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VOLUME 12  INTERNATIONAL AVIATION

CHAPTER 2  FOREIGN AIR CARRIERS OPERATING TO THE U.S. AND FOREIGN OPERATORS OF U.S.-REGISTERED AIRCRAFT ENGAGED IN COMMON CARRIAGE OUTSIDE THE U.S.

Section 2  Part 129 Operations Specifications Overview and Issuance

12-104    GENERAL. In addition to obtaining economic authority from the Department of Transportation (DOT) and a security program from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), if applicable to the operation to be conducted, each foreign air carrier must obtain operations specifications (OpSpecs) issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before conducting operations within U.S. airspace. Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 129, § 129.7 includes detailed requirements that a foreign air carrier must meet to be issued OpSpecs.

12-105    RESPONSIBLE FAA OFFICE.

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A.    Field Offices. The responsibility for the issuance and amendment of foreign air carrier OpSpecs and the approval of minimum equipment lists (MEL) and maintenance programs for U.S.-registered aircraft has been delegated to specific field offices. The assigned offices are responsible for OpSpecs and enhanced Vital Information Database (eVID) data for foreign air carriers that are issued Air Operator Certificates (AOC) from a foreign authority in the geographic area as specified below. Regardless of where the foreign air carrier may elect to locate its U.S. office, the International Field Offices (IFO) specified below still retain responsibility for OpSpec and eVID information. See Volume 12, Chapter 3, Section 3, paragraph 12-416 for additional guidance on surveillance, entry, and maintenance of environmental information.

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B.    International Responsibility. Part 129 states that matters under this part should be directed to the “responsible Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).” For regulatory purposes, it was determined that only a single type of facility could be specified. The International Programs and Policy Division (AFS-50) division manager determines and assigns international responsibility to an IFO for the oversight of operations under part 129. The responsible IFOs are:

·    Dallas/Ft. Worth International Field Office (DFW-IFO),

·    Los Angeles International Field Office (LAX-IFO),

·    Miami International Field Office (MIA-IFO), and

·    New York International Field Office (NY-IFO).

NOTE:  The FAA lists the responsible IFO’s geographic Area of Responsibility (AOR) on the following Web site: http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/field_offices/ifo/. Once on the Web site, click on the service area under each IFO for additional information.

12-106    APPLICATION. The application procedure is designed to ensure an applicant’s programs, systems, and intended methods of compliance are thoroughly reviewed and evaluated in accordance with U.S. requirements and international standards. The procedure, once completed, will ensure the applicant’s infrastructure (programs, methods, and systems) will result in continued compliance after issuance of the OpSpecs. The following procedure will be used to determine issuance of OpSpecs under part 129.

A.    Preapplication.

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1)    During this stage of the process, the applicant makes an initial Letter of Intent (LOI) to the FAA regarding the procedure to obtain OpSpecs to operate to the United States under part 129. The applicant is provided information regarding the part 129 OpSpec application procedure. The applicant will provide the information contained in the Preapplication Job Aid (see Figure 12-1A) to the responsible IFO. The applicant is not required to submit FAA Form 8400-6, Preapplication Statement of Intent, for a part 129 application.
2)    After initial review and determination that the applicant is prepared to begin the procedure, the IFO manager will assign inspectors to the part 129 applicant. A preapplication meeting, including foreign applicant personnel and assigned inspectors, should be conducted early in the application process. If the foreign air carrier operates to the United States, it may be beneficial to hold this meeting after the U.S. DOT grants the foreign applicant a permit or exemption. It may not be convenient for all parties to meet face-to-face. In this situation, it is acceptable to meet via video or teleconference. Discussion points should include:

·    The application process, which may include FAA, DOT, and TSA requirements;

·    Where to find regulatory guidance;

·    Introduction to Web-based Operations Safety System (WebOPSS);

·    Authorizations available to the applicant based on aircraft capabilities (e.g., Category (CAT) II/III, Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required (RNP AR), etc.);

·    Preferred methods for communicating with the FAA IFO and U.S.-based agent for service requirements;

·    Requirements for U.S.-registered aircraft operated under § 129.14;

·    FAA-required reports (flight notification, etc.); and

·    Notification of ramp inspection requirements.

B.    Application. Applications for foreign air carrier OpSpecs shall be made by letter. The application letter must contain the applicable information prescribed in § 129.9, the Preapplication Job Aid, and the pertinent State of the Operator approvals.

