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Volume 12   INTERNATIONAL AVIATION

CHAPTER 12   part 129 HEIGHTENED SURVEILLANCE LIST

Section 1   Heightened Surveillance List

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12-664    BACKGROUND. The Heightened Surveillance List (HSL) was one of the actions initiated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a result of Chairman Robert Borski Subcommittee Investigations on Loophole Airlines on June 4, 1991, previously known as the Special Emphasis List (SEL). During those hearings, Congress emphasized the FAA’s responsibility to provide safety oversight of foreign air carriers in order to ensue that they were operating safely in the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS). This HSL is used to provide inspectors with a listing of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 129 foreign air carriers operating to/from the United States. The HSL is an internal FAA tool for inspectors to target surveillance and is not a rating system for air carriers. The HSL establishes additional levels of surveillance, when warranted, based on specific criteria or indicators.

12-665    INTRODUCTION. The HSL is used to identify increased surveillance requirements for part 129 foreign air carriers that are operating to the United States. part 129 air carriers must adhere to the safety standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The ICAO is the United Nations’ technical agency for aviation that establishes International Standards and Recommended Practice (ISARP) for aircraft operations and maintenance when conducting international commercial transportation. Specifically, the FAA determines whether a foreign aviation authority has an adequate system of aviation safety oversight, as defined by ICAO Standards.

A.    Category Determination. The FAA’s International Programs and Policy Division (AFS‑50) uses the international aviation safety assessment program (IASA) to determine if an ICAO member State’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) meets the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) in regards to Annex 1, Annex 6, Part I, and the applicable portions of Annex 8. If they meet the ICAO requirements, they would be classified as Category I; if not, then they would be Category 2, not in compliance with international standards. All foreign air carriers from Category 2 member States must be on the HSL.

B.    HSL Currency. AFS‑50 publishes the HSL on a quarterly basis and will make interim corrections as necessary to ensure that the FAA’s safety oversight obligations are met. Specific criteria, as applied to an air carrier’s operations, have been identified that could indicate a higher level of risk. International Field Offices (IFO) and International Field Units (IFU) will be the primary source for requests to add or remove part 129 foreign air carriers from the HSL by AFS‑50. AFS‑50 and the Office of the Director (AFS‑1) may also make such requests. Any such request for change must provide justification as detailed below.

12-666    CRITERIA. change barThe principal inspectors (PI) with oversight responsibility will submit the request to add or remove the air carrier from the HSL to AFS‑50. The PIs with oversight responsibility should consider all input from geographic inspectors and all other available information when making a decision to add or remove a foreign air carrier from the HSL. Geographic inspectors must provide all supporting information to the responsible PIs with operations specifications (OpSpecs) responsibility.

A.    Additions to the HSL. Certain conditions will automatically result in the air carrier being added to the HSL, such as the following two conditions.

·    Foreign air carriers operating from IASA Category 2 countries. They will remain on the HSL until removed from the Category 2 list.

·    New entrant foreign air carriers operating scheduled services into the U.S. airspace. (See note below.)

NOTE:   New entrant air carriers are those that have not previously operated to the United States. This does not include on-demand charters that come to the United States infrequently and/or operating aircraft with less than 20 seats. They must be evaluated on a case‑by‑case basis.

B.    Evaluation Criteria. Other criteria that must be evaluated when determining if an air carrier should be added or removed from the HSL include:

·    Foreign air carriers undertaking significant change of scope and type of operations (e.g., nonscheduled to scheduled operations, cargo to passenger-carrying, addition or removal of aircraft type and/or major change of route structure);

·    Labor disputes;

·    Financial crisis;

·    Reduction in work forces;

·    Merger or takeover;

·    Turnover in key personnel;

·    Relocation/closing of facilities;

·    Political disturbance;

·    Airlines requiring additional surveillance due to safety concerns; and

·    Airlines banned by other ICAO member States.

NOTE:   Any one item on change barthis list may not be enough to require that the air carrier be added to the HSL. The information must be evaluated to determine if there is enough data about the air carrier to add them to the list.

C.    Increased Surveillance. When any of the above criteria exists, the IFO’s/IFU’s Regional Office (RO) or Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) having knowledge of a basis for a criteria change must make that information available to the responsible IFO/IFU. A FSDO may request a foreign air carrier be included on the HSL, however, the request must be processed through the responsible IFO/IFU.

D.     Initiating Office. Prior to making the request for HSL inclusion, the initiating office ensures that the current environmental information concerning the above issues is accurate in the enhanced Vital Information Database (eVID) environmental database. The IFO/IFU must provide AFS‑50 with substantiating information and justification for requesting that the air carrier be included on the HSL.

E.    New Entrant Air Carriers. New entrant air carriers will remain on the list for a minimum period of 1 year from issuance of OpSpecs. After the 1st year, those foreign air carriers will be evaluated quarterly to determine if they continue to meet the requirements to operate in U.S. airspace.

F.    IASA Category 2. All IASA Category 2 countries will remain on the list indefinitely until that country has been upgraded to Category 1 status. The list of IASA country categories can be obtained from the following Web site: https://employees.faa.gov/org/linebusiness/avs/offices/afs/divisions/hq_region/afs50/.

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G.     Responsibility. AFS‑50 will coordinate with ROs (i.e., AFS‑230 branch managers and IFOs/IFUs) any changes affecting the HSL. For example, AFS‑50 will coordinate with ROs when air carriers are added to the list, when increased/decreased surveillance is requested, when a request for maintaining current level of surveillance is received, when updating the HSL, and to ensure that oversight is being provided for part 129 air carriers.

