12/21/15

 

8900.1 CHG 400

VOLUME 12  INTERNATIONAL AVIATION

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

Section 7  Part 129 Part H Operations Specifications—Helicopter Terminal Instrument Procedures and Airport Authorizations and Limitations

12-290    PART H OPERATIONS SPECIFICATIONS (OPSPECS). The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues Part H to each foreign air carrier who conducts Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 129 instrument flight rules (IFR) operations with helicopters. It is not issued to part 129 foreign air carriers who conduct only fixed-wing airplane operations. Part H is not usually issued to foreign air carriers conducting on-demand helicopter operations who are restricted to visual flight rules (VFR)-only operations.

OPSPEC H101—TERMINAL INSTRUMENT PROCEDURES (Required for All Carriers Conducting IFR Operations).

A.    The Intent of OpSpec H101. OpSpec H101 shall be issued to all foreign air carriers who conduct any flight operations under instrument flight rules (IFR) with helicopters, and provides direction and guidance on acceptance of U.S. Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS). The paragraph also provides additional guidance to the foreign air carrier for converting any takeoff and landing minimum expressed in the metric linear measurement system to the U.S. standard linear measurement system.

B.    No Inspector Input Required. This paragraph requires no inspector input. Additional information concerning TERPS is in Volume 4, Chapter 2.

OPSPEC H102—BASIC INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURE AUTHORIZATIONS—ALL AIRPORTS—HELICOPTERS (Required for All Carriers Conducting IFR Operations).

A.    General. OpSpec H102 specifies the types of instrument approaches the foreign air carrier is authorized to conduct and prohibits the use of other types of instrument approaches. Before authorizing a type of instrument approach procedure (IAP), the principal operations inspector (POI) must ensure that the foreign air carrier has established the aircraft system eligibility and that its manual, which the State of Operator must have approved/accepted, includes both flightcrew training and procedures, as applicable, for the types of approaches to be authorized. All the approaches authorized by OpSpec H102 must be published in accordance with 14 CFR part 97.

B.    Three Types of IAPs. Three types of IAPs may be authorized in OpSpec H102:

Indicates new/changed information.
1)    Column one provides for the authorization of nonprecision IAPs without vertical guidance (approaches other than instrument landing system (ILS)). Nonprecision Approaches (NPA) must be conducted in accordance with approved procedures that assure descent will not go below minimum descent altitude (MDA) unless the required visual references for continuing the approach are present (refer to 14 CFR part 91, § 91.175).
Indicates new/changed information. Indicates new/changed information.
2)    Column two provides for the authorization of precision-like instrument approach procedures with vertical guidance (APV) (approaches other than ILS). These are called precision-like approaches because they provide vertical guidance but are not as accurate as true precision approaches. Foreign air carriers must conduct these precision-like approach procedures using an approved method that allows descent to a published decision altitude (DA).
3)    Column three provides for the authorization of precision IAPs (ILS and Global Positioning System (GPS) Landing System (GLS) approaches) that provide vertical guidance.

C.    Barometric Vertical Navigation (Baro-VNAV) Approach Operations. Baro-VNAV approach operations (referred to as Area Navigation (RNAV) with vertical guidance) may be authorized for all applicable foreign air carriers in accordance with the guidance contained in Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section 5 and the current edition of Advisory Circular (AC) 120-29, Criteria for Approval of Category I and Category II Weather Minima for Approach.

1)    Air Carrier Aircraft/Commercial Operator Approval. Once a foreign air carrier has established the aircraft system eligibility and the flightcrew training and checking requirements in the manual that the State of Operator approved/accepted, as applicable, the POI may give approval to use this RNAV equipment to fly to the lateral navigation (LNAV)/vertical navigation (VNAV) DA as shown on the published IAP.
2)    Authorization. To authorize these precision-like approaches that provide vertical guidance, select “RNAV (GPS)” for insertion into column two of OpSpec H102.

