8900.1 CHG 385



Section 4 North American Free Trade Agreement


12-59    OBJECTIVE. This task provides guidance for Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) managers, supervisors, and aviation safety inspectors (ASI) to examine and process an application for conducting Specialty Air Services (SAS) as defined in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Annex I. Successful completion of this task will result in issuance of a letter of authorization (LOA) to the applicant. An LOA in NAFTA means the issuance paragraph A001, A004, and a NAFTA certificate of authorization (COA) and/or letter of registration (LOR) in WebOPSS (NAFTA paragraphs N501 thru N508), depending on the country and the SAS requested by the applicant.

Indicates new/changed information.

12-60    GENERAL.

A.    Responsibilities. Operators are responsible for complying with their country of origin’s regulations and the regulations of the country in which they will conduct operations. The current edition of Advisory Circular (AC) 00-60, North American Free Trade Agreement and Specialty Air Services Operations, contains information and guidance for operators under the provisions of NAFTA and operational guidance within the three Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA). To preclude duplication of information, you must refer to AC 00-60 in conjunction with completing this task.

B.    NAFTA Policy. The General Aviation and Commercial Division (AFS-800) is responsible for NAFTA SAS policy and procedures for issuance of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) COAs and LORs. The local FSDO issues FAA COAs and LORs where the first operation will take place (for Canadian/Mexican operators) or where the operator is based (for U.S. operators).

C.    SAS Definitions. The following is a list of SAS definitions identified by NAFTA and includes any other special-purpose operations determined by the three CAAs to have similar characteristics. NAFTA’s SASs are specialized commercial aviation operations performing any of the following:

1)    Aerial Advertising. The operation of an aircraft for the purpose of skywriting, banner towing, displaying airborne signs, dispensing leaflets, and making public address (PA) announcements.
2)    Aerial Construction. The operation of a helicopter for the purpose of external-load operations in support of construction, hoisting of utilities, power line construction, and erecting special-purpose towers.
Indicates new/changed information.
3)    Aerial Inspection or Surveillance. The operation of an aircraft for the purpose of conducting aerial observations and patrols of surface events and objects. If an operator is seeking to perform activities related to wildlife management, it is considered to be aerial inspection and surveillance.
4)    Aerial Mapping. The operation of an aircraft for the purpose of mapping by means of a camera or other measuring and recording devices.
5)    Aerial Photography. The operation of an aircraft for the purpose of taking photographs or recording information by means of a camera or other measuring and recording devices.
6)    Aerial Sightseeing. The operation of an aircraft for the purpose of providing recreation to passengers. This originates and terminates at the same airport or the same aerodrome.
7)    Aerial Spraying. The operation of an aircraft for the dispersal of products for the benefit of agriculture, horticulture, public health, or forestry. This does not include the dispensing of live insects.
8)    Aerial Surveying. The operation of an aircraft for the purpose of surveying by means of a camera or other measuring and recording devices.
9)    Firefighting. The operation of an aircraft for the purpose of dispensing water, chemicals, and fire retardants intended for suppressing a fire. This includes carrying firefighters from base camp to base camp or base camp to the work zone.
10)  Flight Training. Training provided by certified flight schools and flight training operators who follow an approved ground and flight syllabus, which permits students to meet all certification requirements for obtaining an airman certificate or rating. This also includes operational training provided by SAS operators.
11)  Forest Fire Management. The operation of an aircraft for the purpose of fire detection and control, as well as dispensing any substance intended for forest fire suppression and prevention. This includes carrying firefighters, fire bosses, and/or managers from the base camp into the fire area or the actual fire site, as well as within the same work zone.
12)  Glider Towing. The towing of a glider by a powered aircraft equipped with a tow hitch.
13)  Heli-Logging. The operation of an aircraft for the purpose of transporting timber suspended from the fuselage.
14)  Parachute Jumping. The operation of an aircraft for the purpose of allowing a person to descend from that aircraft in flight using a parachute during all or part of that descent.


A.    Prerequisites. This task requires knowledge of the following:

·    NAFTA eligibility requirements;

·    Insurance requirements;

·    Emergency equipment requirements;

·    Special requirements for each country;

·    AC 00-60;

·    WebOPSS;

·    LOAs; and

·    FAA Form 7711-2, Application for Certificate of Waiver or Authorization, with specific instructions for use with NAFTA.