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1)    The applicant must present evidence of:

·    Current OpSpecs issued from the State of the Operator;

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·    Approvals or authorizations from the State of the Operator for types of operations authorized that may include, but are not limited to, Data Link Communication using Future Air Navigation System (FANS), ground deicing, etc.

2)    If applicable to the operation to be conducted, the applicant must present evidence of:

·    A permit issued by the DOT under Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.), Subtitle VII, Part A, §§ 40109 and/or 41301;

·    The approved security program or waiver by the TSA; and

·    The Hazardous Materials/Dangerous Goods Program.

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3)    For operation of U.S.-registered aircraft, the applicant must submit documents to include:

·    Registration markings part 129 requires;

·    Proposed MEL tailored to the applicant’s operations and based on the FAA-approved Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) (see Volume 12, Chapter 3, Section 2 for MEL information);

·    Maintenance program or procedures adequate to support the use of the proposed MEL;

·    Applications for special-purpose pilot authorizations, if applicable; and

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·    For leased U.S.-registered aircraft, the applicant must submit the lease agreements or a written memoranda of the terms both parties signed in addition to the items listed above.

NOTE:  The ASI must ensure the applicant provides the information in Block 10, Authorized Officer or Employee certifying all application statements in the application are true, on the Preapplication Job Aid (see Figure 12-1A). Refer to § 129.7 for timelines.

C.    Temporary Designator and Numbers. The Aviation Data Systems Branch (AFS-620) will assign a foreign air carrier temporary designator and an OpSpecs number through the Enhanced Flight Standards Automation System (eFSAS) for each foreign air carrier. The inspector shall obtain a foreign air carrier temporary designator and OpSpecs number directly from AFS-620 via email at 9‑AMC‑AFS620‑Certinfo@faa.gov (alternatively by phone at 405-954-9723). The four-letter designator shall always be the first four characters of the OpSpecs number. When requesting a designator and OpSpecs number, the inspector shall state, “the purpose of the contact is to request a foreign air carrier designator and OpSpecs number” and then provide the official name of the foreign air carrier.

D.    Contents of OpSpecs. Section 129.5 defines those foreign air carriers or foreign persons that must hold FAA OpSpecs.

1)    The contents of the OpSpecs issued to a foreign air carrier conducting operations within the United States under § 129.1(a) shall include all the information § 129.9 requires.
2)    The contents of the OpSpecs issued to a foreign air carrier or foreign person operating U.S.-registered aircraft solely outside the United States in common carriage in accordance with § 129.14 shall include the information § 129.9(b) contains.
3)    The air carrier or foreign person operating under part 129 must designate an agent for service within the United States. This includes the agent’s full name and office address or usual place of residence. The agent for service is the person or company the operator designates upon whom the FAA will serve all legal notices, processes and orders, decisions, and requirements concerning the air carrier’s authorization to operate in the United States under part 129. When the agent for service receives a document from the FAA, the operator is considered to have received the document.

12-107    PROCESSING APPLICATIONS.

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A.    Notification and Evaluation. The responsible FAA office shall notify the applicant upon receipt of the formal application. The responsible FAA office shall evaluate the application to ensure the applicant provided the information identified in the Preapplication Job Aid and the information is accurate. The evaluation of the application consists of a review of the documents and information the applicant provided, except for operations that require concurrence from the region or headquarters (HQ) (e.g., RNP AR). See applicable OpSpecs for guidance.

B.    Technical Resources.

1)    Unless AFS-54 advises otherwise, IFOs may continue to directly reach out to and use All Weather Operations (AWO) resources, to include:

·    Subject matter experts (SME) for technical questions relating to Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) technology or Special Areas of Operation (SAO),

·    Audio-visual and written material on the AWO SharePoint Web site,

·    Participate in presentations (e.g., WebX) available through the AWO SharePoint Web site, and

·    On-the-job training (OJT) resource materials on the AWO SharePoint Web site.

