VOLUME 2 AIR OPERATOR AND AIR AGENCY CERTIFICATION AND APPLICATION PROCESS
CHAPTER 1 THE GENERIC PROCESS FOR CERTIFICATING ORGANIZATIONS
Section 2 Safety Assurance System: Assignment of FAA Responsibilities
A. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Activities. FAA activities
associated with the certification process for air carrier and commercial operators
and oversight of these certificates can cross district office and regional geographic
boundaries. Existing operators can revise their organizational structures and
change their scope of operations. These changes may affect the capabilities
of a district office. Regional Flight Standards divisions (RFSD) are in the
best position to know the capabilities of their district office and assigned
personnel. Consequently, RFSDs must be responsible for assigning certification
and certificate responsibilities to district offices. RFSDs shall specifically
determine which district office will be assigned a certification project and
have continuing responsibility for existing Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part
135 or part
The RFSD must make periodic assessments of their existing
certificate holder’s operations to determine that the assigned district offices
continue to be the best suited to fulfill FAA responsibilities for a particular operation.
B. Air Carrier Certification Projects.
· For existing and new part
Volume 2, Chapter 3, Section 1.
· For existing and new part
Volume 2, Chapter 4, Section 1.
· For existing and new 14 CFR part
Volume 2, Chapter 11, Section 1.
C. The Assignment of FAA Offices and Personnel for a 14 CFR Part
and Program Management Responsibilities. This assignment should be handled in the same manner as
the certification of a comparably sized or structured part
as described in this section. Fractional ownership programs are not issued certificates; however,
they are assigned to a Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) for the application
process and continued oversight. The term “certificate-holding district office”
(CHDO), as used in this section, refers to both an office that certificates and manages a 14 CFR
part 119 certificate
and an office that issues the management specifications
(MSpecs) and provides oversight for a fractional ownership program. The terms
“operator” and “certificate holder” in this section refer to both
part 119 certificate
holders and fractional ownership program managers. A fractional
ownership program manager may have one or more affiliate programs. Each affiliate
program should be treated as a separate entity for the purposes of issuing MSpecs
and oversight; therefore, each affiliate program must have its own assigned
principal inspectors (PI). Some fractional ownership programs are associated with a part
holder. Some or all aircraft used in the fractional ownership program may be listed
on an air carrier’s operations specifications (OpSpecs). In addition, provisions of part
91K allow the use of part
training programs, proficiency checks, recordkeeping, flight and rest provisions, maintenance
programs and minimum equipment lists (MEL) to meet the part
Therefore, the same PIs should be assigned to associated
air carriers and the fractional ownership programs. See Volume 2, Chapter 5,
for more information on fractional ownership programs.
2-27 PRINCIPAL BASE OF OPERATIONS. Both parts
the term “principal base of operations” to mean the primary operating location. The certificate holder or program
manager will designate only one principal base of operations but may designate other operations locations
as main bases. A certificate holder must maintain its OpSpecs at its principal base of operations. A part
manager must maintain its MSpecs at its principal base of operations.
If records are kept at locations other than the principal base of operations,
the certificate holder/program manager will maintain a current listing that
will include the location and persons responsible for each required record,
document, and report. The office having responsibility for the geographic area
in which the principal base of operations is located will normally be assigned
the CHDO responsibilities. The principal base of operations and the responsibility
for oversight of the certificate holder/program manager is part of the CHDO
environment to include staffing considerations. It may be necessary to recruit
or transfer inspectors appropriately qualified for the type of operation to
the district office having geographic responsibility for the area in which the
principal base of operations is located.
2-28 FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED WHEN DESIGNATING A PRINCIPAL BASE OF
OPERATIONS. The FAA’s designation of a principal base of operation is essentially
a determination of which district office will be assigned certificate-holding
responsibilities. In most situations this determination can be based on several
predominant factors that clearly indicate a primary operating location and an
obvious assignment of a CHDO. However, in some situations, the factors involved
in determining the primary operating location and/or which district office is
best suited for certificate-holding responsibilities are complicated by the
proposed or existing operation. RFSDs must consider all factors involved when
designating a principal base of operations. Sometimes the decision will have
to be based on a consensus of factors. Some factors that must be considered
in descending order of priority include the following:
· Location and accessibility of an applicant’s or existing certificate
holder’s key management personnel and other persons who have authority to make decisions on FAA matters;
· Location of the main operations base and operations system control center;
· Location of the main maintenance base and maintenance system control center;
· Qualification of available district office inspectors with respect to the type of operation and aircraft;
· Geographic centers of route structures and/or areas of operation;
· The applicant’s or existing certificate holder’s corporate headquarters location;
· Training locations; and
· Employee domicile locations.
2-29 SPLIT MAIN OPERATIONS AND MAIN MAINTENANCE BASE LOCATIONS.