B.    General Aviation Operations (GAOP) Inspector. FSDOs are encouraged to designate a GAOP inspector as the office NAFTA specialist and principal point of contact (POC) responsible for issuing NAFTA operational authority. The inspector will need to meet the prerequisites of the task and be knowledgeable in NAFTA guidance, policy, procedures, and issuance of NAFTA COAs and/or LORs.

C.    Coordination.This task will require coordination with a General Aviation Airworthiness (GAAW) inspector. AFS-800 handles processing and policy issues in coordination with the Department of Transportation (DOT). The DOT determines whether similar operations are covered services encompassed by Article 1213 and Annex I. Direct any questions about operations not listed to AFS-800 at 202-385-9600.

D.    Inquiries. If an operator contacts you for information regarding NAFTA operations, provide them with the current editions of the following documents or electronic links:

1)    AC 00-60, available at http://rgl.faa.gov/.
2)    This section of FAA Order 8900.1, available at http://fsims.faa.gov/.
3)    FAA Form 7711-2, Application for Certificate of Waiver or Authorization, available at http://www.faa.gov/forms/.
4)    U.S. DOT Order 97-7-3, Specialty Air Service Operators of Canada and Mexico, must be on board the aircraft. This document is available at http://docketsinfo.dot.gov/general/orders/19973qtr/jul97/970703.pdf.


A.    References (current editions):

·    Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Parts 61, 91, 105, 133, 137, and 141 (and other parts as applicable).

·    AC 00-60, North American Free Trade Agreement and Specialty Air Services Operations.

Indicates new/changed information.

·    U.S. DOT Order 97-7-3, Specialty Air Services Information Packet. This document is available at http://docketsinfo.dot.gov/general/orders/19973qtr/jul97/970703.pdf.

B.    Forms. FAA Form 7711-2, Application for Certificate of Waiver or Authorization.

C.    Job Aids:

·    Figure 12-1, Application Process Job Aid.

·    Figure 12-6, NAFTA Email Template.

Indicates new/changed information.

12-63    PROCEDURES.

A.    PTRS. Open the PTRS.

B.    Initiate the Process. Initiate the process to issue, reissue, or amend the NAFTA operational authority.

C.    Initial, Amendment, or Renewal Authorization for U.S. Operators. The FAA grants NAFTA authorizations for up to 365 days (e.g., effective from 04/30/2012 to 04/29/2013, inclusive). U.S. operators who wish to conduct a NAFTA SAS operation in either Canada or Mexico should submit an application package to their local FSDO at least 45 days prior to the first proposed operation. The application package must contain:

1)    A letter from the operator requesting an initial, renewal, or amended NAFTA authorization.
2)    A completed FAA Form 7711-2, according to instructions in AC 00-60. Block 2 of FAA Form 7711-2 should include a valid email address to contact the responsible party.
3)    Proof of insurance coverage for each aircraft.
4)    A copy of the aircraft airworthiness certificate(s).
5)    A copy of the aircraft Type Certificate Data Sheet(s) (TCDS).
6)    A list of contract or third-party personnel essential to the SAS. The list should identify the necessary personnel and their job functions along with an appropriate method of control (training requirement or process) to ensure safe operation under the specialized SAS operation.
7)    Proof of ability to use and control contract personnel.
8)    Name of approved maintenance organization that provides the operator’s maintenance.

