VOLUME 3 GENERAL TECHNICAL ADMINISTRATION
CHAPTER 18 OPERATIONS SPECIFICATIONS
Section 2 Automated Operations Safety System
3-701 GENERAL. The automated Operations Safety System (OPSS) Web-based
Operations Safety System (WebOPSS) consists of standard and nonstandard templates
for operations specifications (OpSpecs), management specifications (MSpecs),
and Letters of Authorization (LOA) developed by the Flight Standards Service.
MSpecs are issued to program managers who conduct fractional ownership operations under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part
91 subpart K (part
3-712 and 3-713 discuss nonstandard OpSpec and MSpec authorizations.) LOAs are used to issue certain authorizations to 14 CFR
137 operators and part
of Deviation Authority (LODA) holders. All standard OpSpec/MSpec and LOA templates, and any subsequent revisions,
are first coordinated within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and then
with appropriate industry organizations. After this coordination, the standard
template authorizations are incorporated into WebOPSS, which is programmed to
provide only those OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs and other templates, such as training
specifications (TSpecs), that are applicable to a particular type of operation
under a particular 14 CFR part. When the appropriate standard templates have
been selected and all the required information has been entered into WebOPSS,
a complete set of OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs can be issued to a particular certificate holder, operator, or program manager, based on type of operation.
A. Generating OpSpecs/MSpecs and LOAs. This section provides general
direction and guidance to inspectors concerning actions necessary to generate
a complete set of OpSpecs/MSpecs and LOAs. This section also provides general
information on the OPSS, such as control of standard templates, use of filter
colors, and procedures for amending standard templates. The OPSS is designed
for generating automated OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs to allow inspectors to collect
and record appropriate information necessary for issuing required OpSpec/MSpec
templates, as well as authorizing the optional templates and LOAs as listed
in OpSpec/MSpec A004. Before attempting to enter information directly into the
OPSS, users should be familiar with the OPSS and the current edition of the
OPSS user’s manual. The current edition of the user’s manual can be downloaded at
B. General Subsystem Information. This section provides general information
for the subsystems within the OPSS. These subsystems include, but are not limited
to, the applicable guidance (guidance subsystem), emergency Airworthiness Directives
(AD) (OpSpec/LOA A447, Emergency Airworthiness Directive Notification), the
exemptions, 14 CFR part 298 liability insurance (see paragraph 3-719), and report
and query capability. These subsystems are an integral part of the Dynamic Information System (DIS).
C. OPSS Guidance Subsystem. The guidance subsystem contained within
the OPSS provides relevant guidance documents in association with individual
templates. Many guidance documents, such as advisory circulars (AC), bulletins,
preambles, directives, and excerpts from orders and regulations, may be associated
with multiple templates. Other guidance documents are unique to the individual templates.
1) Revision History. The revision history gives a summary of each template
revision since the template was transferred into the new automated OPSS.
2) OpSpec/MSpec/LOA Job Aid. An OpSpec/MSpec/LOA job aid is designed
to provide a variety of up-to-date information regarding individual templates.
These job aids contain miscellaneous information, references for the authorization,
and a sample of the associated template. The job aid may change with the addition
or correction of information. The date of the last job aid revision is indicated
on the title line of the document. Other directives or guidance documents may include job aid information.
3-702 DYNAMIC INFORMATION SYSTEM (DIS). The OPSS is the mechanism used
to collect and maintain the information required for the DIS. The most conspicuous
portion of the OPSS contains the OpSpec/MSpec templates and the LOAs. The DIS
subsystems are integrated into the OPSS to enable the population of the DIS
data. Before the OpSpec/MSpec templates and LOAs can be processed, certain fields
of information must be provided to the OPSS. These critical fields of information
must be current for the OpSpecs/MSpecs or LOAs to be technically accurate. The
fields of information under the “Certificate Holder” menu option are used in
the OpSpec/MSpec templates and LOAs when the user is prompted to “Select Data”
for individual OpSpecs/MSpecs or LOAs. The DIS consists of the following data fields for each selected certificate holder or operator information:
A. Aircraft Authorization. This area contains specific information about
the aircraft the operator/program manager is authorized to use and specific
conditions for that operator/program manager. This information is used in OpSpecs/MSpecs
A003, D085, and any other templates or LOAs that require the insertion of aircraft for authorization or data collection. Information that is collected includes:
1) Aircraft make, model, and series (M/M/S).