2)    Request for access to the AWO SharePoint Web site will be made in the same manner as requests for access to the Area Washington (AWA) (HQ) tracker, commonly referred to as the NextGen tracker. The AWA tracker tracks certain types of applications (e.g., OpSpec C384) foreign operators submit to their responsible principal inspector(s) (PI). The NextGen tracker helps the Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety (AVS-1) set goals, make resource allocations, track how many users have applied for NextGen technology, and track how many users were approved.
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C.    Issue OpSpecs. If the evaluator determines that the applicant meets the requirements of 14 CFR parts 91 and 129, and applicable International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards, the IFO may issue appropriate OpSpecs to the foreign air carrier. If the evaluation results indicate deficiencies or omissions in the application, the responsible inspector must inform the applicant’s representative of the deficiencies and corrective actions required. If the deficiencies are not satisfactorily resolved within a reasonable period of time, the application shall be returned to the applicant with a letter that describes the specific reasons the application is unacceptable. The inspector must also notify AFS-54 if it is determined that the process to obtain OpSpecs should be terminated.

12-108    ISSUANCE OF OPSPECS.

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A.    Procedures. OpSpecs are issued to a foreign air carrier after the IFO conducts an evaluation of the application and determines the applicant meets the operating requirements of parts 91 and 129, and the applicable ICAO annexes. OpSpecs are issued through WebOPSS. The FAA created two sets of templates in WebOPSS to distinguish between foreign operators that fly U.S.-registered aircraft to the United States, and foreign operators that operate U.S.-registered aircraft exclusively outside the United States.

·    The part 129 set of templates/paragraphs is available for issuance to foreign operators who operate in common carriage to the United States. This set makes available D-series OpSpecs for those operators who operate U.S.-registered aircraft the FAA regulates under § 129.14.

·    The § 129.14 set of templates/paragraphs is available for issuance for foreign air carriers or foreign persons operating U.S.-registered aircraft solely outside the United States.

NOTE:  The responsible inspector must ensure appropriate OpSpecs are completed, reviewed, approved, signed, and mailed or sent by electronic format to the foreign air carrier. See Volume 12, Chapter 2, Sections 3 through 7 for additional details.

B.    Permanent Designator and Numbers. AFS-620 will assign a foreign air carrier permanent designator and an OpSpecs number through eFSAS for each foreign air carrier OpSpec issued. The inspector shall obtain a foreign air carrier permanent designator and OpSpecs number directly from AFS-620 via email at 9-AMC-AFS620-Certinfo@faa.gov (alternatively by phone at 405-954-9723). The four-letter designator shall always be the first four characters of the OpSpecs number. When requesting a permanent designator and OpSpecs number, the inspector shall state, “the purpose of the contact is to request a permanent foreign air carrier designator and OpSpecs number” and then provide the official name of the foreign air carrier.

12-109    AMENDMENTS. The operator or the FAA may initiate amendments to a foreign air carrier’s OpSpecs. Section 129.11(d) provides that a foreign air carrier may apply for an amendment of its OpSpecs and that the proposed amendment should be submitted whenever the operator desires a change in the items required by § 129.9 to the foreign air carrier’s OpSpecs. An amendment shall be approved, as appropriate, after a determination is made that the foreign air carrier continues to meet the operating requirements to conduct any operation in accordance with the amended OpSpecs.

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A.    Applicant. The foreign air carrier or foreign person must file an application to amend its OpSpecs at least 90 days before the applicant’s proposed date for the amendment to become effective in cases of mergers and acquisitions of airline operation assets that require an additional showing to the DOT for OpSpecs. In all other cases, the foreign air carrier or foreign person must file an application at least 30 days before the proposed date. The applicant must submit the application to the responsible IFO in the form and manner the Administrator prescribed.

B.    Administrator. The responsible IFO may amend OpSpecs if the Administrator determines safety in air commerce and the public interest require the amendment. In order to prevent unnecessary delays or hinder quick turnarounds in processing OpSpec revisions, each responsible IFO must have a policy to allow proxies for signature authority for OpSpec processing when a PI is unavailable. (See Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 2.)

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C.    Addition of Same Aircraft to OpSpec A003. Amendments for the addition of the same make, model, and series (M/M/S) of aircraft for foreign air carriers from International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program Category 1 countries that are not issued within 15 business-days of receipt of a completed application must be reported electronically to the AFS-50 division manager. The report must specify the name of the foreign air carrier or person making the requested amendment, the reason that the request could not be processed within 15 business-days, and when the responsible IFO expects to complete processing. This 15-day report requirement does not apply if the aircraft being added is not registered in the state of the foreign air carrier requesting the amendment.

