspectors.

Figure 2-14, Sample Schedule of Events

Company Name: _______________________________

Phase I—Preapplication:

1. Initial Contact Meeting Date:_____________

Date Submitted/Received

Date Returned

Date Approved/Accepted

2. Second Contact Meeting Date:______________

a. Statement of Intent (SOI).

 

 

 

b. Proposed Schedule of Events (SOE).

 

 

 

c. Management Specifications (MSpecs) Worksheet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phase II—Formal Application:

1. Formal Application Meeting Date:________________

2. Formal Application.

 

 

 

3. Formal Application Attachments:

 

 

 

·        Management Personnel Documentation.

 

 

 

·        Compliance Statement.

 

 

 

·        Program Operating Manual (POM). Ref. 14 CFR part 91, § 91.1025

 

 

 

·        Requests for Deviations.

 

 

 

·        Approved Inspection Program/General Maintenance Manual (GMM), as required.

 

 

 

·        Weight and Balance (W&B) Procedures/Program.

 

 

 

·        Internal Safety Reporting Procedures and Incident/Accident Response Procedures. Ref. § 91.1021

 

 

 

·        Training Programs.

 

 

 

·        Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) or Aircraft Operations Manual.

 

 

 

·        Minimum Equipment List (MEL).

 

 

 

·        Cockpit Checklists (Normal, Abnormal, Emergency). Ref. § 91.1033

 

 

 

·        Passenger Briefing Cards. Ref. § 91.1035

 

 

 

·        Flight & Rest Scheduling Program.

 

 

 

·        Hazardous Materials (hazmat) Recognition Program. Ref. § 91.1085

 

 

 

·        Certification and Execution of Agreements and Acknowledgement of Owners’ Operational Control Responsibilities.

 

 

 

·        Pilot Safety Background Checks & Procedures (Pilot Records Improvement Act of 1996 (PRIA)). Ref. § 91.1051

 

 

 

·        Drug & Alcohol Misuse Education Program. Ref. § 91.1047

 

 

 

·        List of Owners & Associated Aircraft. Ref. § 91.1027

 

 

 

·        Configuration Deviation List (CDL).

 

 

 

·        Environmental Review. Ref. Volume 11, Chapter 6, Section 3

 

 

 

·        Destination Airport Analysis Program (DAAP). Ref. § 91.1037

 

 

 

·        Proving and/or Validation Test Plan. Ref. § 91.1041

 

 

 

·        Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program (CAMP), if required. Ref. § 91.1411

 

 

 

·        Security Program.

 

 

 

·        Flight Locating Procedures.

 

 

 

·        Other Requested Authorizations.

 

 

 

Phase III—Document Compliance:

·        Management Personnel Documentation.

 

 

 

·        Compliance Statement.

 

 

 

·        POM. Ref. § 91.1025

 

 

 

·        Requests for Deviations.

 

 

 

·        Approved Inspection Program/GMM, as required.

 

 

 

·        W&B Procedures/Program.

 

 

 

·        Internal Safety Reporting Procedures and Incident/Accident Response Procedures. Ref. § 91.1021

 

 

 

·        Training Programs.

 

 

 

·        AFM or Aircraft Operations Manual.

 

 

 

·        MEL.

 

 

 

·        Cockpit Checklists (Normal, Abnormal, Emergency). Ref. § 91.1033

 

 

 

·        Passenger Briefing Cards. Ref. § 91.1035

 

 

 

·        Flight & Rest Scheduling Program.

 

 

 

·        Hazmat Recognition Program. Ref. § 91.1085

 

 

 

·        Certification and Execution of Agreements and Acknowledgement of Owners’ Operational Control Responsibilities.

 

 

 

·        Pilot Safety Background Checks & Procedures (PRIA). Ref. § 91.1051

 

 

 

·        Drug & Alcohol Misuse Education Program. Ref. § 91.1047

 

 

 

·        Load Manifest. Ref. § 91.1027

 

 

 

·        List of Owners & Associated Aircraft. Ref. § 91.1027

 

 

 

·        CDL.

 

 

 

·        Environmental Review. Ref. Volume 11, Chapter 6, Section 3

 

 

 

·        DAAP. Ref. § 91.1037

 

 

 

·        Flight Attendant (F/A) Manual.

 

 

 

·        Proving and/or Validation Test Plan. Ref. § 91.1041

 

 

 

·        CAMP, if required. Ref. § 91.1411

 

 

 

·        Security Program.

 

 

 

·        Flight Locating Procedures.

 

 

 

·        Other Requested Authorizations.

 

 

 

Phase IV—Demonstration & Inspection:

·        Monitor Training.

 

 

 

·        Flight Crewmembers—Proficiency Checks.

 

 

 

·        Check Pilots.

 

 

 

·        Maintenance Training.

 

 

 

·        F/A—Competency Checks.

 

 

 

·        Aircraft Conformity Inspections.

 

 

 

·        Principal Base of Operations Inspection.

 

 

 

·        Maintenance Base Inspection.

 

 

 

·        Proving/Validation Testing.

 

 

 

·        Table‑Top Demonstrations.

 

 

 

·        Operational Control Inspection.

 

 

 

·        Maintenance Procedures Inspection.

 

 

 

·        Passenger Handling Inspection.

 

 

 

·        Record Keeping Inspection.

 

 

 

Phase V—Documentation:

 

 

 

1. Issuance of MSpecs.

 

 

 

2. PTRS Completion.

 

 

 

3. Update Vital Information Subsystem (VIS) Information.

 

 

 

4. File Appropriate Documents.

 

 

 

Figure 2-18, Statement of Intent for Fractional Ownership Programs

STATEMENT OF INTENT FOR

FRACTIONAL OWNERSHIP PROGRAMS

Section 1.

1. Name and mailing address

2. Address of principal base where operations will be conducted

3. Proposed startup date

4. Requested three-letter company identifier in order of preference

1. __ __ __K   2. __ __ __ K  3. __ __ __K

5. Program Manager Representative

Name (Last, first, middle)

Company Name

Telephone

(including area code)

 

 

 

6. Type of operation

Other Certificate(s) Held:

¨  Part 125             Certificate No:     ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

¨  Part 121             Certificate No:     ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

¨  Part 135             Certificate No:     ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

¨  Other Affiliate Part 91K ID No      ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

¨  Other Affiliate Part 91K ID No:    ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

¨  Other Affiliate Part 91K ID No:    ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

 

 

7. Aircraft data

8. Geographic area of intended operations

Number and types of aircraft

(by make, model, and series)

List may be attached

¨        US

¨        US and International

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Additional information that provides a better understanding of the proposed fractional ownership

10. The statements and information contained on this form denote an intent to apply for management specifications.

Signature

Date

Name and Title

 

 

 

Section 2. To Be Completed By FAA District Office

Received By (district office):

Date Scheduled for IOPSS

Date:

For: ¨     Action       ¨  Information only

Has this program manager ever been assigned any 4‑digit designator      ¨   yes   ¨   no  ¨ unknown Designator Code:

Remarks:

Figure 2-19, Five Phases of Certification and Requirements of the Gate System

RESERVED. Paragraphs 2‑560 through 2‑575.

 

3/27/09                                                                                                                         8900.1 CHG 0

Volume 2  Air Operator AND AIR AGENCY Certification and ApplicATION PROCESS

chapter 5  THE APPLICATION PROCESS—Title 14 CFR PART 91, subpart k

Section 6  Phase 5—Documentation

2-636      ISSUANCE OF MANAGEMENT SPECIFICATIONS (MSPECS).

A.     Determination of Issuance. The MSpecs are issued to the applicant after all significant unsatisfactory items have been corrected. This action completes the application process. Under no circumstance will the applicant be issued MSpecs until the project manager has determined that the applicant is fully capable of fulfilling his or her responsibilities, as charged by Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.)—formerly the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 (FA Act)—and that the applicant will comply with Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) in an appropriate manner. The MSpecs will be prepared in accordance with the guidance provided in Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 2, Automated Operations Safety System.

B.     Industry Operations Safety System (IOPSS). MSpecs will be issued using the IOPSS unless otherwise authorized by the Technical Programs Branch, AFS‑260.

2-637      APPLICATION REPORT.

A.     Responsibilities. When the new applicant is issued MSpecs, the application team is responsible for assembling an application report. This report must be signed by the project manager and will include the name and title of each team member who assisted in the application project. The report will be maintained in the permanent file relating to the new operator during the business life of the operator.

B.     Report Contents. The report will consist of four sections, as follows:

1)      The formal application letter.
2)      The compliance statement.
3)      A copy of the MSpecs issued.
4)      A summary of major difficulties experienced during the certification process, and/or any recommendations that may enhance the process, must be noted by phase and specialty. This summary will be entered into the Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS) in chronological order and will be maintained in the archival records. For standardization, the format for summaries of major difficulties and/or recommendations will be as follows:
a)      Phase 1—Preapplication (Operations, Maintenance, Avionics). Include summaries of difficulties or recommendations by specialty.
b)      Phase 2—Formal Application (Operations, Maintenance, Avionics). Include summaries of difficulties or recommendations by specialty.
c)      Phase 3—Document Compliance (Operations, Maintenance, Avionics). Include summaries of difficulties or recommendations by specialty.
d)      Phase 4—Demonstration and Inspection (Operations, Maintenance, Avionics). Include summaries of difficulties or recommendations by specialty.

2-638      APPLICATION REPORT RETENTION. The district office will retain the original of the application report in the operator file as long as the certificate holder remains active.

2-639      MSPECS AMENDMENTS. The owner/program manager is responsible for continued compliance with the regulations and authorizations, limitations, and provisions of its MSpecs. When the owner/program manager operation changes, the MSpecs will be amended accordingly. The process for amending MSpecs is similar to the application process, but may be a less complex procedure, depending on the requirements of the amendment.

NOTE: Once MSpecs have been issued to the operator and operations have commenced, amended MSpecs must be approved by the principal operations inspector (POI) before the implementation of the specific request.

2-640      FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA) OVERSIGHT. In accordance with 14 CFR part 91, § 91.1019, the FAA is responsible for conducting periodic inspections of the owner/fractional program manager’s operation to ensure continued compliance with the regulations and safe operating practices. These inspections will be equivalent to current 14 CFR part 135 air carriers, with the exception of cabin and cockpit en route inspections, and line checks.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 2‑641 through 2‑655.

 

3/11/09                                                                                                                         8900.1 CHG 9

Volume 3  GENERAL TECHNICAL ADMINISTRATION

chapter 20  CHECK AIRMAN, INSTRUCTOR, AND SUPERVISOR PROGRAMS FOR TITLE 14 CFR PART 121 AND 135 CERTIFICATE HOLDERS

Section 2  Check Airman Approval and Surveillance

3-1421  GENERAL.

A.     Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS) Codes.

·        Pilot: 1346.

·        Flight Engineer (FE): 1347.

·        Oceanic Navigation: 1349.

B.     Procedures.

1)      This section addresses procedures for approval and surveillance of check airmen. All check airmen must be approved by an operator’s principal operations inspector (POI). Approval is based on an airman:

·        Having the proper certificates and ratings;

·        Being qualified in accordance with the operator’s approved initial, transition, or upgrade training program;

·        Having completed the operator’s approved check airman training program for the appropriate check airman functions; and

·        Having demonstrated the ability to conduct flight checks and to evaluate the performance of airmen to the satisfaction of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector.

2)      The check airman approval process follows the five phases described below.

3-1422       PHASE ONE—OPERATOR FAMILIARIZATION WITH CHECK AIRMAN REQUIREMENTS AND LETTER OF REQUEST.

A.     Beginning the Approval Process. The first phase of the check airman approval process involves a discussion between the operator and the POI. The POI should ensure that the operator understands the regulatory check airman training requirements and that a check airman candidate must satisfactorily demonstrate the ability to perform check airman functions to an FAA inspector before approval. The POI should also ensure that the operator is prepared to submit the necessary documentation to initiate the approval process, which is as follows:

B.     Required Information. The letter of request constitutes the operator’s nomination. It originates from the operator, not a training center, check airman candidate, or some other party. It includes:

·        The airman’s full name,

·        Business address,

·        Applicable airman’s certificate number,

·        Current crewmember position,

·        Requested check airman classification,

·        Aircraft type,

·        Brief résumé of the airman’s aviation background and experience,

·        Copies of the airman’s appropriate airman certificates,

·        Copy of the airman’s medical certificate (not required if the only check airman classifications requested are proficiency check airman—simulator or line check airman—observer’s seat only), and

·        Copies of the airman’s training records, including his or her initial, transition, or upgrade training in requested aircraft type; record of most recent applicable recurrent training; and record of check airman training.

A POI may require that this information be expanded to suit circumstances.

3-1423       PHASE TWO—SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTATION. Phase two begins when the operator submits the documentation listed in paragraph 3‑1422 to the POI for evaluation. The operator may transmit this submission by conventional mail, e‑mail, fax, or by other means mutually acceptable to the operator and the POI. The POI will initially review the information to determine if the check airman candidate meets the basic qualification requirements for the type of check airman approval sought. (Refer to Volume 3, Chapter 20, Section 1.)

A.     Unacceptable Submission. If the operator’s submission is unacceptable, the POI should return the submitted documentation with a statement of the reason for nonacceptance.

B.     Acceptable Submission. If the operator’s submission is acceptable, the POI should initiate phase three.

3-1424       PHASE THREE—REVIEW OF DOCUMENTATION.

A.     Verification. The POI will verify the check airman candidate’s certificates and background using the Vital Information Subsystem (VIS), the Safety Performance Analysis System (SPAS), PTRS and local office procedures. The POI will then create a file for the individual in the check airman section of VIS.

Creation of the VIS file at this point in the process will allow for documentation of subsequent action regarding the individual without having the records rejected. During the upload/download process, check airman surveillance records are cross‑checked (last name and certificate number) against the check airman ancillary file in the VIS database file for the operator.

B.     Training Requirements. Before the POI can evaluate an airman for approval as a check airman, all required training must be completed. The airman’s training records must show satisfactory completion of initial, transition, or upgrade training and all training required under the operator’s approved check airman training program for the specified classification. The approved training program must contain all training required by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121, §§ 121.411 and 121.413, or 14 CFR part 135, §§ 135.337 and 135.339 that is applicable to the approval being sought. When the airman’s records show that the airman has previously completed a required curriculum segment, the segment does not have to be repeated.

C.     Nonqualification. If, after reviewing the documentation, the POI determines that the candidate does not qualify as a check airman, the POI will provide the operator with a statement of the reason for nonacceptance.

3-1425       PHASE FOUR—CHECK AIRMAN EVALUATION (PTRS CODE 1631: CHECK AIRMAN SURVEILLANCE). In order to evaluate a check airman candidate effectively, inspectors must become thoroughly familiar with the operator’s procedures. Inspectors must also become familiar with any special regulatory requirements affecting the operator, such as special conditions contained in the operations specifications and exemptions.

A.     Choosing Airmen as Subjects. The inspector conducting an evaluation for an original check airman approval must observe the check airman candidate conducting an actual check. The purpose of the check airman evaluation is to ensure that the candidate has achieved the required skills for briefing, evaluating, and debriefing an airman. The airman receiving the check should be a line crewmember who is due for an evaluation. The airman will not be an instructor or check airman unless previous approval has been received from the POI. Such approval is reserved for unusual circumstances.

B.     Check Airman Candidate’s Flying Skills. Except for an initial cadre approval, a check airman evaluation does not entail an evaluation of the candidate’s flying skills in a crew position. An operator should not request approval of an individual as a check airman when there is any question about the airman’s flying skills in a crew position. Should the POI have reason to question a candidate’s proficiency, the check airman evaluation will not be conducted until the candidate’s proficiency is verified. An acceptable way to verify the airman’s proficiency is to check the check airman candidate. An inspector may conduct a proficiency check, a competency check, or a line check of the check airman candidate, scheduled at some time before the official check airman evaluation. (Such checks are not routinely required.)

C.     Satisfactory Evaluation. If the inspector determines that a check airman candidate meets criteria for the requested check airman approval, the inspector will inform the candidate that a recommendation of approval will be reported to the POI. In this case, the check airman candidate will certify the proficiency of the airman receiving the check and complete the necessary recordkeeping tasks. The POI may permit the new check airman to be scheduled immediately as a check airman, even though processing of the letter of approval has not been completed, provided that a PTRS entry has been completed to document the satisfactory check airman evaluation.

D.    Unsatisfactory Evaluation. If the inspector determines a candidate does not qualify for the requested check airman approval, the inspector will inform the candidate that approval will not be granted. In such a case, the inspector must determine whether the airman receiving the check performed satisfactorily, and must certify the airman’s proficiency and complete the necessary records.

The failure of a check airman candidate is uncommon and usually ends a candidate’s eligibility for check airman status. In rare circumstances, the POI may allow a re‑evaluation. In such a case, the operator must conduct sufficient additional training, recertify the candidate’s proficiency, and arrange to have another evaluation conducted by an FAA inspector.

E.     Content of Check Airman Evaluation. The following guidance applies to an inspector’s evaluation in respect to each of the six classifications of check airmen.

