8900.1 CHG 674


Indicates new/changed information.


Section 7  North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

7.1    GENERAL.

7.1.1    Purpose. This section provides policy guidance for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Flight Standards Service (FS) to examine and process an application for conducting Specialty Air Services as defined in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Annex I, Personnel Licensing.

7.1.2    Scope. This section applies to managers, supervisors, and FAA aviation safety inspectors (ASI) within the Flight Standards District Offices (FSDO), International Field Offices (IFO), and FAA Washington headquarters (HQ).

7.1.3    Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS) Activity Codes. 1220.

7.1.4    Regulatory References. All regulatory references in this section are found in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) unless otherwise indicated.

7.2    OBJECTIVE. 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 of paragraph A001, A004, and a NAFTA Certificate of Authorization (COA) and/or Letter of Registration (LOR) paragraphs N501 through N508 in the Web-based Operations Safety System (WebOPSS), depending on the country and the Specialty Air Services requested by the applicant.


7.3.1    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. 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.

7.3.2    NAFTA Policy. The General Aviation and Commercial Division is responsible for NAFTA Specialty Air Services policy and procedures. The 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).

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

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.

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.

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.

Aerial Mapping. The operation of an aircraft for the purpose of mapping by means of a camera or other measuring and recording devices.

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.

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.

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.

Aerial Surveying. The operation of an aircraft for the purpose of surveying by means of a camera or other measuring and recording devices.

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.

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 Specialty Air Service operators.

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.

Glider Towing. The towing of a glider by a powered aircraft equipped with a tow hitch.

Heli-Logging. The operation of an aircraft for the purpose of transporting timber suspended from the fuselage.

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.


7.4.1    Prerequisites. This task requires knowledge of the following:

    NAFTA eligibility requirements;

    Insurance requirements;

    Emergency equipment requirements;

    Special requirements for each country;

    AC 00-60;


    LOAs; and

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

Indicates new/changed information.

7.4.2    General Aviation Operation (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.

7.4.3    Coordination. This task will require coordination with a General Aviation Airworthiness (GAAW) inspector. Direct any questions about operations not listed to the General Aviation and Commercial Division at 202-267-1100.

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

    AC 00-60, available at https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/advisory_circulars/.

    Volume 12, Chapter 3, Section 7, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), available at http://fsims.faa.gov/.

    FAA Form 7711-2, available at http://www.faa.gov/forms/.

    U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Order 97-7-3, Specialty Air Service Operators of Canada and Mexico, must be onboard the aircraft. This document is available at https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.dev/files/docs/nafta%20packet%2097.pdf.


7.5.1    References (current editions):

    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.

    U.S. DOT Order 97-7-3, Specialty Air Service Operators of Canada and Mexico.

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

7.5.3    Job Aids:

    Figure 3-7A, Application Process Job Aid.

    Figure 3-7C, NAFTA Email Template.


7.6.1    PTRS. Open the PTRS.

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

7.6.3    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 Specialty Air Services operation in either Canada or Mexico should submit an application package to their FSDO at least 45 calendar-days prior to the first proposed operation. The application package must contain:

a)    A letter from the operator requesting an initial, renewal, or amended NAFTA authorization.

b)    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.

c)    Proof of insurance coverage for each aircraft.

d)    A copy of the aircraft Certificate(s) of Airworthiness.

e)    A copy of the aircraft Type Certificate Data Sheet(s) (TCDS).

f)    A list of contract or third-party personnel essential to the Specialty Air Service. 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 Specialty Air Service operation.

g)    Proof of ability to use and control contract personnel.

h)    Name of approved maintenance organization that provides the operator’s maintenance.

7.6.4    FSDO Actions Authorizing U.S. Operators.    Review the Completed Application Package. The operator must have a designator listed under the preparing office’s WebOPSS “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 Specialty Air Service 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 3-7B, WebOPSS Certificate Search). If no record is found listed under a different “CHDO” code, the preparing office creates a new record and designator.

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 7.9).    Verify Pilot Qualifications. Verify that all pilots named on the application are qualified to conduct the Specialty Air Services 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. If any adverse findings are made, it is at the discretion of the FSDO to include or exclude requested pilots from a NAFTA authorization.

Note:  Under NAFTA, applications may list non-pilots as additional crewmembers because some Specialty Air Service operations may be conducted with additional crewmembers that are not pilots; however, in WebOPSS there is no option for anything other than “NAFTA Pilot” to be included on the certificate. Please use “NAFTA Pilot” when entering these personnel on the certificate as they are required for the Specialty Air Services operation being requested.    Ramp Inspection. For U.S. operators, ensure an aircraft ramp inspection is conducted for the appropriate Specialty Air Services 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.

Indicates new/changed information.

