VOLUME 1 GENERAL INSPECTOR GUIDANCE AND INFORMATION
CHAPTER 2 THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION AND FLIGHT STANDARDS HISTORY, ORGANIZATION, AND REGULATORY RESPONSIBILITIES
Section 2 Title 49, United States Code
1-111 THE FEDERAL AVIATION ACT OF 1958. The Federal Aviation Act
(FA Act) was signed into law on August 23, 1958. This Public Law (PL) created
the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)then called the Federal Aviation Agencyand
empowered it to promote flight safety in air commerce by prescribing safety
standards. It gave the regulatory authority of aviation functions to two independent
agencies: the FAA and the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB). The CAB retained responsibility
for the economic regulation of air carriers and for the investigation of aircraft
accidents. On July 5, 1994, the FA Act, along with many other transportation-related
statutes, was recodified into Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.).
Title 49 U.S.C. § 40101 describes six basic responsibilities of the FAA, which
are summarized as follows:
· Regulation of air commerce to best promote its development and
safety and to fulfill national defense requirements;
· Promotion, encouragement, and development of civil aeronautics;
· Control of the use of navigable U.S. airspace and the regulation
of both civil and military operations in that airspace in the interest of safety and efficiency;
· Consolidation of air navigation facility research and development,
as well as the installation and operation of those facilities;
· Development and operation of a common air traffic control and
navigation system for military and civil aircraft; and
· Providing assistance to law enforcement agencies in the enforcement
of laws related to regulation of controlled substances, to the extent consistent with aviation safety.
1-112 EVOLUTION OF AIR COMMERCE SAFETY REGULATION. In Article I,
Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, Congress is given the power to regulate
and control interstate commerce. Interstate highway, railway, and water modes
of transportation were regulated before the advent of air transportation. Air
transportation was not regulated until the Air Commerce Act of 1926 empowered
the Secretary of Commerce to establish the necessary regulatory system to control
and regulate air commerce. The initial regulatory system that was established
evolved into an organized system of Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR). The CAR
was supplemented by corresponding Civil Aviation Manuals (CAM) which contained
policies, procedures, and an interpretation of each CAR section. The CAR and
CAM became outmoded with the rapid growth of air transportation and with the
introduction of turbojet transport category airplanes in the 1950s. Recodification
of the CAR began in 1961 and was completed in 1964 with the adoption of the
Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR).
1-113 AVIATION REGULATION. Civil aviation regulation is clearly
identified in 49 U.S.C. as a major FAA responsibility. The FAA promotes safe
and efficient civil aviation by establishing and maintaining federal airways
including navigation aids (NAVAID), and by supporting airport development, air
traffic control services, and aviation educational programs. The FAA’s principal
responsibility in regulating aviation is to ensure safety at all levels of
aviation activity. Safety of flight is dependent upon the regulation
and compliance with these regulations. Many other nations use Title 14 of the
Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) as regulatory model for their civil aviation
programs. PL 104–264, the Reauthorization Act of 1996, enacted October 10, 1996,
eliminated the FAA’s mandate to “promote” aviation.
1-114 THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD (NTSB). The NTSB
was established by the Department of Transportation (DOT) Act and was made a
part of the DOT on April 1, 1967. The NTSB was given the CAB functions, powers,
and duties concerning aviation accident investigations, formulating probable
cause of accidents, and making aviation safety improvement recommendations.
On April 1, 1975, the NTSB was made an independent agency. By becoming independent
of DOT, the NTSB was put in a more objective position for handling evaluations
of DOT and FAA actions and officials, and for formulating safety recommendations.
Although FAA personnel do participate in aviation accident investigations conducted
by the NTSB, they are not permitted to participate in determining the “probable
cause” of any aviation accident investigated by the NTSB. At the request of
the NTSB, certain aviation accidents are investigated by the FAA. The facts,
conditions, and circumstances of these accidents are reported to the NTSB, and
the NTSB determines “probable cause.” Based on accident investigation findings,
the NTSB recommends changes in aviation regulations, procedures, and equipment
to improve aviation safety.
NOTE: On July 5, 1994, the PLs empowering the NTSB to conduct investigations
and adjudication of FAA Enforcement and Penalty cases were recodified into 49 U.S.C., Subtitle II.
1-115 TRANSFER OF CAB FUNCTIONS TO DOT. The Airline Deregulation
Act (ADA) was enacted on October 24, 1978. This act expressed the intention
of Congress to diminish federal regulation of airline economics. This act abolished
the CAB on December 31, 1984. On January 1, 1985, the administrative functions
of the CAB were transferred to the Office of the Secretary of Transportation
(OST). Included among these administrative functions was the requirement that
air carriers be fit, willing, and able to perform as air carriers. Such air
carriers must hold economic certificates or an exemption under Title 49 to provide
air transportation to the public.