D.    Precision Runway Monitor (PRM) Approaches. This section provides information for approving simultaneous instrument approaches to closely spaced parallel runways: ILS/PRM and localizer-type directional aid (LDA)/PRM. PRM enables simultaneous operations to parallel runways spaced closer than 4,300 feet apart in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Foreign air carriers will be authorized PRM approaches in OpSpec H102. Definitions of ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM have been added to OpSpec A002. Two types of IAPs with PRM are currently in use:

1)    ILS/PRM. This operation comprises two ILSs, each aligned with its respective runway and parallel to each other. ILS/PRM permits simultaneous instrument approach operations to parallel runways spaced less than 4,300 feet apart, but not less than 3,000 feet.
2)    LDA/PRM (Simultaneous Offset Instrument Approaches (SOIA)). This operation comprises one ILS and LDA with glideslope. The ILS is aligned with its runway, but the LDA serving the second runway is offset (no more than 3 degrees) from a parallel track. This offset permits simultaneous instrument approach operations to parallel runways spaced less than 3,000 feet apart, but no less than 750 feet. Because of the offset, this operation is also known as an SOIA.

E.    PRM. The FAA began the Multiple Parallel Approach Program (MPAP) to research whether simultaneous ILS approaches to parallel runways would improve capacity. The objective was to achieve improvements in airport arrival rates through the conduct of simultaneous close spaces parallel approaches. That objective is being met using the PRM.

1)    ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM Approaches. Where parallel runway centerlines (RCL) are 4,300 feet apart or less, but not less than 3,000 feet, simultaneous ILS approaches may be conducted. Similarly, where parallel RCLs are 3,000 feet apart or less, but not less than 750 feet, an SOIA may be conducted with ILS approaches. Those approaches are labeled “ILS/PRM” and “LDA/PRM,” respectively, on instrument approach charts. Air traffic control (ATC) provides an air traffic controller using special PRM radar during these approaches. That controller is known as the final monitor controller.
2)    The Breakout Maneuver. Working with industry, the FAA conducted extensive analysis of simulation data and determined that the implementation of PRM and SOIA approach operations to closely spaced parallel runways requires additional crew training. The primary focus of this training is to raise each pilot’s situational awareness (SA) in ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM operations. Flightcrews must fly the breakout maneuver manually.
a)    Traffic Alert. One important element of the additional training is that the pilot understands the difference between a normal missed approach initiated by a pilot and a breakout initiated by a PRM final monitor controller. It must be clear to flightcrews that when the final monitor controller uses the words “Traffic Alert,” the controller will then give critical instructions that the pilot must act on promptly to preserve adequate separation from an aircraft straying into the adjoining approach path.
b)    ATC Breakout Maneuver Command to Turn and/or Descend, Climb, or Maintain Altitude. The flightcrew must immediately follow the final monitor controller’s vertical (climb/descend/maintain altitude) and horizontal (turn) commands. If the flightcrew is operating the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) in the traffic advisory (TA)/Resolution Advisory (RA) mode and receives a TCAS RA at any time while following the final monitor controller’s command, the flightcrew will simultaneously continue to turn to the controller’s assigned heading and follow the vertical guidance provided by the TCAS RA.
c)    Time-to-Turn Standard. Regardless of aircraft type, tests and data analysis revealed that pilots must be able to achieve a rate of turn of 3 degrees per second within 8 seconds of receiving a breakout command. The air carrier must show that its pilots can readily meet this time-to-turn standard before the POI will authorize ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM approaches in OpSpec H102. The FAA requires flightcrews to manually fly the breakout maneuver. (Flight Technologies and Procedures Division (AFS-400) concurrence is required to approve breakout in auto modes.) The foreign air carrier should demonstrate its ability to meet this standard by having representative pilots perform the breakout maneuver while the POI or the POI’s designated representative observes. The demonstration should conform to procedures contained in the air carrier’s approved operating manual for its flightcrews.

NOTE:  In a breakout, ATC will never command a descent below the applicable minimum vector altitude (MVA), thus assuring that no flight will be commanded to descend below 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle during a breakout.