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.    Review the Aircraft TCDS. 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 Specialty Air Services operation. Under NAFTA, experimental aircraft or ex-military aircraft whose type certificate (TC) is based on military experience (under part 21, § 21.25(a)(2)) are not authorized. If aircraft eligibility cannot be determined, please contact the General Aviation and Commercial Division for clarification.    Review Aircraft Registry. Specialty Air Service 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 FAA Office of the Chief Counsel (AGC).    Review Insurance. 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 onboard the aircraft during all NAFTA operations.    Address Deficiencies. If there are any deficiencies, coordinate with the applicant to resolve all issues.    Submit Acceptable Application for Signature. If the application is acceptable, submit FAA Form 7711-2 to the FSDO manager or designated representative for signature. The designated representative must be a unit supervisor or higher level manager.    Prepare an LOA. Within WebOPSS, prepare an LOA listing the Specialty Air Service 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 Specialty Air Services COA is issued to an operator to conduct NAFTA Specialty Air Service 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.

c)    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.    Sign the LOA. The NAFTA-assigned Operations inspector or Operations unit supervisor must digitally sign the WebOPSS LOA for issuance.    Complete FAA Form 7711-2. Fill in the FSDO designator in the “Region” block and date in the “Date” block on FAA Form 7711-2.    Send Completed Documents. Email the completed documents to the responsible party’s email address, listed in block 2 of FAA Form 7711-2, as a PDF document (see Figure 3-7C, NAFTA Email Template, for a template).

7.6.5    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.

7.6.6    Processing an Initial or Renewal LOA for Foreign (Canadian/Mexican) Operators. Canadian or Mexican operators must submit an application package to the appropriate FSDO where the first Specialty Air Service operation will take place no later than 45 calendar-days prior to the date of the first proposed NAFTA operation. NAFTA operations may be conducted in any of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.    Application Package. The application package will consist of the following:

a)    Request Letter. A letter requesting a new or reissuance of a NAFTA authorization.

b)    CAA Authorization. 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)    Insurance Documents. Documentation verifying applicable insurance coverage.

d)    Completed FAA Form 7711-2. 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.    Application Processing. The FSDO will process the NAFTA application in the same manner as they use for an authorization for a U.S. operator (see paragraph 7.6.3), except that the appropriate foreign CAA is responsible for aircraft inspections and verification of pilot qualifications.

7.6.7    Amendments to LOAs Within the Issuance Year.    U.S. Operators. U.S. operators will submit changes in personnel or equipment via an amended FAA Form 7711-2 and accompanying letter to the responsible FS office. The office may accept the request electronically.    Canadian and Mexican Operators.

a)    Canadian and Mexican operators will amend their own national CAA authorization (e.g., Canadian OpSpecs/Mexican AOC) before seeking amendments to their U.S. authorization.

b)    After gaining host country approval, Canadian and Mexican operators will submit changes in personnel or equipment via an amended FAA Form 7711-2 and accompanying letter, along with the amended national CAA authorization, to the FSDO nearest to the area of intended Specialty Air Service operations. The FSDO may accept the request electronically.    Adding or Deleting Specific Information. Adding or deleting aircraft, pilot names, or Specialty Air Service activities as necessary, throughout the authorization year, will serve as LOA revisions.    Processing an Amendment. 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 calendar-days of the expiration of their existing authorization, the FSDO must offer the applicant the option of processing the request as a renewal.

7.7    SPECIALTY AIR SERVICE OPERATIONS NOTIFICATION. As per the LOA and NAFTA, operators must provide the authorizing FSDO advance notification of:

    Any change in the type of authorized Specialty Air Service operation; and

Indicates new/changed information.

    Any change in the geographic area of operation. The Specialty Air Service operator will provide written notification to both the originating FSDO and the new FSDO prior to conducting Specialty Air Service 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.


7.8.1    Canada.

Manager, Certification

Foreign Inspection Division (AARXH)

Place de Ville, Tower C

330 Sparks Street, 4th Floor

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A 0N8

Telephone: 613-990-1100

Fax: 613-991-5188

7.8.2    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

7.8.3    United States.

a)    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

b)    FAA General Aviation and Commercial Division

800 Independence Ave., S.W.

Washington, DC 20591

Telephone: 202-267-1100

Fax: 202-267-1078

Email: 9-AFS-800-Correspondence@faa.gov

c)    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



7.9.1    Notify Office. Notify the current FSDO that the record needs to be electronically transferred.

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

a)    The full operator name as it appears in WebOPSS.

b)    The operator’s NAFTA designator code.

c)    Office transferring from or losing “CHDO” code, where the operator record is held.

d)    Office transferring to or gaining “CHDO” code, where the operator record needs to be moved.

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

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

7.9.5    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.

7.9.6    Complete Authorization. Complete the NAFTA authorization process in accordance with paragraph 7.6.

Indicates new/changed information.

Figure 3-7A.  Application Process Job Aid





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 Authorization (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]).






Figure 3-7B.  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).

Figure 3-7C.  NAFTA Email Template

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


Attached are your North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Certificate of Authorization and/or Letter of Registration documents. These documents authorize your company Specialty Air Service operations conducted under 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.

Indicates new/changed information.

[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 and 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 calendar-days prior to the expiration of your Authorization and/or Registration.

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

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