1-116 FLIGHT STANDARDS SERVICE (AFS) AND 49 U.S.C. The FAA regulatory
authority to prescribe, revise, and enforce standards is in 49 U.S.C., Subtitle
VII, Chapter 447, Safety Regulation. Subtitle VII is the foundation for the
present structure of AFS. AFS is directly responsible for specific sections
of Subtitle VII while other sections of Subtitle VII are the responsibility
of other FAA offices. AFS, however, has surveillance and enforcement responsibilities
related to all sections of Subtitle VII. The more important sections of Subtitle
VII are briefly summarized as follows:
A. Section 44701, General Requirements. This section empowers
the FAA to promote flight safety for civil aircraft in air commerce. The Administrator
has the duty to require minimum standards for governing practices, methods,
and procedures to provide for national security and safety in air commerce.
B. Section 44702, Forms of Applications. The FAA is authorized
to prescribe the form and content of applications for certificates. The Administrator
may require that these applications be administered under oath.
C. Section 44703, Airman Certificates. The FAA is authorized
to issue airman certificates, which specify the capacity in which holders are
authorized to serve as airmen.
D. Section 44704, Aircraft Certificates. The FAA is authorized
to issue type certificates (TC) for aircraft, aircraft engines, and propellers.
The Administrator can specify, in regulations, the appliances for which the
issuance of TCs is reasonably required, and can also issue those certificates.
E. Section 44705, Air Carrier Operating Certificates. The FAA
is empowered to issue air carrier certificates and to establish minimum safety
standards for the operation of the air carrier to whom the certificate is issued.
F. Section 44706, Airport Operating Certificates. The Administrator
is authorized to issue or exempt airport operating certificates to airports
serving air carriers certificated by DOT and to establish safety standards for
the operation of those airports.
G. Section 44707, Air Agency Rating. The FAA is authorized to
provide for the examination and rating of air agencies, such as civilian flight
schools, repair stations, and other air agencies. The Administrator is also
authorized to issue certificates for these flight schools, repair stations, and air agencies.
H. Section 44708, Air Navigation Facility Rating. The FAA is
authorized to inspect, classify, and rate the suitability of any air navigation
facility available for the use of civil aircraft. The Administrator is also
authorized to issue a certificate for any such navigation facility.
I. Section 44709, Reexamination, Amendment, Suspension, and Revocation
of Certificates. The FAA may reinspect any aircraft, air carrier, air agency,
or component, and may reexamine any airmen holding an FAA certificate. The FAA
may also issue orders that amend, modify, suspend, or revoke, in whole or in
part, any type of certificate issued. Any person whose certificate is affected
by an order of the Administrator under this section may appeal the Secretary’s order to the NTSB.
J. Section 44710, Revocation for Controlled Substance Violations.
This section provides that the FAA shall revoke the airman certificate of any
airman that is convicted of a felony for violation of a controlled substance
law if an aircraft was used to commit the offense or if the individual served
as a crewmember of an aircraft in connection with committing the offense.
K. Section 44711, Prohibitions. This section prohibits any person
or organization from conducting any air commerce operation unless the person
or organization has proper certification and hires personnel who are properly
certificated. This section also prohibits persons or organizations from performing
any aviation services contrary to regulations prescribed under Subtitle VII.
L. Section 44713, Maintenance of Equipment in Air Transportation.
In this section, each air carrier is given the duty to perform inspections,
maintenance, overhaul, and repair of all equipment used in air transportation
as required by 49 U.S.C. and the orders, rules, and regulations of the FAA.
M. Section 44715, Control and Abatement of Aircraft Noise and Sonic
Boom. This section provides that the FAA, after consultation with the Secretary
of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), shall prescribe
and amend standards and regulations for the measurement of aircraft noise and sonic boom.
1-117 PRIVATE SECTOR RESPONSIBILITIES.
A. Private Sector. The term “private sector,” when applied to
aviation, encompasses all individuals and organizations participating in air
commerce. While individuals and organizations such as pilots, mechanics, air
carriers, and manufacturers participate directly in air commerce, other individuals
and organizations such as vendors, food caterers, travel agents, baggage handlers,
and aircraft sales personnel participate indirectly. The FAA, which is part
of the “public sector,” has the duty (authorized by 49 U.S.C., Subtitle VII,
Aviation Programs) to establish minimum standards, rules, and national policies
to provide adequately for national security and safety in air commerce. This
responsibility for aviation safety, however, does not rest entirely with the
FAA. Persons or organizations of the “private sector” are also obligated to
provide for public safety. All airmen, air carriers, aircraft owners and operators,
air agencies, and certain airport operators who qualify for and accept an FAA
certificate, assume these “private sector” responsibilities.