D.    FSDO Actions Authorizing U.S. Operators.

Indicates new/changed information.
1)    Review the completed application package. The operator must have a designator listed under the preparing office’s WebOPSS certificate-holding district office (CHDO) code before an authorization can be completed. When a FSDO receives a NAFTA application, the NAFTA POC must determine if one of three situations exists in WebOPSS:
a)    The operator is already listed under the preparing office’s CHDO code in WebOPSS. Complete the operator’s new application, renewal, or amendment and, within WebOPSS, prepare an LOA (N501 through N508) listing the SAS operations authorized.
b)    No record exists in the preparing office’s WebOPSS CHDO code. Verify that the operator is not listed under a different CHDO code (see Figure 12-5, WebOPSS Certificate Search). If no record is found listed under a different CHDO code, the preparing office creates a new record and designator.
Indicates new/changed information.
c)    The operator is listed in WebOPSS, but is currently listed under a different CHDO code. The certificate and designator must be transferred to the preparing office (see paragraph 12-66).
2)    Verify that all pilots named on the application are qualified to conduct the SAS operation. For U.S. operators, query the FAA database (i.e., Safety Performance Analysis System (SPAS)) for each pilot listed to ensure qualifications and no pending certificate action. It is up to the discretion of the FSDO, if any adverse findings are made, to include or exclude requested pilots from a NAFTA authorization.
Indicates new/changed information.
3)    For U.S. operators, ensure an aircraft ramp inspection is conducted for the appropriate SAS operation(s).
a)    Conduct an aircraft ramp inspection for each aircraft not operating under an air operator or air agency certificate.
b)    An operator can take credit for a ramp inspection accomplished on the same aircraft within 6 months prior to the application or renewal of the authorization.
c)    Review the documentation/results from the last aircraft inspection.
d)    Review the Airworthiness Directive (AD) compliance documentation/records.
e)    Review the documentation/records for the status of life-limited parts.

NOTE:  Operators must be willing and able to make any aircraft that they will use for NAFTA operations available for inspection by a FSDO at a location acceptable to the FSDO, including bringing the aircraft to the United States, or coordinating as required to accomplish an inspection.

4)    Review the aircraft TCDS carefully to verify that the aircraft meets the requirements in accordance with AC 00-60. Some aircraft may not be eligible for the requested SAS operation. Under NAFTA, experimental aircraft or ex-military aircraft whose type certificate (TC) is based on military experience (under 14 CFR part 21, § 21.25(a)(2)) are not authorized. If aircraft eligibility cannot be determined, please contact AFS‑800 for clarification.
5)    SAS operators may use leased aircraft of foreign registry. All pilots or required flightcrew members of these aircraft must hold at least a commercial license and rating appropriate to the aircraft’s State of Registry. If there is a question as to the legality of a lease or operational control, contact the Regional Counsel.
6)    The insurance should be valid from the start date of the requested NAFTA authorization period. At the time of application, it is not necessary for an operator’s insurance to be valid through the duration of the requested NAFTA authorization period. However, it remains the operator’s responsibility to carry proof of current insurance on board the aircraft during all NAFTA operations.
7)    If there are any deficiencies, coordinate with the applicant to resolve all issues.
8)    If the application is acceptable, submit FAA Form 7711-2 to the district office manager or designated representative for signature. The designated representative must be a unit supervisor or higher level manager.
Indicates new/changed information.
9)    Within WebOPSS, prepare an LOA listing the SAS operations authorized. The LOA will contain a list of provisions required under NAFTA (paragraphs N501 through N508). If an operator is seeking to perform activities related to wildlife management, it is considered to be Aerial Inspection and Surveillance.
a)    The NAFTA SAS COA is issued to an operator to conduct NAFTA SAS operations. In the cases of firefighting and/or forest fire management, issue an LOR.
b)    Issue or renew the NAFTA LOA as a part 91 operator with a designator code of “J” in WebOPSS, including operators who hold an operating certificate. The last four characters of the certificate number should correspond to the issuing office designator in WebOPSS (headquarters (HQ)-issued certificates end in FS80, for example).

NOTE:    For operators who hold a U.S. operating certificate, you must not issue NAFTA LOAs within the WebOPSS database applicable to their certificate (e.g., parts 133, 137, and 141). Issue NAFTA LOAs only within the part 91 database of WebOPSS, with a designator ending in “J.” NAFTA authorizations are issued separately from any paragraphs issued in those operating certificate databases.

Indicates new/changed information.
10)  The NAFTA-assigned Operations inspector or Operations unit supervisor must digitally sign the WebOPSS LOA for issuance.
11)  Fill in the “Region” and “Date” blocks on FAA Form 7711-2.
Indicates new/changed information.
12)  Email the completed documents to the responsible party’s email address, listed in block 2 of the 7711‑2, as a PDF document (see Figure 12-6, NAFTA Email Template, for a template).

E.    Close the PTRS. In the “National Use” field, enter NAFTA-(originating country), (e.g., NAFTA-CA for Canadian or NAFTA-MX for Mexican operators in the United States). If processing a foreign (Canadian/Mexican) authorization, check the Foreign Activity box. Use code 1220.