1)      Proficiency Check Airman—Aircraft. An inspector must evaluate this candidate while the candidate conducts a proficiency check or competency check in an aircraft in flight. The inspector should observe the candidate conducting the entire check in the aircraft. The candidate should be evaluated on his/her ability to evaluate an individual while, at the same time, performing the crewmember activities normally associated with the seat the check airman candidate occupies. With the approval of POI, the inspector may observe part of the check in the aircraft and the remainder in a simulator or an approved flight‑training device (FTD).
2)      Proficiency Check Airman—Simulator. An inspector must evaluate this candidate while the candidate conducts the simulator (or FTD) segment of an actual proficiency check, or competency check, as applicable. The candidate should be evaluated on his/her ability to evaluate an individual while, at the same time, demonstrating proficiency in operating the simulator or training device. Time management and the ability to adapt to events that might disrupt a planned sequence of events should be considered. If the entire proficiency check or competency check can be accomplished in a flight simulator (SIM), the candidate must be observed conducting the entire check.
3)      Line Check Airman—All Seats. An inspector will evaluate this candidate while the candidate conducts an actual line check from either pilot seat. Satisfactory performance will also permit the candidate to conduct a line check from the forward observer’s seat, during line‑oriented flight training, during revenue service or during nonrevenue service. A candidate for line check airman—all seats must be qualified to be the pilot‑in‑command (PIC) for that operator and hold a first‑class medical certificate.

The operator must have procedures, published in its operations manual that will be followed in the event that a line check airman determines that a pilot’s performance does not meet standards that would allow the individual to continue to operate the aircraft. The crewmember will not be allowed to continue the flight series or trip. If the line check airman does not possess the appropriate class of medical certificate to substitute for the crewmember, specific alternative procedures must be followed.

4)      Line Check Airman—Observer’s Seat Only. An inspector must evaluate this candidate while he or she conducts an actual line check from the forward observer’s seat, during revenue or during ferry service. When the evaluation is conducted during revenue service, in an aircraft with only one observer’s seat, a candidate who holds a second‑class medical certificate, who has not yet reached 65 years of age and is otherwise qualified for part 121 operations (does not apply to part 135 operations) may be evaluated while conducting a line check from the right pilot seat. In this case, the PIC must be fully qualified and line current. When the evaluation is conducted during nonrevenue operations in an aircraft with only one observer’s seat, a candidate who holds at least a third‑class medical certificate and who is over 65 years of age and is otherwise qualified for part 121 operations (does not apply to part 135 operations) may be evaluated while conducting a line check from the right pilot seat. A check airman who is approved to conduct line checks from the observer’s seat and who does not maintain line currency must be observed by an inspector at least once every 24 calendar months. If an evaluation within this time period is not given, the check airman is not authorized to conduct line checks.

The operator must have procedures published in its operations manual that will be followed in the event that a line check airman determines that a pilot’s performance does not meet standards that would allow the individual to continue to operate the aircraft. The crewmember must not be allowed to continue the flight series or trip. If the line check airman is not qualified (including appropriate medical certificate) to substitute for the crewmember, specific alternative procedures must be followed.

5)      Check Airman—All Checks. An inspector must evaluate this candidate in accordance with preceding the paragraphs. The evaluations for this approval may be treated cumulatively.

An airman may have been a proficiency check airman—aircraft for a number of years, and then qualify as a line check airman—all seats. If the operator does not use simulators in the training program, then upon satisfactory completion of the line check evaluation, the check airman could be approved to conduct all of the forgoing checks.

6)      Check FE. An inspector must evaluate this candidate while the candidate conducts an FE proficiency check in a simulator or approved FTD. In normal, abnormal, and emergency procedures, segments of the check are normally accomplished in a simulator or approved FTD. In those instances when a check FE candidate is to conduct any portion of a check in an airplane in flight, the check airman candidate must be a qualified and current FE and must be evaluated during actual flight.

F.      Conducting a Check Airman Evaluation.

1)      Preevaluation Briefing. An inspector conducting a check airman evaluation must arrange to meet with the candidate in sufficient time for a preevaluation briefing. The inspector must explain the purpose of the evaluation and some ground rules, including: (1) that the check should be conducted as if the candidate were fully qualified in the role of check airman; (2) that during the briefing, the inspector may ask questions of the check airman candidate as part of the evaluation; and (3) that the inspector will not ask questions while the check is in progress.
2)      Observing and Debriefing the Candidate. While the check is in progress, the inspector will observe, but should not interrupt or otherwise interfere with the check airman candidate’s management of the check. The inspector must determine that all required events and maneuvers were conducted properly; that the check airman candidate’s evaluation of the airman’s performance was objective and accurate; and that the check airman candidate’s debriefing of the airman was thorough and constructive.

3-1426       PHASE FIVE—CHECK AIRMAN APPROVAL. All check airmen approved for part 121 or part 135 operations must be approved by the operator’s POI.

A.     Letter of Approval. POIs may only approve check airmen for operators under their oversight. Approval of a check airman will be in the form of a letter of approval addressed to a responsible official of the operator and signed by the POI, or a representative approved by the POI. This letter of approval may be transmitted to the operator by conventional mail, e‑mail, by fax, or by other means acceptable to the operator and the POI. The POI should retain a copy of the check airman letter of approval together with the operator’s original letter of nomination for the candidate. The check airman letter of approval must contain the following:

·        Identification of the air operator for which the approval is granted,

·        Check airman’s name and applicable FAA airman’s certificate number,

·        Approved check airman classification,

·        Specified category, class, or type of aircraft,

·        Authorizations and limitations, and

·        Effective date of each approval (since different approvals may occur at different times, this information simplifies record checks. The date on which the check airman was recommended for approval by an inspector will be the effective date of approval.) See Figures 3‑85 through 3‑87 for sample letters of approval.

Under current regulations, no normal term of expiration is specified for approvals of check airmen (unlike 14 CFR part 183 designees whose authorization must be renewed every 12 months). A check airman’s approval, however, may be given, limited, or withdrawn, in the discretion of the POI.

B.     Limitations. A check airman will be approved only in the six classifications listed in this section.

Currently, a separate check airman file in the VIS must be entered into the system for each operator for which the check airman holds approval. A forthcoming change to the VIS will result in a single file for each check airman, and will permit the listing of all operator affiliations and classifications.

C.     Letter of Approval—Other Copies.

1)      The original of the check airman letter of approval will be sent to the operator for which the check airman has been approved.
2)      A copy of the letter of approval will be retained in POI’s files, together with the operator’s original letter of request for the check airman candidate. This copy will be maintained in the FAA office files of the overseeing inspector until 2 years after the approval is withdrawn or superseded.
3)      When the individual is a training center instructor or Training Center Evaluator (TCE) who is being approved to evaluate an operator’s personnel, and if the POI anticipates requesting assistance from the Training Center Program Manager (TCPM) with check airman surveillance and oversight, a copy of the letter of approval should be forwarded to that TCPM for inclusion in his or her records.

D.    PTRS and VIS. The POI must ensure that a record of the approval is entered in the PTRS. A future modification to the PTRS will also require an entry when check airman approval is withdrawn or terminated. Each time a check airman approval is given or withdrawn, the POI must ensure that the operator’s VIS file accurately reflects:

1)      The current number of active check airmen approved for the operator, and
2)      The correct status of the individual.

3-1427       APPROVAL OF INITIAL CADRE CHECK AIRMEN. During the early phases of establishing a check airman program, initial cadre check airmen are required. Initial check airman candidates must first become fully qualified as flight crewmembers and then be trained, evaluated, and approved as check airmen. Because the regulatory language of parts 121 and 135 does not address a training process for initial cadre check airman, this handbook provides guidance. This process that follows is valuable for startup operations for at least two reasons:

·        It is a practical way to initiate and build a check airman program; and

·        It takes advantage of proving flights, when the operator/applicant is under close FAA scrutiny—with desirable effects on the check airman program.

A.     Letter of Request from Operator. The overseeing inspector must arrange with the operator/applicant to approve one or more likely check airman candidates to form an initial cadre of temporary check airmen. The operator/applicant will submit a letter of request, as described earlier in this section. This letter comprises the request for initial cadre check airmen and a description of the training that they will undergo.

B.     Letter of Approval. The POI must approve the candidates using procedures described earlier in this section. Usually initial cadre check airmen are approved to function as check airman—all checks or check FE, so that they may conduct all types of checks and supervise Operating Experience (OE) during the period that the startup operation is beginning. The initial cadre check airman letter of approval is a temporary approval, to be replaced with a permanent letter of approval after the check airman is fully qualified. The initial cadre check airman letter must contain a statement similar to the following:

(Name) is approved as an initial cadre check airman to function as a check airman—all checks or as a check FE for the purpose of initiating operations with the (type of aircraft) for (name or operator). This approval expires on (expiration date).

3-1428       TRAINING, CERTIFICATION, AND QUALIFICATION—STARTUP. The operator must provide a full qualification process for its initial cadre check airmen.

A.     Initial Training and Certification. The operator must first arrange to have initial cadre check airmen trained and appropriately certificated for their cockpit duty positions. The operator may provide the training by contracting with a manufacturer, with another operator of the same 14 CFR operating part, or with properly qualified individuals. An inspector or an aircrew program designee designated examiner may certificate the initial cadre airmen, provided that the examiner is employed by a U.S. air carrier operator.

B.     Gaining Proficiency as Instructors. After the initial training and certification, initial cadre check airmen must become proficient in the operator’s proposed training program by instructing each other, or in the case of a single initial cadre check airman, by self‑training. During this training, an operator may arrange for a pilot from the manufacturer, from another operator, or from another source to act as the safety pilot or instructor pilot.

C.     Proficiency and Competency Checks. After the first initial cadre check airmen have become proficient as instructors, they may then begin the training and checking of other initial cadre check airmen in accordance with the operator’s initially approved flight training and qualification curriculum segments. Each check must be observed by an FAA inspector who holds the appropriate airman’s certificate, and the appropriate type rating, when applicable. If the inspector determines that the performance of an initial cadre check airman conducting a certain check is satisfactory, the inspector will recommend to the overseeing inspector that the airman be approved as a check airman for that type of check. One initial cadre check airman may check another, with the process repeated until each candidate has been approved as a check airman or has been terminated from the program. If only one person is being considered to be the initial cadre check airman, an inspector will observe that person conducting a check of another airman. If the candidate’s performance is satisfactory, the inspector must recommend to the POI that the candidate be removed from temporary status and approved for full‑time check airman duty with the operator.

D.    OE.

1)      Initial cadre check airmen will be permitted to acquire OE flight hours on any flight that can be credited toward the proving‑test flight‑hour requirement (including training flights, ferry flights, and representative en route proving flights). OE flight hours may be accrued by initial cadre check airmen while they are:

·        Conducting aircraft checks;

·        Overseeing the OE of other airmen,

·        Being checked, or

·        Acquiring OE under the supervision of other initial cadre check airmen.

2)      Initial cadre check airmen must receive a line check and conduct a line check during an en route proving flight or a ferry flight. The same process (above) will apply: one initial cadre check airman line checks another while being observed by an FAA inspector. If the airman’s performance is satisfactory, the inspector may recommend that the person be removed from temporary status and approved for full‑time duty as a check airman for the operator. If there is only one initial cadre check airman, then the FAA inspector will conduct the line check.

3-1429       APPROVAL OF A CHECK AIRMAN IN MULTIPLE AIRCRAFT. Before an airman may be approved as a check airman in more than one type of aircraft, the operator must show that there is a need. The airman must be fully qualified and current in each of the aircraft types. Overseeing inspectors must be judicious in approving check airmen and vigilant in overseeing their performance. There are various acceptable combinations of check airman approvals.

A.     A check airman may be approved to serve in all single‑engine, normal, or commuter category airplanes that an operator operates under part 135.

B.     A check airman may be approved to serve in two different types of helicopters.

C.     For part 135 operations, a check airman may be approved to serve in a combination of two of the following aircraft families:

·        One series of multiengine, normal, or commuter category airplanes;

·        Single‑engine, normal, or commuter category airplanes; or

·        Helicopters.

D.    Before a candidate may be approved as a check airman in two commuter category aircraft types or two transport category types, the overseeing inspectors must ensure that the following conditions are met:

·        For proficiency check airman—aircraft or simulator the candidate must have logged at least 500 hours as PIC in each type;

·        For line check airmen the candidate must have logged at least 100 hours as PIC in each type and at least 1,000 hours as PIC in transport‑ or commuter‑category airplanes; and

·        For check FE the candidate must have logged at least 500 hours as a FE in each type.

3-1430       APPROVAL OF A CHECK AIRMAN FOR MULTIPLE OPERATORS. This paragraph provides a standard method for approving a check airman to serve multiple operators. The approval of a check airman to serve more than one operator is limited to those cases in which the operator’s aircraft, aircraft operating manuals, procedures, and checklists are compatible in the judgment of the overseeing inspector(s). Provision for multiple check airman approvals may be made for part 135 single‑pilot operators, part 135 single‑PIC operators, and for part 121 and part 135 operators with programs that are compatible, in the judgment of the respective operator’s POI. An operator’s POI may also approve a check airman to serve multiple part 121 or part 135 operators on a temporary basis, when a startup operation is initiated or when new equipment is being introduced. Other multiple approvals may be made with the concurrence of the regional Flight Standards division when justified.

3-1431       TRAINING CENTER INSTRUCTORS/EVALUATORS APPROVED BY AN AIR CARRIER’S POI AS CONTRACT CHECK AIRMEN. Training centers have made simulator training and checking available to a broad range of aviation users, including air carriers with smaller fleets and smaller aircraft. With the approval of an operator’s POI, an employee of a 14 CFR part 142 training center may serve one or more air operators as a contract check airman. The guidance contained in this paragraph applies to training center personnel who have been requested to serve as such contract check airmen.

A.     POI Approves the Check Airman Candidate. Only the POI may approve a check airman for use in an air carrier’s training program. Normal procedures apply, including a letter of request from the operator, and a letter of approval from the operator’s POI.

B.     TCPM Role. Without diminishing the responsibility or authority of the POI, experience has shown that the TCPM may be in the best position to make quality assessments at training centers on behalf of the Administrator. The TCPM continually assesses training programs conducted by a training center for certification of airmen under 14 CFR parts 61 and 63. Similarly, the TCPM assesses the instructors and TCEs employed by a training center. At the request of an operator’s POI, a center’s TCPM may therefore assist with the evaluation of an air carrier’s request to use the services of a center’s employee as a contract check airman.

C.     Scheduling Multiple‑Use Check Airmen and Maintaining Check Airman Status. Before a multiple approval is made, the overseeing inspector must ensure that the operators understand that the scheduling and use of the check airman is their responsibility. An operator entering into a multiple‑use arrangement may employ a check airman on a part‑time basis; may contract with another operator or training center to provide a check airman; or may contract directly with the check airman.

Each operator is responsible for ensuring that the check airman maintains currency as specified in their operations specifications paragraph A031, the appropriate operating rule and Volume 3, Chapter 20, Section 1, and that he or she performs adequately when serving the operator.

D.    Issuing Additional Check Airman Letters of Approval. An operator seeking check airman approval for an individual who is serving as a check airman for another operator must provide the necessary information to its POI. The operator’s POI must consider the means the operator will use to train, to qualify, and to maintain qualification of the contract check airman candidate and the documentation that will be required. Contract check airmen may be able to meet recurrent training requirements for more than one operator simultaneously. When the operator and the POI have agreed on the training and qualification necessary for the contract check airman, the operator must submit a written letter of request to the POI, as described earlier in this section. When the second or subsequent POI approves the individual as a contract check airman for his/her operator, that POI will issue an additional check airman letter of approval following the procedures described above. Additionally, if the subject check airman is an employee of a part 142 training center, the POI will forward a copy of the new approval letter to the center’s TCPM.

The check airman file in the VIS is being modified to allow for a single file for each individual who has been approved as a check airman for an operator. This consolidated check airman VIS file will be linked to a unique airman identifying number, and will permit multiple entries for aircraft and operator combinations.

E.     Primary Oversight Responsibility. Each operator for which an individual is approved as check airman, along with the operator’s POI, has responsibility for oversight of the contract check airman. When the check airman is employed by a training center, the FAA TCPM may provide assistance as requested by the POI with this responsibility. Any POI who has issued an letter of approval to the check airman may, however, conduct surveillance activities at any time.

F.      Contract Check Airman LOAs. When approved as a contract check airman for an operator, the POI of that operator will issue a letter of approval showing the operator; the check airman classification; the type(s) of aircraft authorized, and the type(s) of checks authorized (by regulatory reference). A sample contract check airman letter of approval is provided on the FAA’s Air Transportation Division—Air Carrier Training and 142 Training Center Branch Web site at http://www.faa.gov/pilots/training/part_142/sample_letters/. This sample letter provides for the listing of multiple contract check airman approvals for a particular operator on a single letter.

G.    Recordkeeping. Each operator is required by their operating rules to maintain training and qualification records for his/her check airmen. This responsibility cannot be delegated. However, by agreement between the operator and the training center, a training center may keep a contract check airman’s training and qualification records. This agreement must be documented in each operator’s recordkeeping system and approved by the POI. The POI must maintain a record in the operator’s file that documents the details of any such arrangement, including the location in the operator’s manual where such arrangement is described.