3)    ILS/PRM, LDA/PRM, and the Use of TCAS. TCAS may be operated in TA/RA mode while executing ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM approaches. However, when conducting these operations, pilots must understand that the final monitor controller’s instruction to turn is the primary means for ensuring safe separation from another aircraft. Pilots must bear in mind that TCAS does not provide separation in the horizontal plane; TCAS accomplishes separation by commands solely in the vertical plane. Therefore, during final approach, only the final monitor controller has the capability to command a turn for lateral separation. Flightcrews are expected to follow any ATC instruction to turn.
a)    ATC Command to Turn with TCAS RA. In the unlikely event that a flightcrew should simultaneously receive a final monitor controller’s command to turn and a TCAS RA, the flightcrew must follow both the final monitor controller’s turn command and the TCAS RA’s climb or descent command.
b)    TCAS RA Alone. In the extremely unlikely event that an RA occurs without a concurrent breakout instruction from the final monitor controller, the pilot should follow the RA and advise the controller of the action taken as soon as possible. In this instance, it is likely that a breakout command would follow.
c)    TCAS Not Required. An operative TCAS is not required to conduct ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM approaches.
4)    Required and Recommended Training for ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM Approaches. A foreign air carrier must include required training in its training program and the State of Operator must approve that training before the FAA may authorize either or both PRM approaches in OpSpec H102. Flightcrews must accomplish required ground training before conducting ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM approaches. Normally for foreign-registered aircraft, International Field Office (IFO)/International Field Unit (IFU)/Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) inspectors will only need to examine the foreign OpSpecs, other Air Operator Certificate (AOC) special operating provisions, or documented evidence of foreign Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approval. If the IFO/IFU/FSDO believes it to be necessary in the interest of safety to verify such training authorization, however, IFO/IFU/FSDO inspectors may require that the operator submit the following:
a)    Initial Ground Training—Required.

1.    This training must include all elements of the “Attention to All Users” page of an ILS/PRM or an LDA/PRM, as authorized, along with viewing the latest version of the PRM video. (Refer to the video at http://www.faa.gov/education_research/training/prm or contact the FAA Flight Standards (AFS) at 202‑267‑8166 for the most current version.)

NOTE:  The FAA does not require flightcrews trained previously in PRM operations under earlier guidance to requalify with each new version of the PRM video.

2.    The ground portion of the training program must support the following knowledge objectives. Each flightcrew member must:

a.    Describe the PRM system to include the meaning of “no transgression zones.”

b.    Know that an aircraft on an adjacent approach path may be less than 4,300 feet away and may be flying at a different speed.

c.    Know that the automated terminal information service (ATIS) broadcasts a pilot advisory when ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM approaches are in progress.

d.    Identify the differences between ILS/PRM approach charts and normal ILS approach charts, including the special instruction pages for ILS/PRM.

e.    Explain the unique communication requirements (equipment and procedures) for ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM approaches.

f.    Know that an unpublished missed approach instruction that ATC may issue prior to missed approach points is called a “breakout.”

g.    Know that a breakout may include instructions to descend and that the descent will be to no lower than the MVA for the sector. The MVA guarantees 1,000 feet above the highest obstruction in that sector. The rate of descent controllers expect is not more than 1,000 feet per minute.

h.    Know that a pilot must initiate a breakout maneuver manually and immediately upon hearing the “Traffic Alert” command from ATC, and that adequate separation requires that the pilot establish a 3‑degree‑per‑second rate of turn within 8 seconds.

i.     Know that the three areas (ATIS, Dual very high frequency (VHF) Comm. Required, and All “Breakouts”) in the “Attention to All Users Page” must be briefed (in flight) prior to conducting an ILS/PRM or an LDA/PRM approach.

j.     Know that flightcrews may operate TCAS in the TA/RA mode when conducting PRM approaches, including the following points:

·    When an RA occurs with a concurrent ATC breakout command: follow the turn required in the ATC instructions; follow the climb or descent in the RA command (split commands).

·    When an RA occurs without a concurrent ATC breakout command: follow the RA and contact ATC as soon as practical.

·    TCAS provides only vertical resolution to aircraft conflicts.

·    An operative TCAS is not required for PRM operations.

k.    Know procedures for SOIA, including the following points:

·    A visual segment of the LDA/PRM approach is established prior to the LDA missed approach point (MAP) to permit visual acquisition of the ILS traffic to the parallel runway and advising ATC, and visual acquisition of the runway environment.

·    LDA course is maintained until the MAP. At the MAP, the pilot must have the ILS traffic in sight and the runway environment in sight, or fly the missed approach.

·    At the MAP with the ILS traffic and the runway in sight, the pilot may continue to a landing and maneuver to align with the RCL; stabilize on glidepath no lower than 500 feet above touchdown zone (TDZ); and avoid wake turbulence from the ILS traffic.