A. Location of Inspectors. Occasionally an operator will locate
its main operations base and main maintenance base in different district offices
and/or regional geographic areas. The company’s management personnel (operations
and maintenance) may be separated and maintain separate offices at the location
of the activity for which they are responsible. In these situations, the most
practical and efficient arrangement is to locate the principal operations inspector
(POI) near the main operations base and the principal maintenance and avionics
inspectors near the main maintenance base. Any full-time assistants should also
be similarly located. Physical separation of these key inspectors, if not carefully
managed, can result in significant coordination problems.
B. Location of CHDO. When an operator splits its main operations
and maintenance bases, the RFSD shall decide which district office will be the
CHDO. When two regions are involved, the respective divisions will coordinate
and mutually determine which region is to assume responsibility for the operation
and which district office within that region will be assigned oversight responsibilities.
If the regions are unable to agree, the issues will be forwarded to the Director,
Flight Standards Service (AFS-1) for final determination. The basis for determining
which region and district office is to be assigned certificate responsibilities
will be a thorough consideration of the factors previously listed in paragraph
2-28 and any other relevant data.
C. CHDO Responsibilities. The assigned CHDO management shall
have overall responsibility for all FAA reporting requirements, technical administration
requirements, and regulatory oversight of the operator. The CHDO and the region
shall also be responsible for budgeting travel and other necessary funds for
assigned PIs and assistants to conduct appropriate work programs and certificate-holding responsibilities.
1) When an operation is complex and large enough to warrant full-time
PIs (inspectors who are solely responsible for one operator), arrangements will
be made to locate satellite PIs in district offices that have responsibility
for the geographic area where the appropriate main base is located. In these
situations the satellite PI and any full-time assistants shall report directly
to the CHDO management on all functional and technical aspects of the operator.
The CHDO shall have supervisory responsibility over the satellite PI. The district
office where the satellite PI is located shall provide administrative support.
2) When an operation is not complex or large enough to warrant
full-time PIs, the RFSD will take action as necessary to ensure the following:
a) The assigned PIs are located in a district office responsible for the
geographic area where the appropriate main base is located.
b) The assigned PIs report to the CHDO’s management on all functional, technical
aspects, and other vital information concerning the operator.
c) The district office management where the assigned PIs are located has
supervisory responsibility over the PIs and must ensure the CHDO’s certificate
responsibilities are adequately supported.
D. Split Operations. In situations of split main operations and
main maintenance bases, the RFSD must monitor the activities of the respective
district offices to ensure that appropriate coordination is occurring. The assigned
PIs are physically separated and must be provided the necessary opportunities
and tools to effect efficient and timely coordination on technical administration,
surveillance, and investigatory matters associated with the operator. This coordination
is essential to ensure that a standardized and common FAA position is taken with the operator.
2-30 REGIONAL COORDINATION FOR THE ASSIGNMENT
OR REASSIGNMENT OF CERTIFICATE-HOLDING RESPONSIBILITIES.
A. Certification Project Reassignment to Different District Office.
If at any time it is determined that the certification project should be reassigned
to a different district office within the region or a district office in a different
region, the RFSD shall ensure that the transfer of work previously accomplished
and still to be accomplished is thoroughly coordinated between the district
offices. Coordination must include the transfer of working files, appropriate
briefing of the applicant’s personnel, and interdistrict office briefings as necessary.
B. Establishment or Change of Operation Base Location. Part
119.47; 14 CFR part
125.47; 14 CFR part
141.25; and 14 CFR part
a program manager/certificate holder to provide written notification
to its CHDO at least 30 days before it proposes to establish or change the location
of its principal base of operations, its main operation base, or its main maintenance
base. The program manager/certificate holder should submit a plan to its CHDO
for relocating its base. The details of the plan should be consistent with the
size of the operation and the complexity of the move. At a minimum, the plan
should provide answers to basic questions such as: who, what, when, where, why,
and how. The proposal might include:
1) Dates. Proposed or specific for moving and whether or not
the move will be accomplished at one time or over a period of time.
2) Organization. How will the move affect the organization? Does
the program manager/certificate holder anticipate losing any (key) employees
as a result of the move? How will the loss of experienced personnel affect the
organization? Will the certificate holder have to hire and train new employees
at the new location? When will this occur?
3) Operations. How will the move affect the program manager’s/certificate
holder’s operation? Does the program manager/certificate holder plan to continue
a normal flying schedule while moving? Will the program manager/certificate
holder provide additional supervisors to monitor the move? How will operations
centers and maintenance control operate during the move? How will radio communications
be maintained? How will aircraft be maintained during the move?
4) Facilities. How will the move affect the program manager’s/certificate holder’s facilities?
5) OpSpecs/MSpecs. Does the move affect any OpSpec/MSpec authorizations?
Does the move affect any issued deviations or exemptions?
6) Recordkeeping. How will the move affect required recordkeeping?