3-1432       CREWMEMBER FAILURE RATES. The repetitive failure of a single crewmember, or the failure of several crewmembers during proficiency or competency checks, may indicate a training program deficiency. Overseeing inspectors must establish procedures with their certificate holders that provide for FAA notification when unsatisfactory performance occurs. Identified deficiencies should be promptly investigated and corrective action taken. A comparison of failure rates between checks conducted by inspectors and those conducted by check airmen should also be made. If a significant difference in failure rates exists, additional observations and counseling should be conducted. The overseeing inspector must discuss the matter with the appropriate official responsible for the certificate holder’s training and checking activities. Should these discussions not lead to an improvement in the quality of training and evaluations, consideration should be given to withdrawing approval of any check airmen involved, or if appropriate, withdrawing approval for a specific part or for the entire training program.

3-1433       SURVEILLANCE OF CHECK AIRMEN. Overseeing inspectors must establish a surveillance program for each check airman at the time of approval. The POI must determine which geographic surveillance unit will have responsibility for the check airman’s surveillance program and notify that geographic unit of the check airman’s approval. Notification may be accomplished by the POI sending a copy of the check airman’s letter of approval to the geographic unit.

A.     Biennial Check Airman Observation. The surveillance program for each office must include an observation by an FAA inspector or aircrew designated examiner of each approved check airman in his or her area of responsibility at least once every 24 months. Check airman observations should be conducted while the check airman is conducting an approved checking activity. For example, a check airman approved to conduct proficiency checks and line checks should be observed conducting a proficiency check in the aircraft or simulator, or conducting a line check, or overseeing initial OE. At the discretion of the POI, an observation conducted by another POI or by a TCPM for a check under the same rule part need not be repeated. It is the responsibility of the operator to maintain records showing that this observation has been completed.

1)      Surveillance of Check Airmen by Geographic Units. POIs will monitor the activity of geographic units conducting check airman surveillance on their behalf. When significant events are reported, the POI should provide feedback to the operator. POIs should remain especially vigilant for repetitive failure rates as discussed in paragraph 3‑1432 of this section as an indicator of training program deficiency.
2)      Constraints of Aircraft with Two Pilot Seats. Inspectors may encounter difficulties in conducting the surveillance of check airmen whose activities are restricted to two‑place airplanes or helicopters. In such cases, it may not be possible for an inspector to observe the check airman conducting actual checks. In lieu of these observations, the POI may review the check airman’s activities and arrange for an inspector to administer the check airman’s competency and line checks.

B.     Periodic Report by the Operator. The POI should arrange to have the operator provide the POI with a periodic report of each check airman’s checking activities, including a pass/fail rate, to coincide with the POI’s periodic review (annual, semiannual, or other). POIs may arrange for these reports to arrive at a time that meets the POI’s needs. A check airman should be active enough to retain the required knowledge and skills. This activity level may vary depending on the check airman function, the size of the operator, and the number of approved check airmen. Usually a check airman should conduct at least eight authorized check airman activities during a 12‑month period (including supervision of OE). The POI should specifically re‑assess the operator’s need for those check airmen whose records indicate low activity levels.

C.     Withdrawing Check Airman Approval. The POI’s reasons for withdrawing the approval of a check airman may include a lack of check airman activity, a request by the operator, or an unsatisfactory performance on the part of the check airman. To withdraw approval of a check airman, the POI must notify the operator by letter that approval is withdrawn. The letter should include the name of the check airman, the effective date of withdrawal, and the reason approval is being withdrawn. If the approval of a check airman is withdrawn because of unsatisfactory performance, the letter of withdrawal must be sent to the operator by certified mail—return receipt requested. A future additional PTRS activity code will be used to capture data associated with withdrawal or termination of a check airman’s approval.

Under current regulations, no normal term of expiration is specified for approvals of check airmen (unlike designated examiners, whose term is 12 months, per 14 CFR part 183). Contract check airmen who are employees of a part 142 training center will have their term contingent upon continued

employment with the training center and maintaining their instructor or evaluator qualification with the employing center.

D.    POI Authority. A check airman’s approval may be given, limited, withdrawn, or terminated at the discretion of the POI.

Figure 3‑85, Check Airman Letter of Approval—Sample A

February 24, 2006

Mr. Sam A. Frost

Chief Pilot

Transcon Express, Inc.

48 Perimeter Rd.

Utica, OH 22032

Dear Mr. Frost:

John R. Smith, FAA certificate number 467120928, is approved as a check airman. This check airman is approved to conduct checks in the Douglas DC‑9 aircraft for employees of Transcon Express, Inc. This approval is applicable for the following checking functions:

[ ]      Proficiency Check Airman—Aircraft                    Effective                      

[X]    Proficiency Check Airman—Simulator                 Effective       8/27/2009

[ ]      Line Check Airman—All Seats                            Effective                      

[X]    Line Check Airman—Observer’s Seat Only         Effective     02/20/2009

[ ]      Check Airman—All Checks                                Effective                      

[ ]      Check Flight Engineer                                          Effective                      

Please retain a copy of this letter in Mr. Smith’s individual flight training records.

Sincerely,

James J. Jones

Principal Operations Inspector

FSDO (XXXX)

 

Figure 3‑86, Check Airman Letter of Approval—Sample B

February 24, 2007

Mr. Sam A. Frost

Chief Pilot

Trans Regional Airlines, Inc.

48 Perimeter Rd.

Utica, OH 22032

Dear Mr. Frost:

John R. Brown, FAA certificate number 467219028, is approved as a check airman. Mr. Brown is approved to conduct checks in multiengine Cessna, reciprocating‑series airplanes and in all single‑engine airplanes to pilots that are employed by Trans Regional Airlines, Inc. This approval is applicable for the following checking functions:

[ ]      Proficiency Check Airman—Aircraft                    Effective                      

[ ]      Proficiency Check Airman—Simulator                 Effective                      

[ ]      Line Check Airman—All Seats                            Effective                      

[ ]      Line Check Airman—Observer’s Seat Only         Effective                      

[X]    Check Airman—All Checks                                Effective     02/24/2009

Please retain a copy of this letter in Mr. Brown’s individual flight training records.

Sincerely,

James J. Jones

Principal Operations Inspector

FSDO (XXXX)

 

Figure 3‑87, Check Airman Letter of Approval for Multiple Operators

February 24, 2007

Mr. Sam A. Frost

Chief Pilot

Trans Regional Airlines, Inc.

48 Perimeter Road

Utica, OH 22032

Dear Mr. Frost:

John R. Brown, FAA certificate number 467219028, is approved as a check airman. Mr. Brown is approved to conduct checks in multiengine Cessna, reciprocating series airplanes and all single engine airplanes to pilots that are employed by:

Trans Regional Airlines, Inc., Effective 02/24/2009, and Transylvania Charter Services, Effective 11/15/2009.

This approval is applicable for the following designated functions:

[X]    Proficiency Check Airman—Aircraft                    Effective MM/DD/YYYY

[ ]      Proficiency Check Airman—Simulator                 Effective                      

[X]    Line Check Airman—All Seats                            Effective MM/DD/YYYY

[ ]      Line Check Airman—Observer’s Seat Only         Effective                      

[X]    Check Airman—All Checks                                Effective MM/DD/YYYY

Please retain a copy of this letter in Mr. Brown’s individual flight training records.

Sincerely,

James J. Jones

Principal Operations Inspector

FSDO (XXXX)

Figure 3‑88, Check Airman Approval Job Aid

1.   Operator’s Letter Contains Necessary Information:

[ ]   Full name of candidate

[ ]   Business address of candidate

[ ]   Crew position and aircraft type

[ ]   Type of check airman designation requested

2.   Certificates (copies)

[ ]   Applicable airman

[ ]   Medical

[ ]   Any valid check airman Letters of Approval

3.   Training Records (copies)

[ ]   Initial, transition, or upgrade to requested aircraft and crew position

[ ]   Recurrent

[ ]   Check airman

4.   [ ]   Resume of experience included

5.   [ ]   FSIS verification satisfactory

6.   [ ]   Check airman evaluation scheduled

7.   [ ]   Report of evaluation received from PTRS

8.   [ ]   Open VIS file

 

Favorable Report:

 

9.   Prepare Letter of Approval

[ ]   Original letter to operator

[ ]   Copy to geographic unit supervisor

[ ]   Copy to operator file

[ ]   Copy to other POI (if check airman for another operator)  

10. [ ]   Update operator VIS file

11. [ ]   Complete PTRS

 

Unfavorable Report

 

12. [ ]   Prepare letter to operator indicating disapproval

13. [ ]   Update operator VIS file

14. [ ]   Complete PTRS

RESERVED. Paragraphs 3‑1434 through 3‑1448.

 

2/23/09                                                                                                                         8900.1 CHG 0

Volume 3  GENERAL TECHNICAL ADMINISTRATION

chapter 32  MANUALS, PROCEDURES, AND CHECKLISTS FOR 14 CFR PARTS 91 K, 121, 125, AND 135

Section 14  Review Operator’s Mechanical Interruption Summary Report for Parts 121 and 135

3-3430  PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODES.

A.     Maintenance. 3322.

B.     Avionics. 5322.

3-3431  OBJECTIVE. This section provides guidance for monitoring an operator’s fleet performance by tracking mechanical irregularities that occur during scheduled operations.

3-3432  GENERAL. Operators are required by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121, § 121.705 and part 135, § 135.417 to submit a monthly Mechanical Interruption Summary Report (MISR). This report enables the inspector to evaluate the effectiveness of the operator’s maintenance and manual procedures.

A.     Requirement for Reporting Mechanical Irregularities.

1)      Sections 121.563 and 135.65 require each certificate holder to provide an aircraft maintenance log for recording or deferring mechanical irregularities, as applicable, and the subsequent corrective actions performed. This log must be carried on board each aircraft.
2)      The operator’s manual should provide a method where the pilot in command (PIC) will inform the operator of mechanical irregularities or defects that appear before, during, and after a flight. The operator uses this information to let the maintenance personnel know of any suspected problems so that corrective action can be taken. This method of reporting is the basis for the required Mechanical Reliability Reports (MRR) and MISR.

B.     Role of the Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI). Following receipt of an operator’s MISR, the ASI must evaluate the information for problem areas and significant trends. If a problem area or trend is evident, the inspector must decide on a course of action to investigate and/or correct the problem as necessary.

C.     Obtaining Additional Information. The ASI may need to obtain more information than that available on the MISR. Possible sources of information include:

·        Contact with the operator,

·        Research of previous MISR and inspection reports, or

·        Investigation of the operator’s recent enforcement history for related violations.

D.    Analysis and Findings. Once the ASI has gathered the necessary data, he or she must analyze the findings to define the cause of the problem and determine a course of corrective action. Possible actions include:

·        Filing a Service Difficulty Report (SDR);

·        Inspecting aircraft, facilities, or products to ensure they meet minimum standards;

·        Investigating for possible regulatory noncompliance;

·        Recommending procedural changes to the operator’s manual(s); or

·        Filing an Enforcement Investigative Report (EIR).

3-3433  PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.

A.     Prerequisites:

·        Knowledge of the regulatory requirements of parts 121 and 135, as applicable.

·        Familiarity with the operator’s procedures manual.

·        Successful completion of Airworthiness Inspector Indoctrination course for general aviation and air carrier inspections, or previous equivalent.

B.     Coordination. This task may require coordination with other Airworthiness ASIs.

3-3434  REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.

A.     References (current edition). Order 8010.2, Flight Standards Service Difficulty Program.

B.     Forms. None.

C.     Job Aids. None.

3-3435  PROCEDURES.

A.     Analyze the Content of Report. Review the MISR.

1)      Coordinate with the appropriate specialty for analysis.
2)      Determine if any item on the MISR requires further action.

B.     Conduct Research. To determine the course of action and the severity of the problem, accomplish the following, as necessary:

1)      Contact the operator for additional information to help establish the following:

·        Were proper maintenance procedures followed?

·        Have appropriate corrective actions been taken?

2)      Review previous MISRs to detect trends or irregularities that may indicate problem areas in maintenance procedures, operational procedures, or the operator’s training.
3)      Review previous inspection reports, correspondence, and other documents in the office files to determine if problem areas that relate to MISRs have been identified.
4)      Examine operator’s recent enforcement history to determine if there are any related violation actions.

C.     Analyze Findings. Based on information obtained, determine an appropriate course of action.

D.    Debrief Operator. Discuss with the operator all significant items identified on the MISR. Discuss corrective actions and, if necessary, inform the operator that a letter will follow to confirm the items discussed.

3-3436  TASK OUTCOMES.

A.     Close the PTRS Record.

B.     Task Completion. Completion of the task may result in the following:

·        A formal letter to the operator confirming the results of the analysis,

·        A change in the operator’s maintenance or manual procedures, or

·        An EIR.

C.     Task Documentation. File the MISR in the operator’s district office file according to office procedures.

3-3437  FUTURE ACTIVITIES. Followup inspections to ensure compliance, as required.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-3438 through 3-3440.

 

01/06/09                                                                                                                       8900.1 CHG 0

Volume 3  General technical administration

chapter 49  EVALUATE AND AUTHORIZE A PART 121 OR 135 (10 OR MORE) APPLICANT/CERTIFICATE HOLDER TO USE “COORDINATING AGENCIES FOR SUPPLIER EVALUATION” (C.A.S.E.)

Section 1  Evaluating and Authorizing C.A.S.E.

3-4031  PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODES.

·        Maintenance: 3354, and

·        Avionics: 5354.

3-4032       OBJECTIVE. This section provides information and guidance for principal maintenance inspectors (PMI) and principal avionics inspectors (PAI) to evaluate and authorize a Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121 or 135 (10 or more) air carrier/applicant to use Coordinating Agencies for Supplier Evaluation (C.A.S.E.) in accordance with applicable Federal aviation regulations, FAA policy and the C.A.S.E. Air Carrier Section Policy and Procedures Manual (herein referred to in this chapter as C.A.S.E. Manual).

3-4033       DEFINITIONS. Definitions unique to C.A.S.E. are contained in the C.A.S.E. Manual, chapter 1‑2‑0.

3-4034       GENERAL. Sections 121.373(a) and 135.431(a) require each certificate holder to establish and maintain a system for the continuing analysis and surveillance of the performance and effectiveness of its inspection program and the program covering other maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations, and for the correction of any deficiency in those programs, regardless of whether those programs are carried out by the air carrier or by another person.

Note:       References to “C.A.S.E. audits” contained in this Chapter are those audits performed by C.A.S.E.‑certified auditors to the C.A.S.E. 1‑A Standard (reference paragraph 9‑I and listed in the C.A.S.E. Register). C.A.S.E. auditors are air carrier members certified by C.A.S.E. to perform these audits.

A.     FAA Authorization. The FAA may authorize an air carrier to use C.A.S.E. (audit) to satisfy the air carrier’s surveillance requirement of §§ 121.373(a) and 135.431(a), as applicable. The authorization is granted through the issuance of operations specifications (OpSpecs) D090. The C.A.S.E. audit is intended to look at the air carrier’s programs required by §§ 121.367 and 135.433. Examples of what the audit should include are contained in Advisory Circular (AC) 120‑79, Developing and Implementing a Continuing Analysis and Surveillance System. When evaluating and authorizing an air carrier to use C.A.S.E., the principle inspector (PI) shall understand and consider possible C.A.S.E. audit limitations. The regulations (§§ 121.367 and 135.433) allow each air carrier to develop its own programs. Program differences might be in the way each air carrier trains personnel; purchases and receives parts and materials; performs inspections, maintenance or alterations; calibrates tools; records maintenance; etc. With few exceptions, the C.A.S.E. 1‑A Standard only looks at 14 CFR part 145 compliance. The 1‑A Standard might not take into account individual/particular air carrier program elements/requirements. If the C.A.S.E. 1‑A Standard does not take into account the particular way the air carrier performs its program, the air carrier shall account for the differences, possibly, with its own audit.

B.     The Air Carrier’s Use of C.A.S.E. Additionally, the C.A.S.E. audit, by itself, might not satisfy all the additional requirements of §§ 121.373(a) and 135.431(a). Data produced and collected by the C.A.S.E. audit shall be analyzed to determine that the air carrier’s programs are working effectively as intended and that any deficiencies are corrected The air carrier’s use of C.A.S.E. shall not function as a stand alone program. Rather, it shall function as a coordinated part of the air carrier’s Continuing Analysis and Surveillance System.

C.     FAA Requirements for C.A.S.E. Activities. The FAA requires C.A.S.E. activities to be conducted in accordance with the most current revision of the C.A.S.E. Manual (reference 9B) and the certificate holder’s manual.

Note:       The C.A.S.E. Manual should not be confused with the air carrier’s manual. Both manuals should contain information and guidance on C.A.S.E. However, the C.A.S.E. Manual is produced by C.A.S.E. Incorporated for its members and is, in itself, nonregulatory. The C.A.S.E. Manual may not be contrary to the regulations and the certificate holder’s manual. The certificate holder’s manual is regulatory and is the governing document for the certificate holder when using C.A.S.E. The certificate holder’s manual may include or reference the C.A.S.E. Manual in whole, or in part.

D.    Certificate Holder Responsibilities. The certificate holder is primarily responsible for regulatory activities performed for it by C.A.S.E. This includes surveillance and the airworthiness of parts and materials processed through any C.A.S.E.‑approved vendor or contractor.