3.    The FAA recommends testing of these knowledge objectives.

b)    Initial Flight Training.

1.    Required:

·    Breakout maneuver, and

·    LDA/PRM approach.

NOTE:  Initial breakout flight training must focus on the descending breakout.

NOTE:  Air carriers applying for initial approval to conduct PRM approaches must complete breakout flight training by the end of the next full training cycle after receiving OpSpec approval.

NOTE:  The FAA may authorize air carriers to conduct ILS/PRM approaches, LDA/PRM approaches, or both. The FAA does not require duplicative flight training in the breakout maneuver (i.e., breakout covered in flight training for ILS/PRM is creditable toward the LDA/PRM, and vice versa).

2.    Recommended: ILS/PRM approach (if authorized on OpSpecs).

c)    Recurrent Ground Training—Required: Review of the ground training elements and the video discussed in subparagraph E4)a)1 above and testing in those elements.
d)    Recurrent Flight Training:

1.    Required: None.

2.    Recommended:

·    ILS/PRM approach,

·    LDA/PRM approach, and

·    Breakout.

5)    Authorizing ILS/PRM Approaches and LDA/PRM Approaches for 14 CFR Part 129 Foreign Air Carriers. A part 129 foreign air carrier operating in the United States may be authorized in OpSpec H102 to conduct ILS/PRM approaches and/or LDA/PRM approaches if:
a)    That foreign air carrier meets the ground and flight training requirements contained in subparagraphs E4)a) through c);
b)    The CAA for the foreign air carrier authorizes these approaches; and
c)    The air carrier’s POI determines the following:

1.    That a point of contact (POC) for the foreign air carrier’s CAA has been established in the foreign air carrier’s OpSpec A006(c); and

2.    The IFO/FSDO has notified the International Programs and Policy Division (AFS-50) that the foreign air carrier is authorized to conduct PRM approaches.

NOTE:  AFS-50 must notify FAA Air Traffic Procedures (ATP-100) of each foreign air carrier authorized to conduct PRM approaches.

Indicates new/changed information.

OPSPEC H103—STRAIGHT-IN CAT I NONPRECISION APPROACH PROCEDURES—ALL AIRPORTS—HELICOPTERS (Required for All Carriers Conducting IFR Operations). OpSpec H103 shall be issued to all foreign air carriers conducting instrument flight rules (IFR) operations with helicopters. This paragraph specifies the lowest landing minimums that can be used for Category (CAT) I Nonprecision Approach (NPA) procedures other than instrument landing system (ILS), or Global Positioning System (GPS) Landing System (GLS) at all airports to authorize straight-in CAT I ILS or GLS approach procedures and IFR landing minimums, OpSpec H117 must be issued. The previous NPA table now refers to CAT I NPAs as “approaches other than ILS or GPS Landing System (GLS).”

OPSPEC H104—HELICOPTER EN ROUTE DESCENT AREAS (HEDA) (OPTIONAL).

A.    The Intent of OpSpec H104. The FAA issues OpSpec H104 to all operators authorized to conduct instrument flight rules (IFR) helicopter operations using helicopter en route descent procedures within specified areas of operation. It is not issued to helicopter operators who are not authorized to use helicopter en route descent procedures.

B.    Before Being Authorized to Conduct HEDAs. Before being authorized to conduct HEDAs, each operator who applies must have at least one helicopter equipped with the airborne radar approved for HEDA use, an IFR-approved GPS or long-range navigation-C system (LORAN-C) navigation receiver, and radio altimeter (RA). The GPS navigation equipment must meet the minimum requirements of Technical Standard Order (TSO)-C129, Airborne Supplemental Navigation Equipment using the Global Positioning System (GPS), with an external course deviation indicator (CDI) or horizontal situation indicator (HSI) mounted in the pilot’s primary instrument scan. Volume 4, Chapter 1 provides guidance for approval of this equipment to be used as the sole means for long-range navigation (LORAN). The airborne radar minimum requirements are stated in paragraph 2‑1 of the current edition of Advisory Circular (AC) 90-80, Approval of Offshore Standard Approach Procedures (OSAP), Airborne Radar Approaches (ARA), and Helicopter En Route Descent Areas (HEDA). Airworthiness requirements are stated in AC 90-80, paragraph 2-2. Maintenance requirements are stated in AC 90-80, paragraph 2‑3. Inspection and test procedures are stated in AC 90-80, paragraph 2-4.