Where will records be stored? How will required records be maintained during the move?
7) Aircraft Parts. How will aircraft parts be moved and protected?
8) Manuals. How will the move affect current programs and procedures?
C. Notification of RFSD. The district office will immediately notify its
respective RFSD of the proposed change and forward a copy of the plan. The CHDO
will provide any additional information and comments that may assist the RFSD
in its review and assessment of the plan. The CHDO will provide any additional
information and comments which may assist the RFSD in its review and assessment
of the proposed move. It is important that the CHDO communicate concerns about
the program manager’s/certificate holder’s compliance history and behavior,
working relationship with the CHDO, projects, or initiatives underway.
D. Impact Assessment. The RFSD will assess the impact of the
program manager’s/certificate holder’s move on the FAA. If the move will significantly
impact the FAA or be complex and require additional FAA oversight, the RFSD
will notify and coordinate with AFS-1 or the Deputy Director, Flight Standards Service (AFS-2).
E. Reassignment of Certificate Responsibilities. If the RFSD
determines that certificate responsibilities need to be reassigned to another
district office, one of the following actions shall be taken.
1) When the district offices are in the same region, the RFSD
will accomplish the following:
a) Before reassignment, inspect the files of the losing CHDO which are maintained
on the operator to determine if they are complete and up to date and take action
as necessary to ensure completeness and currency. Inspection of these files
should also identify open items and/or discrepancies that must be resolved.
b) Interview the losing CHDO manager and PIs to further identify open items
and/or discrepancies that must be resolved by either the losing CHDO or the gaining CHDO.
c) Decide how, when, and who will be responsible for resolving any open
items and/or discrepancies.
d) Arrange for a briefing of the gaining CHDO manager and prospective PIs
on the certificate holder’s operation, key management personnel, and any open
items and/or discrepancies that are being transferred for action by the gaining CHDO.
e) Select a date to transfer certificate responsibilities.
f) Arrange a briefing for the certificate holder concerning the decision
with an explanation for the need to reassign certificate responsibilities to
another district office. Arrange an introductory meeting between the certificate
holder’s management personnel and the new CHDO manager and newly assigned PIs.
g) Supervise the transfer of the previous CHDO’s operator files to the newly assigned CHDO.
2) When district offices are not in the same region, the respective
RFSD will accomplish the following:
a) Initiate interregional coordination and agree on the need to reassign
certificate responsibilities. If the regions are unable to agree on a reassignment
of certificate responsibility, these issues will be forwarded to AFS-1 for final determination.
b) The losing RFSD will inspect the previously assigned CHDO operator files
to determine if the files are complete and current. The RFSD will take action
as necessary to ensure completeness and currency. Inspection of these files
should identify open items and/or discrepancies that must be resolved.
c) The losing region will interview the losing CHDO manager and PIs to further
identify open items and/or discrepancies that must be resolved by either the
losing CHDO or the gaining CHDO.
d) The losing region will coordinate with the gaining region and agree on
how, when, and who will be responsible for resolving open items and/or discrepancies.
e) The gaining region will arrange for a briefing of the gaining CHDO manager
and newly assigned PIs on the certificate holder’s operation, key management
personnel, and open items and/or discrepancies being transferred for action by the gaining CHDO.
f) The respective regions will select a date to transfer certificate responsibilities.
The losing region will notify the operator’s management personnel of the decision
and give an explanation of the need to change the assigned CHDO.
g) The gaining region will arrange a briefing for the certificate holder
and an introductory meeting between the certificate holder’s management personnel
and the gaining CHDO manager and prospective PIs.
h) The respective regions will coordinate and supervise the transfer of
the losing CHDO’s operator files to the gaining CHDO.
F. RFSD Responsibilities. The RFSD will oversee and ensure the
necessary changes are made to FAA documents and electronic databases (e.g.,
Air Carrier Certificate, OpSpecs/MSpecs, enhanced Vital Information Database
(eVID), Surveillance/Work Programs). Additionally, the RFSD will oversee and
coordinate the transfer of files, manuals, and any other item relating to certificate
management. Transfer of the manuals should include coordination with the program
manager/certificate holder, since many manuals are controlled.
G. Impact of Base Relocation and Certificate Transfer. The impact
of the base relocation and certificate transfer, on the air carrier and the
FAA respectively, could be complex enough to be designated as an FAA project.
If disagreements occur between CHDOs over the prior approvals or accepted policy
or procedures, the RFSDs will mediate and decide on appropriate action. Good
communication and timely decisionmaking are essential to efficiently and effectively
accomplish the task of transferring a certificate and meeting the needs of the
program manager/certificate holder and the FAA.
H. Documentation. RFSD and field personnel will document all
certificate transfer and related activity in the Program Tracking and Reporting
Subsystem (PTRS) using activity codes 1245, 3240, and 5240.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 2-31 through 2-45.