B. Organizations Engaged In Air Transportation. A major part
of air commerce is conducted by “private” persons or organizations engaged in
air transportation. These persons or organizations are referred to as air carriers
and are involved in the “common carriage” by aircraft, for compensation or hire,
of persons, property, or mail. Title 49 requires a classification of safety
standards appropriate to the differences between air transportation and other
forms of air commerce. Therefore, safety standards applicable to air transportation
(air carriers) are more stringent than standards applicable to persons or organizations
not involved in common carriage.
1-118 AIR CARRIER RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PUBLIC SAFETY.
A. Section 44702(b). Section 44702(b) specifies, in part, that
when prescribing standards and regulations and when issuing certificates, the
FAA shall give full consideration to “the duty of an air carrier to provide
service with the highest possible degree of safety in the public interest…”
49 U.S.C. charges the FAA with the responsibility for promulgating and enforcing
adequate standards and regulations. At the same time, 49 U.S.C. recognizes that
the holders of air carrier certificates have a direct responsibility for providing
air transportation with the highest possible degree of safety. The meaning of
§ 744702(b) should be clearly understood. It means that this responsibility
rests directly with the air carrier, irrespective of any action taken or not
taken by an FAA inspector or the FAA.
B. Compliance. Before certification, the FAA’s objective is to
make a factual and legal determination that a prospective certificate holder
is willing and able to fulfill its duties as set forth by 49 U.S.C. and to comply
with the minimum standards and regulations prescribed by the FAA. This objective
continues after certification49 U.S.C. § 44709, specifies that, if a certificate
holder fails to comply with the minimum standards and regulations, the FAA may
reexamine any certificate holder or appliance. As a result of an inspection,
a certificate may be amended, modified, suspended, or revoked, in whole or in
part. Additionally, § 44713(b) generally provides that whenever an inspector
finds that any aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance used or intended
to be used by any air carrier in air transportation, is not in condition for
safe operation, the inspector shall notify the air carrier, and the product
shall not be used in air transportation until the FAA finds that the product
has been returned to a safe condition.
1-119 AIR OPERATOR RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PUBLIC SAFETY. The following
are conditions and/or situations which could indicate that an air operator is
unable and/or unwilling to carry out its duties as set forth by 49 U.S.C.
A. Demonstrate the Ability. The FAA views intentional or reckless deviations
from regulatory standards (as defined in Volume 14, Chapter 2 and FAA Order
2150.3, chapter 5)
or patterns of behavior or performance that present an unacceptable
risk to safety as posing the highest risk to safe operation of the National
Airspace System (NAS). These types of deviations from regulatory standards are
indicative that the air operator is incapable or unwilling to perform services
with the highest possible degree of safety. Air operators must demonstrate the
ability to consistently comply with the minimum standards and regulations without
constant FAA surveillance. Circumstances which indicate a need for constant
surveillance of all operations of an air operator may provide sufficient reasons
and evidence to invoke the provisions of 49 U.S.C. §§ 44709 and 1153 to suspend
or revoke the certificate or to amend the operating authority specified in operations
B. Lack of Knowledge and/or Understanding of Minimum Standards and Safe Practices.
Inadequate knowledge of minimum standards, regulations, or safe operating practices
displayed by air operator management personnel may indicate a lack of concern
for the duty of the air operator as recognized in 49 U.S.C. A lack of knowledge
and/or understanding of minimum standards and safe practices displayed by an
air operator’s employees may be evidence that the air operator is not providing
sufficient training and guidance required by current regulations and, consequently,
not fulfilling its duties.
C. Certificate Holder’s Responsibility. Current regulations specify
the certificate holder is responsible for operational control and airworthiness
of its aircraft. Control and discipline of an air operator’s employees and agents
are essential factors in fulfilling these responsibilities. The inability or
lack of motivation to exercise such operational and/or quality airworthiness
control clearly indicates that an air operator cannot or will not fulfill its duty.
D. Accurate Recordkeeping. Accurate recordkeeping is a key factor
in assuring positive operational and quality airworthiness control. It is the
only method currently recognized of demonstrating that such control has been
exercised. Accurate recordkeeping is also the only known method for an air operator
to show continuing compliance with the minimum standards and regulations. Usually,
compliance can only be substantiated by records and should never be presumed.
Inaccurate and/or incomplete records should not be condoned. Knowing and willful
falsification or alteration of records is a misdemeanor under 49 U.S.C. § 46310
and should be promptly prosecuted in accordance with the appropriate provisions
of the applicable statutes and regulations.
NOTE: Title 49 U.S.C. and 14 CFR contain the principle that air carriers
holding out services to the public must be held to higher standards than the
General Aviation (GA) community. Inspectors must also be aware of the private
rights of citizens and air carriers. Since public safety and national security
are among the FAA’s highest priorities, FAA inspectors must be prepared to take
action when any air carrier does not, or cannot, fulfill its duty to perform
services with the highest possible degree of safety.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 1-120 through 1-135.