Operations Specifications Working Group (OSWG) Procedures Guide

 

 

 

October 7, 2011

 

Federal Aviation Administration

Flight Standards Service

Sponsoring Division AFS-200

202-267-8002


I .  INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND.

In November 1997, the Aviation Industry and the Flight Standards Service (AFS) of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) formed a joint FAA/Industry Operations Specifications Working Group (OSWG).  The OSWG was formed to provide a forum through which industry may make recommendations to the FAA regarding the management of the Operations Specifications (OpSpecs), Management Specifications (MSpecs) and Letters of Authorization (LOA). Also, to provide input for the creation and composition of the related Flight Standards directives, FAA Orders, Advisory Circulars (ACs), and other associated documents.

 

This document provides guidelines for the organization and operation of the OSWG.  It also outlines the process for developing, reviewing and submitting proposed OpSpec/MSpec/LOA content and guidance documents to the appropriate AFS division. 

 

 

II.      PURPOSE

The objective of the OSWG is to facilitate coordination between the FAA and Aviation Industry and to provide assistance and an industry perspective to AFS when developing authorizing documents, revisions and related guidance materials.  The procedures outlined in this Procedures Guide are intended to enable early industry involvement in the development and revision process of authorizing documents and their related guidance documents.  These procedures are intended to promote a proactive and cooperative tone that allows for the FAA to capitalize on the expertise available in the aviation industry.

 

 

III.    DEFINITIONS

A.      FAA Chair:

The FAA Chair position is assigned by AFS.

 

B.      Industry Chair:

The Industry Chair will be a representative from a participating carrier and is elected by Industry participants of the OSWG

 

C.      Industry Vice Chair:

The Industry Vice chair will be a representative from a participating carrier and is elected by Industry participants of the OSWG.

 

D.      Industry Lead:

An Industry Lead is an Industry participant assigned to a sub-working group by the Industry Chair and is responsible for coordinating the information necessary to develop an industry consensus on proposals to the OSWG.

 

E.      FAA Lead:

An FAA Lead is an individual assigned to a sub-working group by the FAA Chair and is responsible for coordinating the information necessary to develop an FAA consensus on proposals to the OSWG.

 

F.      Sub-Working Group:

A sub-working group consists of Industry and FAA leads, affected industry users and appropriate FAA personnel.  A sub-working group may be commissioned at the discretion of the Industry or FAA Chairs.

 


 

IV.  OSWG Leadership Roles and Responsibilities

The OSWG leadership and supporting leadership positions will consist of the following:

A.      Industry Chairperson:

1.        The Industry Chairperson will be a representative from a participating 14 CFR Part 119 Certificate Holder and will serve for a term of one year.

2.        The Industry Chairperson will be elected by majority vote of the Industry Participants.

3.        At the completion of the term the Industry Vice Chairperson will normally succeed as Chairperson.

4.        If the Vice-Chairperson cannot assume the responsibility of Chairperson, the Industry participants of the OSWG will elect a new Chairperson by majority vote of the Industry participants.  This vote will normally occur at the third quarterly meeting.

5.        The term of the new Industry Chairperson begins at the adjournment of the October meeting.

6.        In the absence of the Industry Chairperson, the Industry Vice-Chairperson will act as Industry Chairperson.

7.        In the event that the Industry Chairperson cannot fulfill his/her term, the Industry Vice-Chairperson will act as chairperson for the remainder of the term and a new Vice-Chairperson will be elected.

8.        The role of Industry Chairperson is as follows:

                Analyze, coordinate and negotiate information, as necessary, to assist in building an Industry position regarding topics brought before the OSWG.

                Coordinate with the Industry Leads to draft document changes for submission to the OSWG.

                In the absence of an Industry lead act as his/her backup.

                Preside over OSWG meetings and ensure the agenda is addressed in an orderly manner.

                Preside over Industry pre-meetings.

                Coordinate with the FAA Chairperson in the development and distribution of the OSWG agenda.

                Understand and utilize OSWG Industry participantís areas of expertise.

                Coordinate with the FAA Chairperson to collect draft documents and summaries and compile other candidate agenda items for distribution.