C.    Guidance. Volume 4, Chapter 7, and 14 CFR part 91 subpart B provide guidance for weather reporting requirements and preflight action. Training programs, procedure development criteria, and requests for approval are stated in AC 90-80, Chapter 4.

D.    Requirements. All authorized HEDAs must be listed in the OpSpecs of all operators conducting HEDA operations. The lowest altitude must be listed in Table 2 and must not be lower than 400 feet radio altitude (RA). HEDA must also be selected as an authorized type of approach in OpSpec H102.

OPSPEC H105—ALTERNATE AIRPORT IFR WEATHER MINIMUMS (Required for All Carriers Conducting IFR Operations).

A.    Intent of OpSpec H105. OpSpec H105 shall be issued to all foreign air carriers who conduct instrument flight rules (IFR) operations with helicopters. This paragraph provides a table from which the operator, during the initial dispatch or flight release planning segment of a flight, derives U.S. alternate airport IFR weather minimums in those cases where it has been determined that an alternate airport is required.

B.    Approach Procedures. The table is for airports with at least one operational navigational facility providing a straight-in Nonprecision Approach (NPA) procedure, or a straight-in precision approach procedure, or, when applicable, a circling maneuver from an instrument approach procedure (IAP). The required ceiling and visibility is obtained by adding 200 feet to the Category (CAT) I height above touchdown (HAT) or, when applicable, the authorized height above airport (HAA) and by using 1 statute mile (sm) visibility, but never less than the published minimum visibility for the approach to be flown.

OPSPEC H106—IFR TAKEOFF MINIMUMS, HELICOPTER OPERATIONS—ALL AIRPORTS (Required for All Carriers Conducting IFR Operations). OpSpec H106 is issued to all 14 CFR part 129 operators who conduct instrument flight rules (IFR) helicopter operations. Only OpSpec H106 subparagraphs a and b will be printed for issuance when an operator is not authorized to use lower-than-standard takeoff minimums. OpSpec H106 subparagraphs a, b, and c will be printed for issuance when the operator is authorized to use takeoff minimums equal to the lowest straight-in landing minimums. OpSpec H116 must also be issued when the operator is authorized to use takeoff minimums lower than ½ mile (mi) or 1800 Runway Visual Range (RVR).

OPSPEC H107–H112. RESERVED.

OPSPEC H113—SPECIAL TERMINAL AREA IFR ROTORCRAFT OPERATIONS IN CLASS G AIRSPACE—NONSCHEDULED PASSENGER AND ALL-CARGO OPERATIONS.

A.    The Intent of OpSpec H113. OpSpec H113 authorizes a foreign air carrier to conduct nonscheduled passenger and all-cargo (scheduled and nonscheduled) terminal area instrument flight rules (IFR) operations in Class G airspace.

B.    Principal Operations Inspector (POI) Responsibilities Before Authorizing OpSpec H113. Before authorizing OpSpec H113, the POI must determine that the foreign air carrier’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has authorized/approved it for these types of operations and has a method or procedure for obtaining and disseminating necessary operational information. This operational information must include the following:

1)    Documentation that the airport is served by an authorized instrument approach procedure (IAP) (and departure procedures (DP) when applicable).
2)    Applicable charts for crewmember use.
3)    Operational weather data from an approved source for control of flight movements and crewmember use.
4)    Status of airport services and facilities at the time of the operation.
5)    Suitable means for pilots to obtain traffic advisories (TA).
6)    Sources of TAs and airport advisories.

C.    Foreign Air Carrier Authorization. Foreign air carriers may be authorized to use any two-way radio source of air TA information listed in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) (for operations in U.S. airspace) or equivalent Aeronautical Information Publications (AIP).