F.    Processing an Initial or Renewal LOA for Foreign (Canadian/Mexican) Operators. Canadian or Mexican operators must submit an application package to the appropriate local FSDO where the first SAS operation will take place no later than 45 days prior to date of the first proposed NAFTA operation.

1)    The application package will consist of the following:
a)    A letter requesting a new or reissuance of a NAFTA authorization.
b)    Authorization from the National CAA (Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) of Canada or the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) of Mexico) (e.g., Canadian operations specifications (OpSpecs)/Mexican air operator certificate (AOC)).
c)    Documentation verifying applicable insurance coverage.
d)    A completed FAA Form 7711-2, according to instructions in AC 00-60. Block 2 of FAA Form 7711-2 should include a valid email address to contact the responsible party.
2)    The local FSDO will process the NAFTA application in the same manner as they use for an authorization for a U.S. operator (see subparagraph 12-63D), except that the appropriate foreign CAA is responsible for aircraft inspections and verification of pilot qualifications.

G.    Amendments to LOAs Within the Issuance Year.

Indicates new/changed information.
1)    U.S. operators will submit changes in personnel or equipment via amended FAA Form 7711-2 and accompanying letter to the CHDO. The CHDO may accept the request electronically.
2)    Canadian and Mexican operators will submit changes in personnel or equipment via amended FAA Form 7711-2 and accompanying letter, along with updated national CAA authorization (e.g., Canadian OpSpecs/Mexican AOC) to the FSDO nearest to the area of intended SAS operations. The FSDO may accept the request electronically.
Indicates new/changed information.
3)    Adding or deleting aircraft, pilot names, or SAS activities as necessary, throughout the authorization year, will serve as LOA revisions.
Indicates new/changed information.
4)    When processing an amendment, the FSDO should change the start date to the date the amendment is processed, but the expiration date of the NAFTA authorization does not change. However, when an applicant requests an amendment within 60 days of the expiration of their existing authorization, the FSDO must offer the applicant the option of processing the request as a renewal.

12-64    SAS OPERATIONS NOTIFICATION. As per the LOA and NAFTA, operators must provide the authorizing FSDO advance notification of:

·    Any change in the type of authorized SAS operation; and

·    Any change in the geographic area of operation. The SAS operator will provide written notification to both the originating FSDO and the new FSDO prior to conducting SAS operations in the new service area. The authorizing FSDO must complete a PTRS entry to document a change in the operator’s geographic area of operation.


A.  Canada.

Manager, Certification

Foreign Inspection Division, ASRXH

Commercial and Business Aviation

Tower C, Place de Ville, 330 Sparks Street

4th Floor

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5

Telephone: 613-990-1100

Fax: 613-991-5188

B.  Mexico.

Dirección Técnica

Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil

Ave. Providencia 807, Piso  4

Col. Del Valle

C.P. 03100, Mexico, D.F.

Telephone: 525-687-7680

Fax: 525-523-6740

C.  United States.

1)  FAA Office of Aerospace Medicine
Drug Abatement Division (AAM-800)
800 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20591
Telephone: 202-267-8442
Fax: 202-267-5200
2)  FAA General Aviation and Commercial Division (AFS-800)
800 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20591
Telephone: 202-385-9600

Fax: 202-267-9597

Email: NAFTA@faa.gov
3)  U.S. Department of Transportation
Foreign Air Carrier Licensing Division, X-45
400 Seventh Street SW
Washington, DC 20590
Telephone: 202-366-2358
Fax: 202-366-3694


A.    Notify Office. Notify the current FSDO or AFS-800 (as applicable) that the record needs to be electronically transferred.

B.    Provide Details. After receiving approval from the current FSDO or AFS-800, contact WebOPSS support at AFS-WebOPSS@faa.gov and provide:

1)    Full operator name as it appears in WebOPSS.
2)    The operator’s NAFTA designator code.
3)    Office transferring from or losing CHDO code, where the operator record is held (the CHDO code is FS80 if originating from AFS-800).
Indicates new/changed information.
4)    Office transferring to or gaining CHDO code, where the operator record needs to be moved.