E.     “Active Sustaining” Membership. Should the air carrier section of C.A.S.E. Incorporated cease to exist or function or should the certificate holder cease to maintain an “active sustaining” membership (reference paragraph 3-4035(F)), the authorization OpSpecs D090 is cancelled.

F.      Changes to the C.A.S.E. Manual. Changes to the C.A.S.E. Manual are subject to acceptance by the Manager, Aircraft Maintenance Division, Flight Standards Service AFS‑300. C.A.S.E. has provided AFS‑300 with full access to the C.A.S.E. Register. AFS‑300 has assigned a C.A.S.E. Program Manager to act as FAA liaison to C.A.S.E.

3-4035       COORDINATING AGENCIES FOR SUPPLIER EVALUATION.

Note:      This chapter does not intend to include all the information about C.A.S.E. that is contained in the C.A.S.E. Manual. However, it is essential for the PMI and PAI to be knowledgeable of, and to keep current with, the information contained in the C.A.S.E. Manual in order to properly evaluate, authorize, and perform surveillance on an air carrier’s use of C.A.S.E. This can be accomplished through self study (i.e., reading the C.A.S.E. Manual or by observing C.A.S.E. training as referenced in section 2).

A.     History. C.A.S.E. Incorporated was organized in 1982 as a means of sharing non‑prejudicial vendor/supplier and parts distributor quality approved data and audit tasks among its membership. Currently, C.A.S.E. Incorporated is made up of two sections: the Air Carrier Section and the Aeronautical Repair Station Section. The Air Carrier Section of C.A.S.E. is a non‑profit group established by certificated air carriers for the benefit of member air carriers. This chapter will only discuss C.A.S.E. Air Carrier Section. Additional information about C.A.S.E. (e.g., its mission, history, organizational chart, bylaws) can be found at its public Web site at http://www.C.A.S.E.inc.org/.

B.     The C.A.S.E. Manual. C.A.S.E. Air Carrier Section has produced a manual that provides guidance to its members so that business may be conducted in an orderly manner.

1)      C.A.S.E. considers the contents of its manual binding on all C.A.S.E. Air Carrier Section members. The manual chapters are titled: Introduction and Policy Statement, Program Description and Administration, Membership Requirements and Obligations, Program Operation, Audit/Inspection Standards, and Forms.
2)      Each air carrier should issue, and keep current, a copy of the C.A.S.E. Manual to its PI. C.A.S.E. Manual revision status can be verified by checking the C.A.S.E. Web site as noted in this chapter. Contents of the C.A.S.E. Manual shall not conflict with 14 CFR or the certificate holder’s manual system.

C.     Deviations and Exemptions. The C.A.S.E. Manual includes a process for permitting deviations to, or exceptions from, the requirements stated in the C.A.S.E. Manual. The Audit and Compliance Committee should provide the deviation and/or exemption in accordance with the procedures in the C.A.S.E. Manual. C.A.S.E. deviations and exemptions are not applicable to regulatory requirements including ops specs requirements.

D.    Data Center. The C.A.S.E. data center is a data collection and dissemination center maintained by a company (AVINFO) in Fort Lauderdale, FL., through direction from C.A.S.E. incorporated. The data center maintains the C.A.S.E. Register and should keep on file all vendor/supplier and parts distributor information transmitted by C.A.S.E.‑sustaining members.

E.     C.A.S.E. Organization and Committees.

1)      A Chairman and Vice Chairman lead the C.A.S.E. Air Carrier Section organization. The remainder of the organization is made up of the following nine committees each with its own chair and vice chair:

·        Operations,

·        Data Base,

·        Training,

·        Standards & Procedures,

·        Membership & Promotions,

·        Audit & Compliance,

·        Fuel,

·        Newsletter, and

·        Air Carrier Section.

2)      The chair and vice chair positions are voted on by the section members.

F.      Membership. C.A.S.E. limits its membership in the Air Carrier Section to certificated air carriers operating in accordance with the aviation regulations of the certificating government. The C.A.S.E. Air Carrier Section recognizes two classes of membership: sustaining and associate. The FAA requires the air carrier to maintain an “active sustaining” membership (reference C.A.S.E. requirements for company representatives). Should the air carrier cease to maintain an active sustaining membership, OpSpecs D090 will be cancelled. Sustaining membership is limited by C.A.S.E. to air carriers that have at least one C.A.S.E. Level III Auditor or Level IV Evaluator qualified to the 1‑A Standard. If a sustaining member loses all level III/IV Auditors/Evaluators, that member should apply to the Audit and Compliance Committee chair within thirty days for an exemption to this requirement until it has a qualified replacement. The time limit for obtaining the replacement should be established by the Audit and Compliance Committee chair. Members are expected to attend meetings regularly and to actively participate in the work of the organization.

1)      C.A.S.E. requires that it’s Air Carrier Section sustaining members shall:

·        Agree to comply with all the requirements specified in the C.A.S.E. Manual and to share audit data with C.A.S.E. members in good standing;

·        Agree to complete allocated audits at required/scheduled time. If this is not possible, the scheduled member shall submit a “Schedule Change” transmittal to inform the membership;

·        Maintain documented vendor/supplier audit procedures in its manual system. Procedures should meet the minimum standards specified in Chapter 2‑2‑0 of the C.A.S.E. Manual;

·        Maintain a history file of vendor/supplier audits, findings, and corrective action (followup system) in accordance with the C.A.S.E. Manual;

·        Maintain a list of approved vendors/supplier for control and internal dissemination;

·        Maintain records of vendor/supplier quality problems and performance and of component reliability;

·        Maintain at least one C.A.S.E. Level III Auditor or Level IV Evaluator qualified to the 1‑A Standard;

·        Establish and maintain, with appropriate hardware and software as defined by the Data Base committee, connection to the C.A.S.E. computer system; and

·        If the air carrier elects to provide its PI with the C.A.S.E. Manual, that member is responsible for providing revision service for that manual.

2)      C.A.S.E. requirements for company representatives include the following: (additional duties and responsibilities are contained in C.A.S.E. Manual, chapter 2‑1‑0):

·        A member company’s representative to C.A.S.E. is expected to attend semi‑annual conferences. The representative is required to serve actively on at least one committee. Active participation is considered to be in the form of discussions, research, and time spent in support of committee functions. If the representative (or that person’s designee) is absent for two or more consecutive conferences, the company’s sustaining membership in C.A.S.E. may be terminated;

·        Member representatives should assure that the representative’s company has a vendor surveillance program, procedures, and an auditor/evaluator that remain in compliance with the requirements of the C.A.S.E. Manual;

·        Member representatives should periodically conduct self audits using CACS‑6 Air Carrier Evaluation Report, to verify continued compliance; and

·        Member representatives should assure onsite audits are performed on all vendors assigned by the audit allocation program.

G.    Audit Allocation Program. The C.A.S.E. allocation procedure is a system for assigning vendor audits to each sustaining member to perform during the coming calendar year. Members are required to complete the assigned audits to the C.A.S.E. Standard by the specified date as a condition of membership.

H.    Audits. C.A.S.E. audits are accomplished in the domestic United States as well as internationally and, in every event, to the C.A.S.E. Standard. C.A.S.E. requires that the auditor should be independent of the facility being audited.

I.       Standards. C.A.S.E. currently has three standards. However, the 1‑A Standard (Components/Repair/Overhaul Vendors) is the only standard associated with OpSpecs D090 and will be the only standard discussed in this chapter. The purpose of the C.A.S.E. Standard is to provide a benchmark to assure that all audits and reports are comparable in scope and depth. The 1‑A Standard reflects all of the applicable 14 CFR requirements. The standard may include requirements that are deemed necessary by experience, though not specified in the regulations. The member company conducting the audit should retain the audit report in its files until the audit is  superseded by another sustaining member’s audits of that facility to that standard. Each standard has a companion audit or evaluation form. The audit form for the 1‑A standard is CACS‑20. CACS‑20 is the checklist for the 1‑A Standard. The standard is intended to be a supplement to applicable aviation regulations. It is not meant to be a restatement or replacement for 14 CFR.

J.      Vendor Appeal Process. The C.A.S.E. program includes a process for vendors to appeal a deletion from the register by a C.A.S.E. auditor. The Audit and Compliance Committee chair should decide on the outcome of the appeal.

K.    C.A.S.E. Auditor Authorization Program. C.A.S.E. ensures consistency in auditor qualifications by maintaining a strict training and certification program. Additional information on the C.A.S.E. Authorization Program is contained in the C.A.S.E. Manual, sections 2‑3‑0 and 2‑3‑1.

L.     C.A.S.E. Audit of Sustaining Member’s Company. The Audit and Compliance Committee is responsible for auditing sustaining members at lease once every three years to verify compliance with current C.A.S.E. standards and procedures.

3-4036       PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.

A.     Prerequisites. Knowledge of C.A.S.E. Program/Manual.

Note:       ASIs directly involved in evaluating and surveillance of air carriers using C.A.S.E. might benefit from observing C.A.S.E. training, which is provided two times each year. ASIs in need of C.A.S.E. training should coordinate with the C.A.S.E. Program Manager in AFS‑300 through their supervisors. Funding will be provided at the local level at the office manager’s discretion.

B.     Coordination. The PMI should coordinate with the PAI on the air carrier’s C.A.S.E. process evaluation.

C.     Objective. To determine if the certificate holder’s C.A.S.E.‑related policies and procedures meet all applicable requirements of 14 CFR, FAA policies, and the C.A.S.E. Manual.

3-4037       REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.

A.     References (current editions):

·        14 CFR parts 121 and 135, as applicable,

·        FAA Order 8900.1 Volume 3, Chapter 1,

·        Current copy of C.A.S.E., air carrier section policy and procedures manual,

·        Copy of certificate holder’s manual that contain C.A.S.E. policy and procedures,

·        AC 120‑79, Developing and Implementing a Continuing Analysis and Surveillance System, Chapter 5, and

·        SAI 1.3.24.

B.     Forms. None.

C.     Job Aids/Data Collection Tools: Job Task Analysis (JTA): M3.3.194.

3-4038       PROCEDURES.

A.     Application. Existing air carriers should apply for C.A.S.E. authorization (OpSpecs D090) using applicable guidance contained in Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 1, The General Process for Approval and Acceptance. Air carrier applicants should use the certification process to request C.A.S.E. authorization. At the time of application, the certificate holder should present the following to the PI:

1)      Proof of C.A.S.E.‑sustaining memberships.
2)      Proof of employment of C.A.S.E.‑certified Level III Auditor or Level IV Evaluator.
3)      Proof of appropriate air carrier training provided to Level III Auditor or Level IV Evaluator.
4)      Proof of air carrier representative to C.A.S.E.
5)      Proof of C.A.S.E.‑required procedures in the air carrier’s manual.
6)      List of C.A.S.E.‑allocated audits assigned to the air carrier and their completion dates. New substantial members may not be initially assigned allocated audits.
7)      Proof of air carrier representative air carrier self audit using CACS‑6, Air Carrier Evaluation Report.
8)      List of any C.A.S.E. deviations or exemptions issued to the air carrier.
9)      Proof that the air carrier has been audited by the C.A.S.E. Membership Committee as a condition of membership approval.

B.     Review and Evaluation. The PI should initially review and evaluate the air carrier’s manual and verify that the air carrier has a process for:

1)      Validating that the C.A.S.E. audit, performed to the 1‑A Standard, accounts for all aspects of the air carrier’s inspection, maintenance, and alterations programs including future revisions to those programs.
2)      Ensuring compliance with the regulatory requirements of §§ 121.373(a) or 135.431(a), as applicable, for the analysis of C.A.S.E. audit results (data) and the determination of the effectiveness of the air carrier’s program including the correction of discrepancies.
3)      Ensuring that its manual contains the C.A.S.E. minimum requirements contained in the C.A.S.E. Manual, chapter 2‑2‑0, and that they are not contrary to the air carrier’s manual.
4)      Justifying a request for a C.A.S.E. deviation or exemption and informing the PI of any deviations or exemptions issued by C.A.S.E. to the air carrier.
5)      Immediately notifying the PI should the air carrier cease to maintain a sustaining membership to C.A.S.E. or loose the required auditor/evaluator.
6)      Ensuring that it maintains an active role in the C.A.S.E. organization as defined in the C.A.S.E. Manual.
7)      Tracking and completing C.A.S.E.‑allocated audits within the C.A.S.E. established time limits.
8)      Ensuring that the air carrier’s C.A.S.E. representative performs periodic self audits using the CACS‑6 Air Carrier Evaluation Report.
9)      Ensuring the use of the C.A.S.E. 1‑A Standard and checklist when performing C.A.S.E. audits.
10)        Notifying the FAA if a safety of flight finding is discovered during an audit.
11)        Ensuring its C.A.S.E. auditors/evaluators maintain recurrent C.A.S.E. training.
12)        Ensuring its C.A.S.E. auditors/evaluators are kept current on changes in the air carrier’s inspection, maintenance, and alteration programs.
13)        Maintaining records of C.A.S.E. audits as required by C.A.S.E.
14)        Ensuring its C.A.S.E. Manual is kept current and that the C.A.S.E. representative and C.A.S.E. auditors or evaluators are made aware of revisions to the manual.
15)        Keeping a current copy of the C.A.S.E. Manual if issued to the PMI.
16)        Identifying that the air carrier has primary responsibility for C.A.S.E. activities performed for it. This includes surveillance and the airworthiness of parts and material processed through any C.A.S.E.‑approved vendor or contractor approved for use by the certificate holder and for services rendered to the certificate holder.
17)        Maintaining the connection to the C.A.S.E. computer system with the appropriate hardware and software.
18)        Ensuring that the C.A.S.E. representative attends C.A.S.E. semi‑annual conferences.

3-4039       TASK OUTCOME. If the air carrier meets applicable regulatory requirements, FAA policies, and C.A.S.E. program requirements, the PI will issue OpSpec D090. If the air carrier does not meet these requirements, the PI should issue a letter denying the authorization, including the reasons for denial, and complete a PTRS report documenting activity associated with the approval or denial of the C.A.S.E. authorization.

3-4040       FUTURE ACTIVITIES. Normal surveillance.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 3‑4041 through 3‑4055.

 

2/23/09                                                                                                                        8900.1 CHG 0

Volume 6  Surveillance

chapter 2  part 121, 135, and 91 subpart K inspections

Section 34  Reserved

RESERVED. Paragraphs 6‑926 through 6‑950.

 

3/16/09                                                                                                                         8900.1 CHG 0

Volume 6  surveillance

chapter 2  PART 121, 135, AND 91 sUBPART K INSPECTIONS

Section 35    Inspect Section 135.411(A)(1) Operator’s Maintenance Records

6-951      PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODES.

A.     Maintenance: 3634, 3649.

B.     Avionics: 5634, 5649.

6-952      OBJECTIVE. This section provides guidance for inspecting an operators aircraft maintenance records under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 135, § 135.411(a)(1).

6-953      GENERAL. Aircraft maintenance records include any record documenting the performance of work on an aircraft. Principal inspectors (PI) must inspect an operators aircraft maintenance records to ensure that the records meet the requirements of 14 CFR.

6-954      SURVEILLANCE CRITERIA. During surveillance of an operators aircraft maintenance records, the PIs must determine that all of the work was based on instructions, procedures, or information that has been approved previously or accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Such data could be in the form of:

·        Manufacturer’s manuals,

·        Service Bulletins (SB),

·        Service Letters (SL),

·        Data included in the operator’s approved inspection and/or maintenance programs,

·        Approved engineering orders or authorizations,

·        Airworthiness Directives (AD), and

·        Other accepted documents.

6-955      INSPECTION OF OPERATOR’S RECORDKEEPING SYSTEM. Ensure that the operators recordkeeping system is adaptable to making timely corrections to address recordkeeping system discrepancies. Recordkeeping discrepancies could indicate:

·        Maintenance performance not in accordance with 14 CFR part 43,

·        Undocumented maintenance,

·        A deficient maintenance program, and

·        Systemic operator deficiencies.

6-956      IDENTIFYING PERSONNEL.

A.     Operators Operating Under Inspection Programs. Operators operating under a nine or less inspection program are not to use their air carrier certificate number for return to service. Therefore, the name and the certificate numbers of the person performing the work and the person approving the work must be provided.

B.     Operators Operating Under Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Programs (CAMP). In the case of an operator operating under a CAMP, a positive means of identification, such as an employee identification number, is required for any person performing or approving work.

6-957      RETAINING AIRWORTHINESS RELEASES.

A.     CAMP. Operators operating under a CAMP need only retain the record of each airworthiness release until the work is repeated or superseded by other work, or for 1 year after the work is performed.

B.     Inspection Program. Operators under an inspection program do not require airworthiness releases.

6-958      TOTAL TIME IN SERVICE RECORDS. Total time in service continues for the life of the aircraft. Engine rebuilding and certifying to zero time in service must not be confused with a zero time since overhaul (TSO) certification. Zero TSO certification does not affect the calculation of total time in service. When an engine is rebuilt to zero time, the total time in service is zero.

6-959      LIFE‑LIMITED PARTS. Operators must have the current status of life‑limited items. This record indicates the present accumulated time in service of each life‑limited item. The operator must be able to verify the accumulated time in service of all lifelimited items. This is done by providing records for the item showing each segment of its operation in service since its manufacture. This may be accomplished by one of the following:

·        A record audit trail providing a record of the time in service of the item, or

·        A time audit trail providing a record of continuous time in service.