D.    Petition for Reconsideration. Following an adverse decision, the applicant may submit a petition for reconsideration to the Flight Standards Service (AFS) Director within 30 days after the date the foreign air carrier or foreign person receives a notice of the decision. The filing of the petition for reconsideration suspends the decision unless the Administrator determines that an emergency exists, requiring immediate action to maintain safety in air commerce or air transportation (see Volume 12, Chapter 2, Section 8, paragraph 12-330; and § 129.11). Volume 12, Chapter 2, Section 8 contains information regarding amendment, surrender, suspension and involuntary amendment, and suspension or termination of OpSpecs.

Figure 12-1A.  Preapplication Job Aid

PART 129—FOREIGN AIR CARRIER

PREAPPLICATION JOB AID

Section 1A: Company Information

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2(a). Physical address of principal base within the United States, if applicable (do not use post office box).

2(b). Mailing address, if different than primary mailing address.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Proposed startup date.

(mm/dd/yyyy)

4. Three-letter ICAO identifier and Radio Call Sign.

5. Management Personnel: President, CEO, Chief Pilot, Director of Operations, Director of Maintenance, Chief Inspector (or equivalent).

Name (last, first, middle)

Company Title

Telephone (include country code), FAX, and/or Email Address

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Authorized Company Representative

Title/Address

Telephone (include country code), FAX, and/or Email Address

U.S. Agent for Service

 

 

 

 

Indicates new/changed information. Section 1B: Type of Operations

6. Proposed type(s) of operation (check all that apply).

☐Part 129 (Foreign‑registered)

RVSM

☐Passengers and Cargo

☐Scheduled Operations

☐Part 129 (U.S.-registered)

RNAV

☐Cargo Only

☐Non-Scheduled/Charter Operations

Indicates new/changed information.☐VFR

Day

☐Passengers/Cargo (Combi)

☐CAT I        ☐CAT II      ☐CAT III

☐IFR

Night

☐Hazmat/Dangerous Goods

☐RNP    ☐RNP AR

☐Class G airspace

LAHSO¹

☐Contact approaches

☐Circle to land

☐Ground deicing

☐E-Enabled U.S.-registered aircraft (e.g. B-747-8, B-787-8, A350, A380). Aircraft using Transmission Control Protocols (TCP) and/or Internet Protocols (IP) technology

 ☐EFVS

☐RNAV visual

☐Data Link using FANS

☐Interchange                        ☐Wet lease

☐Air Ambulance

☐ICAO group F aircraft² into group E airports

State of the Operator:

Air Operating Certificate (AOC) #:

AOC Issue Date:          (mm/dd/yyyy)

AOC Expiration Date:          (mm/dd/yyyy)

U.S. DOT Economic Authority Approval Date:         (mm/dd/yyyy)

Insurance Policy No. and Effective Date:           (mm/dd/yyyy)

☐U.S.-Registered Aircraft Operated Solely outside the United States (14 CFR Part 129, § 129.14)

Section 1C: Aircraft and Area of Operations

7. Aircraft data (attach additional sheets, if necessary).

8. Intended Area of Operations (within the U.S./Territories/Commonwealth/Possessions).

Indicates new/changed information. Numbers and types of aircraft (by make, model, and series).

Registration and Serial Number

☐Noise Stage II         ☐Noise Stage III

☐Noise Stage IV      ☐MEL

Section 1D: Additional Information

9. Please describe the proposed operation including proposed routing(s). (Attach additional sheets, if necessary.)

Indicates new/changed information. 10. Authorized Officer or Employee certifying all application statements in the application are true.

Section 2: Pre-Certification Number Request (To Be Completed by IFO)

Requestor Name and Title:

Temporary Designator Number Requested (AFS-620):

Date

Temporary Designator Number Date Received:

Date

TSA Approval or Waiver Date:

Date

Remarks:

Section 3: Team Assignment (To Be Completed by Facility Manager/Supervisor)

Completed by (Name and Title):

Date:

Temporary Designator:

Permanent Designator:

Assigned POI:

☐Project Manager

Date Assigned:

Assigned PMI:

☐Project Manager

Date Assigned:

Assigned PAI:

☐Project Manager

Date Assigned:

Operations Specifications Issue Date:

VIS Data Entry Date:

Remarks:

Indicates new/changed information. ¹LAHSO (land-and-hold-short)

²A380 and B-747-8 are ICAO group F aircraft

RESERVED. Paragraphs 12-110 through 12-124.