H.     Geographic Responsibility. change barIFO/IFU/FSDO offices with geographic responsibility should monitor the HSL quarterly to ensure the list accurately reflects current status. If the air carrier no longer operates within their geographic area of responsibility, the environmental eVID shall be updated to reflect the changes. The PIs with oversight responsibility should be notified of any environmental changes. The PIs with oversight responsibility should notify the geographic field office of any change that would affect their environmental eVID data. If the air carrier no longer conducts operations within the field office area of responsibility, the RO should be notified and the eVID data items should be transferred to another field office for completion if applicable. In some cases, this will be in other geographic regions. If the minimum national surveillance requirement has been met, the “R” items may be terminated using the appropriate Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS) procedure.

I.    Additional Surveillance. IFO/IFU and geographically responsible FSDOs shall ensure that qualified aviation safety inspectors (ASI) perform additional surveillance on HSL air carriers.

J.    Ramp Inspections. change barOperators appearing on the HSL will receive one additional ramp inspection quarterly at each airport of operation (1622, 3627, and 5627) until the FAA removes them from the HSL. These required inspections should be locally generated. Enter the inspection into the National PTRS, and enter the acronym “HSL” (without the quotation marks) into the National Use field.

NOTE:   For all foreign ramp inspections ASIs must meet the following training requirements before conducting these ramp inspections: (1) completed online training course 27100142 , How to Conduct a 14 CFR part 129 Ramp Inspection; and (2) have completed all required on‑the‑job training (OJT) for such inspections.

K.     Results. Office managers shall monitor the quality of PTRS inspection results. The results of ramp inspections will be used to evaluate the air carrier’s ability to continue operation in the United States. If a status change is required, it should be coordinated with the IFO/IFU responsible PIs, ROs, and AFS‑50 for publication.

L.    Unsatisfactory Results. change barWhen the ASI has findings that the foreign air carrier does not meet the international standards established by ICAO, the ASI will provide those findings to the flightcrew/station manager and notify the IFO/IFU. IFOs/IFUs will maintain contact with the foreign operator to resolve noted findings/issues. If an additional safety concern exists or the IFO/IFU does not receive positive resolution of findings with the foreign air carrier, the IFO/IFU manager will notify AFS‑50. The AFS‑50 manager will then notify the air carrier’s foreign CAA of the FAA’s concerns and initiate consultations.

M.    Consultations. No significant improvement in the air carrier’s operations following consultation could result in the suspension/revocation of OpSpecs and Department of Transportation (DOT) economic authority.

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12-667    PROCEDURES. All requests, as identified in paragraph 12‑666, must be submitted to AFS‑50 through the responsible IFO/IFU PIs and ROs for inclusion in the HSL.

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A.    Reevaluation. New entrants will be reevaluated after 1 year by the responsible IFO/IFU to determine if the air carrier should remain on the list. If the air carrier is operating within the ICAO Standards, after the 1‑year period, the IFO/IFU may request that the new entrant air carrier be removed from the list. If during the 1st year of the evaluation process, the inspection results or other information reflects safety risks, the results shall be documented and a recommendation for the air carrier to remain on the HSL will be forwarded to the AFS‑50 manager. Coordination with the CAA concerning findings will be accomplished by the PI with OpSpecs responsibility, the regional coordinator, and with the support of AFS‑50, as required.

B.    Removal. change barRemoval from the HSL is determined by documentation in the PTRS data and recommendations from the IFO/IFU responsible PIs to AFS‑50, through the RO, that the air carriers should not be on the HSL.

C.    Coordination. AFS‑50 is responsible for the updates to the HSL. The AFS‑50 HSL coordinator will work with the IFOs/IFUs to add or remove an air carrier from the HSL. The AFS‑50 coordinator will maintain a file with the history of all foreign air carriers that are on the HSL. Each air carrier change will contain the written justification for adding or removing an air carrier to or from the list. This justification will be provided by the IFO/IFU responsible PIs through their office manager.

D.     Validation. The HSL program manager will validate all information to ensure that all the required data is correct. The IFO/IFU responsible PIs will ensure that all n data and eVID information is provided to the geographic field offices. The geographic field office managers will ensure that all environmental eVID data is entered into the eVID system and is correct.

E.    Required Information. The responsible IFO/IFU PIs and ROs making the request should provide the following information in writing or via e‑mail to AFS‑50:

·    Foreign operator name and FAA/ICAO designator,

·    Country/State of Operator/Registry,

·    Date of request,

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·    PI’s recommendations for the request with justification,

·    Country/State of Operator IASA category,

·    Name of contact person from requesting office, and

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·    All primary airports of operations within the United States.

NOTE:   If any of required information is missing, the request will be returned within 10 business‑days to the originating office for correction.

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F.    Process. Upon receipt, the request is assigned to the HSL program manager.

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1)    The program manager reviews the request and the associated eVID/environmental database, and then makes the determination for updating or adding/removing a foreign air carrier from the HSL.
2)    Once the determination is made by AFS‑50, the program manager ensures the information is complete per subparagraphs 12‑668D and E and enters the request in AFS‑50’s database. The program manager then:
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a)    Approves and updates the HSL or returns the request to the originating office with a reason for disapproval via e‑mail within 10 business‑days.
b)    Posts any approved changes to the HSL within 10 business‑days and notifies the IFO/IFU, FSDO, and AFS‑230 branches via the following Web site: https://employees.faa.gov/org/linebusiness/avs/offices/afs/divisions/hq_region/afs50/.
c)    Reviews and updates the HSL quarterly.

G.     Final Approval. AFS‑50 is the final approving authority for requests to add or remove a foreign air carrier to the HSL. Once a decision has been reached, the requesting office will receive acknowledgement of approval/disapproval of request.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 12-668 through 12-683.