                Provide a letter to the FAA Director of Flight Standards, AFS-1, summarizing the work and accomplishments of the OSWG during the preceding year.  This letter will be sent following the October meeting but prior to the January meeting of each year.

 

B.      Industry Vice Chairperson:

1.        The Industry Vice Chairperson will be a representative from a participating 14 CFR Part 119 Certificate Holder and will serve a term of one year.

2.        The Industry Vice chairperson will normally succeed as the Chairperson at the completion of the former Industry Chairpersonís term.

3.        The OSWG will elect a new Industry Vice Chairperson by majority vote.  This vote will normally occur at the October meeting.

4.        The term of the new Industry Vice-Chairperson begins at the adjournment of the October meeting.

5.        The role of Industry Vice Chairperson is as follows:

                In the absence of the Industry Chairperson, assume the duties of the Industry Chairperson.

                Assist the Industry Chairperson with Industry Lead assignments.

                Record the OSWG meeting minutes for Industry.

                Assist the Industry Chairperson with other duties as assigned.


 

C.      FAA Chairperson:

1.        The FAA Chairperson position is assigned at the discretion of AFS.

2.        The role of FAA Chairperson is as follows:

                Collect comments for proposals to authorizing documents and related guidance materials.

                Analyze, coordinate and negotiate information, as necessary, to build an FAA headquarters position regarding topics brought before the OSWG.

                Coordinate with the FAA Leads to draft document changes for submission to the OSWG.

                In the absence of an FAA Lead act as his/her backup.

                Coordinate with the Industry Chairperson in the development and distribution of the OSWG agenda.

                Coordinate with the Industry Chairperson to collect draft documents and summaries and compile other candidate agenda items for distribution.

 

D.      Industry Lead

The role of Industry Lead is as follows:

                Collect materials and comments for proposed authorizing or guidance documents.

                Analyze, coordinate and negotiate information, as necessary, to build an Industry position for topics as assigned.

                Coordinate with the appropriate Industry and AFS representatives to reach an FAA/Industry consensus for the assigned topic.

                Coordinate with other operators or appropriate subject matter experts for collecting and processing technical data, justification and draft proposals as necessary.

                Submit proposals in writing to the Industry Chairperson for inclusion in the OSWG agenda as appropriate.

 

E.      FAA Lead:

The role of the FAA Lead is as follows:

                Collect materials and comments for proposed authorizing or guidance documents.

                Analyze, coordinate and negotiate information, as necessary, to build an FAA position for topics as assigned.

                Coordinate with the appropriate Industry and AFS representatives to reach an FAA/Industry consensus for the assigned topic.

                Coordinate with other AFS personnel or appropriate subject matter experts for collecting and processing technical data, justification and draft proposals as necessary.

                Submit proposals in writing to the FAA Chairperson for inclusion in the OSWG agenda as appropriate.

 

FAA and Industry Leads and their subcommittee (if applicable) shall work to resolve open items prior to the applicable OSWG quarterly meeting.  If the open items are resolved, AFS may post the proposed draft document(s) on the FAA website http://www.faa.gov/aircraft/draft_docs/opspecs/index.cfm for a minimum of 14 days for review and public comment.

 


 

V.    GENERAL PROCEDURES; DOCUMENT INITIATION, PROPOSAL, AND REVIEW

  1. Document revision.

1.        One or more of the following may initiate the need for a revision to an authorizing document:

2.        Any one of the first three initiating events listed above will require AFS review of current OpSpecs paragraphs and may result in the amendment of an authorizing or guidance document.

3.        The fourth and fifth initiating events listed above will initially be reviewed at the next OSWG quarterly meeting following the receipt of the comment or suggestion via a draft opspec proposal or agenda discussion item.

 

  1. Proposed revisions requiring OSWG review.

1.        Each proposed revision to an authorizing document submitted to the OSWG may vary in terms of the amount of required data needed to support justification.  Simple proposals for typographical errors, minor wording changes, or basic technical changes may be adequately justified by a single sentence or short paragraph as applicable.  Proposals for which technical evaluation is necessary may require a more substantial discussion and written justification.

2.        Proposals that would constitute a policy change to an authorizing document shall be presented to the OSWG in the appropriate format (provided in appendix A) which includes the appropriate summation of the proposal for the authorizing document and a sample of the proposed revision.

