9/29/16

 

8900.1 CHG 484

VOLUME 3  GENERAL TECHNICAL ADMINISTRATION

CHAPTER 18  OPERATIONS SPECIFICATIONS

Section 2  Automated Operations Safety System

3-701    GENERAL. The automated Operations Safety System (OPSS) Web-based Operations Safety System (WebOPSS) consists of standard and nonstandard templates for operations specifications (OpSpecs), management specifications (MSpecs), and letters of authorization (LOA) developed by Washington headquarters (HQ). MSpecs are issued to program managers who conduct fractional ownership operations under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91 subpart K (part 91K). (Paragraphs 3-712 and 3-714 discuss nonstandard OpSpec and MSpec authorizations.) LOAs are used to issue certain authorizations to 14 CFR parts 91, 125M, 133, and 137 operators. All standard OpSpec/MSpec and LOA templates, and any subsequent revisions, are first coordinated within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and then with appropriate industry organizations. After this coordination, the standard template authorizations are incorporated into WebOPSS, which is programmed to provide only those OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs and other templates, such as training specifications (TSpecs), that are applicable to a particular type of operation under a particular 14 CFR part. When the appropriate standard templates have been selected and all the required information has been entered into WebOPSS, a complete set of OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs can be issued to a particular certificate holder, operator, or program manager, based on type of operation.

A.    Generating OpSpecs/MSpecs and LOAs. This section provides general direction and guidance to inspectors concerning actions necessary to generate a complete set of OpSpecs/MSpecs and LOAs. This section also provides general information on the OPSS, such as control of standard templates, use of filter colors, and procedures for amending standard templates. The OPSS is designed for generating automated OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs to allow inspectors to collect and record appropriate information necessary for issuing required OpSpec/MSpec templates, as well as authorizing the optional templates and LOAs as listed in OpSpec/MSpec A004. Before attempting to enter information directly into the OPSS, users should be familiar with the OPSS and the current edition of the OPSS user’s manual. The current edition of the user’s manual can be downloaded at http://fsims.faa.gov/PublicationForm.aspx.

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B.    General Subsystem Information. This section provides general information for the subsystems within the OPSS. These subsystems include, but are not limited to, the applicable guidance (guidance subsystem), emergency Airworthiness Directives (AD) (OpSpec/LOA A447, Emergency Airworthiness Directive Notification), the exemptions, 14 CFR part 298 liability insurance (see paragraph 3-718), and report and query capability. These subsystems are an integral part of the Dynamic Information System (DIS).

C.    OPSS Guidance Subsystem. The guidance subsystem contained within the OPSS provides relevant guidance documents in association with individual templates. Many guidance documents, such as advisory circulars (AC), bulletins, preambles, directives, and excerpts from orders and regulations, may be associated with multiple templates. Other guidance documents are unique to the individual templates.

1)    Revision History. The revision history gives a summary of each template revision since the template was transferred into the new automated OPSS.
2)    OpSpec/MSpec/LOA Job Aid. An OpSpec/MSpec/LOA job aid is designed to provide a variety of up-to-date information regarding individual templates. These job aids contain miscellaneous information, references for the authorization, and a sample of the associated template. The job aid may change with the addition or correction of information. The date of the last job aid revision is indicated on the title line of the document. Other directives or guidance documents may include job aid information.
Indicates new/changed information.

3-702    DYNAMIC INFORMATION SYSTEM (DIS). The OPSS is the mechanism used to collect and maintain the information required for the DIS. The most conspicuous portion of the OPSS contains the OpSpec/MSpec templates and the LOAs. The DIS subsystems are integrated into the OPSS to enable the population of the DIS data. Before the OpSpec/MSpec templates and LOAs can be processed, certain fields of information must be provided to the OPSS. These critical fields of information must be current for the OpSpecs/MSpecs or LOAs to be technically accurate. The fields of information under the “Certificate Holder” menu option are used in the OpSpec/MSpec templates and LOAs when the user is prompted to “Select Data” for individual OpSpecs/MSpecs or LOAs. The DIS consists of the following data fields for each selected certificate holder or operator information:

A.    Aircraft Authorization. This area contains specific information about the aircraft the operator/program manager is authorized to use and specific conditions for that operator/program manager. This information is used in OpSpecs/MSpecs A003, D085, and any other templates or LOAs that require the insertion of aircraft for authorization or data collection. Information that is collected includes:

1)    Aircraft make, model, and series (M/M/S).
2)    Aircraft registration number.
3)    Nose number (if applicable).
4)    Aircraft serial number (SN).
5)    Specific regulations that the aircraft is being operated under 14 CFR parts 91, 91K, 121, 125, 129, 133, 135, and 137.
6)    Specific sections of 14 CFR part 119 that identify the type of approved operational usage:

·    Section 119.1(e)(2), 135.1(c) (Air Tour);

·    Section 119.21(a)(1), 121 Domestic (intrastate);

·    Section 119.21(a)(2), 121 Flag (common carriage);

·    Section 119.21(a)(3), 121 Supplemental (common carriage);

·    Section 119.21(a)(4), 135 Commuter (common carriage);

·    Section 119.21(a)(5), 135 On-demand (common carriage);

·    Section 119.21(b), 121 Domestic (common carriage);

·    Section 119.21(c), 121 Supplemental (common carriage);

·    Section 119.23(a), 125 Operators (common carriage is not involved);

·    Section 119.23(b), 135 Operators (common carriage is not involved);

·    Section 119.25(a), Rotorcraft Commuter (common carriage); and

·    Section 119.25(b), Rotorcraft On-demand, (common carriage).

7)    Operational use of aircraft (previously “kind of operation”) (see paragraph 3-703 for discussion on “kinds of operations”):

·    Foreign (part 129, § 129.14),

·    Commuter (part 135),

·    Domestic (part 121),

·    External Load (part 133),

·    Flag (part 121),

·    Nonstop Sightseeing (§ 135.1(c)),

·    On-Demand (part 135),

·    On-Demand Cargo-Only (part 135),

·    Supplemental (part 121),

·    Flight (part 91),

·    Fractional (part 91K),

·    Flight (part 125), and

·    Aerial Application (part 137).

8)    Configuration of the specific aircraft: pax and cargo, passenger, all cargo, combi.
9)    Noise stage (if applicable).
10)    Seats demonstrated (evacuation demonstration under 14 CFR parts 25 and 121; certified number for all other aircraft).
11)    Seats approved (mini evacuation demonstration that is operator specific).
12)    Flight attendants (F/A) (required number).
13)    Class of operation: amphibian, helicopter, Multiengine Land (MEL), Multiengine Sea (MES), MEL/MES (both), Single-Engine Land (SEL), Single-Engine Sea (SES), SEL/SES (both).
14)    En route type: instrument flight rules (IFR)/visual flight rules (VFR).
15)    Condition: day only, day/night.
16)    Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF): medical, floor, door.
17)    Remarks section that records and identifies multiple comments.

B.    Domestic and International Addresses. These addresses for the certificate holder, program manager, or operator will be inserted into OpSpec/MSpec A001.

Indicates new/changed information.

C.    Airworthiness Directive (AD) Notification. The FAA distributes ADs to a certificate holder/operator’s responsible party via the United States Postal Service (USPS) and/or email. This information is used to populate OpSpec/LOA A447. (See OpSpec/LOA A447 in Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 3 for guidance.)

D.    Deviation and Exemption Assignments From 14 CFR Parts. OpSpec A005 is populated with the information from these assignments. The deviation list is built by the OPSS users for others to use as well, so it is important that the referenced 14 CFR is accurate and that the description is concise. Any deviation granted must be listed in A005 even if the deviation specifics are described through the issuance of an OpSpec/MSpec template. If the deviation specifics are described in a separate OpSpec/MSpec template, the template should be identified in the “Remarks” column next to the deviation listed in A005. This should be a general remark and not specific for the operator/program manager. The exemptions are selected from the exemption database. The text of each exemption is available to the user. If an exemption that is needed does not appear in the database, contact the OPSS Operations Center to request that it be loaded into the system.