1)    These sources include common traffic advisory frequencies (CTAF), Aeronautical Advisory Station (UNICOM), MULTICOM, and Flight Service Stations (FSS).
2)    In those cases where two sources are listed at the same airport, inspectors must ensure that the carrier’s manuals have procedures that require pilots to continuously monitor and use the TA frequency when operating within 10 nautical miles (NM) of the airport. The procedures should require communication concerning airport services and facilities to be completed while more than 10 NM from the airport.
3)    At some airports, no public use frequencies may be available. In those cases, a certificate holder must arrange for radio communication of essential information, including surveillance of local or transient aircraft operations by ground personnel. Ground personnel who operate a company radio for airport status and TAs must be able to view airspace around the airport.

D.    Before the FAA Issues OpSpec H113. Before the FAA issues OpSpec H113, the foreign air carrier must provide documentation to the POI showing that it has the required methods or procedures and arrangements in place for obtaining and disseminating necessary operational information and that its CAA has accepted/approved the procedures. The FAA may need to issue OpSpecs H113 and/or H121 to the foreign air carrier in order to issue OpSpec H122, which authorizes the use of special (non-14 CFR part 97) IAPs or DPs.

NOTE:  Presently, although developed, OpSpec H122 is not authorized for foreign air carriers (see OpSpec H122).

OPSPEC H114–H115. RESERVED.

OPSPEC H116—IFR LOWER-THAN-STANDARD TAKEOFF MINIMUMS, HELICOPTER OPERATIONS (OPTIONAL).

A.    The Intent of OpSpec H116. The FAA issues OpSpec H116 to a foreign air carrier to authorize lower-than-standard takeoff minimums. This OpSpec contains specific guidance regarding pilots, aircraft, and airports when lower-than-standard takeoff minimums are used. This section contains information that operations inspectors will use when issuing lower-than-standard takeoff minimums for foreign air carriers operating helicopters.

B.    Principal Operations Inspector (POI) Responsibilities. POIs shall ensure that foreign air carriers requesting lower-than-standard takeoff minimums provide procedures and training to their personnel, which has been approved by the State of Operator, in all areas referenced in the OpSpec. Normally for foreign-registered aircraft, International Field Office (IFO)/International Field Unit (IFU)/Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) inspectors will only need to examine the foreign OpSpecs, other Air Operator Certificate (AOC) special operating provisions, or documented evidence of foreign Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approval. If the IFO/IFU/FSDO believes it to be necessary in the interest of safety, however, IFO/IFU/FSDO inspectors must ensure procedures and training programs contain at least the following:

·    Rejected takeoffs in a low visibility environment,

·    Engine failure in low visibility,

·    Taxiing in a low visibility environment with emphasis on preventing runway incursion,

·    Critical areas,

·    Crew coordination and planning,

·    Dispatcher training,

·    Procedures for operators not using dispatch systems,

·    Required ground-based visual aids (such as stop bars and taxi holding position lights),

Indicates new/changed information.

·    Required ground-based electronic aids (such as instrument landing system (ILS) transmissometers), and/or

·    Determination of takeoff alternate airports, as applicable.

C.    Lower-Than-Standard Takeoff Minimums. Lower-than-standard takeoff minimums that foreign air carriers exercise under these OpSpecs shall not be less than those lower-than-standard takeoff minimums that the State of Operator authorizes.

NOTE:  POIs should be aware that there may be additional limitations and guidance for specific helicopters in Flight Standardization Board (FSB) reports.

Indicates new/changed information.

OPSPEC H117—STRAIGHT-IN CAT I PRECISION INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES—ALL AIRPORTS (Required for All Carriers Conducting IFR Operations). OpSpec H117 authorizes the lowest straight-in Category (CAT) I precision approach procedures and instrument flight rules (IFR) landing minima. These precision approaches are also referred to as CAT I, instrument landing system (ILS), or Global Positioning System (GPS) Landing System (GLS) approach procedures.

A.    Changes in Lighting Systems Configurations. The visibility requirement for medium intensity approach lighting systems (MALS) and simplified short approach lighting systems (SSALS) configurations was changed from ¾ mile (mi) and 4000 Runway Visual Range (RVR) to ½ mi and 2400 RVR to allow credit for a full lighting system. Three-fourths mi and 4000 RVR is applied when there are no lights, and full lighting system credit is ½ statute mile (sm) and 2400 RVR. If the helicopter flies the CAT A approach to a runway, the visibility can be reduced to ¼ sm and 1600 RVR. (Refer to the current edition of FAA Order 8260.3, United States Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS), page 3-15.)