3.        The following elements should be included in the proposal:

                Issue Statement:

Provide a brief summary of the issue to be addressed.

                Background:

Provide relevant background information including the regulatory basis for the proposal.  This may include applicable CFR, Bulletins, AC, or other regulatory documents that support the proposal.

                Intended Outcome:

Provide a statement of specific goals or intended outcome.  This may include specific proposed text to be added or revised in the affected document.

                Effect on Operations.

Provide a description of the benefits that the proposal may have on Industry operations or the negative outcomes that may result from not enacting the proposal.

4.        The Industry or FAA proponent(s) shall develop the draft documents as necessary including any related guidance materials and the OpSpec/MSpec/LOA changes.

                The Proponent will coordinate and collect data from appropriate users and AFS divisions.

                The Proponent will submit the draft proposal to the Industry or FAA Chairs for distribution and review.

                At the FAA Chairpersonísí discretion, FAA may send an electronic copy of draft documents to the OSWG Chairs and all or selected OSWG members; or make the Industry Chairmen aware that a new draft document has been added to the FAA website for review and public comment.

 


 

VI.  INDUSTRY-PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

  1. U.S. operators should submit proposed agenda items to the Industry Chairperson, FAA Chairperson or sub-working group (if assigned) at least 30 days prior to the OSWG meeting date.  U.S. foreign operators may also forward a copy of their agenda items to their principal operations inspector, to the OSWG Industry Chairperson, or to the FAA Chairperson.

 

  1. Draft agenda proposals must be submitted, using the standard format (see appendix A), to the Industry Chairperson who will then forward the proposal to the FAA Chairperson.

 

  1. Submit final draft proposals to the Industry Chairperson a minimum of 30 days prior to the OSWG quarterly meeting.

 

  1. The Industry Chairperson will submit draft proposals to be included in the agenda a minimum of two weeks prior to the quarterly OSWG meeting date.

 

  1. The Industry Chairperson will forward an electronic copy of the agenda to the FAA chairperson, to be posted on the FAA Internet website http://fsims.faa.gov/PICResults.aspx?mode=Publication&doctype=OSWG .

 

  1. The Industry Chairperson will work with the FAA Chairperson to publish the proposed agenda at least two weeks prior to each OSWG quarterly meeting date and provide the full agenda at the meeting. 

 

  1. The Industry Chairperson will assign an Industry Lead for all agenda items.

 

  1. The FAA Chairperson will assign an FAA Lead for all agenda items.

 

 

VII. OSWG QUARTERLY MEETINGS

  1. Meetings, Notifications and Telecons:

1.        OSWG quarterly meetings will typically be held the fourth Tuesday and Wednesday of January, April, July, and October of each calendar year.

                Meeting dates and locations are determined by the OSWG .

                Meeting dates and locations may be amended as necessary to accommodate the needs of the participants.

2.        Notification of OSWG meetings will be accomplished through email to both FAA and industry OSWG participants.  Meeting information will be posted on the FAA website http://fsims.faa.gov/PICResults.aspx?mode=Publication&doctype=OSWG

3.        The OSWG may hold telecons as needed .

 

  1. Location and Host for OSWG quarterly meetings are fulfilled on a volunteer basis.

1.        Whenever possible, a host and city location shall be established one year from the applicable quarterly meeting date.

2.        The host organization for a quarterly meeting shall provide suggested accommodations and detailed directions to the meeting facility a minimum of 30 days prior to the quarterly meeting which they are hosting.

 

  1. The quarterly meeting agenda should be finalized and distributed to Industry and FAA participants a minimum of two weeks prior to the meeting date.

 

  1. The agenda should allow for time at the beginning of each meeting to introduce the participants who are present.

 

  1. Each meeting should include a sign-in sheet / roster requesting each participantís name, organization, telephone number and email address.

The roster will be in spreadsheet format (using Microsoft Excel) and made available to the OSWG participants (see appendix C).

 

  1. Additional agenda items may be added for discussion during the course of the meeting at the Industry or FAA Chairpersonís discretion.