E.    Principal Inspectors (PI). This area contains the names of principal avionics inspectors (PAI), principal maintenance inspectors (PMI), and principal operations inspectors (POI) specific to the certificate‑holding district office (CHDO) to which the OPSS is defaulted. This area is used to update the specific PIs that are assigned to a certificate holder, air operator, or program manager. This information is used when the OpSpec/MSpec templates are ready to be signed. All three PIs are responsible for the oversight and coordination of the authorizations granted by the issuance of the OpSpecs/MSpecs and, in some cases, LOAs. It is the responsibility of all three principals PIs to ensure that the template being issued is accurate and complete. Many of the authorizations require the scrutiny of avionics, maintenance, and operations inspectors. If there is a disagreement between a PAI, PMI, and POI regarding the contents of an operator/program manager’s OpSpec/MSpec template, the issue must be resolved prior to the issuance of the template in question.

F.    Doing Business As (DBA). If the certificate holder, program manager, or operator conducts operations under other names, these are put into the DIS at this location and are labeled “doing business as,” or abbreviated as “DBA.” This information is inserted into OpSpec/MSpec A001. (See OpSpec/MSpec A001 in Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 3 for more information on DBAs.)

G.    Personnel.

1)    This area contains basic and generally static information about the certificate holder’s, program manager’s, or air operator’s responsible personnel. The information field(s) include the FAA accountable manager in a fractional ownership program management company, the maintenance and avionics points of contact (POC), FAA-recognized position titles, names of the approved personnel, the company’s equivalent position title, and what, if any, parts of the OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs they are authorized to sign. The following are examples of the titles and corresponding templates, indicated in parentheses:

·    AD Notification Representative (A447),

·    Chief Inspector (A006),

·    Agent for Service (A007),

·    Director of Operations (DO) (A006),

·    Director of Maintenance (DOM) (A006),

·    Other Designated Persons (A007),

·    Chief Pilot (A006),

·    Director of Safety (DOS) (A006),

·    FAA Accountable Manager (part 91K only) (A007), and

·    POCs for Part 91K Operations, Maintenance, and Avionics (A007).

2)    For operators that have a split certificate and operate under both parts 121 and 135, the OPSS provides position selections to accommodate this situation. If the operator separates parts 121 and 135 operations with specific personnel for position titles, the appropriate title selection must indicate which 14 CFR part that person is responsible for. If there is no split certificate, the position title would not contain a reference to any 14 CFR part.

H.    Authorized Areas. This area contains the information that is selected for insertion into the operator/program manager’s approved geographic areas of operations for OpSpec/MSpec B050. It is used by other district offices (other than the CHDO) that have a surveillance work program for the operator/program manager in their respective geographic Areas of Responsibility (AOR). The OPSS guidance subsystem contains names and locations of islands and countries that may be used for insertion into OpSpec/MSpec B050.

I.    Review Insurance Information. This online module is made available for the PIs to review the status of the liability insurance of the certificate holder. See paragraph 3-718 for detailed information.

3-703    OPERATIONAL USE OF AIRCRAFT AND KINDS OF OPERATIONS.

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A.    Kind of Operation. Section 119.49, Contents of Operations Specifications, and § 119.49(a)(5), 119.49(b)(5), and 119.49(c)(4) dictate in pertinent part that each certificate holder conducting domestic, flag, commuter, supplemental, or on-demand operations must obtain OpSpecs containing the “kind and area of operations authorized.” Title 14 CFR part 110, § 110.2, Definitions, states that, “Kind of operation means one of the various operations a certificate holder is authorized to conduct, as specified in its operations specifications…” For instance, if a certificate holder normally conducts only domestic operations and wants to extend those operations to any foreign point, “flag” must be entered in OpSpec A001 (by virtue of the definition of a flag operation), even if the certificate holder has authorization to conduct those operations under domestic regulations.

1)    Section 119.7(b) addresses only agency actions that alter the overall type of operations that an air carrier (part 121 or part 135) is authorized to conduct. These operations are identified in template A001, which lists the kinds of operations that the FAA authorizes the air carrier to perform under its certificate (e.g., commuter, domestic, supplemental, flag, or on-demand operations). These must be appropriately selected for each certificate holder.
2)    For part 125 certificate holders, part 125, § 125.31 requires the OpSpecs to contain the kinds of operations authorized. The certificate holder is authorized to conduct flight operations in noncommon carriage and private carriage pursuant to § 119.23(a) and part 125, provided the certificate holder does not engage in common carriage. In addition, the part 125 certificate holder may not conduct operations carrying people or property for compensation or hire, where such operations result directly or indirectly from any person’s holding out to the public to furnish transportation (i.e., common carriage). The kinds of operations for part 125 certificate holders are included in the standard OpSpec template A001 and are not selectable.
3)    Part 119 does not govern part 91K fractional ownership operations, and kinds of operations as defined in § 110.2 do not apply. Therefore, part 91K MSpecs will not list kinds of operations authorized.
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B.    OpSpec/MSpec A003. By contrast, OpSpec/MSpec A003 does not identify the operator/program manager’s overall authority to conduct a particular kind of operation. Instead, OpSpec/MSpec A003 represents the FAA’s approval of the operator/program manager’s use of particular aircraft in carrying out the kinds of operations that are authorized, presumably through the air carrier or operating certificate and OpSpec A001.

Indicates new/changed information.

C.    Operational Use of the Aircraft. For part 121 and part 135 air carriers, the column “Operational Use of the Aircraft” in OpSpec A003 reflects this true effect by identifying the FAA-approved use for the aircraft types listed. When listing aircraft that are used for more than one kind of operation, as authorized in OpSpec A001, those aircraft should be identified with the most extensive use of the aircraft. For instance, if the certificate holder is authorized domestic, flag, and supplemental operations in OpSpec A001 and the aircraft could be used in any one of the three operations, the certificate holder should identify the aircraft as a “flag” aircraft. However, if the certificate holder intends to use an aircraft in only one kind of operation, despite the multiple authorizations in A001, the certificate holder should identify the aircraft as such.

Indicates new/changed information.

D.    Authorization. The rest of the “set” of OpSpec/MSpec templates are then developed to authorize the conduct of specific types, areas, or routes of operations in accordance with the authorizations issued in A001 and A003, and must not contradict the authorizations for the kind of operation authority issued to them in A001 and A003. Thus, through the issuance of a variety of OpSpecs/MSpecs (e.g., OpSpec A050, Helicopter Operations with Night Vision Goggle; OpSpec B036 for Class II Navigation; and OpSpec C065, Powerback Operations with Airplanes), different types of operations are authorized in order to support the kinds of authorization(s) granted in OpSpec A001.

3-704    REQUIRED AND OPTIONAL OPSPEC AND MSPEC TEMPLATES. The following is a general discussion of the available OpSpec/MSpec templates and part 91 templates and LOAs for each database.

A.    Required and Optional OpSpec/MSpec Templates. With the development of the OPSS, specific required and optional OpSpec/MSpec templates for a certificate holder, program manager, or operator operating in accordance with certain 14 CFR parts are automatically extracted from the databases. For example, if the certificate holder is certified under part 121, then only the OpSpec templates that are required and optional for part 121 authorizations will be available. Part 135 required OpSpec templates will not be available in that database. Likewise, only the required and optional MSpec templates will be available in the part 91K database.