Indicates new/changed information.

B.    Precision Approaches. European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) precision approaches are now referred to as ILS or GLS and reference is made to the Official Journal of the European Union, Annex I, Definitions, for terms used in Annexes II to V.

C.    Approved Equipment List Expansion Per OpSpec C052. OpSpec C052 expands the approved equipment list for operators also operating airplanes to include the use of flight directors (FD) by authorized operators flying “Authorization Required (AR)” (Special CAT I) minima. CAT I approach charts may depict two blocks of minima: the standard and the “AR” minima. At selected locations, the principal operations inspector (POI) should allow authorized operators to use the special minima, provided an approved autopilot with automatic tracking capability (approach couple), approved Head-Up-Guidance System (HGS), or FD approved for CAT I operations, is used on the approach.

1)    Approval. Both air carrier and private operators may continue to use the standard CAT I minima without alteration of current authorizations or procedures; however, operators must obtain FAA approval to use the special CAT I minima. To obtain this approval, field offices will issue authorizations to air carrier operators by issuing OpSpecs.
2)    Conditions of Approval. Before issuing an authorization to use special CAT I minima, inspectors must ensure that each operator meets the following conditions:
a)    The authorized aircraft must be equipped with an approved autopilot approach coupler, HGS, or FD system that provides guidance to decision height (DH). Inspectors must establish that the approach coupler, HGS, or FD are certified for use down to an altitude of 200 feet above ground level (AGL) or lower.
b)    The flightcrew procedures.
c)    The pilot in command (PIC) must use the automatic flight control guidance system (AFCGS), HGS, or FD to DH or to the initiation of a missed approach, unless visual references with the runway environment are established, thus allowing safe continuation to a landing. If the AFCGS, HGS, or FD malfunctions or becomes disconnected, the PIC may not descend below standard minima unless the runway environment is in sight.

OPSPEC H118—CATEGORY I IFR LANDING MINIMUMS—CIRCLE-TO-LAND APPROACH MANEUVER (Required for All Carriers Conducting IFR Operations).

A.    The Intent of OpSpec H118. OpSpec H118 is issued to foreign air carriers who conduct circling approach maneuver operations with rotorcraft. OpSpec H118 specifies the lowest minimums that can be used for Category (CAT) I circling approach maneuvers.

B.    Circle-to-Land Maneuvers. For the purpose of this OpSpec authorization, any foreign air carrier issued this paragraph is authorized to conduct circle-to-land maneuvers. In any weather condition, a foreign air carrier that permits its pilots to accept a “circle to land” or a “circle to runway (runway number)” clearance from air traffic control (ATC) conducts circle-to-land maneuvers. The term “circle-to-land maneuver” includes the maneuver that is referenced in various regulations, publications, and documents as “circle-to-land maneuver,” “circling,” “circling maneuver,” “circle,” “circling approach,” and “circling approach maneuver.” With regard to pilots, “conducting” a circle-to-land maneuver means to act as the Pilot Flying (PF) when a circle-to-land maneuver is being conducted.

C.    Aircraft Operating Under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) During All Circle-to-Land Maneuvers. Aircraft operating under IFR during all circle-to-land maneuvers are required to remain clear of clouds. If the flightcrew loses visual reference to the airport while conducting a circle-to-land maneuver, they must follow the missed approach procedure specified for the applicable instrument approach, unless ATC specifies an alternate missed approach procedure.

D.    Two Separate Provisions. Foreign air carriers may conduct circle-to-land maneuvers under two separate provisions contained within OpSpec H118 subparagraph a.

1)    Foreign air carriers whose pilots have been trained and checked for the circling maneuver in accordance with the foreign air carrier’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)-approved training program, may conduct a circle-to-land maneuver:
a)    At the published circling landing minimums for the instrument approach to be used; or
b)    At the minimums specified in the chart contained within the OpSpec H118, whichever is higher.

NOTE:  Any pilot who possesses a pilot certificate restricting circling approaches to visual meteorological conditions (VMC) is not eligible to conduct circle-to-land maneuvers except as provided in subparagraph D2) below.

