3-2261. SCOPE AND CONCEPTS—GENERAL.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is dedicated to, and the flying public
expects, the highest degree of safety in air transportation and air commerce.
Section 44702(b) of Title 49, United States Code (U.S.C.) (formerly § 601(b)
of the Federal Aviation Act (FA Act) of 1958) requires the Administrator to
emphasize the role of safety in all air carrier operations. Accordingly, air
carriers shall have as their highest priority the assignment and maintenance
of safety. The issue of safety permeates both managerial competence and compliance
disposition. This section describes the responsibilities of air carrier management
and the required methods of program implementation.
A. Air Carrier
Management Responsibilities. Air carrier management has the responsibility
for recognizing procedures that fail to attain the goal of safety. However,
it is not enough for an experienced and capable air carrier management to be
prepared to step in only when problems arise, nor is it enough for air carrier
management to correct problems only as they are brought to its attention by
outside agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Management
expertise entails taking an active role, not simply reacting to events. It requires
taking the initiative to ensure a safe operation. It is not sufficient for management
personnel to establish policies and procedures; they must also ensure that the
policies and procedures are effective and that employees implement and follow
them. Management may be held accountable for compliance problems even if they
do not have actual knowledge of the problems, if they should have known of the
carrier’s safety and compliance deficiencies.
B. Role of the
Department of Transportation. Under the provisions of §§ 41711 and 44709
respectively of Title 49, U.S.C. (formerly §§ 415 and 609(a) of the FA Act),
the DOT, when necessary, may inquire at any time into the management of the
business of any air carrier. Further, the DOT and/or FAA may reinspect any air
operator and, if necessary, may amend, modify, suspend, or revoke an air carrier
operating certificate or DOT Economic Authority.
A. Safe Operations.
Air carrier management has the responsibility to conduct safe operations and
to ensure regulatory compliance. To achieve this purpose, air carrier management
must accomplish the following:
Ensure that it possesses and maintains both the intent and ability to comply
with the laws governing the airlines’ operations, particularly the FAA’s safety
Establish a high level management position to direct continuing analysis and
surveillance program functions (This position shall have the authority to investigate,
report, change inspection/ maintenance programs, require training, or change
procedures as necessary to provide the high degree of safety mandated by Title
Ensure that personnel in positions such as check airman, designated maintenance
examiner (DME), instructor, and those with required inspection item (RII) authority
possess the higher level of responsibility necessary to perform to the standards
incumbent on their positions
Strive to exceed minimum Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) requirements in all
areas of air carrier responsibility
Acquire and utilize all of the elements needed for safe operation, including
a competent and willing workforce
Demonstrate the ability and willingness to work with the FAA to ensure continued
B. Internal Evaluation
Program. Air carriers are encouraged to develop internal evaluation programs
that continually monitor company policies and procedures and ensure that the
highest level of safety compliance is maintained. This auditing effort must
also encompass those companies from which parts and services are procured.
C. Voluntary Self-Disclosure
Program. Air carriers may voluntarily self-disclose apparent violations
of the CFR even if an internal evaluation program is not established. FAA Advisory
(AC) 120-6, “Air Carrier Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Procedures,” sets
forth the procedures for the voluntary reporting process. The FAA believes that
the open sharing of apparent violations and a cooperative, advisory approach
to solving problems will enhance and promote aviation safety.
3-2263. AIR CARRIER COMPLIANCE ALERT
INDICATORS. The FAA has identified certain air carrier compliance alert
indicators that are areas of concern in certificate holder operations that may
accompany potential safety deficiencies. Some of these indicators are as follows:
Failure to prevent and correct operational problems that compromise safety
Operational policies and programs that inhibit the ability to resolve safety-related
Repeated violation of regulations designed to ensure compliance with safety
When the FAA, through increased surveillance, must assume an ongoing quality
control role at the air carrier
Increases in accidents, incidents, violations, and emergencies
Slow or incomplete implementation of new regulations and programs
A major change in operating scope, such as significant route expansion, fleet
expansion, and introduction of new aircraft or personnel
Corporate and management problems, such as poor or non-existent internal audit
procedures and limited experience levels of management personnel
Significant increases in employee turnover
Financial or labor/management problems, such as bankruptcies or strikes
Major increases in wet or dry lease activity
AREAS. A safe and compliant airworthiness operation includes a trained and
experienced work force, adequate technical guidance, adequate time for maintenance,
and an effective quality assurance program. Trends that negatively affect airworthiness
and safety have been identified through inspections conducted by the FAA and
DOD. Some standard areas of inspection are as follows:
Manuals and procedures
Flight and rest times
Use of minimum equipment lists (MEL) and configuration deviation lists (CDL)
PROGRAMS. Training programs are systems of instruction that include curriculums,
facilities, instructors, instructional delivery methods, and testing and checking
procedures. A program must satisfy the training requirements of Title 14 of
the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts
135 and ensure that each employee remains adequately trained for each aircraft
operation in which that person serves. Management personnel with oversight responsibilities
for training must be actively involved with the respective program(s).