B.    LOAs. In the part 91 database, all the LOAs are optional authorizations for issuance to the operator; however, in the part 91 database, inspectors will need to process the operator name, identification number, address, and aircraft information in order to issue an LOA. Inspectors will need to sign and activate LOAs A001, A003, A004, A007, and activate them in WebOPSS. (See Volume 3, Chapter 18, Sections 3, 4, 5, and 7 for details about each template in the database.)

Indicates new/changed information.

C.    Standard OpSpec/MSpec Templates and LOA Templates for Part 91K (MSpecs), 121, 125, 129, and 135 Fixed-Wing and Rotorcraft Operations. These OpSpec/MSpec templates and LOA templates are divided into six parts, described in subparagraphs 3-704C1) through 6). Each part contains standard templates that can be consecutively numbered from 001 to 999. Approval of all OpSpec/MSpec templates and LOAs may be indicated by the signature of the PIs, supervisor, or the CHDO manager who may sign for any of the PIs (see paragraph 3-714 for details). Most of the authorizations in Parts A, B, and C need thorough coordination between the PAI, PMI, and POI for issuance. If there is a disagreement between a PAI/PMI and a POI regarding the contents of an operator/program manager’s OpSpec/MSpec template, this issue must be resolved prior to the issuance of the template in question. The part 91 database contains standard part 91 LOAs and the part 91K database contains the official standard MSpec authorizations for fractional ownership program managers.

1)    Part A—General. Part A templates are generally considered to be the responsibility of both Airworthiness and Operations aviation safety inspectors (ASI). Contents of these templates must be carefully coordinated between PAIs, PMIs, and POIs before approval. Approval of these templates is indicated by the signature of any one of the three assigned PIs or as determined by individual CHDO policy (see paragraph 3-714 for details). If there is a disagreement between a PAI/PMI and a POI regarding the contents of an operator/program manager’s OpSpec or MSpec template (or LOA), the issue must be resolved before the PIs issue the template (or LOA) in question.
2)    Part B—En Route Authorizations and Limitations. Operations inspectors are primarily responsible for preparing and approving (signing) authorizations in Part B. Coordination between operations, maintenance, and avionics inspectors is essential.
3)    Part C—Airplane Terminal Instrument Procedures and Airport Authorizations and Limitations. Part C pertains only to fixed-wing airplanes. Operations inspectors are primarily responsible for preparing and approving (signing) the authorizations in Part C. Coordination between operations, maintenance, and avionics inspectors is essential.
4)    Part D—Maintenance MSpecs/OpSpecs/LOAs. Maintenance and avionics inspectors are primarily responsible for preparing and approving (signing) the templates in Part D.
5)    Part E—Maintenance MSpecs/OpSpecs/LOAs. Maintenance inspectors are primarily responsible for preparing and approving (signing) Part E. The maintenance inspectors must carefully coordinate the Part E OpSpec/MSpec authorization with operations inspectors.
6)    Part H—Helicopter Terminal Instrument Procedures and Airport Authorizations and Limitations. Part H is the rotorcraft equivalent to the Part C templates for fixed-wing operations. Operations inspectors are primarily responsible for preparing and approving (signing) the templates in Part H. (Parts 121 and 125 operations will not have Part H in the databases.)

D.    Training Centers. TSpecs are issued in accordance with 14 CFR part 142, § 142.5(b). For the purpose of the TSpecs required for part 142 Training Centers. TSpecs were realigned to correspond more closely with the numbering system employed for OpSpecs issued to air carriers. This alignment will provide a correlation when discussing the relationships between the training center and its contracting operators/program managers. Part 142 OpSpecs are divided into the following four basic sections:

1)    Part A—General. Includes the issuance and applicability, definitions, authorizations and limitations summary, exemptions and deviations, flight training equipment and training location authorizations, and personnel listings.
2)    Part B—Training Authorizations and Limitations. Includes the approved curricula listings for individual airmen and operators/program managers, special training programs, and training agreements.
3)    Part C—Airplane Terminal Instrument Procedures and Airport Authorizations and Limitations. At this time, this section only contains approved circling approach authorizations for specified simulators.
4)    Part D—Maintenance Requirements, Limitations, and Procedures. Includes flight training equipment maintenance and records requirements, minimum equipment list (MEL), and Simulator Component Inoperative Guide (SCIG) authorizations.

E.    Repair Stations. Part 145, § 145.5 sets forth the requirements for repair station OpSpecs. The term “certificate holder” is now used to include the holder of a repair station certificate as described in the OpSpecs. The OpSpecs lettering and numbering system used for repair stations attempts to be consistent with those in use by other 14 CFR certificate holders and operators. The repair station OpSpecs (FAA Form 8400-4-1) have been replaced with the issuance of the OPSS computer-generated, generic OPSS form. For guidance on issuing part 145 OpSpecs, see Volume 2, Chapter 11, Section 1. The principal airworthiness inspector(s) assigned to the part 145 certificate are responsible for issuing and authorizing (signing) all of the certificate holder’s OpSpecs. (See paragraph 3-714 for signature proxy guidelines.) Part 145 standard (and nonstandard, if applicable) OpSpecs are currently divided into three parts, each of which has an assigned letter designator and contains standard templates.

1)    Part A OpSpec templates are considered to be general templates and are issued for both domestic and foreign repair stations. This part contains the ratings, limitations, and special authorizations.
2)    Part B currently contains only OpSpec B050, which applies to foreign repair stations and provides for the authorization to conduct services under contract to a U.S. carrier/part 129 foreign flag operator at a location other than the repair station facility. (See Volume 2, Chapter 11, Section 3, paragraph 2-1247.)
3)    Part D contains specific authorizations, limitations, and procedures in OpSpec D100, for work to be performed at a place other than the repair station’s fixed location. OpSpec template D100 must list the work authorized and the Repair Station Manual (RSM) must reference the work that the repair station may perform away from the fixed location. A repair station may have D107 line maintenance authorization issued if the repair station is contracted to perform maintenance for a part 121, 129, or 135 operation U.S.-registered aircraft.

F.    Part 133 Standard OpSpecs. The standard LOAs for part 133 operators, external load, and additional policy guidance can be found in this order. Both Operations and Airworthiness inspectors are assigned to a part 133 certificate and should follow the guidance for signature authority in paragraph 3-714.

1)    Part A—General. Includes the issuance and applicability; definitions, authorizations, and limitations summary; exemptions and deviations; personnel listings; AD information; and other general authorizations. It also contains the official authorizations for Class D and IFR operations.
2)    Part D—Aircraft Listing (for Airworthiness).

G.    Part 137. There are standard LOA templates developed for part 137 certificate holders. Although these LOAs are not mandatory for the operator, PIs should record information on the part 137 certificate holder in WebOPSS, per the FAA policy contained in this order. Provisions are available for the part 137 certificate holder to use WebOPSS in their own offices in the same way as the part 121 or part 135 certificate holders. For example, if the part 137 certificate holder requests a waiver from part 137, § 137.51, Operation Over Congested Areas, the waiver may be issued in an OpSpec format through the OPSS part 137 database. The POIs and Airworthiness inspectors assigned to the part 137 certificate are responsible for maintaining the information for that certificate in the OPSS. The guidance in paragraph 3-714 would apply.

1)    Part A—General. This includes the issuance and applicability; definitions, authorizations, and limitations summary; exemptions and deviations; personnel listings; any waivers or special authorizations; and AD information.
2)    Part D—Aircraft Listing (for Airworthiness). OpSpec D085 provides for the aircraft listing of those aircraft that meet the Airworthy requirements used in the certificate holder’s agricultural aerial application operations.

3-705    OPSPEC/MSPEC (AND LOA) CHECKLIST FOR OPTIONAL AUTHORIZATIONS AND LIMITATIONS.