C.    Transfer Record. WebOPSS support transfers the operator record to the gaining FSDO’s CHDO code.

D.    Inform Office. Inform the prior FSDO that the record was successfully moved.

E.    Verify Signature Tab. Open the operator’s data under the “Maintain” screen in WebOPSS and verify the data under the “Inspectors” tab are correctly set for signature. For NAFTA, only the “MGR” block needs to be assigned for signature.

F.    Complete Authorization. Complete the NAFTA authorization process in accordance with paragraph 12‑63.

Figure 12-1.         Application Process Job Aid

Indicates new/changed information.










U.S. Operator


Foreign Operator


NAFTA Specialist initials













Initial contact with ____________________







Applicant referred to NAFTA specialist.







Applicant referred to copy of Advisory Circular (AC) 00-60, North American Free Trade Agreement and Specialty Air Services Operations (and any other pertinent documents).







Applicant referred to copy of FAA Form 7711-2, Application for Certificate of Waiver or Authorization.







Applicant advised how to obtain pertinent regulations.














Application package received by Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) NAFTA specialist.







Initial review of formal application package.







Open Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS) (after determining application is complete during initial review).














Formal application package review.







Formal application letter.







Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) Operations Specification (OpSpec) 56/Director General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) Air Operator Certificate (AOC).







Properly completed FAA Form 7711-2.







Documentation of insurance.







Verify pilot(s) certificates/medical certificate.







Check for pilot and operator enforcement history.














Aircraft ramp inspection.














FSDO Manager or unit supervisor signature on FAA Form 7711-2.







NAFTA specialist prepares letter of authority (LOA) for Web-based Operations Safety System (WebOPSS) signature.







Forward LOA and other necessary documents to operator, and include any applicable guidance (e.g.,
AC 00‑60).







Close PTRS (National Use block, NAFTA-(originating country)).







Indicates new/changed information. Indicates new/changed information.

Figure 12‑5.   WebOPSS Certificate Search

How to determine an operator's CHDO code in WebOPSS:

·    Open WebOPSS

·    Select Tools‑Reports‑Standard

·    Select Operator Name Search

    CFR: 91

    Operator Name: Type in all or part of Operator Name (leave other entries as the default)

    Select View Report (note the designator code listed for the operator)

·    Select Tools‑Reports‑Standard

·    Select National Paragraph Viewer

    CFR: 91

    Type the noted designator (from above) in the 'Designator' box (leave other entries as the default)

    Select View Report to see the NAFTA authorizations (N500 series paragraphs)


Indicates new/changed information.

Figure 12-6.         NAFTA Email Template

Subject: NAFTA Authorization Packet – [OPERATOR’S NAME]


Attached are your NAFTA Certificate of Authorization and/or Letter of Registration documents. These documents authorize your company Specialty Air Service (SAS) operations conducted under the North American Free Trade agreement (NAFTA), and are valid for the time period indicated in your documentation. Included are aircraft and pilot listings that are a part of the Authorization and/or Registration. Also included are special provisions for Canada and Mexico if required. The approval documents are validated when you sign as the Responsible Party-NAFTA. (You do not need to send a returned signed copy.) Please print the documentation for your records. If you wish to be mailed a hard copy, you may send your request to the issuing office.

[ATTACH PDF HERE] (This is the printed A001, A004, and N paragraphs from WebOPSS printed as PDF documents and combined together into one single document.)

Prior to operations in Canada and Mexico, an authorization issued by the host country Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is required. Authorization can be obtained by submitting a copy of these approval documents to the appropriate CAA at the address found in the current edition of FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 00-60, North American Free Trade Agreement and Specialty Air Services Operations. Please be advised that the host country may require additional information, certain applicable fees, as well as insurance that may be in addition to the coverage already provided by your insurance carrier. NOTE: The U.S. Department of Transportation determined that Wildlife Management is included as part of Aerial Inspection and Surveillance and therefore encompassed by Article 1213 and Annex I of NAFTA.

Should it be necessary to amend these approval documents, please submit a new FAA Form 7711-2, Application for Certificate of Waiver or Authorization, to the issuing office with requested changes. Renewals should be submitted at least 30 days prior to the expiration of your Authorization and/or Registration.

Detail about NAFTA requirements and guidance can be found at http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/afs/afs800/afs820/nafta_oper/.

For questions, you can email this office at [PROVIDE EMAIL] or phone [PROVIDE #].



RESERVED. Paragraphs 12-67 through 12-79.