Effective training of all personnel is critical in order for an operator to
gain and maintain the highest level of proficiency and safety.
14 CFR part 135 Commuter airlines are encouraged to use approved flight
simulators for pilot training and for qualification, competency, and instruments
check purposes to the maximum extent feasible.
B. Need for Flexibility.
All air carrier operations are directly influenced by changes within the company
or in industry in general. These changes will normally result in a need to revise
training curriculums. Changes that may dictate revision of training include
Scope of operation
When any one or more of these changes occur, the air carrier should re-evaluate
its training program.
Respect for Compliance and Safety. The respect that management personnel
have for compliance and safety can directly affect the attitudes their employees
have toward compliance and safety. Some indicators of effectiveness in developing
positive attitudes toward compliance and safety through a training program are
Credible, qualified, and motivated instructors
Positive student attitude toward training
Achievement of satisfactory results after testing
Professional behavior traceable to effective training
Training presented in a timely manner (for example, training in cold weather
operation before the winter months)
Company-instilled atmosphere of reward for self improvement and professionalism
Volume 3, chapter 19 contains detailed information on training programs.
AND PROCEDURES. Title 14 CFR requires certificate holders, except for single-pilot
operators, to have and maintain general operations manual (GOM). The GOM is
the one document that best describes the operator’s methods of conducting business
and assigning responsibilities to its employees. The content of the manual may
vary, depending upon the operator’s size and scope. The manual, when required,
must have complete and detailed information for all employees to perform their
duties. Title 14 CFR parts
135 contain the minimum content requirements.
volume 3, chapter 32, “Manuals, Procedures, and Checklists,” for detailed
SYSTEMS. Situations involving the presence of one or more of the compliance
alert indicators outlined in paragraph 3-2263 of this section usually change
the capability and character of the affected certificate holder. A transition
period often follows when the original capabilities of the certificate holder
are in a state of change until new capabilities have been established and stabilized.
Air carriers must be on the alert for changes in operating philosophy that could
cause negative changes in attitude on the part of their employees toward professionalism,
compliance, and safety. Air carrier management’s increased surveillance of its
recordkeeping may be necessary to more carefully monitor the system. In other
cases, particularly if a change is made to the recordkeeping system, FAA acceptance
or approval will be required, along with a more aggressive approach to the surveillance
NOTE: Familiarity with recordkeeping requirements is important
for inspectors and air carrier management. See the following: Title 14 CFR §§
121.681 through 121.715, or 14 CFR §§
135.65 , as appropriate; and
volume 3, chapter 31; and
volume 6, chapter 2.
A record is an account of an occurrence or event and includes proof of the event’s
occurrence through certification by signature or other means.
B. Errors and
Omissions. Minor errors and omissions may not constitute a lack of compliance
on the part of the operator may not require enforcement action.
Requirements. Title 14 CFR Parts
135 require that operators maintain records on crewmembers and dispatchers
participating in flight operations, as well as on aspects of aircraft flight
operation and aircraft maintenance deficiency reporting.
SCHEDULING. The physical and mental condition of employees is directly related
to the sleep, rest, and relaxation they receive. Management personnel should
employ fatigue countermeasure strategies to ensure that employees are adequately
rested before they accept a flight time assignment. Some employees, such as
flight crewmembers, must receive a minimum amount of rest before flight. The
required rest times are varied, and depend upon the particular 14 CFR part under
which the crewmember operates.
A. Required Records.
Certificate holders must maintain records showing flight and rest period times
for each flight crewmember. There is no single method approved by the FAA to
maintain these records. The certificate holder may use any method, including
computer records that clearly show the rest periods and flight times of each
14 CFR part 121 has a number of different requirements based upon the type
of certificate held. There are flight time limitations and rest requirements
for domestic operators, flag operators, supplemental air carriers, and commercial
121 also places restrictions on duty times for dispatchers under domestic
and flag operations.