Indicates new/changed information.

A.    OpSpec/MSpec A004 Checklist. OpSpec/MSpec A004 contains a series of statements considered to be a checklist for optional authorizations or available LOAs. A004 also gives a statement of prohibitions if the operator/program manager is not authorized those optional authorizations. The A004 checklist provides for the selection of authorizations that are available for the specific 14 CFR type of certificate holder, operator, or program manager. When accurately selected in the A004 checklist, the checklist describes the optional authorizations applicable for the specific certificate holder, operator, or program manager for which OpSpecs/MSpecs or LOAs are being prepared. Required OpSpec/MSpec templates will not appear in the A004 checklist. Some of the statements in A004 describe general information about the operator/program manager’s, responsibility and certain statements describe the capability of the aircraft being operated. Other statements identify specific authorizations and/or limitations which apply or will apply to the operator or program manager.

Indicates new/changed information.

B.    Selecting Authorizations. When selecting authorizations concerning the operator/program manager, the authorizations must be factually correct. When selecting a statement which describes a limitation or restriction, inspectors must be aware that the selection will result in the A004 checklist showing the authorization of an OpSpec/MSpec template or LOA. Standard OpSpec/MSpec templates providing special authorizations usually require special training curriculums, maintenance programs, and modifications to the operator/program manager’s manuals and minimum equipment list (MEL). The A004 checklist includes both operations and maintenance items. Coordination between operations, avionics, and maintenance inspectors is absolutely essential for these authorizations. The PAI, PMI, and POI must all agree that the selections made on the A004 checklist are accurate. PIs should also review the A004 checklist with the operator/program manager and agree that the selected statements accurately describe the operations authorized to be conducted.

Indicates new/changed information.

C.    Completing Templates. After the selections are moved to the OPSS workspace grid, the appropriate standard templates or LOAs can then be completed (reference the current OPSS user’s manual for details). The active table of contents can be printed to review all the standard templates applicable to the operator/program manager and identifies templates or LOAs which provide special authorizations or prohibitions.

3-706    TEST OR TRAINING OPSPECS/MSPECS. Each Flight Standards Service (AFS) office can generate a set of practice or test OpSpecs/MSpecs. When generating practice OpSpecs/MSpecs, refer to either the OPSS Student Training Manual or to the OPSS user’s manual for details. A set of practice or test OpSpecs/MSpecs can be used when someone wants to practice using the OPSS and does not have a “real” operator in the database or does not want to experiment with the information on a “real” operator. From time to time, the OPSS database managers will purge the testing and training databases. For information about obtaining a precertification or certification number, please refer to the OPSS user’s manual.

3-707    OPERATOR—OR PROGRAM MANAGER—REQUESTED OR FAA-INITIATED OPSPEC/MSPEC CHANGES. The signature block of each OpSpec/MSpec identifies whether the FAA issued the template because of an FAA-initiated change or if the certificate holder applied for a change to the content of the specific paragraph.

Indicates new/changed information.

A.    Origin Options. During the signing process for each OpSpec/MSpec, within the signature block section, under the “Origin (FAA or Operator)” tab, two selections are available for the user to choose from: “Issued by the Federal Aviation Administration” or “The Certificate Holder applies for the Operations in this paragraph.”

Indicates new/changed information.

B.    Issued by the FAA. If the user selects the “Issued by the Federal Aviation Administration” toggle, no further comments can be made. The user can find a brief synopsis of FAA-initiated change information in the revision history for each document. The revision history, as well as the official handbook documentation with applicable guidance for the revision, can be found in the OPSS guidance subsystem.

Indicates new/changed information.

C.    Requested by a Certificate Holder. If the user selects “The Certificate Holder applies for the Operations in this paragraph” toggle, the user can enter a brief statement documenting the reason for the reissuance or amendment in the “Support Information Reference” clear text box. In this text box, the user may want to refer to the date of the operator/program manager’s letter requesting the authorization or any other pertinent information applicable to the change.

3-708    DRAFTS OF AND FINAL SIGNED OPSPECs/MSPECs OR LOAs.

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A.    Coordinate Drafts. Inspectors should coordinate the draft OpSpecs/MSpecs or LOAs with the operator/program manager. This coordination should involve the operator/program manager throughout the final preparation of the documents. This provides an opportunity to develop a common understanding between the operator/program manager and the FAA about the authorizations, limitations, and provisions in the authorizations. The operator/program manager must also be given the occasion to verify that added operator or program manager specific information is correct.

1)    The OPSS guidance subsystem provides access to various guidance documents in association with individual OpSpec/MSpec template and LOA authorizations. Inspectors should review these documents with the certificate holder, program manager, or operator, along with a draft of the authorization, to see what the operator must do to be in compliance prior to the issuance of the requested or required template.
2)    Access to guidance documents is found under the OPSS tool bar “Paragraph—Guidance Documents.”
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B.    Final Authorizations. After the draft OpSpecs/MSpecs or LOAs have been reviewed and final corrections made, if any, the final authorizations can be printed and physically signed or, if the certificate holder or operator has electronic signature capability, the authorizations can be electronically signed. The FAA must sign (electronically) to issue/activate the authorization to the certificate holder’s or operator’s grid as a final document for issuance. The certificate holder or operator should also sign the final document (either electronically or physically). However, the certificate holder does not always have to sign the OpSpec/MSpec template for it to be effective.

3-709    TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR AUTHORIZATIONS. The automated OpSpecs/MSpecs and LOAs table of contents is an integral section of an operator/program manager’s authorizations. The OPSS can automatically print a table of contents for each part individually.

3-710    AUTOMATED FEATURES AND SYMBOLOGY OF AUTOMATED OPSPEC/MSPEC TEMPLATES AND LOAs.

A.    Page Numbers. The OPSS prints page numbers automatically on the OpSpecs/MSpecs and LOA forms.

B.    HQ Control Date. The OPSS automatically prints the words “HQ Control Date” and the date on the upper right corner of the OpSpecs/MSpecs or LOA template and gives reference to the latest HQ revision. This “HQ Control Date” is for HQ control purposes only and must not be construed as an effective date. The OPSS prints the operator/program manager’s certificate or identification number in the lower right corner of the template and the operator/program manager’s name will be printed on the bottom center of each page. See paragraph 3-711 for a discussion about the HQ revision terminology.

C.    Effective Date and Signature Date. For original issuance of an OpSpec/MSpec template or LOA, both the effective date and the signature date should be the same, but they are not required to be the same. For authorization amendments, these dates may also be different. The effective date may be later than the signature date, or in the case of an FAA-initiated, required change, the effective date may be before the authorization is actually signed by the certificate holder, program manager, or operator. For an authorization to be effective, it does not necessarily have to be signed by the certificate holder, program manager, or the operator; it is effective by FAA signature only.

D.    OPSS Provides a Filter. The OPSS provides a filter under the “Tools” pull-down menu and affects what is seen within the OPSS. The OPSS filter automatically displays, in color, those templates that HQ has changed or archived and is intended to alert the users that a change has occurred.

3-711    MANDATORY AND NONMANDATORY CHANGES. Changes to OpSpec/MSpec and LOA templates are categorized as either mandatory or nonmandatory.

·    A mandatory change is typically based on a regulatory change or policy clarification.

·    A nonmandatory change is typically used for minor text or format changes, or for changes that are limited in scope.

A.    All Changes. For all OpSpec/MSpec/LOA changes, PIs should review the “History” tab in WebOPSS to determine the cause of the change. PIs should also review the guidance documents associated with the OpSpec/MSpec/LOA. Guidance documents are accessed through the “Guidance” button in WebOPSS. Mandatory changes (and some limited nonmandatory changes) will typically be accompanied by a new policy document (usually a notice). The policy document will be available in the Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS) and with the guidance documents associated with the template in WebOPSS.