6-960      RECORDS OF OVERHAUL. An operator must maintain overhaul records of any item required to be overhauled by the operators inspection or maintenance program. These records must be maintained until the work is superseded or repeated by work of equivalent scope and detail.

6-961      INSPECTION STATUS. Inspection status defines the work that has been and is scheduled to be performed in accordance with the inspection or maintenance program. The inspection status records must show the following:

·        The type of most recent inspection,

·        The time at which that inspection was performed,

·        The time since the most recent inspection (expressed in terms of hours, cycles, or calendar time), and

·        The scheduled time and type of the next inspection.

6-962      AD STATUS. The operator must maintain the current status of all applicable ADs for the operators equipment. Some acceptable sources of procedures for compliance with ADs are:

·        SBs,

·        SLs,

·        Specific instructions provided in the AD, and

·        Approved engineering orders or authorizations.

6-963      MAJOR ALTERATIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS. An operator is required to retain major alteration and repair records.

6-964      REPAIR STATION RECORDS OF WORK PERFORMED ON OPERATOR’S AIRCRAFT.

A.     Operator’s Program. Repair stations performing work for operators are required by regulations to accomplish the work in accordance with the operator’s program.

B.     Work Documentation. Repair stations are required to retain records of work for 2 years. Some operators have reported that maintenance records are not always available from repair stations beyond the 2‑year retention period. To avoid this situation, operators should be advised to require a copy of the work documentation from the repair station at the time that the work is performed. The operator is always responsible for obtaining and retaining these records required by the Administrator.

6-965      PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.

A.     Prerequisites.

·        Knowledge of the regulatory requirements of 14 CFR parts 91 and 135,

·        Successful completion of appropriate Airworthiness Indoctrination course(s), and

·        Familiarity with the type operation being inspected.

B.     Coordination.

1)      This task requires coordination between the PIs and may be required with AFS‑620, Aviation Data Systems Branch.
2)      If a geographic unit is performing this inspection, coordination with the certificate‑holding district office (CHDO) must be maintained.

6-966      REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.

A.     References. Title 14 CFR parts 39, 43, 65, 91, 135, and 145.

B.     Forms. None.

C.     Job Aids. JTA: 2.3.108.

6-967      PROCEDURES.

A.     Schedule Inspection. The inspection schedule is determined, as applicable, by the:

·        CHDO,

·        Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), and

·        Office with geographic responsibility.

B.     Review Office File.

C.     Inspect Maintenance Records. Ensure that the operator has retained the required maintenance/alteration/inspection records for each aircraft, including airframe, engine, propeller, rotor, and appliances.

1)      For operators operating under a CAMP, these records must include the following:
a)      A description of the work performed (data acceptable to the Administrator), including date of completion.
b)      If the person performing the work is not an employee of the operator, the following personnel data must be provided:

·        Name,

·        Certificate number, and

·        Kind of certificate held.

c)      The signature or other positive identification of the person approving the work.
2)      For operators operating under an inspection program, these records must include the following:
a)      A description of the work performed (data acceptable to the Administrator), including date of completion.
b)      For the person performing the work, the following personnel data must be provided:

·        Name,

·        Certificate number, and

·        Kind of certificate held.

c)      The signature and certificate number of the person approving the work.

D.    Ensure Operator Maintenance of Airworthiness Release Records.

1)      For operators operating under a CAMP, records of airworthiness releases must be maintained until the airworthiness release is repeated or superseded, or for at least 1 year.
2)      Operators operating under an inspection program are not required to have airworthiness releases, but are required to maintain their aircraft in accordance with parts 43 and 91.

E.     Inspect the Total Time in Service Records. Ensure that the operator maintains records for total time in service for the airframe, engine, propeller, and rotors.

F.      Inspect Life‑Limited Parts Records. Ensure that the operator maintains records for life‑limited parts for the following:

·        Airframe,

·        Engine,

·        Propeller,

·        Appliances, and

·        Rotor.

G.    Inspect Overhaul Record. Ensure that the operator has records, of all parts required to be overhauled, that include the time since last overhaul (hours, cycles, or calendar date).

H.    Inspect Inspection Status Records. Ensure that the operator has records, of the current inspection status, that include the following information:

·        Type, date, and time (hours, cycles, or calendar date) of inspection and next due date, and

·        Aircraft total time in service.

I.       Inspect AD Records. Ensure that the operator has records of AD compliance that include the following information:

·        The AD number, with its latest revision number and date,

·        The method of compliance, and

·        The next due date and time of a recurring AD.

1)      Include the surveillance of ADs in all work programs where an operator performs maintenance. Accomplish AD verification by the following methods:
a)      Accomplish actual surveillance of the AD. To ensure that the AD is properly complied with, a review of all paperwork such as Environmental Assessments (EA), Engineering Orders (EO), workcards, maintenance manual references, and SBs should be included.
b)      Ensure that the previously accomplished AD’s paperwork is in order and/or physically verify that the work was done.
2)      Ensure that the PTRS comment code relates to the Air Transport Association of America’s (ATA) aircraft codes of ADs being inspected. Include in the comments the numbers of the verified ADs and highlight any ADs found in noncompliance.

J.      Inspect Major Alterations and Major Repairs Records. Ensure that the operator maintains a current record of all major alterations and major repairs.

K.    Inspect Record System. Ensure that the operator’s records are being maintained in accordance with a recordkeeping system. Ensure that the operator’s recordkeeping system is adequate and can make timely corrections to systemic recordkeeping errors. In addition, review the operator’s recordkeeping practices for potential factors that may indicate improper recordkeeping practices, such as long periods between maintenance record entries and maintenance discrepancies not documented per the operator’s recordkeeping system.

L.     Analyze Findings. Evaluate all deficiencies to determine if corrective actions will be required.

M.  Debrief Operator. Discuss the results of the inspection. Advise the operator of deficiencies discovered during the inspection and discuss how to resolve them. Advise the operator of potential risk factors that may indicate an inadequate maintenance recordkeeping system and/or a deficient maintenance program. Advise the operator that any systemic operator deficiencies may warrant additional surveillance.

6-968      TASK OUTCOMES.

A.     PTRS. Complete the PTRS Record.

B.     Task Completion. Completion of this task can result in the following:

·        If inspection was performed by the office having geographic responsibility, a report of any deficiencies submitted to the CHDO.

·        A letter from the CHDO informing the operator of the results  of the inspection,

·        Advisement to the operator of the possibility for additional surveillance following any discrepancies, outlined in this chapter, and

·        An Enforcement Investigation Report (EIR), as applicable.

C.     Task Documentation. File all supporting paperwork in the operator’s/applicant’s office file.

6-969      FUTURE ACTIVITIES. Surveillance.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 6‑970 through 6‑985.

 

3/19/09                                                                                                                       8900.1 CHG 33

Volume 11  FLIGHT STANDARDS PROGRAMS

chapter 3  WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION PROGRAM (AIR CARRIER)

Section 1  Program Overview

11-92      PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES. The Whistleblower Protection Program (WBPP) protects covered employees of air carriers and their contractors or subcontractors from discrimination by their employer when they report air carrier related safety information to their employer or to the Federal Government. In order to maximize the free flow of air carrier related safety information to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the identities of covered employees are not divulged. This chapter provides a program overview, inspector responsibilities and procedures, and complaint processing direction and guidance for Flight Standards Service (AFS) personnel.

11-93      REGULATORY AUTHORITY.

·        The Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR21), Section 519 of Public Law 106–181, codified at Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.) §§ 42121 and 46301 (Figures 11‑16 and 11‑17).

·        The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Title 5 of the United States Code (5 U.S.C.) § 552, as amended.

·        The FAA/Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dated March 22, 2002.

11-94      BACKGROUND.

A.     History. Prior to enactment of AIR21, potentially covered employees who alleged air carrier related safety violations were not protected from discrimination by their employer. Many employees did not report safety concerns or alleged violations because they feared reprisal ranging from minor reprimands to termination. As a result, the FAA was deprived of valuable safety information. Now, AIR21 provides protection against employer discrimination for employees who provide air carrier related safety information. Title 49 U.S.C § 46301(a)(1)(A) provides for an FAA assessed civil penalty against an employer who violates the whistleblower protection provisions. Further, if the Secretary of Labor determines that an AIR21 complaint is frivolous or has been brought in bad faith, 49 U.S.C § 42121(b)(3)(C) allows the Secretary of Labor to award a reasonable attorney fee to the prevailing party not exceeding 1,000 dollars.

B.     Coordinating Offices. The WBPP is an agency-wide program that requires coordination with external agencies such as Department of Labor (DOL)/OSHA, Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Inspector General (OIG), and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). All WBPP complaints must allege a violation related to air carrier safety. Accordingly, investigation of these complaints is usually assigned to aviation safety organizations. The majority of these are assigned to AFS. For that reason, the Administrator established the WBPP National Office (designated as AFS-200W) on April 17, 2002. In 2006, it was transferred to the newly created Quality, Integration and Process Division (AQS‑100).

11-95      KEY TERMS. The following key terms and phrases are defined to ensure standard interpretation and understanding of the FAA WBPP policy.

A.     Air Carrier. AIR21, codified at 49 U.S.C. § 40102(a)(2), defines “air carrier” as “a citizen of the United States, undertaking by any means, directly or indirectly, to provide air transportation.”

NOTE: An employee may be protected under the WBPP even if the employer does not hold a current “air carrier” certificate meeting this definition. Employees alleging that their employer is operating as an “air carrier” without actually possessing an air carrier certificate, in violation of rules requiring an air carrier certificate and operations specifications (OpSpecs), may be protected if an investigation determines that the employer otherwise meets the definition. Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) prescribes rules for certificated air carriers. These rules also apply to air carriers conducting operations that require an air carrier certificate but for which one has not been secured (14 CFR part 119, § 119.5(l)).

B.     Air Transportation. Foreign air transportation, interstate air transportation, or the transportation of mail by aircraft.

C.     Foreign Air Carriers. Title 49 U.S.C. § 40102(a)(21) defines “foreign air carrier” as a “person, not a citizen of the United States, undertaking by any means, directly or indirectly, to provide foreign air transportation.” Because Congress specifically defines an air carrier as a “citizen of the United States,” the WBPP does not apply to non-U.S. air carriers, except to the extent that they may act as a contractor or subcontractor to a U.S. air carrier.

D.    International Operations. WBPP applies to employees of U.S. air carriers or their contractors or subcontractors engaged in international operations worldwide.

E.     Covered Employee/Protected Activity.

1)      A covered employee is an individual presently or formerly working for an air carrier or their contractor or subcontractor, an individual applying to work for an air carrier or their contractor or subcontractor, or an individual whose employment could be affected by an air carrier or their contractor or subcontractor.
2)      AIR21 protects covered employees from retaliation by their employer because the employee who “(1) provided, caused to be provided, or are about to provide (with any knowledge of the employer) or cause to be provided to the employer or Federal Government information relating to any violation or alleged violation of any order, regulation, or standard of the FAA or any other provision of Federal law relating to air carrier safety or any other law of the United States; (2) has filed, caused to be filed, or is about to file (with any knowledge of the employer) or cause to be filed a proceeding relating to any violation or alleged violation of any order, regulation, or standard of the FAA or any other provision of Federal law relating to air carrier safety under this subtitle [49 U.S.C. § 40101 et seq.] or any other law of the United States; (3) testified or is about to testify in such a proceeding; or (4) assisted or participated or is about to assist or participate in such a proceeding” (49 U.S.C. § 42121(a)). The employee must also reasonably believe that they are being or have been discriminated against because of their participation in the protected activity.

NOTE: Issues related solely to personal safety are not air carrier related safety issues and may not be the subject of an AIR21 complaint.

11-96      LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY AND AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES.

A.     DOL. AIR21 assigns responsibility to investigate allegations of discrimination to the Secretary of Labor as well as the authority to issue an order of relief.

1)      On July 18, 2000, the Secretary of Labor delegated authority and assigned responsibility for the enforcement of the WBPP provisions of AIR21 to the OSHA.
2)      The OSHA, not the FAA, is responsible for investigating AIR21 discrimination complaints. If a violation is found, the OSHA may order the violator to take affirmative action to abate the violation, to reinstate the complainant to their former position (with back pay), and to award compensatory damages (including attorney fees). The OSHA may also facilitate a settlement between the parties at any time throughout the process.
3)      The OSHA requires that AIR21 complaints be received within 90 days of the discrimination event. This OSHA requirement has no bearing on whether the FAA investigates the associated safety issues. Air carrier related safety complaints will be thoroughly investigated by the FAA.

B.     FAA. The FAA investigates the air carrier related safety aspect of complaints because it alone possesses the authority to enforce air safety regulations and issue sanctions to airmen and air carriers for noncompliance.

1)      AIR21 requires the Secretary of Labor to notify the Administrator, in writing, of air carrier related safety allegations upon receipt of the complaint. Notification includes information relating to any violation or alleged violation of any order, regulation, or standard of the FAA or any other provision of Federal law relating to air carrier safety or any other law of the United States, as well as the substance of the supporting evidence.
2)      The FAA enforcement action may include suspension or revocation of air carrier and airman certificates, or the imposition of civil penalties, or both (see FAA Order 2150.3, FAA Compliance and Enforcement Program, as amended).
3)      The OSHA provides the FAA with a copy of the Secretary of Labor’s final order. If the order finds a violation of 49 U.S.C. § 42121, the FAA may impose a civil penalty (49 U.S.C. § 46301) based on that finding. This penalty is separate from, and in addition to, any enforcement action that the FAA may take as well as any abatement action the OSHA may impose.
4)      The FAA also investigates air carrier safety aspects of complaints involving hazardous materials.

C.     TSA. The TSA is responsible for investigating complaints related to air carrier security and enforcing air carrier security regulations under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, Public Law 107–71, dated November 19, 2001. The FAA refers security related complaints to TSA in accordance with the 2003 FAA/TSA Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

11-97      PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS MEASURES. The WBPP periodically measures and evaluates program effectiveness by analyzing the results of complaints assigned for investigation. Results are analyzed to determine information such as the percentage of complaints that found a safety violation (FAA) or a finding of discrimination (OSHA), the number of complaints sorted by job category, the FAA service responsibility, and the FAA regional office jurisdiction. These measurements are analyzed on an annual, quarterly, or monthly basis to draw attention to safety trends and continually improve program effectiveness. The WBPP also receives customer satisfaction survey results from its public Web page.

11-98      FAA WBPP HOTLINE. A toll-free hotline number is available for covered employees to obtain information about the WBPP and how to file a complaint. The hotline number is 1‑800‑255‑1111. Regular hotline business hours are Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Eastern Time, except Federal holidays. After business hours, callers may leave a voice message.

11-99      FAA WBPP WEB PAGE. To find additional information about the WBPP, complainants can be referred to the FAA WBPP Web site at: http://www.faa.gov/safety/programs_initiatives/aircraft_aviation/whistleblower/.

NOTE: The FAA WBPP Web site contains an electronic whistleblower complaint notification sheet. Complainants may utilize this sheet in lieu of submitting a fax or paper copy by mail. Complainants may submit additional documentation to the investigator, if necessary.

11-100  RECORD RETENTION. All records associated with a whistleblower-related safety investigation must be kept for three years after the FAA investigation is closed.

Figure 11‑16, Title 49 of the United States Code Section 42121

TITLE 49. TRANSPORTATION

SUBTITLE VII. AVIATION PROGRAMS

PART A. AIR COMMERCE AND SAFETY

SUBPART II. ECONOMIC REGULATION

CHAPTER 421. LABOR–MANAGEMENT PROVISIONS

SUBCHAPTER III. WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION PROGRAM

49 U.S.C. § 42121 (2002)

§ 42121. PROTECTION OF EMPLOYEES PROVIDING AIR SAFETY INFORMATION

(a)  Discrimination against airline employees. No air carrier or contractor or subcontractor of an air carrier may discharge an employee or otherwise discriminate against an employee with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because the employee (or any person acting pursuant to a request of the employee)—

(1)  provided, caused to be provided, or is about to provide (with any knowledge of the employer) or cause to be provided to the employer or Federal Government information relating to any violation or alleged violation of any order, regulation, or standard of the Federal Aviation Administration or any other provision of Federal law relating to air carrier safety under this subtitle [49 U.S.C. §§ 40101 et seq.] or any other law of the United States;

(2)  has filed, caused to be filed, or is about to file (with any knowledge of the employer) or cause to be filed a proceeding relating to any violation or alleged violation of any order, regulation, or standard of the Federal Aviation Administration or any other provision of Federal law relating to air carrier safety under this subtitle [49 U.S.C. §§ 40101 et seq.] or any other law of the United States;

(3)  testified or is about to testify in such a proceeding; or

(4)  assisted or participated or is about to assist or participate in such a proceeding.

(b)  Department of Labor complaint procedure.

(1)  Filing and notification. A person who believes that he or she has been discharged or otherwise discriminated against by any person in violation of subsection (a) may, not later than 90 days after the date on which such violation occurs, file (or have any person file on his or her behalf) a complaint with the Secretary of Labor alleging such discharge or discrimination. Upon receipt of such a complaint, the Secretary of Labor shall notify, in writing, the person named in the complaint and the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration of the filing of the complaint, of the allegations contained in the complaint, of the substance of evidence supporting the complaint, and of the opportunities that will be afforded to such person under paragraph (2).

