8900.1 CHG 42

VOLUME 4  aircraft equipment and operational authorization


Section 3  Offshore Instrument Approach Procedures

4-1116       GENERAL. This section contains information and guidance to be used by principal operations inspectors (POI) for the review and approval of offshore instrument approach procedures. These procedures are to be used by instrument flight rules (IFR) approved helicopter operators in an offshore environment to conduct instrument approaches to rigs, platforms or ships that are at least 5 nautical miles (NM) offshore in uncontrolled airspace. The helicopter operator will use the airborne radar approaches (ARA) or the offshore standard approach procedures (OSAP) for conducting instrument approaches in this environment.

4-1117       APPROACH APPROVAL PROCEDURES. The latest edition of Advisory Circular (AC) 90-80, Approval of Offshore Helicopter Approaches, contains approval guidance, procedures criteria, and a sample training program for offshore instrument approaches. ARA procedures are special instrument approach procedures approved under the provisions of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Order 8260.19, Flight Procedures and Airspace, latest edition, and FAA Order 8260.3, United States (U.S.) Standards for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS), latest edition.

A.     ARA Approval Procedures. POIs should refer to AC 90-80, which contains one method of approval criteria and a sample training program for ARAs. POIs should also note and adhere to the following ARA approval procedures:

1)      The regional flight inspection and procedures (FIP) staff is responsible for the development and approval of ARAs.
2)      A copy of the proposed ARA procedures shall be forwarded for review to the flight inspection field office (FIFO) that maintains geographic responsibility for the area in which the ARA will be conducted.
3)      The Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) with geographic responsibility for the area in which the ARA will be conducted is responsible for the verification of controlling obstacles.
4)      The certificate-holding district office (CHDO) is responsible for approving the operatorís use of the en route and instrument approach procedures based on demonstration of acceptable performance. The CHDO may need the support of the office having geographic responsibility to observe these demonstrations.
5)      ARAs are documented on FAA Form 8260-7, Special Instrument Approach Procedures.
6)      The FIP staff should amend the ARA with a pen-and-ink change for minor changes of rig location, provided the en route egress point and procedure name remain the same and the controlling obstacle does not change; otherwise, the FIP staff shall develop a new procedure.

B.     Approval Process for OSAPs. Helicopter operators that are approved for IFR offshore operations and that desire to conduct OSAPs must do the following:

1)      The operator must submit a written request to the CHDO, according to AC 90-80.
2)      The POI shall evaluate and test the procedures contained in the request for OSAP approval, according to AC 90-80. The FSDO must approve the operatorís OSAP maintenance and training programs before issuing authorization.
3)      The POI shall utilize Part H112 of the operations specifications (OpSpecs) to authorize Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 135 operators to conduct OSAPs. For 14 CFR part 91 operations, the FSDO shall issue a letter of authorization to each part 91 operator. A sample letter of authorization is contained in Appendix 5 of AC 90-80.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 4-1118 through 4-1124.