B.    Mandatory Changes. When HQ makes a mandatory change to an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA template, PIs must issue the new template and archive the old one. PIs must follow the instructions contained in any accompanying policy documents (e.g., a notice or a change to Order 8900.1) prior to issuing the new template. PIs must complete the issuance of a mandatory OpSpec/MSpec/LOA template change within 30 days, or as otherwise directed by the appropriate HQ policy division. HQ will typically provide this direction in a notice. Mandatory changes to OpSpec/MSpec/LOA templates will result in a change to the HQ revision number of the template (e.g., from HQ Revision 010 to HQ Revision 020).

C.    Nonmandatory Changes. When HQ makes a nonmandatory change to an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA template, PIs must determine if the change affects any particular certificate holder(s)/program manager(s). If a PI determines that the nonmandatory change impacts a certificate holder/program manager’s particular operation, the PI will issue the new template as directed by HQ or within 90 days for all affected certificate holder(s)/program manager(s). Nonmandatory changes to OpSpec/MSpec/LOA templates will result in the addition of a letter to the current template revision number (e.g., from HQ Revision 010 to HQ Revision 01a; HQ Revision 02a to HQ Revision 02b, etc.). If a nonmandatory change does not affect a particular certificate holder/program manager, PIs do not have to reissue the OpSpec/MSpec/LOA template.

D.    Archived and Decommissioned Templates. When an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA template is revised by HQ, WebOPSS automatically archives the previous version of the available template within the system; however, each individual certificate holder/program manager or PI will need to manually archive any old templates in the WebOPSS Workspace. HQ may also permanently withdraw or decommission an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA template without replacing it with a revised template. Once HQ archives, withdraws, or decommissions a template, it will no longer be available for issuance or editing in WebOPSS. Inspectors may view archived/decommissioned templates and guidance by adjusting the filter settings in WebOPSS.

3-712    NONSTANDARD AUTHORIZATIONS. The FAA may develop and issue nonstandard authorizations based on unique and/or temporary situations. A nonstandard authorization may be in the form of an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec template or through nonstandard text (previously referred to as “Text 99”) added to a standard OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec template. All nonstandard templates and nonstandard text require approval from the appropriate HQ policy division. Procedures for obtaining HQ approval to issue a nonstandard template or nonstandard text are contained in paragraph 3-713. ASIs with primary oversight responsibility (ASI, PI, or TCPM), and who have responsibility for issuing OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOA/TSpecs, must follow the procedures before issuing any nonstandard template or nonstandard text.

A.    OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec Templates, Nonstandard Temporary Data Collection, and Time‑Limited Templates: 300-, 400-, and 500-Series.

1)    Three Hundred-Series (300–399). All 300-series templates (OpSpec/MSpec, etc.) are nonstandard authorizations and are designated by an “N” in the “Type” column in the OPSS (WebOPSS). These authorizations may be issued to account for unique situations. A prime example of a unique situation requiring a nonstandard authorization is emerging technologies, where complete guidance may not have been developed. All 300-series OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs must be approved by the appropriate HQ policy division. No ASI may issue a 300-series OpSpec/MSpec/LOA without first obtaining approval from HQ.
2)    Four Hundred-Series (400–499). These templates are used for data collection when the Administrator determines that it is necessary. These data collection templates are not considered to be authorizations. For example, the Administrator may issue an OpSpec to collect information on which certificate holders/air operators/program managers are conducting operations in sensitive international areas (B450) or information on who to provide emergency AD notifications to (A447). Generally, 400-series templates appear as “Standard,” or “S,” in the “Type” column of WebOPSS. However, on the rare occasion that a 400-series OpSpec/MSpec/LOA template is depicted as “Nonstandard,” or “N,” in WebOPSS, ASIs must obtain approval from the appropriate HQ policy division prior to issuing the template.
3)    Five Hundred-Series (500–599). These OpSpec/MSpec/LOA template authorizations are temporary and time-limited. The 500-series authorizations grant temporary authority to a certificate holder, air operator, or program manager based on a particular situation or event, such as a merger, substitute or seasonal operation, Special Flight Authorization (SFA), Special Federal Aviation Regulations (SFAR), or a natural disaster. (This is not intended to be a complete list.) At the conclusion of the time limit or event specified in the authorization, the responsible ASI must withdraw the authorization by archiving the OpSpec/MSpec/LOA. There are two types of 500-series authorizations (OpSpec/MSpec/LOA templates): standard and nonstandard. Standard templates are designated with an “S” in the “Type” column of WebOPSS, and nonstandard templates are designated with an “N.” See Figure 3-66H, Standard (S) Versus Nonstandard (N) 500-Series Authorizations, for a depiction of “S” and “N” templates in WebOPSS.
a)    Standard 500-Series Templates. An ASI may issue a standard (S) 500-series OpSpec/MSpec/LOA without obtaining approval from the appropriate HQ policy division. Two examples of standard 500-series authorizations are A510 and A570.
b)    Nonstandard 500-Series Templates. No ASI may issue a nonstandard (N) 500-series OpSpec/MSpec/LOA without first obtaining approval from the appropriate HQ policy division. Two examples of nonstandard 500-series templates are A502 and A529.

Figure 3-66H.  Standard (S) Versus Nonstandard (N) 500-Series Authorizations

Figure 3-66H. Standard (S) Versus Nonstandard (N) 500 Series Authorizations

4)    Nine Hundred-Series (A999 Only). OpSpec A999 is currently the only active 900-series OpSpec. The Air Transportation Division (AFS-200) created this OpSpec to enable certificate holders to fulfill the ICAO Annex 6 requirement to carry a standardized certified true copy of the Air Operator Certificates (AOC) on board any aircraft operated internationally. The maximum number “999” was chosen for the ICAO-Compliant AOC to separate it from all other certificate holder OpSpecs.

B.    Nonstandard Text (Previously Known as Text 99). All OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec templates are developed and controlled by HQ. Any text that is hard-coded into a template is considered to be standard issue from HQ. The policy divisions within HQ recognize that there may be situations where a certificate holder, air operator, or program manager may have unique operational needs that are not addressed by standard template text. Therefore, HQ has provided a “Nonstandard Text” field (box) in each OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec template. The Nonstandard Text box of any template is also controlled by HQ. Therefore, all ASIs are required to obtain HQ approval before authorizing and/or entering any text into that box. Nonstandard text, when entered into an otherwise standard template, effectively changes the standard authorization contained in the template into a nonstandard authorization. HQ will not approve any nonstandard text that effectively changes the intent, the format, or the structure of a particular template.

1)    Use Nonstandard Text Only When Necessary. The intent of the Nonstandard Text box is to either accommodate unique operational needs or circumstances by allowing a modification to a standard template authorization, or to allow an ASI with primary responsibility for oversight to impose additional conditions or limitations when the situation warrants. The Nonstandard Text box is not intended to be used to simply make notes. Additionally, because all nonstandard OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec text requires prior approval from the appropriate HQ policy division, ASIs should use it carefully.
2)    Nonstandard Text is Depicted in Italics. The Nonstandard Text box is automatically configured to display the entered text in italics. As the text is entered into the box, it appears normal. Once the text is saved it is converted to italics. The Nonstandard Text box is typically located at the end of an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA template.
3)    Nonstandard Text Box Instructions (Help Link). There are two different sets of Nonstandard Text box instructions: updated instructions and older instructions. AFS-200 updated the Nonstandard Text box instructions in 2012. However there are thousands of OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec templates in WebOPSS, and it is not practical to retroactively update templates to include the updated Nonstandard Text box instructions. The updated instructions will only appear when an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec template is revised by HQ. The updated Nonstandard Text box instructions state that text entered into the box requires approval from the appropriate AFS HQ policy division. The older instructions do not depict this requirement. Regardless of whether a template has the updated or older instructions, all ASIs require HQ approval to issue any nonstandard text.

