Volume 3 GENERAL TECHNICAL ADMINISTRATION
CHAPTER 29 PROVING AND VALIDATION TESTS
Section 1 General Information
3-2286 GENERAL. Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts
91 subpart K (91K),
the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to evaluate each applicant’s ability to conduct operations safely and in accordance
with the applicable regulations before issuing an air carrier certificate, operating certificate, management specifications (MSpecs), or operating
authority to the applicant. Title 14 CFR also requires the Administrator to determine that a certificate holder/applicant is capable of conducting
operations safely and in compliance with applicable regulatory standards before authorizing the certificate holder to operate in an area or
The structured methods used by the FAA to determine an applicant’s capabilities are proving and validation tests.
Volume 3, Chapter 29, Sections 2 through
direction and guidance for inspectors to use for conducting proving tests, and Section
8 contains direction and guidance for conducting validation tests.
Volume 4, Chapter 6, Section 2,
contains direction and guidance regarding validation flights for Extended Operations (ETOPS). Proving and/or validation testing is usually accomplished
in conjunction with an air operator’s initial certification. See Volume 2, Air Operator, Air Agency Certification, for additional guidance.
NOTE: The term “applicant” as used in this chapter means either a candidate applying for an air carrier certificate,
an operating certificate, a certificate holder requesting additional operating authority, or an applicant requesting issuance of MSpecs under part
3-2287 PROVING TESTS. Title 14 CFR part
121.163; and part
applicants seeking authority to operate certain types of aircraft and/or new kinds of operations in revenue service to prove their capability
before being granted operating authority. These applicants must conduct proving tests.
A. Testing Overview. Proving tests consist of a demonstration of the applicant’s
ability to operate and maintain an aircraft new to the operator’s fleet, or the applicant’s ability to conduct a
particular kind of operation, i.e., domestic, flag, supplemental, commuter, on-demand, or fractional ownership
operations. Therefore, the applicant is required to operate and maintain the aircraft to the same standards
required of a certificate holder who is fully certificated and who holds the necessary authorizations.
B. Comprehensive Testing Areas. Do not confuse proving tests with aircraft
certification tests, which are tests conducted by the aircraft manufacturer to demonstrate the airworthiness
of the aircraft. Proving tests are comprehensive in nature and focus on multiple areas. Examples of these areas
include, but are not limited to, the following:
· Cabin safety,
· Operational control,
· Abnormal procedures,
· Minimum equipment list (MEL) management,
· Ability to operate the aircraft in the National Airspace System (NAS), and
· Ability to safely operate the aircraft at scheduled or unscheduled destinations.
Volume 3, Chapter 29, Sections 2 through
7 for further guidance.
3-2288 VALIDATION TESTS. Sections
applicants to demonstrate the capability to conduct operations over proposed routes or areas in compliance with regulatory
requirements before being granted FAA authority to conduct those operations. Proving and validation tests satisfy different
requirements, but both tests may be conducted simultaneously, when appropriate. The FAA requires the applicant to successfully
complete validation testing. The following are some examples that require validation testing:
· The addition of an aircraft for which two pilots are required
for operations under visual flight rules (VFR) or a turbojet airplane, if that aircraft and/or equipment combination, or an aircraft of the same make or similar
design has not been previously proved or validated in that applicant’s operations;
· Operations outside U.S. airspace;
· Class II navigation (NAV) authorizations; and
· Special performance or operational authorizations.
Volume 3, Chapter 29, Section 8 for
specific guidance on validation testing. See
Volume 4, Chapter 6, Section 2 for
specific guidance on ETOPS validation flights.
3-2289 TESTING METHODS ACCEPTABLE TO THE ADMINISTRATOR. Applicants must demonstrate
to the Administrator that they can conduct flight and maintenance operations to the highest level of safety.
A. Evaluating Operations. Operations may vary in complexity.
For example, an operation may involve an operator that possesses Caribbean authority,
but is requesting authorization to expand operations to South America. The operator
must develop the appropriate procedures and training to meet the new operational
requirements to conduct the expanded operation.
B. Complex Operations. For the more complex operations (such as Class II
NAV authorizations, Special Areas of Operation (SAO) authorizations, Category II Approach (CAT II) and
Category III Approach (CAT III)); the methods acceptable to the Administrator (that an applicant may use to
demonstrate compliance) have been published in advisory circulars (AC). Examples are the current editions of:
Criteria for Approval of Category III Weather Minima for Takeoff, Landing, and Rollout;
Extended Operations (ETOPS and Polar Operations); and
Extended Operations (ETOPS) and Operations in the North Polar Area.
C. Acceptable Methods. Operators may prove their competence as determined
by the Administrator by using such methods as flight simulation, tabletop exercises, and document review. An
applicant may use methods other than those specified in ACs, provided that the applicant can demonstrate:
· The validity and reliability of the testing method,
· The test results verify acceptable applicant performance, and
· The method used is acceptable to the Administrator.
NOTE: Due to the fact that the operational environment cannot be duplicated
in the simulator, Special Areas of Operation (SAO) validations will be conducted in flight, utilizing a
table-top exercise, using a combination of the two, or other acceptable method other than the simulator.
NOTE: The proving and validation test process follows the general process
for approval or acceptance that is described in
Volume 3, Chapter 1, Section 1.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-2290 through 3-2310.