(2)  Investigation; preliminary order.

(A)  In general. Not later than 60 days after the date of receipt of a complaint filed under paragraph (1) and after affording the person named in the complaint an opportunity to submit to the Secretary of Labor a written response to the complaint and an opportunity to meet with a representative of the Secretary to present statements from witnesses, the Secretary of Labor shall conduct an investigation and determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that the complaint has merit and notify, in writing, the complainant and the person alleged to have committed a violation of subsection (a) of the Secretary’s findings. If the Secretary of Labor concludes that there is a reasonable cause to believe that a violation of subsection (a) has occurred, the Secretary shall accompany the Secretary’s findings with a preliminary order providing the relief prescribed by paragraph (3)(B). Not later than 30 days after the date of notification of findings under this paragraph, either the person alleged to have committed the violation or the complainant may file objections to the findings or preliminary order, or both, and request a hearing on the record. The filing of such objections shall not operate to stay any reinstatement remedy contained in the preliminary order. Such hearings shall be conducted expeditiously. If a hearing is not requested in such 30–day period, the preliminary order shall be deemed a final order that is not subject to judicial review.

(B)  Requirements.

(i)  Required showing by complainant. The Secretary of Labor shall dismiss a complaint filed under this subsection and shall not conduct an investigation otherwise required under subparagraph (A) unless the complainant makes a prima facie showing that any behavior described in paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (a) was a contributing factor in the unfavorable personnel action alleged in the complaint.

(ii)  Showing by employer. Notwithstanding a finding by the Secretary that the complainant has made the showing required under clause (i), no investigation otherwise required under subparagraph (A) shall be conducted if the employer demonstrates, by clear and convincing evidence, that the employer would have taken the same unfavorable personnel action in the absence of that behavior.

(iii)  Criteria for determination by Secretary. The Secretary may determine that a violation of subsection (a) has occurred only if the complainant demonstrates that any behavior described in paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (a) was a contributing factor in the unfavorable personnel action alleged in the complaint.

(iv)  Prohibition. Relief may not be ordered under subparagraph (A) if the employer demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that the employer would have taken the same unfavorable personnel action in the absence of that behavior.

(3)  Final order.

(A)  Deadline for issuance; settlement agreements. Not later than 120 days after the date of conclusion of a hearing under paragraph (2), the Secretary of Labor shall issue a final order providing the relief prescribed by this paragraph or denying the complaint. At any time before issuance of a final order, a proceeding under this subsection may be terminated on the basis of a settlement agreement entered into by the Secretary of Labor, the complainant, and the person alleged to have committed the violation.

(B)  Remedy. If, in response to a complaint filed under paragraph (1), the Secretary of Labor determines that a violation of subsection (a) has occurred, the Secretary of Labor shall order the person who committed such violation to:

(i)  take affirmative action to abate the violation;

(ii)  reinstate the complainant to his or her former position together with the compensation (including back pay) and restore the terms, conditions, and privileges associated with his or her employment; and

(iii)  provide compensatory damages to the complainant.

If such an order is issued under this paragraph, the Secretary of Labor, at the request of the complainant, shall assess against the person against whom the order is issued a sum equal to the aggregate amount of all costs and expenses (including attorneys’ and expert witness fees) reasonably incurred, as determined by the Secretary of Labor, by the complainant for, or in connection with, the bringing the complaint upon which the order was issued.

(C)  Frivolous complaints. If the Secretary of Labor finds that a complaint under paragraph (1) is frivolous or has been brought in bad faith, the Secretary of Labor may award to the prevailing employer a reasonable attorney’s fee not exceeding $1,000.

(4)  Review.

(A)  Appeal to Court of Appeals. Any person adversely affected or aggrieved by an order issued under paragraph (3) may obtain review of the order in the United States Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the violation, with respect to which the order was issued, allegedly occurred or the circuit in which the complainant resided on the date of such violation. The petition for review must be filed not later than 60 days after the date of the issuance of the final order of the Secretary of Labor. Review shall conform to Chapter 7 of title 5, United States Code [5 U.S.C. §§ 701 et seq.]. The commencement of proceedings under this subparagraph shall not, unless ordered by the court, operate as a stay of the order.

(B)  Limitation on collateral attack. An order of the Secretary of Labor with respect to which review could have been obtained under subparagraph (A) shall not be subject to judicial review in any criminal or other civil proceeding.

(5)  Enforcement of order by Secretary of Labor. Whenever any person has failed to comply with an order issued under paragraph (3), the Secretary of Labor may file a civil action in the United States district court for the district in which the violation was found to occur to enforce such order. In actions brought under this paragraph, the district courts shall have jurisdiction to grant all appropriate relief including, but not limited to, injunctive relief and compensatory damages.

(6)  Enforcement of order by parties.

(A)  Commencement of action. A person on whose behalf an order was issued under paragraph (3) may commence a civil action against the person to whom such order was issued to require compliance with such order. The appropriate United States district court shall have jurisdiction, without regard to the amount in controversy or the citizenship of the parties, to enforce such order.

(B)  Attorney fees. The court, in issuing any final order under this paragraph, may award costs of litigation (including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees) to any party whenever the court determines such award is appropriate.

(C)  Mandamus. Any nondiscretionary duty imposed by this section shall be enforceable in a mandamus proceeding brought under section 1361 of title 28, United States Code.

(D)  Non applicability to deliberate violations. Subsection (a) shall not apply with respect to an employee of an air carrier, contractor, or subcontractor who, acting without direction from such air carrier, contractor, or subcontractor (or such person’s agent), deliberately causes a violation of any requirement relating to air carrier safety under this subtitle [49 U.S.C. §§ 40101 et seq.] or any other law of the United States.

(E)  Contractor defined. In this section, the term “contractor” means a company that performs safety–sensitive functions by contract for an air carrier.

Figure 11‑17, Title 49 of the United States Code Section 46301, Paragraph (a)(1)(A)

TITLE 49. TRANSPORTATION

SUBTITLE VII. AVIATION PROGRAMS

PART A. AIR COMMERCE AND SAFETY

SUBPART IV. ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES

CHAPTER 463. PENALTIES

49 U.S.C. § 46301 (2002)

§ 46301 CIVIL PENALTIES

(a) General Penalty.

(1) A person is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $25,000 (or $1,100 if the person is an individual or small business concern) for violating--

(A) Chapter 401 (except sections 40103(a) and (d), 40105, 40116, and 40117), chapter 411, chapter 413 (except sections 41307 and 41310(b)-(f)), chapter 415 (except sections 41502, 41505, and 41507- 41509), chapter 417 (except sections 41703, 41704, 41710, 41713, and 41714), chapter 419, subchapter II or III of chapter 421, chapter 441 (except section 44109), section 44502(b) or (c), chapter 447 (except sections 44717 and 44719-44723), chapter 449 (except sections 44902, 44903(d), 44904, 44907(a)-(d)(1)(A) and (d)(1)(C)- (f), and 44908), section 47107(b) (including any assurance made under such section), or section 47133 of this title,...

RESERVED. Paragraphs 11‑101 through 11‑116.

 

3/19/09                                                                                                                       8900.1 CHG 33

Volume 11  FLIGHT STANDARDS PROGRAMS

chapter 3  WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION PROGRAM (AIR CARRIER)

Section 2  Responsibilities and Procedures

11-117  QUALITY, INTEGRATION and PROCESS DIVISION (AQS‑100). The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Whistleblower Protection Program (WBPP) Office is responsible for:

·    Developing national WBPP policy,

·    Serving as liaison on all matters concerning the WBPP,

·    Developing and implementing WBPP related Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with other agencies,

·    Developing and administering the FAA inter-agency procedures with the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA),

·    Providing guidance for the FAA investigations,

·    Managing the WBPP Hotline,

·    Providing WBPP information to Hotline callers,

·    Screening WBPP complaints,

·    Assigning a unique WBPP tracking number and opening a WBPP case file,

·    Tracking the status of all WBPP complaints,

·    Coordinating assignment of WBPP complaints,

·    Referring claims that are not covered by the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR21), Section 519 of Public Law 106–181,

·    Notifying the OSHA of WBPP complaints in accordance with the FAA/OSHA MOU (Figure 11‑18),

·    Preparing and sending assignment and notification letters,

·    Monitoring progress of investigations,

·    Reviewing and approving time extension requests for the FAA investigators, if appropriate,

·    Reviewing investigative reports,

·    Remanding investigative reports for modification or further investigation, if necessary,

·    Preparing and sending findings and notification letters,

·    Closing WBPP case files, and

·    Destroying WBPP case files 3 years after the case is closed.

11-118  DIRECTOR, FLIGHT STANDARDS SERVICE (AFS‑1). AFS‑1 is responsible for:

·    Assigning investigations to a region other than the certificate holding region,

·    Tracking progress of investigations,

·    Overseeing the investigation process,

·    Reviewing investigation memos from Regional Division Managers. Memos should include details of the investigation including dates, times, and names of persons interviewed; whether the allegations were substantiated; whether corrective or enforcement action is taken or planned, or why the allegations were not substantiated; and

·    Forwarding memos with attachments (investigation report and copy of administrative action) to AQS‑1 within 45 days of assignment.

11-119  Executive Officer, FLIGHT STANDARDS (AFS‑10). The headquarters (HQ) point of contact for AFS, AFS‑10, is responsible for:

·    Reviewing WBPP complaints assigned to AFS,

·    Determining appropriate office for assignment of the investigation,

·    Preparing transmittal memo,

·    Transmitting assignment package to investigating office,

·    Reviewing investigation reports, and

·    Forwarding completed reports to AFS‑1 or remanding reports for further investigation or clarification, if necessary.

11-120  Regional Division Manager. Each Regional Division Manager is responsible, within their region, for:

·    Assigning investigations to an appropriate office,

·    Tracking progress of investigations,

·    Overseeing the investigation process,

·    Reviewing and signing the Regional Division Manager’s memo to AFS‑1. Memo should include details of the investigation, including dates, times, and names of persons interviewed; whether the allegations were substantiated; whether corrective or enforcement action is taken or planned, or why the allegations were not substantiated, and

·    Forwarding the Regional Division Manager’s memo with attached investigation report and copy of administrative action to AFS‑1.

11-121  REGIONAL WHISTLEBLOWER COORDINATOR (RWBC). Each RWBC is responsible, within their region, for the following:

·    Serving as the focal point on all matters concerning WBPP complaints,

·    Providing WBPP assistance to the OSHA investigators and covered employees,

·    Receiving, assigning, tracking, coordinating, and reviewing assigned WBPP complaints,

·    Sharing information in accordance with the FAA/OSHA MOU (Figure 11‑18),

·    Providing technical information and guidance to the FAA field personnel to ensure that investigators understand their WBPP investigation responsibilities,

·    Responding to public inquires about the WBPP,

·    Reviewing investigative reports to ensure that each safety allegation has been adequately investigated and responded to, including appropriate corrective action and

·    Preparing a memorandum from the Regional Division Manager to AFS‑1, ATTN: AFS‑10, when the investigative report is deemed acceptable.

11-122  INSPECTOR/INVESTIGATOR DUTIES.

·        Immediately notifying RWBC when a complaint is received directly. The RWBC will forward the complaint to AFS‑10 who will contact AQS‑100 to determine whether it falls within WBPP guidelines. If so, AQS‑100 will assign a unique tracking number and forward it to AFS‑1. The assigned Region will determine the investigating office;

·        Informing potentially covered employees, when contacted directly about employer discrimination or anti-discrimination programs, that the WBPP may be available;

·        Explaining, when a complaint is received directly, that OSHA must receive a written complaint within 90 days;

·        Investigating the air carrier related safety component of WBPP complaints in accordance with national WPBB policy and Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C) § 42121;

·        Keeping employee identities (and any information relating to the whistleblower aspect of the complaint) confidential;

·        Sharing information with OSHA investigators in accordance with national policy;

·        Reporting preliminary results through your office manager and regional office to AFS‑1, Attn: AFS‑10; and

·        Completing tracking in Program Tracking and Reporting System (PTRS), if applicable.

11-123  INVESTIGATION PROCEDURES.

A.     Receiving a Complaint. A potentially covered employee may submit a formal complaint through the FAA HQ or he/she may contact the FAA personnel directly with whistleblower information regarding an alleged violation relating to air carrier safety. AFS personnel receiving a complaint directly should immediately tell the complainant about the WBPP. Clearly advise him/her to contact the OSHA as soon as possible if he/she intends to pursue a personal remedy for discrimination. Promptly contact your RWBC and forward the written complaint to him/her.

B.     Initiating an Investigation. The FAA may receive complaints that are referred from the DOL, received from any other Federal source, or reported directly to FAA personnel. AFS personnel receiving a potential whistleblower complaint directly should immediately notify their RWBC. The RWBC will forward the complaint to AFS‑10 who will contact AQS‑100 to determine whether it falls within the WBPP guidelines. However received, AQS‑100 will assign a unique tracking number and forward appropriate complaints to AFS‑1 for assignment. AFS‑1 through AFS‑10, will assign the investigation to the appropriate region. The assigned region will determine the investigating office.

NOTE: WBPP tracking numbers are composed of “WB,” the last two numbers of the fiscal year (FY), and the individual sequence number of complaints received in that FY. There are no spaces between characters. (Example: WB0301 = whistleblower, FY03, first complaint received.)

C.     Conducting an Investigation. Use the following general steps to conduct a WBPP investigation:

1)      Contact complainant by the most expeditious means possible (phone, e‑mail, etc.). Document details of the interview.
2)      Confirm information provided in the complaint. Determine if there is additional supporting evidence. If so, document and safeguard it.
3)      Determine if there are corroborating witnesses. Interview them and document the details.
4)      Determine if other employees are experiencing the same or similar problems. Interview them, if necessary and appropriate.
5)      Interview pertinent company personnel and other persons that may have relevant information. Review pertinent company manuals and records.

NOTE: Do not divulge complainant’s identity. It is imperative to keep complainant’s identity confidential. Investigators should not reveal that they are investigating a whistleblower complaint. Investigators are only authorized to investigate safety issues and should not divulge the source of the complaint.

6)      Collect and document evidence; make copies of all relevant documentation; and keep accurate records of names, dates, times, etc.
7)      Take appropriate enforcement or corrective action, if necessary, or close the matter out with no action.

D.    Preparing the Report.

1)      Address only actual or alleged safety violations of the FAA orders, standards, regulations, or other Federal law relating to air carrier safety. Do not address discrimination allegations. Assignment memos will normally specify the initial safety issues to be investigated. When contacting the complainant, other related issues may arise that also need to be investigated.
2)      Report on allegations specified in the assignment memo as well as any related issues that develop during the investigation. Include the WBPP tracking number on all reports. For each allegation:
a)      Summarize the investigation process (e.g., persons interviewed, records/‌manuals reviewed).
b)      Provide a complete explanation of results.
c)      Specify enforcement action taken or contemplated. Alternatively, explain why no enforcement action was taken or contemplated.
3)      Prepare a memo from the manager of the investigating office to the Regional Division Manager summarizing the preliminary results. Specify details including dates, times, and names of persons interviewed and whether the investigation findings substantiated the alleged violations. Include a statement that indicates what legal or administrative enforcement action is planned. If an Enforcement Investigative Report (EIR) is processed, summarize the violations and recommended sanctions. If administrative action is taken or contemplated, attach a copy of the administrative action letter. For legal enforcement action, cite the reference number. If no action is taken, explain why not.
4)      Complete PTRS entries, if applicable. For all WBPP associated activities, operations and cabin safety inspectors enter PTRS Activity Code “1737,” maintenance inspectors enter PTRS Activity Code “3740,” and avionics inspectors enter PTRS Activity Code “5740.” Enter the WBPP tracking number (e.g., WBXXXX) in the National Use Field. Enter “WHISTLE” in the Misc. Data field. When the complaint is closed, enter the results of the investigation in the comments section. Enter the WBPP tracking number in the National Use Field on all associated PTRS actions (e.g., EIR).

E.     Regional Office Review. The Regional Division Manager and RWBC review preliminary results for completeness of the investigation and sufficiency of the action taken.

1)      When the Regional Division Manager concurs, the RWBC will send the report, report summary, and concurrence to AFS‑1, ATTN: AFS‑10.
2)      If the Regional Division Manager does not concur, the RWBC returns the report to the investigating office for further investigation or clarification.

NOTE: The RWBC will notify AQS‑100 when each enforcement action is closed in order to facilitate the processing of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

11-124  SPECIAL ENFORCEMENT CONSIDERATION. The FAA Order 2150.3, FAA Compliance and Enforcement Program (as amended), chapter 4, paragraph 12, contains the FAA policy and procedures for providing immunity from enforcement action to persons who provide information about violations. Information regarding regulatory violations is occasionally offered to the FAA with a request for “immunity from prosecution” in exchange for potentially incriminating information. The phrase “immunity from prosecution” ordinarily applies only to criminal matters. In whistleblower matters, the individual is usually seeking mitigation of the FAA civil enforcement action for admitted violations. The term “Special Enforcement Consideration” is used in lieu of “immunity from the FAA civil enforcement action” and applies to any mitigation of sanctions as well as a potential determination that no enforcement action is warranted. Where the employee may have committed a violation under duress, it is possible that the FAA may not have received the safety information had the complainant not reported it through the WBPP. This factor must be given major consideration in any recommended sanction.