3-713    PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING NONSTANDARD OPSPEC/MSPEC/LOA/TSPEC AUTHORIZATIONS AND NONSTANDARD TEXT.

A.    Request a Nonstandard OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec Authorization—All 300-Series Templates and 400/500-Series Templates Designated as Nonstandard or Nonstandard Text. ASIs with primary responsibility for oversight (ASI, PI, or TCPM) of certificate holders, air operators, or program managers conducting 14 CFR parts 61, 91, 91K, 125 (including part 125 Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) holders), 133, 137, and 141 operations must submit their request for approval to issue a nonstandard OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec template or nonstandard text to the General Aviation and Commercial Division (AFS-800). POIs of certificate holders conducting operations under parts 121, 135, and 142 must submit their request for approval to issue a nonstandard template or nonstandard text to AFS-200. PAIs and PMIs must submit all airworthiness-related requests for approval to issue a nonstandard template or nonstandard text to the Aircraft Maintenance Division (AFS-300). Nonstandard authorizations for part 129 foreign air carriers and persons require approval from the International Programs and Policy Division (AFS-50). POIs of certificate holders, air operators, or program managers requesting approval for certain instrument flight and Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)-related operations must submit their request for approval to issue a nonstandard template or nonstandard text to the Flight Technologies and Procedures Division (AFS-400) and AFS-50, AFS-200, or AFS-800, as appropriate.

B.    Supporting Information. Prior to submitting a request to the appropriate HQ policy division for approval to issue a nonstandard template or nonstandard text, ASIs with primary responsibility for oversight must ensure that all requests for nonstandard templates or nonstandard text submitted by a certificate holder/air operator/program manager contain enough information to support the request. Supporting information must include at least the following items, as they apply to the particular request:

1)    The original request made by the certificate holder/air operator/program manager along with supporting documentation. This is only required when the request is initiated by the certificate holder, air operator, or program manager.
2)    For nonstandard text authorizations requested by a certificate holder, air operator, or program manager, a statement of why the certificate holder, air operator, or program manager requires the nonstandard authorization, and an explanation of how the nonstandard text authorization will provide an equivalent or greater level of safety to what is authorized by the standard template.
3)    The areas of operation, airports (including alternates), and routes specific to the operation.
4)    The type of aircraft to be used.
5)    Pertinent navigational and communications equipment.
6)    Company procedures that ensure the safety of flight.
7)    Training requirements.
8)    The equivalent level of safety (ELOS) proposed by the certificate holder, operator, or program manager.
9)    Any other supporting documentation that the PI or certificate holder/air operator/program manager deems necessary.

C.    ASIs with Primary Responsibility for Oversight Must Evaluate Information Submitted By a Certificate Holder/Air Operator/Program Manager, Prior to Submitting a Request to HQ. Responsible ASIs must evaluate and substantiate information that is submitted by the certificate holder, air operator, or program manager in association with a request for a nonstandard OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec template or nonstandard text.

1)    If the ASI does not find the information to be acceptable, and/or does not concur with the certificate holder/air operator/program manager’’s request, the ASI will send a letter denying the request for the nonstandard template or nonstandard text and include an explanation of the reasons for denial.
2)    If the ASI finds the information to be acceptable, he or she must then request approval from the appropriate HQ policy division manager to issue the nonstandard template or nonstandard text. All requests for approval from HQ must come directly from the ASI’s Office Manager. Therefore, the ASI will prepare a request memo on behalf of the manager.

D.    The CHDO Manager Will Make the Official Request for Approval. For the purposes of this section, the term CHDO applies to a Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), Certificate Management Office (CMO), or International Field Office (IFO). The memo from the CHDO manager requesting approval to issue the nonstandard template or nonstandard text must be addressed to the manager of the appropriate HQ policy division. The memo must include the recommendation and request for approval by the ASI with primary oversight responsibility, along with the certificate holder/air operator/program manager’s complete information package.

E.    Route the Memo Through Regional Flight Standards Division (RFSD) for Review and Concurrence. Except as outlined in subparagraph 3-713E1), the CHDO must route all requests for approval to issue a nonstandard template or nonstandard text through the RFSD, along with the complete information package, for review and concurrence by the RFSD manager. CHDOs requesting NextGen-related nonstandard authorizations will route their requests through the regional NextGen branch (e.g., AEA-220, ANM-220, etc.).

1)    Exceptions. The following circumstances do not require RFSD review and concurrence:
a)    An IFO will route all requests for nonstandard templates or nonstandard text directly to AFS‑50. No RFSD review or concurrence is required.
b)    An OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec-specific guidance specifically states that routing through the RFSD for review and concurrence is not required. Template-specific guidance is contained in Volume 3, Chapter 18, Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 11.
c)    A notice issued by the Office of the Director (AFS-1) specifically states that RFSD review and concurrence is not required.

NOTE:  CHDOs should inform the RFSD of the request to HQ so the RFSD is aware, except when the request is coming from an IFO to AFS-50.

2)    RFSD Action.
a)    When the RFSD receives the request from the CHDO, the appropriate technical branch must review it. If the technical branch concurs with the request, the branch manager will move it forward for ultimate concurrence by the RFSD manager. The RFSD will then forward the complete information package to HQ along with the concurrence and recommendation from the RFSD manager. The RFSD manager’s concurrence and recommendation must accompany the CHDO’s request and recommendation and any original request made by the certificate holder/air operator/program manager. If the RFSD does not concur with the request, it will advise the CHDO and provide the reason for nonconcurrence.
b)    There is no action required by the RFSD where specific template guidance or a notice issued by AFS-1 does not require RFSD review and concurrence.

F.    HQ Action. The HQ policy division will review all of the documentation forwarded by the CHDO and/or RFSD.

1)    If HQ does not concur with the request, the policy division will either provide the CHDO with the reason(s) for nonoccurrence and request additional supporting information, or it will simply deny the request. HQ may request additional information via informal notification, such as an email or a telephone call. If HQ denies the request to issue a nonstandard template or nonstandard text, the policy division will provide its determination by memo to the CHDO manager through the RFSD manager, unless RFSD routing is not required, in accordance with subparagraph 3-713E1).
2)    If the HQ policy division concurs with the request, the policy division will provide approval to issue the nonstandard template or nonstandard text by memo to the CHDO manager, through the RFSD manager, unless RFSD routing is not required, in accordance with subparagraph 3-713E1). The HQ policy division may send notification of the approval to the PI/CHDO/RFSD via email.

G.    Issue the OpSpec/Mspec/LOA/TSpec Following HQ Approval. Once HQ approves the request for the nonstandard template or nonstandard text, the ASI with primary oversight responsibility may sign and issue it in WebOPSS.

1)    Enter HQ Approval Information in a Nonstandard Template. HQ approval information is required for all nonstandard templates issued after January 1, 2015. Enter the HQ approval information in the “Support Information Reference” box in the digital signature block of the nonstandard template. For example: Approved by AFS-200, Memo dated 01/01/2015. (See Figure 3-66I, Example of HQ Approval Information in a Nonstandard Template.)
2)    Enter HQ Approval Information in Nonstandard Text. For all nonstandard text issued after April 1, 2013, include the HQ approval information as part of the nonstandard text. For example: Approved by AFS-300, on 04/01/13.

Figure 3-66I.  Example of HQ Approval Information in a Nonstandard Template

Figure 3-66I. Example of HQ Approval Information in a Nonstandard Template.