2)    Foreign air carriers conducting circle-to-land maneuvers without training and checking must use a minimum descent altitude (MDA) of 1,000 feet height above airport (HAA) or the MDA of the published circling landing minimums for the instrument approach to be used, whichever is higher. Foreign air carriers that conduct a circle‑to‑land maneuver under this provision remain under an IFR clearance and must comply with those procedures otherwise required for circle-to-land maneuvers. The foreign air carrier may conduct a circle‑to‑land maneuver when:
a)    The reported ceiling is at least 1,000 feet and the visibility is at least 3 miles (mi); or
b)    The reported weather is at least equal to the published circling landing minimums for the instrument approach to be used, whichever is higher.

E.    Documentation Submissions before Issuing OpSpec H118. Before issuing OpSpec H118 authorizing circling approaches, the foreign air carrier must submit documentation showing that their crewmember training program, approved by their CAA, provides the appropriate training and checking on circling approaches and that their CAA has approved circling approach maneuvers for the carrier.

OPSPEC H119–H120. RESERVED.

OPSPEC H121—SPECIAL TERMINAL IFR ROTORCRAFT OPERATIONS IN CLASS G AIRSPACE—SCHEDULED PASSENGER OPERATIONS (OPTIONAL).

A.    The Intent of OpSpec H121. The FAA issues OpSpec H121 to authorize a foreign air carrier to conduct terminal area rotorcraft instrument flight rules (IFR) operations for scheduled passenger operations in Class G airspace.

B.    Principal Operations Inspector (POI) Determinations Before Authorizing OpSpec H121. Before authorizing OpSpec H121, the POI must determine that the foreign air carrier’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has authorized/approved it for these types of operations, and the POI must obtain and list the following information in OpSpec H121:

1)    Names of airports.
2)    Sources of weather information flightcrews must use (see Volume 3, Chapter 26, Section 4).
3)    Sources of traffic advisories (TA) and airport advisories.

C.    Sources of TAs and Airport Advisories. Foreign air carriers may be authorized to use any two-way radio source of air TA information listed in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) (for operations in U.S. airspace) or equivalent Aeronautical Information Publications (AIP).

1)    These sources include common traffic advisory frequencies (CTAF), Aeronautical Advisory Station (UNICOM), MULTICOM, and Flight Service Stations (FSS).
2)    If an air TA source is also suitable for determining the status of airport services and facilities, it is the only source that needs to be listed in OpSpec C080.
3)    When airport services and facilities information is on a different frequency, both sources should be listed in OpSpec H121.
4)    In those cases where two sources are listed at the same airport, inspectors must ensure that the foreign air carrier’s manuals have procedures that require pilots to continuously monitor and use the TA frequency when operating within 10 nautical miles (NM) of the airport. The procedures should require communications about airport services and facilities that pilots must complete while more than 10 NM from the airport.
5)    At some airports, no public use frequencies may be available. In those cases, a foreign air carrier must arrange for radio communication of essential information, including surveillance of local or transient aircraft operations by ground personnel. Ground personnel who provide airport status and TA reports using a company radio must be able to view airspace around the airport.

D.    Document Submissions Before Issuing OpSpec H121. Before issuing OpSpec H121, the foreign air carrier must provide documentation to the POI showing that they have the required methods or procedures and arrangements in place for obtaining and disseminating necessary operational information and they are accepted/approved by their CAA. The FAA may need to issue OpSpec H121 to the foreign air carrier authorized scheduled passenger operations in order to issue OpSpec H122.

OPSPEC H122—SPECIAL NON-14 CFR PART 97 INSTRUMENT APPROACH OR DEPARTURE PROCEDURES FOR ROTORCRAFT OPERATIONS (OPTIONAL). OpSpec H122 authorizes special non‑14 CFR part 97 instrument approach procedures (IAP) or departure procedures (DP) with rotorcraft. Although the FAA has prepared this OpSpec for future use and the OpSpec is available in the Web-based Operations Safety System (WebOPSS), presently it does not apply to 14 CFR part 129. The U.S. Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) system does not cover non-part 97 IAPs or DPs and no system is in place for foreign air carriers to obtain necessary operational status, etc. The FAA plans to include non-part 97 IAPs or DPs in the NOTAM system in the near future. For current information on special Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS) for foreign carriers, contact the International Programs and Policy Division (AFS-50).

OPSPEC H123–H199. RESERVED.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 12-291 through 12-324.