11-125  CIVIL PENALTY. The FAA is specifically authorized by 49 U.S.C. § 46301 to impose an additional civil penalty for a violation of 49 U.S.C. § 42121 based on the DOL Final Order of Relief (i.e., when all appeals have been exhausted). This penalty is distinct from, and in addition to, any enforcement action that the FAA may impose as well as any abatement action that DOL may order.

11-126  CONFIDENTIALITY AND THE PRIVACY ACT. Whistleblower complaints contain confidential information intended only for the use of agency personnel on a “need‑to‑know” basis. Unauthorized disclosure of confidential information may constitute a violation of the Privacy Act (Title 5 of the United States Code (5 U.S.C.) § 552a) or agency rules of conduct and may be protected from disclosure under the FOIA. Questions concerning disclosure of information contained in whistleblower complaints should be directed to the responsible Regional Counsel. Regional Counsel may wish to contact Office of the Chief Counsel, Enforcement Division (AGC‑300) for legal enforcement national policy questions.

A.     Confidential Information. The FAA/OSHA MOU (Figure 11‑18) requires protection of information deemed confidential by either agency. Names and identifying information about complainants must be kept confidential unless disclosure is required for enforcement purposes.

B.     Disciplinary Action. Prior instances when the FAA employees failed to protect confidential information (including the identity of informants) have been referred to the FAA Office of Investigation or to the Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for investigation and appropriate disciplinary action.

11-127  FOIA REQUESTS.

A.     Complaint Investigations. All FOIA requests concerning whistleblower complaint investigations must be sent to the FAA Headquarters, FOIA Office (ARC‑40), FOIA Staff, FAA, 800 Independence Ave. S.W., Washington, D.C. 20591.

B.     OPR. The Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR) for the FAA external WBPP (air carrier employees, air carrier contractor employees, and air carrier subcontractor employees) is AQS‑100.

C.     Request Steps. AQS‑100 will:

1)      Gather responsive records,
2)      Determine whether the records are releasable, and
3)      Prepare responses for AQS‑1 signature.

D.    Processing Division. AQS‑100 processes all WBPP EIRs if administrative enforcement action (warning notice or letter of correction) was taken.

E.     Legal Enforcement Actions. A whistleblower complaint that involves EIR records recommending legal enforcement action (certificate action or civil penalties) are handled as follows:

1)      If the FOIA request is received at HQ, the request is assigned to AQS‑100 to determine if EIR records exist. If so, AQS‑100 notifies ARC‑40 within 24 hours to do a multiple assignment to the appropriate region for action. Action by the regional legal office will address only EIR legal records.
2)      If the FOIA request is received at a Regional Office, the RWBC consults the associated legal office. If complaint-related EIR legal enforcement records exist, the request should be multiple assigned to the associated legal office and to HQ (for assignment to AQS‑100). Assignments to associated legal offices should specify that only actions regarding legal enforcement EIR records be addressed. AQS‑100 will address all other records relating to the complaint. If there are no complaint-related EIR legal enforcement records, or if the EIR resulted in administrative enforcement action, the request should be reassigned only to HQ for assignment to AQS‑100.

F.      Forwarding Records. If your office possesses records of the subject whistleblower investigation, photocopy all records and forward them to your RWBC who will add copies of any records the regional office may have and forward the entire package to AQS‑100.

11-128  SHARING OF INFORMATION WITH OSHA. Upon request, an agent of the OSHA may review the investigative file and request copies of any supporting documents. The documents must be requested in writing (an electronic message is adequate) and should include a statement that the documents will not be disseminated outside the OSHA without the FAA authorization.

Figure 11‑18, Federal Aviation Administration Occupational and Safety Health Administration Memorandum of Understanding

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

between

THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

and

THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to facilitate coordination and cooperation concerning the protection of employees who provide air safety information under the provisions of Section 519 of the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century, 49 U.S.C. § 42121.

II. BACKGROUND

The Aviation Whistleblower Protection Program, 49 U.S.C. § 42121, prohibits air carriers, air carrier contractors, and air carrier subcontractors from discharging an employee or otherwise discriminating against an employee with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because the employee (or any person acting pursuant to a request of the employee)--(1) provided, caused to be provided, or is about to provide (with any knowledge of the employer) or cause to be provided to the employer or Federal Government information relating to any violation or alleged violation of any order, regulation, or standard of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or any other provision of Federal law relating to air carrier safety under this subtitle or any other law of the United States; (2) has filed, caused to be filed, or is about to file (with any knowledge of the employer) or cause to be filed a proceeding relating to any violation or alleged violation of any order, regulation, or standard of the FAA or any other provision of Federal law relating to air carrier safety under this subtitle or any other law of the United States; (3) testified or is about to testify in such a proceeding; or (4) assisted or participated or is about to assist or participate in such a proceeding.

The FAA and the Secretary of Labor, through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), both have responsibilities related to 49 U.S.C. § 42121. The FAA has responsibility to investigate complaints related to air carrier safety and has authority under the FAA’s statute to enforce air safety regulations and issue sanctions to airmen and air carriers for noncompliance with these regulations. The FAA enforcement action may include air carrier and/or airman certificate suspension and/or revocation and/or the imposition of civil penalties. Additionally, the FAA may issue civil penalties for violations of 49 U.S.C. § 42121. The OSHA has the responsibility to investigate employee complaints of discrimination and may order a violator to take affirmative action to abate the violation, reinstate the complainant to his or her former position with back pay, and award compensatory damages, including attorney fees.

Although the FAA and the OSHA will carry out their statutory responsibilities independently, the agencies agree that administrative efficiency and sound enforcement policies will be maximized by cooperation and the timely exchange of information in areas of mutual interest.

III. PROCESS FOR COORDINATION

This MOU sets forth a process that the FAA and the OSHA agree to follow.

The FAA and the OSHA will establish a procedure for coordinating and supporting enforcement of 49 U.S.C. § 42121. The OSHA agrees to promptly notify the FAA national headquarters Whistleblower Protection Program point of contact of any discrimination complaints filed with the Department of Labor (DOL) under 49 U.S.C. § 42121. The OSHA will promptly provide the FAA with a copy of the complaint, findings and preliminary orders, investigation reports, and orders associated with any hearing or administrative appeal related to the complaint. The OSHA will also keep the FAA currently informed of the status of any administrative or judicial proceeding seeking review of an order of DOL issued under 49 U.S.C. § 42121.

When an individual directly notifies the FAA of alleged discrimination that involves air carrier safety, the FAA will investigate the safety complaint and will provide the OSHA with a copy of the individual’s allegations. The FAA will inform the individual that a personal remedy for discrimination is available only through DOL and that the individual should personally contact DOL. The FAA will provide the individual with the local address and telephone number of the nearest OSHA office and advise the individual that the law requires that complaints be filed with the OSHA within ninety (90) days of the alleged discrimination.

The FAA and the OSHA agree to cooperate with each other to the fullest extent possible in every case of alleged discrimination involving an employee of air carrier or air carrier contractor or subcontractor of an air carrier. Each agency agrees to share all information it obtains relating to each complaint of discrimination and will adopt mutually agreeable procedures for the protection of information that either agency deems confidential.

Each agency shall designate and maintain points of contact within its national headquarters and regional offices for purposes of implementation of this MOU and continued program oversight. A national headquarters Aviation Whistleblower Protection Program point of contact will be established and identified by each agency within ten (10) days after the effective date of this agreement. Regional office points of contact for each agency will be identified within six (6) months after the effective date of this agreement. Matters affecting program procedures and policy issues will be handled by the respective national headquarters office of each agency.

IV. IMPLEMENTATION

The FAA official responsible for implementation of this Agreement is the FAA Administrator; the DOL official responsible for implementation of this Agreement is the OSHA Assistant Secretary.

V. AMENDMENT AND TERMINATION

This Agreement may be amended or modified upon written agreement by both parties to the Agreement. The Agreement may be terminated upon ninety (90) days written notice by either party.

VI. LEGAL EFFECT

Nothing in this MOU is intended to diminish or otherwise affect the authority of either agency to implement its respective statutory functions, including the OSHA authority under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, 29 U.S.C. 651 et seq., nor is it intended to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any other person. This MOU is effective upon signature by both parties.

/S/                                                                           /S/

Jane F. Garvey                                                       John L. Henshaw

Administrator                                                          Assistant Secretary

Federal Aviation Administration                              Occupational Safety and Health Administration U.S. Department of Transportation                                                        U.S. Department of Labor

Date: __03-11-02___                                            Date: __03-22-02____

RESERVED. Paragraphs 11‑129 through 11‑142.

 

3/18/09                                                                                                                       8900.1 CHG 28

Volume 11  FLIGHT STANDARDS PROGRAMS

chapter 9  Air tour management plans

Section 3  Air Tour Management Plans and Interim Operating Authority For New Entrant or Existing Commercial Air Tour Operators Over National Park Units

11-438 GENERAL. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator, in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS) Director, may grant interim operating authority (IOA) to an air tour operator for a national park or tribal lands for which that operator is a new entrant air tour operator if all of the following conditions are met:

·        The FAA Air Transportation Division, AFS‑200, determines the authority is necessary to ensure competition in the provision of commercial air tour operations over the park or abutting tribal lands;

·        The FAA Administrator (delegated to the National Air Tour Safety Office (NATSO)) determines a safety problem would not be created at the park or abutting tribal lands;

·        The NPS Director (or other delegated authority) has determined it would not create a noise problem at the park or abutting tribal lands; and

·        An air tour management plan (ATMP) has not been developed for the park or abutting tribal lands prior to April 5, 2002.

The certificate‑holding district office (CHDO) must notify the NATSO (located in the Western Pacific Region’s (AWP) Flight Standards division, AWP‑230) when an operator submits an application for a new or revised IOA allocation, or requests to begin a new air tour operation over a national park, national park unit, or tribal land abutting the same. Such application must be coordinated through the NATSO, to AFS‑200, and concurred by the NPS Natural Sounds Program Office. The operator may not initiate the proposed air tour operations until the NATSO, AFS‑200, and the NPS all concur on the proposed operation, the CHDO and operator receive such concurrence, and the CHDO issues the operator a new or revised operation specification (OpSpec) B057, National Parks Air Tour Management Operations Under Title 14 CFR Part 136, or applicable letter of authorization (LOA).

11-439 DEFINITION OF COMMERCIAL AIR TOUR. As defined by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 136, § 136.1, a commercial air tour is a flight conducted for compensation or hire in an airplane or helicopter where a purpose of the flight is sightseeing. The FAA may consider the following factors in determining whether a flight is a commercial air tour:

·        Whether there was a holding out to the public of willingness to conduct a sightseeing flight for compensation or hire;

·        Whether the person offering the flight provided a narrative that referred to areas or points of interest on the surface below the route of the flight;

·        The area of operation;

·        How often the person offering the flight conducts such flights;

·        The route of the flight;

·        The inclusion of sightseeing flights as part of any travel arrangement package;

·        Whether the flight in question would have been canceled based on poor visibility of the surface below the route of the flight; and

·        Any other factors that the FAA considers appropriate.

11-440 Application for New Entrant Air Tour Operations (Requesting National Park/Unit OverFlight) or Request for Revised IOA. Only commercial air tours, as defined in the above paragraph, requesting to conduct tours over national parks/park units need to request IOA. Exception: Notwithstanding the previous paragraph, commercial air tour operators may conduct commercial air tours over a national park under 14 CFR part 91 if:

·        Such activity is permitted under 14 CFR part 119;

·        The operator secures a LOA from the Administrator, and written concurrence from the superintendent for that park, describing the conditions under which the operations will be conducted; and

·        The number of operations under this exception is limited to not more that a total of five flights by all operators in any 30‑day period over a particular park.

A.     Application Contents. Operators making applications are required to submit the following information, in the order listed, as part of their application package:

1)      Name, mailing address, and phone numbers of the company;
2)      Address of principal base where operations will be conducted;
3)      The operator’s certificate number (if the applicant is a certificated 14 CFR part 135 single pilot, basic, full, or commuter operator status; or 14 CFR part 121 operator);
4)      A letter of concurrence from the superintendent for each national park unit requested. This step is highly recommended, but not required, for initial application submission since the final approval will be issued by FAA only after concurrence from the NPS Director or authorized delegate. If the letter is not included in the application, the Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) will contact the local park superintendent, review the proposed operation, and document any feedback before forwarding the application to the NATSO;
5)      The national park unit(s) and/or abutting tribal land(s) over which tours are requested and the number of flights per park requested;
6)      Type and number of aircraft to be used for the commercial air tour operations;
7)      Type of engines and whether the aircraft are quiet technology aircraft;
8)      The proposed startup date;
9)      Management personnel names, titles, and telephone numbers;
10)  Maps/charts of proposed or actual routes (general area to be flown over the park) and altitudes;
11)  Frequency (number of daily, weekly, monthly, and annual flights) and proposed time of flights, if known, and if it will be seasonal, the months of operation;
12)  The safety history of the operator;
13)  An original and two copies of the IOA application that includes the total number of requested IOAs;
14)  Impact of any potential restrictions on an operator’s commercial air tour operations;
15)  A statement describing how the proposed air tour operations would aid or promote competition;
16)  The advantages of the operator’s air tours for its customers and the national parks and/or tribal lands they visit;
17)  The number of air tour visitors the operator intends to serve on an annual or seasonal basis;
18)  Written statement from the air tour operators regarding their efforts to mitigate adverse impacts on, or promote protection of, national park resources (natural, cultural, and historical resources of the park such as wildlife, historic structures and settings) and visitor experience;
19)  Written statement from the air tour operator regarding communication the air tour operator has had with park staff in an effort to learn about noise sensitive and other ecologically sensitive areas in the park; and
20)  Any data or additional information that might provide the FAA or the NPS with a better understanding of the proposed operation.

B.     Application Filing Locations. Operators will be directed to file their applications as follows:

1)      Certificated part 121 or 135 operators file with their respective CHDOs.
2)      Part 91 operators file with the Geographic Flight Standards District Office (GEO FSDO) whose district boundaries contain the specific unit or units of the NPS.

C.     Initial Review of Application. Upon receiving the application, the FAA will make an initial review for completeness. If the application is incomplete, the FAA will reject the entire application and return it to the applicant with a letter stating the reasons for the rejection and encouraging the applicant to reapply. The CHDO or FSDO should retain a copy for future reference if the operator reapplies.

D.    Application Processing.

1)     The CHDO or FSDO will retain the original application and forward both copies, along with the CHDO or FSDO recommendation, to the NATSO located within AWP‑200. The NATSO will review the application and proposed operation, then conduct a safety analysis if deemed necessary, before forwarding the application package, along with its recommendations to AFS‑200. If the NATSO denies the application package for a safety reason, a copy of the denial will be submitted to the operator, the CHDO, and AFS‑200.
2)      Once the NATSO has determined that there is not a safety problem, the NATSO will forward the application to AFS‑200 to review. After completing its review, AFS‑200 will forward the application to the NPS for review. For new entrants, the NPS will determine if the operations will cause a noise problem. For increase or modification of the IOA, the NPS will determine if the operations promote protection of park resources. Once the necessary determination has been made, the NPS will submit its determination in writing to AFS‑200. If approved, AFS‑200 will then publish a notice in the Federal Register (FR) of the agencies’ intent to approve the request. When comments from the public have been mitigated to the mutual approval of both the FAA and the NPS, AFS‑200 will send notice to the operator, the CHDO, the NATSO, and the NPS that the request has been approved. If denied, AFS‑200 will advise the NATSO, the CHDO and the FSDO. The FSDO will advise the operator of the denial and the reasons for the denial.
3)      If the proposed operation is approved, the CHDO or FSDO will issue the initial or revised OpSpec B057 or LOA to the operator. The operator may not conduct operations until the LOA or OpSpec B057 has been issued.

See Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 4, Part B Operations Specifications—En Route Authorizations and Limitations, for guidance on the issuance of OpSpec B057.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 11‑441 through 11‑454.
 

1/6/09                                                                                                                         8900.1 CHG 43

Volume 12  International Aviation

chapter 12  Part 129 Special Emphasis LIST (SEL)

Section 1  Special Emphasis List

12-664   BACKGROUND. The “Special Emphasis List” (SEL) was one of the actions initiated as a result of Chairman Robert Borski Subcommittee investigations on Loophole Airlines on June 4, 1991. In part, the subcommittee believed that foreign airlines are controlled and operated by American corporation, but are being flown under foreign flags to avoid U.S. regulation and surveillance. The report also states that “when a foreign aircraft enters U.S. airspace, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does very little, if anything at all to ensure that the operation is safe”. It has been the FAA policy to leave this responsibility solely to the government of the foreign airline. The SEL is a tool used to provided heighten surveillance of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 129 air carriers that operates to/from the United States, when needed. It is not used as a rating system for airlines nor a black list. It is an internal document for FAA use only. It is a tool for FAA to direct surveillance activities.