H.    HQ Approval is Required to Reissue or Amend a Nonstandard Template or Nonstandard Text. ASIs must obtain HQ approval to amend a nonstandard template or any nonstandard text. In addition, ASIs must obtain HQ approval to reissue a nonstandard template or nonstandard text under the following circumstances.

1)    HQ Revises an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA Template.
a)    If HQ revises a nonstandard OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec template, no ASI may issue the new template without obtaining prior approval from the appropriate HQ policy division, unless otherwise stated in the template-specific guidance or in a notice.
b)    If HQ revises a standard OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec template in which nonstandard text had previously been issued, no ASI may reissue the nonstandard text from the previous template without obtaining prior approval from the appropriate HQ policy division.
c)    When requesting HQ approval under these circumstances, ASIs may base the request on prior HQ approval. This is only allowable when the nonstandard authorization is being reissued exactly as originally approved by HQ, and the ASI provides documentation of having received the prior approval. The request must be made in writing, via memo through the RFSD, in accordance with the instructions contained in subparagraph 3-713C2).
2)    An ASI or Certificate Holder/Air Operator/Program Manager Initiates a Revision to a Nonstandard Template or Nonstandard Text. ASIs must obtain HQ approval to make any changes and/or otherwise revise a nonstandard template or nonstandard text, in accordance with the requirements specified in subparagraphs 3-713A, B, and C. This is always required unless template-specific guidance states otherwise. ASIs must include the HQ approval information in the nonstandard template or nonstandard text, in accordance with the instructions provided in subparagraphs 3-713G1) or G2), as applicable.
3)    There is a Change to the Air Carrier, Air Operator, or Air Agency Certificate or Operating Authority. HQ permission is required to reissue a nonstandard template or nonstandard text to a certificate holder, air operator, or program manager that has had a change to its operating certificate or operating authority. This includes a partial or total change to operating certificate number and mergers and acquisitions.

I.    Expedite the HQ Review Process. In order to expedite the HQ review process, the RFSD (or CHDO, if RFSD routing is not required by a particular OpSpec) should contact the appropriate HQ policy division and request the division’s preferred method of communication. Most HQ policy divisions have a division correspondence mailbox. Other policy divisions have SharePoint sites set up to specifically accept request packages of this nature. Requests for approval to issue nonstandard OpSpec authorizations may be submitted electronically, provided the memos that are part of the request are signed and dated accordingly.

J.    Retention of OpSpec Authorization Memos. Retain OpSpec authorization memos in accordance with the guidelines contained in the current edition of FAA Order 1350.14, Records Management, and the Records Disposition Reference Table, items 8300 and 8400. The Records Disposition Reference Table can be accessed at: http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/records/policy/media/retention_schedule.pdf.

1)    Operations. In accordance with the Records Disposition Reference Table, item 8400, section 1b, Air Carrier Operations Files, Basic Certificates, Specifications and Authorizations, the CHDO will retain all OpSpec authorization/approval memos issued by HQ for the life of the authorization. The CHDO may destroy the memo 5 years after the authorization is superseded or canceled.
2)    Maintenance Part D OpSpecs. In accordance with the Records Disposition Reference Table, item 8300, section 11, Operations Specifications – Maintenance Part “D” Files, the CHDO will retain all OpSpecs authorization/approval memos for the life of the authorization. The CHDO may destroy the memo 5 years after the OpSpec authorization is canceled.

3-714    SIGNATURE AUTHORITY FOR OPSPEC, MSPEC, TSPECS, LOA, OR OTHER ISSUANCE OF DOCUMENTS USING THE OPSS. In general, for OpSpecs, MSpecs, LOAs, and other authorizations or documents in the OPSS, the following guidance applies:

A.    Which Types of (Qualified) ASIs. The following list shows which types of (qualified) ASIs are responsible for and who may sign each type of OpSpec/MSpec:

1)    Part A. Both Operations and Airworthiness inspectors are responsible for and may sign Part A authorizations. Issuance requires coordination between the Operations and Airworthiness inspectors.
2)    Part B. Operations inspectors are responsible for and may sign for Part B authorizations, but only after coordination with the Airworthiness inspectors responsible for the operator/program manager.
3)    Part C. Operations inspectors are responsible for and may sign for Part C authorizations, but only after coordination with the Airworthiness inspectors responsible for the operator/program manager.
4)    Part D. Airworthiness inspectors are responsible for and may sign for the issuance of the Part D authorizations.
5)    Part E. Airworthiness inspectors are responsible for and may sign the authorization, but only after coordination with the Operations inspector responsible for the operator/program manager.
6)    Part H. Operations inspectors are responsible for and may sign the Part H authorizations, but only after coordination with the Airworthiness inspectors.

B.    Proxy for Signature Authority. For certificate holders, part 142 TCPMs, part 91K program managers, and the PIs assigned to the operator/program manager are given the applicable signature authority by virtue of their position. For situations where the appropriate PI is not available and an authorization or other document needs to be signed and activated, each FSDO should develop office policy in regard to the proxy or proxies for the PI’s signature authority. The following items should be addressed in the office policy:

1)    Normally, the office manager and the supervisor of the PI has signature authority by virtue of their positions and could sign for the PI in his or her absence.
2)    The PIs for each certificate holder/operator or program manager should designate additional proxies for his or her signature that are qualified and authorized. These could include, but not limited to:
a)    Assistant PIs assigned to the same operator or program manager.
b)    Other qualified ASIs (that are not assigned to the operator or program manager), as designated by the local office policy.

C.    Other Local Office Policy Determinations. Local office policy should also determine:

1)    Who is responsible for maintaining the ASI list in the OPSS.
2)    That the signature block is changed to show the inspector doing the signing for the assigned PI. (In the future it may be possible to have the name of the proxy inspector doing the electronic signing in the watermark.)
3)    Procedures for determining proxy authorization limits, such as:
a)    If the proxy is authorized to sign mandatory and nonmandatory authorization amendments.
b)    If the proxy is authorized to sign and activate a 400-series (data collection) template.
c)    If the proxy is authorized to sign and activate templates in the databases where the documents are not required by regulation or are not official authorizations, but are completed, signed, and activated for recordkeeping purposes. For example, part 137 (with the exception of the issuance of official waivers, etc., in the OPSS) or part 133 (with the exception of the issuance of official IFR and Class D authorizations, etc.).

3-715    PRINTING AUTOMATED AUTHORIZATIONS OR DOCUMENTS.

Indicates new/changed information.

A.    Printing During Development. Any template, authorization, or document can be printed at different stages in the development toward issuance. Please refer to the OPSS user’s manual for more detailed instructions.

Indicates new/changed information.

B.    Printing for Signature. After an authorization or document has been reviewed, verified for accuracy, and coordinated with the operator/program manager, it can be printed for signature. An authorization or data collection document is considered to be effective if the FAA has signed it electronically or by hand. In cases where the FAA generates the authorizations for the certificate holder or operator, the FAA should hand sign the individual authorizations and ask the certificate holder or operator to hand sign. Because the FAA is still transitioning to a paperless environment, the CHDO should retain the paper copy with the operator’s or certificate holder’s signature in the office file for a minimum of 5 years. All MSpecs authorizations and documents will be electronically signed by both the FAA and the individuals designated to sign for the program managers. There is no need, nor requirement for, paper copies of the MSpecs to be retained in the CHDO office files, as the OPSS will retain the official copies that are electronically signed by both parties. A single authorization or a selected set of authorizations may be printed with or without the table of contents in each part. Please refer to the OPSS user’s manual for more detailed instructions.

3-716    OPERATOR’S RECEIPT OF APPROVED AUTHORIZATIONS OR DOCUMENTS.