 

  1. When a proposal is open for discussion during the meetings, the OSWG will attempt to reach a consensus decision based on all available information.  If the OSWG reaches a consensus decision regarding the topic being discussed, it will forward its recommendation to the appropriate AFS office.

1.        If the proposal is accepted by the OSWG and/or by AFS then the proponent, with the help of the FAA and Industry Leads, will prepare the draft documents and a summary of the proposal.  The draft documents and summary will be posted on the FAA website site http://www.faa.gov/aircraft/draft_docs/opspecs/index.cfm  for a minimum of 14 days to allow for review and public comment.

2.        If the OSWG does not to accept a proposal, the FAA or Industry Chairperson (as appropriate) will provide feedback to the individual submitting the proposal regarding why the proposal was not accepted.

 

H.      OSWG sub-working groups:

1.        OSWG sub-working group coordination and activities may be conducted via formal meetings, telephone, electronically or by any suitable means as necessary.  Effective coordination and interface between the Industry/FAA leads, applicable AFS headquarters and regional representatives are the foundation for making the process successful.

2.        The OSWG sub-working group(s) may provide written or oral recommendations, as required, on specific issues to appropriate AFS personnel.

 

I.          The OSWG may provide periodic written recommendations, as needed, to the Director of Flight Standards or the appropriate policy division of Flight Standards with attention to the appropriate FAA personnel.  Written recommendations may include, but are not limited to:

1.        Issue identification.

2.        Background summary.

3.        Recommendations of the OSWG.

4.        Justification for recommendations.

 

J.        The minutes of the quarterly OSWG meeting should be published within 30 days following the quarterly meeting date and posted on the FAA Internet website (http://fsims.faa.gov/PICResults.aspx?mode=Publication&doctype=OSWG  

The minutes and accompanying documentation should also be distributed electronically to each participant at that time.

 


 

VIII.            Standing Agenda Items

Standing Agenda items are as follows:

a.      Special PIC Airport Listing (C050).  The process to add or remove an airport from the Special PIC airport listing is as follows:

1.        The recommendation must include the airport information on the completed Airport Assessment Form found in association with OpSpec C050.

2.        The information s hould be provided to the Industry Chairperson a minimum of 30 days prior to the OSWG quarterly meeting for placement on the agenda.

3.        The OSWG participants should review the assessment and make a recommendation to AFS-220.

4.        AFS-220 will make the final determination in regard to the request or recommendation.

5.        If a change in the Special PIC Qualification Airport List is to be made, the following steps will be taken by the FAA:

                The Special PIC Qualification Airport List will be revised with an explanation and an effective date for that airport.

                Change the Special PIC Qualification Airport List in guidance through WebOPSS that are in association with OpSpecs C050.

                AFS 220 or 260 will publish a Notice giving official notification that a change has occurred on the Special PIC Qualification Airport List; the Notice will indicate which airport is affected and a brief explanation of why it was added or deleted.

                Send a notification to OSWG participants via email that contains a copy of the draft notice.

                Report the change at the next OSWG quarterly meeting.

 

b.      Maintenance of the roster.

 

c.      An update of the WebOPSS operating system.

 

d.      Verify Host, dates and determine where the next quarterly meeting will be held.

 

e.      The FAA will provide a survey for the attendees to complete that evaluates the effectiveness of the OSWG process.

 

 

IX.  Procedures Guide Revision :

  1. The OSWG will review and update the contents of the Procedures Guide as necessary.

1.        Any air carrier, Industry participant, or FAA representative may submit revisions to this guide.

2.        Recommendations will be brought before the OSWG participants for consideration.  Subsequent changes to this guide will be promulgated via an OSWG Procedures Guide revision.

 

 

X.    OSWG PROCEDURES GUIDE APPENDICES:

A.      Appendix A:

Appendix A contains the standard template used for summiting proposed agenda items for discussion at the OSWG quarterly meetings.

 

B.      Appendix B:

Appendix B contains the template used for recording the minutes of the OSWG quarterly meetings.

 

C.      Appendix C:

Appendix C contains a roster of the names, organization, telephone number and email address of Industry and FAA participants of the OSWG.  The roster is maintained in a spreadsheet format (using Microsoft Excel) and distributed with the minutes of each OSWG quarterly meeting and will not be posted by the OSWG leadership on any internet website.