12-665  INTRODUCTION. The SEL for part 129 is for countries with air carriers that fly to the United States. These carriers must adhere to the safety standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance. The FAA, with the cooperation of the host Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), assesses countries with airlines that have operating rights to or from the United states or have requested such rights. Specifically, the FAA determines whether a foreign aviation authority has an adequate infrastructure for international aviation safety, oversight as defined by ICAO standards. Upon request from International Field Offices (IFO), International Field Unit (IFU), part 129 foreign air carriers will be added to the SEL for heightened oversight surveillance and removed from the list as requested.

Note:       International Programs and Policy Divisions (AFS-50) projects future revisions to this process that will provide enhance data collection and analysis tools. AFS-50 projects future revision to this process that will enhance data collection and analysis tools. Also, we anticipate revising the name SEL to Heightened Surveillance List (HSL).

Note:       There has been ambiguity regarding the term “SEL” as it has been traditionally used in the National Program Guidelines (NPG) order versus the SEL program as it related to 129 surveillance. (Prior to implementation of Air Transportation Oversight System (ATOS) it was also used for 121 operators.) The SEL in the NPG order reflected/listed special emphasis items that the FAA deemed areas of concentration for that specific year and these special emphasis items could, and often would, change yearly with the NPG revision. However the SEL as it related to 129 operator oversight is a continuous obligation that the FAA, as an ICAO member state must comply with as part of its oversight responsibility, is an ongoing responsibility based in part on Congressional commitment regarding the FAA’s safety oversight of foreign operators; and is part of the FAA obligation for ensuring the safety oversight of our National Airspace regarding foreign operations into our airspace. Based on this continual requirement and to eliminate confusion between special emphasis list items and/or projects, a future revision of the NPG and applicable FSIM parts will rename/change the 129 SEL to 129 HSL.

12-666  CRITERIA. A part 129 foreign air carrier must meet at least one of the criteria listed below to be on the SEL:

·        New entrant foreign carrier;

·        International Aviation Safety Assessment Program (IASA) Category Rating Category II (CAT II countries);

·        Foreign air carrier or foreign operator change of scope and type of operations e.g., non-scheduled to scheduled operations, cargo to passenger carrying, addition of new aircraft and or change of route structure;

·        Labor disputes;

·        Financial crisis;

·        Reduction in work force;

·        Merger or take over;

·        Turnover in key personnel;

·        Relocation/closing of facilities;

·        Political disturbance;

·        Airlines requiring additional surveillance due to safety concerns; or

·        Airlines banned by other ICAO member states.

A.     Increased Surveillance. When any of the above criteria exist, the IFO/IFU’s or Regional Office (RO)/ Flight Standards District Office (FSDO)/ certificate management office (CMO) having knowledge of it must make a request to AFS-50 for any additions to the list. A FSDO may request for a foreign air carrier to be placed on the SEL, however, the request must be processed through the responsible IFO/IFU.

B.     Initiating Office. Prior to making the request, the initiating office ensures that the change in information concerning the above issues is entered in the Vital Information Subsystem (VIS) environment data base.

Note:       New entrant carriers are those that have not previously operated in the United States. During the first year period those foreign carriers will be evaluated quarterly to see if they continue to meet the requirement to operate in U.S. air space.

C.     New Entrant Carriers. New entrant carriers will remain on the list for a minimum period of one year. All IASA CAT II countries will remain on the list indefinitely until that country has been upgraded to Category I (CAT I) status. The list of ASA country categories can be obtained from the following Web site: http://www.faa.gov/safety/programs_initiatives/oversight/iasa/media.

12-667  RESPONSIBILITY. AFS-50 will coordinate with ROs, i.e., AFS-230 branch managers and IFO/IFU’s of any changes affecting the SEL. For example, when carriers are added to the list, when increased/decreased surveillance is requested, request for maintaining current level of surveillance, updating of the SEL and also ensuring oversight is being provided for 129 carriers.

A.     Geographic Responsibility. IFO/IFU offices with geographic responsibility should monitor the SEL list quarterly to ensure that the list accurately reflect current status. If the carrier no longer operates within their geographic district, the VIS shall be updated to reflect changes and AFS-50 notified to update the SEL.

B.     Report. IFO/IFU Managers will submit a quarterly report to AFS-50 for each part 129 carrier of their geographic responsibility of any deficiencies found during ramp inspections and for any recommendations of SEL changes regarding specific operator.

C.     Additional Surveillance. IFO/IFU and geographically responsible FSDOs shall ensure that qualified aviation safety inspector’s (ASI) perform additional surveillance on SEL air carriers.

D.    Inspector Minimums. Inspectors shall conduct a minimum of two inspections, or record inspection quarterly. Enter the SEL inspection onto the Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS) National Use field.

E.     Inspections. Conduct one of each (1622, 3627, and 5627) inspection on each scheduled passenger and/or cargo operators whose operations specifications (OpSpec) have been issued within the region.

F.      Quarterly Inspections. OpSpecs holders who are from countries classified as Category II under the IASA will receive a minimum of two of each ramp inspection (1622, 3627, and 5627) quarterly, while operating within the region.

Note:       Only ASI’s who have met the following training requirements can conduct these ramp inspections: Special training required by AFS-50, Online Training Course 27026, Part 129 Ramp Inspections.

G.    Results. Office managers shall monitor the quality of PTRS inspection results.  The results of ramp inspections will be used to evaluate the carrier’s ability to continue operation in the United States.  If a status change is required, it should be coordinated with AFS-50 for publication.

H.    Negative Results. IFO/IFU’s should maintain contact with the foreign operator to resolve noted findings/issues. If an additional safety concern exists or the IFO/IFU does not received positive resolution of findings with the foreign carrier; The IFO/IFU manager will notify AFS-50. The manager of AFS-50 will then notify the carriers Foreign Civil Aviation Authority (FCAA) of the FAA’s concerns and initiate consultations.

I.       Consultations. No significant improvement in the carrier’s operations following consultation could result in the suspension/revocation of OpSpecs and Department of Transportation (DOT) Economic Authority.

12-668  PROCEDURES. All requests, as identified in paragraph 12-666 must be submitted to AFS-50 for inclusion into the SEL.

A.     Re-Evaluation. New entrants will be re-evaluated after one year by responsible IFO/IFU to determine if the carrier should remain on list. If all is satisfactory after the one year period the IFO may request the new entrant carrier be removed from the list. During the 1st year of the evaluation process for the new entrant carrier, if the PTRS inspection result reflects negative trends and safety risks, the results shall be documented and a recommendation forwarded to the manager of AFS-50. Coordination with FCAA concerning negative results will be accomplished with the support of AFS-50.

B.     Removal. Paragraph 12-666 criteria inclusion other than new entrant and IASA CAT II countries are included in the SEL upon recommendation from responsible IFO/IFU, regional office, FSDO/CMO and/or AFS-50. Removal from SEL is determined upon ratification of reason carrier was included in the SEL and must have documented data to support removal request.

C.     Coordination. AFS-50 will incorporate the above to update and manage the SEL. AFS-50 will coordinate the request with the SEL Program Manager to ensure information is complete and entered for tracking the request.

D.    Validation. The SEL Program Manager will validate all information to ensure the VIS data of the foreign air carrier request is correct.

E.     Final Approval. AFS-50 is the final approving authority for granting request. Once a decision has been reached, the requesting office will receive acknowledgement of approval/disapproval of request.

F.      Required Information. The office making the request should provide the following information in writing or via e-mail to AFS-50:

·        Foreign operator name FAA/ICAO designator,

·        Country/state of operator/registry,

·        Date of request,

·        Reason for request,

·        Country/state of operator IASA category, and

·        Name of contact person from requesting office.

Note:       If any of required information is missing, the request will be returned within 10 business days to the originating office for correction.

G.    Process. Upon receipt, the request is assigned to the SEL Program Manager.

1)      The program manager reviews the request and the associated VIS/environmental database, and then makes the determination of updating, adding to the SEL.
2)      Once the determination is made by AFS-50, the program manager ensures the information is complete per subparagraph D & F above and enters request in AFS-50 data base. The program manager then;
a)      Approves and updates the SEL or returns the request to the originating office with a justification for disapproval, via e-mail within 10 business days.
b)      Posts any approved changes to the SEL within 10 business days and notify the IFO/IFU’s and AFS-230 branches, via Web site: https://avssharepoint.faa.gov/afs/900/FSAIC/info/pubs.aspx.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 12-669 through 12-684.

 

2/13/09                                                                                                                       8900.1 CHG 43

Volume 12  International Aviation

chapter 12  Part 129 Special Emphasis LIST (SEL)

Section 1  Special Emphasis List

12-556   BACKGROUND. The “Special Emphasis List” (SEL) was one of the actions initiated as a result of Chairman Robert Borski Subcommittee investigations on Loophole Airlines on June 4, 1991. In part, the subcommittee believed that foreign airlines are controlled and operated by American corporation, but are being flown under foreign flags to avoid U.S. regulation and surveillance. The report also states that “when a foreign aircraft enters U.S. airspace, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does very little, if anything at all to ensure that the operation is safe”. It has been the FAA policy to leave this responsibility solely to the government of the foreign airline. The SEL is a tool used to provided heighten surveillance of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 129 air carriers that operates to/from the United States, when needed. It is not used as a rating system for airlines nor a black list. It is an internal document for FAA use only. It is a tool for FAA to direct surveillance activities.

12-557  INTRODUCTION. The SEL for part 129 is for countries with air carriers that fly to the United States. These carriers must adhere to the safety standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance. The FAA, with the cooperation of the host Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), assesses countries with airlines that have operating rights to or from the United states or have requested such rights. Specifically, the FAA determines whether a foreign aviation authority has an adequate infrastructure for international aviation safety, oversight as defined by ICAO standards. Upon request from International Field Offices (IFO), International Field Unit (IFU), part 129 foreign air carriers will be added to the SEL for heightened oversight surveillance and removed from the list as requested.

Note:       International Programs and Policy Divisions (AFS-50) projects future revisions to this process that will provide enhance data collection and analysis tools. Also, we anticipate revising the name SEL to Heightened Surveillance List (HSL).

Note:       There has been ambiguity regarding the term “SEL” as it has been traditionally used in the National Program Guidelines (NPG) order versus the SEL program as it related to 129 surveillance. (Prior to implementation of Air Transportation Oversight System (ATOS) it was also used for 121 operators.) The SEL in the NPG order reflected/listed special emphasis items that the FAA deemed areas of concentration for that specific year and these special emphasis items could, and often would, change yearly with the NPG revision. However the SEL as it related to 129 operator oversight is a continuous obligation that the FAA, as an ICAO member state must comply with as part of its oversight responsibility, is an ongoing responsibility based in part on Congressional commitment regarding the FAA’s safety oversight of foreign operators; and is part of the FAA obligation for ensuring the safety oversight of our National Airspace regarding foreign operations into our airspace. Based on this continual requirement and to eliminate confusion between special emphasis list items and/or projects, a future revision of the NPG and applicable FSIMS parts will rename/change the 129 SEL to 129 HSL.

12-558  CRITERIA. A part 129 foreign air carrier must meet at least one of the criteria listed below to be on the SEL:

·        New entrant foreign carrier;

·        International Aviation Safety Assessment Program (IASA) Category Rating Category II (CAT II countries);

·        Foreign air carrier or foreign operator change of scope and type of operations e.g., non-scheduled to scheduled operations, cargo to passenger carrying, addition of new aircraft and or change of route structure;

·        Labor disputes;

·        Financial crisis;

·        Reduction in work force;

·        Merger or take over;

·        Turnover in key personnel;

·        Relocation/closing of facilities;

·        Political disturbance;

·        Airlines requiring additional surveillance due to safety concerns; or

·        Airlines banned by other ICAO member states.

A.     Increased Surveillance. When any of the above criteria exist, the IFO/IFU’s or Regional Office (RO)/ Flight Standards District Office (FSDO)/ certificate management office (CMO) having knowledge of it must make a request to AFS-50 for any additions to the list. A FSDO may request for a foreign air carrier to be placed on the SEL, however, the request must be processed through the responsible IFO/IFU.

B.     Initiating Office. Prior to making the request, the initiating office ensures that the change in information concerning the above issues is entered in the Vital Information Subsystem (VIS) environment data base.

Note:       New entrant carriers are those that have not previously operated in the United States. During the first year period those foreign carriers will be evaluated quarterly to see if they continue to meet the requirement to operate in U.S. air space.

C.     New Entrant Carriers. New entrant carriers will remain on the list for a minimum period of one year. All IASA CAT II countries will remain on the list indefinitely until that country has been upgraded to Category I (CAT I) status. The list of IASA country categories can be obtained from the following Web site: http://www.faa.gov/safety/programs_initiatives/oversight/iasa/media.

12-559  RESPONSIBILITY. AFS-50 will coordinate with ROs, i.e., AFS-230 branch managers and IFO/IFUs, any changes affecting the SEL. For example, when carriers are added to the list, when increased/decreased surveillance is requested, request for maintaining current level of surveillance, updating of the SEL and also ensuring oversight is being provided for 129 carriers.

A.     Geographic Responsibility. IFO/IFU offices with geographic responsibility should monitor the SEL list quarterly to ensure that the list accurately reflect current status. If the carrier no longer operates within their geographic district, the VIS shall be updated to reflect changes and AFS-50 notified to update the SEL.

B.     Report. IFO/IFU Managers will submit a quarterly report to AFS-50 for each part 129 carrier of their geographic responsibility of any deficiencies found during ramp inspections and for any recommendations of SEL changes regarding specific operator.

C.     Additional Surveillance. IFO/IFU and geographically responsible FSDOs shall ensure that qualified aviation safety inspector’s (ASI) perform additional surveillance on SEL air carriers.

D.    Inspector Minimums. Inspectors shall conduct a minimum of two part 129 ramp inspections monthly for activity code (1622, 3627, and 5627). Enter the SEL inspection onto the Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS) National Use field.

E.     CAT II Inspections. Carriers that are listed on the SEL as IASA CAT II countries will received a minimum of two each ramp inspections (1622, 3627 and 5627) quarterly, while operating within the region.

Note:       Only ASI’s who have met the following training requirements can conduct these ramp inspections: Special training required by AFS-50, Online Training Course 27026, Part 129 Ramp Inspections.

F.      Results. Office managers shall monitor the quality of PTRS inspection results. The results of ramp inspections will be used to evaluate the carrier’s ability to continue operation in the United States. If a status change is required, it should be coordinated with AFS-50 for publication.

G.    Negative Results. IFO/IFUs should maintain contact with the foreign operator to resolve noted findings/issues. If an additional safety concern exists or the IFO/IFU does not received positive resolution of findings with the foreign carrier; The IFO/IFU manager will notify AFS-50. The manager of AFS-50 will then notify the carriers Foreign Civil Aviation Authority (FCAA) of the FAA’s concerns and initiate consultations.

H.    Consultations. No significant improvement in the carrier’s operations following consultation could result in the suspension/revocation of OpSpecs and Department of Transportation (DOT) Economic Authority.

12-560  PROCEDURES. All requests, as identified in paragraph 12-666 must be submitted to AFS-50 for inclusion into the SEL.

A.     Re-Evaluation. New entrants will be re-evaluated after one year by responsible IFO/IFU to determine if the carrier should remain on list. If all is satisfactory after the one year period the IFO may request the new entrant carrier be removed from the list. During the 1st year of the evaluation process for the new entrant carrier, if the PTRS inspection result reflects negative trends and safety risks, the results shall be documented and a recommendation forwarded to the manager of AFS-50. Coordination with FCAA concerning negative results will be accomplished with the support of AFS-50.

B.     Removal. Paragraph 12-666 criteria inclusion other than new entrant and IASA CAT II countries are included in the SEL upon recommendation from responsible IFO/IFU, regional office, FSDO/CMO and/or AFS-50. Removal from SEL is determined upon ratification of reason carrier was included in the SEL and must have documented data to support removal request.

C.     Coordination. AFS-50 will incorporate the above to update and manage the SEL. AFS-50 will coordinate the request with the SEL Program Manager to ensure information is complete and entered for tracking the request.

D.    Validation. The SEL Program Manager will validate all information to ensure the VIS data of the foreign air carrier request is correct.

E.     Final Approval. AFS-50 is the final approving authority for granting request. Once a decision has been reached, the requesting office will receive acknowledgement of approval/disapproval of request.

F.      Required Information. The office making the request should provide the following information in writing or via e-mail to AFS-50:

·        Foreign operator name FAA/ICAO designator,

·        Country/state of operator/registry,

·        Date of request,

·        Reason for request,

·        Country/state of operator IASA category, and

·        Name of contact person from requesting office.

Note:       If any of required information is missing, the request will be returned within 10 business days to the originating office for correction.

G.    Process. Upon receipt, the request is assigned to the SEL Program Manager.

1)      The program manager reviews the request and the associated VIS/environmental database, and then makes the determination of updating, adding to the SEL.
2)      Once the determination is made by AFS-50, the program manager ensures the information is complete per subparagraph D & F above and enters request in AFS-50 data base. The program manager then:
a)      Approves and updates the SEL or returns the request to the originating office with a justification for disapproval, via e-mail within 10 business days.
b)      Posts any approved changes to the SEL within 10 business days and notify the IFO/IFU’s and AFS-230 branches, via Web site: https://employees.faa.gov/org/linebusiness/avs/offices/afs/divisions/hq_region/afs50/.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 12-669 through 12-684.