14 CFR part 135 , like part
121, has a number of different operating conditions and types of flying
(scheduled versus non-scheduled, one or more pilots) that determine the number
of flight hours a pilot may accrue during a given period. There are also circumstances
in which a pilot may exceed the flight time limitations. Should that occur,
the pilot must get additional rest before accepting a flight time assignment.
NOTE: The Office of the Chief Counsel has responded to numerous
questions concerning flight and rest time. The questions and responses are in
the Flight Standards Aviation Safety Analysis System (ASAS), Policy and Reference
Subsystem. Air carriers that encounter a situation requiring an interpretation
may find that it has already been addressed and entered in the Policy and Reference
Fatigue and Stress Indicators. There are a number of factors that affect
crew functions and should be addressed by air carrier management. These factors
directly affect a pilot’s physical, mental, and overall well-being. It may be
appropriate to reduce flight times and/or increase rest periods based upon the
effects of the following causes of fatigue and stress:
A large volume of passengers and baggage
Climatic conditions, such as extreme heat and humidity, cold, frost, ice, and
Inadequate time allowed for meals
Unavailability of food and drink
Noisy working environments
High number of instrument takeoffs, approaches, and landings
Inordinate schedule demands and changes
Overnight accommodations not conducive to adequate rest
Situations that compromise safety, such as insufficient rest times, exceeding
MEL limits, and other operational excesses
CONTROL. Air carrier operators conduct operational control by making decisions
and performing those actions on a daily basis that are necessary to operate
flights safely and in compliance with applicable regulations. Air carrier operational
control systems vary with the kind of operation the operator is authorized to
conduct, the complexity of the operation, the means of communication, and the
persons who are involved in preparing for and conducting flights under the operator’s
system. There are three general operational control systems: flight dispatch,
flight-following, and flight-locating.
A. Flight Dispatch
Systems. Title 14 CFR §§
121.535 require that both flag and domestic operators employ certificated
aircraft dispatchers to exercise control of flights. Title 14 CFR §
121.99 requires that flag and domestic operators provide radio communication
facilities that are capable of quickly and reliably contacting a flight at all
points while en route.
Systems. Title 14 CFR §
121.537 places the major responsibility for the operational control of supplemental
air carriers and commercial operators with the director of operations (DO) and
the pilot-in-command (PIC). The DO may delegate the functions for initiation,
continuation, diversion and termination of a flight to other employees, but
the DO retains full responsibility for those functions.
Systems. Title 14 CFR §§
135.77 require that the name and title of each individual authorized to
exercise operational control be listed in the operator’s GOM. A Part
135 operator may delegate the authority for a specific flight to the PIC,
but the operator always retains full responsibility.
1) It is the responsibility
of the air carrier to ensure that all functions required, such as crew scheduling,
load planning, and aircraft routing, are accomplished before the flight is authorized
to depart. The operator must establish an internal communications system and
administrative procedures that will ensure the achievement of the required functions.
2) It is the responsibility
of the FAA to evaluate the certificate holder’s operational control system to
ensure that the system complies with the applicable regulations. The system
must be effective and provide for the highest level of safety in the operation
being conducted. The FAA must be aware of any management problems that may lead
to system breakdown. Some indicators of potential problems may be any of the
Personnel not knowledgeable, competent, or proficient
Inadequate communications systems
Poor or improper procedures
Any of the air carrier compliance alert indicators listed in paragraph 3-2263
NOTE: Air carriers that are certificated under Parts
135 are authorized to conduct training flights under the provisions of Part
91. Therefore, there are no dispatch or flight-locating requirements for
those operations. Operations conducted while on special flight permits are required
to operate under Part
91. These flights should be conducted on an FAA flight plan to facilitate
search and rescue operations, in case the aircraft become overdue or lost. Also,
company personnel should be available and in a position to communicate with
the aircraft if necessary.
NOTE: For detailed information on operational control, see
volume 3, chapter 25, section 1.
3-2270. USE OF
MEL AND CDL. Another area in which air carrier management must be especially
observant, when involved in situations created by any of the indicators set
forth in paragraph 3-2263, is that of MEL and CDL requirements and procedures.
The presence of one or more of the indicators will usually change the capability
and character of the affected certificate holder. Any breakdown or degradation
of MEL and CDL procedures due to management ineffectiveness, or from any other
cause, could have an immediate and significant impact on flight safety.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-2271 through 3-2285.