A.    Authorizations or Documents Signed by Hand.

1)    After the operator completes a new or amended OpSpec, LOA, or other document, the CHDO will review the proposed document in the workspace and make or suggest any proposed changes. Once the CHDO and operator agree on the proposal, the CHDO will place the document in “Signed” status, move it to “Active,” print two copies, and sign both by hand. Both copies will then be hand-delivered or sent by U.S. mail with return receipt to the operator for signature. When both copies have been signed by the operator, both the CHDO and the operator must retain one copy. When the operator signs the document as being received, they are acknowledging that they have reviewed it, agree that the information is correct, and that they will comply with the specifications appearing in that document.
Indicates new/changed information.
2)    PIs will keep a current, signed copy of all hand-signed OpSpec documents, including the table of contents, on file in the CHDO for at least 5 years. The signed documents that are currently in effect for the operator will be filed together. Superseded, surrendered, or revoked documents and authorizations and table of contents will be marked appropriately and retained in the CHDO office for at least 5 years. If an operator’s certificate is surrendered or revoked, the OpSpecs will be marked appropriately and retained in the district office files for at least 5 years. Surrendered or revoked OpSpec templates or other authorizations must be inactivated in the OPSS by the applicable PI. The OPSS active OpSpecs or other authorizations remain in effect within the OPSS until they are amended or inactivated by the FAA. When amended or inactivated, the previous active document will be electronically archived. Under certain circumstances, the FAA allows for the “suspension” of a certificate holder’s OpSpecs. OpSpec A501 is issued to an air carrier certificate holder that requests to completely cease all kinds of operations for all of its aircraft for a designated period of time. The issuance of OpSpec A501 voluntarily holds all of the air carrier certificate holder’s OpSpecs, with the exception of template A501, in a state of suspension for the established period of time, as listed in OpSpec A501. (See OpSpec A501 in Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 3.)
3)    All MSpecs will be electronically signed by both the FAA and the individuals designated to sign for the program managers. There will be no issuance of MSpecs using paper copies. Therefore, there is no requirement to store hard copies of MSpecs. The official copies will remain in the OPSS database either as active or archived.

B.    Electronically Signed Authorizations and Documents Issued From the OPSS.

1)    After the operator/program manager has completed a new or amended OpSpec template, LOA, or other document and placed it in “Draft” status in the OPSS, the CHDO will review the proposed document in the “Workspace” area and make or suggest any proposed changes. Once both the CHDO and operator/program manager agree on the proposal, the operator/program manager must electronically sign the template and advise the CHDO that the industry signature has been accomplished. When the industry signature has been accomplished, the operator/program manager is acknowledging that the information is correct and that they agree to comply with the specifications appearing in the template, authorization, or document. The CHDO will then electronically sign the template and move it to the “Certificate Holder” area.
2)    Once the document is in the “Certificate Holder” area, the CHDO may wish to print a paper copy of the document for data retention purposes. A printed copy is not required because the active official documents will be retained in the OPSS database. When an OpSpec or other document is amended or revoked, the previous active OpSpec or document will be electronically archived. Surrendered or revoked OpSpec templates, authorizations, or documents must be deactivated in the OPSS. The OPSS active OpSpec, authorization, or document remains in effect within the OPSS until they are amended or inactivated by the FAA. When amended or inactivated, the previous active document will be electronically archived for an indefinite period of time.

C.    Issuance of an OpSpec/MSpec, Authorization, or Document by the FAA Without the Concurrence or Signature of the Operator/Program Manager. In general, when the FAA issues and signs a required OpSpec/MSpec template, authorization, or document, it is considered to be effective, whether or not the operator, program manager, or certificate holder has signed it. If, in accordance with the provisions and limitations of § 119.51 or part 91K, the FAA determines that an amendment is needed, the CHDO will issue the amended OpSpec, authorization, or document as effective with only the FAA’s electronic signature. For instance, some of the OpSpec/MSpec paragraphs are not necessarily issued as authorizations but as data collection documents. These paragraphs are “issued” for information purposes, such as OpSpec/MSpec A447. It is not a requirement for the operator or program manager to sign this paragraph/document for it to be effective or activated in the OPSS. It is desirable for the operator or program manager to sign the document to validate that the information being collected is correct.

3-717    PART 142 TSPECS. Information regarding the applicability and issuance of TSpecs is contained in part 142 training centers and specifications.)

3-718    OPSS LIABILITY INSURANCE SUBSYSTEM. The Air Transportation Division, Technical Programs Branch (AFS-260) maintains the part 298, § 298.21(c)(2) registration for the part 135 on-demand certificate holders. Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) Form 4507, Air Taxi Operator Registration and Amendments Under Part 298 of the Regulations of the Department of Transportation, and OST Form 6410, U.S. Air Carriers–Certificate of Insurance, are to be submitted whenever changes occur within the certificate holder’s operation. Every (on-demand) air carrier operator who plans to begin operations under part 135 must register with AFS-260, no later than 30 days prior commencing such operations. The registration of an on‑demand air carrier will remain effective until it is amended by the carrier or canceled by the Administrator. (See Volume 2, Chapter 2, Section 2, paragraph 2-130 for additional guidance in regard to part 298 liability insurance.)

Indicates new/changed information.

A.    Insurance in a Non-Compliant State. AFS division personnel in HQ review insurance information and, based on their findings, identify which certificate holders are no longer authorized to operate. If a certificate holder is no longer authorized to operate, the AFS division personnel place a notification in the OPSS. This is an immediate notification in OPSS and is visible upon opening the certificate holder window. The caption “Insurance in a Non-Compliant State” is displayed in red in the top center of the “Maintain Operations Specifications” window (see Figure 3-67, Red Alert Clause).

Indicates new/changed information.

B.    Red Alert Clause. A red alert clause has been added to the OPSS as a new feature that may appear at the top of the “Maintain Operation Specifications” window to aid POIs in their surveillance of the certificate holder’s compliance with part 298 exemption authority regulations. The red alert clause will display when an applicant or existing certificate holder is not in compliance with these regulations under either of the following two conditions:

1)    A new applicant for part 135, on-demand operations is waiting for the part 298 exemption authority, and/or
2)    An existing part 135, on-demand air carrier’s part 298 exemption authority has become delinquent.
Indicates new/changed information.

C.    Review Insurance Info. If a red alert clause, “Insurance in a Non-Compliant State,” appears at the top of the “Maintain Operations Specifications” window in the OPSS, the “Review Insurance Info” selection can be used to view the details of the noncompliance. See the guidance document in association with OpSpec A001 that graphically explains this feature.

Indicates new/changed information.

D.    Contact Information. If you have questions regarding a respective part 135 air carrier’s part 298 exemption authority status as displayed in the OPSS, you may contact one of the following by telephone or email:

1)    Katherine Tatum, 202-267-7897.
2)    Kim V. Edwards, 907-271-1308 (Alaska Region only).

Figure 3-67.  Red Alert Clause

Figure 3–67. Red Alert Clause.

Follow these steps to review the 14 CFR part 298 exemption authority status for the selected certificate holder:

1.  Select “Certificate Holder” from the automated Operations Safety System (OPSS) certificate-holding district office (CHDO)—Maintain Operations Specifications menu bar.

2.  Select “Review Insurance Info” as shown below:

Red Alert Clause OPSS Certificate Holder menu

Insurance Information Screen:

3.  The Insurance Information screen (below) shows the three statuses for insurance policies:

Alert Clause Insurance Information Screen

·    Approved (Active)—The insurance policy is in effect and up-to-date.

·    Canceled—The insurance policy is no longer in effect, and the certificate holder should not be operating.

·    Terminated—The insurance policy is no longer in effect, and the certificate holder should not be operating.

4.  When you have finished reviewing the information, click the “Close” button at the bottom of the screen.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-719 through 3-735.