2) Aircraft registration number.
3) Nose number (if applicable).
4) Aircraft serial number (SN).
5) Specific regulations that the aircraft is being operated under 14 CFR parts
6) Specific sections of 14 CFR part
identify the type of approved operational usage:
135.1(c) (Air Tour);
121 Domestic (intrastate);
121 Flag (common carriage);
121 Supplemental (common carriage);
135 Commuter (common carriage);
135 On-Demand (common carriage);
121 Domestic (common carriage);
121 Supplemental (common carriage);
125 Operators (common carriage is not
135 Operators (common carriage is not
119.25(a), Rotorcraft Commuter (common carriage); and
119.25(b), Rotorcraft On-Demand, (common carriage).
7) Operational use of aircraft (previously “kind of operation”) (see
paragraph 3-703 for discussion on “kinds of operations”):
• Foreign (part
• Commuter (part
• Domestic (part
• External-Load (part
• Flag (part
• Nonstop Sightseeing (§
• On-Demand (part
• On-Demand Cargo-Only (part
• Supplemental (part
• Flight (part
• Fractional (part
• Flight (part
• Aerial Application (part
8) Configuration of the specific aircraft: pax and cargo, passenger, all cargo, combi.
9) Noise stage (if applicable).
10) Seats demonstrated (evacuation demonstration under 14 CFR parts
number for all other aircraft).
11) Seats approved (mini evacuation demonstration that is operator specific).
12) Flight attendants (F/A) (required number).
13) Class of operation: amphibian, helicopter, Multiengine Land (MEL),
Multiengine Sea (MES), MEL/MES (both), Single-Engine Land (SEL), Single-Engine Sea (SES), SEL/SES (both).
14) En route type: instrument flight rules (IFR)/visual flight rules (VFR).
15) Condition: day only, day/night.
16) Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF): medical, floor, door.
17) Remarks section that records and identifies multiple comments.
B. Domestic and International Addresses. These addresses for the certificate
holder, program manager, or operator will be inserted into OpSpec/MSpec A001.
C. Airworthiness Directive (AD) Notification. The FAA distributes ADs
to a certificate holder/operator’s responsible party via the United States Postal
Service (USPS) and/or email. This information is used to populate OpSpec/LOA A447. (See OpSpec/LOA A447 in
Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 3 for guidance.)
D. Deviation and Exemption Assignments From 14 CFR Parts. OpSpec A005
is populated with the information from these assignments. The deviation list
is built by the OPSS users for others to use as well, so it is important that
the referenced 14 CFR is accurate and that the description is concise. Any deviation
granted must be listed in A005 even if the deviation specifics are described
through the issuance of an OpSpec/MSpec template. If the deviation specifics
are described in a separate OpSpec/MSpec template, the template should be identified
in the “Remarks” column next to the deviation listed in A005. This should be
a general remark and not specific for the operator/program manager. The exemptions
are selected from the exemption database. The text of each exemption is available
to the user. If an exemption that is needed does not appear in the database, contact the OPSS Operations Center to request that it be loaded into the system.
E. Principal Inspectors (PI). This area contains the names of Principal
Avionics Inspectors (PAI), Principal Maintenance Inspectors (PMI), and Principal
Operations Inspectors (POI) specific to the certificate‑holding district office
(CHDO) to which the OPSS is defaulted. This area is used to update the specific
PIs that are assigned to a certificate holder, air operator, or program manager.
This information is used when the OpSpec/MSpec templates are ready to be signed.
All three PIs are responsible for the oversight and coordination of the authorizations
granted by the issuance of the OpSpecs/MSpecs and, in some cases, LOAs. It is
the responsibility of all three PIs to ensure that the template being issued
is accurate and complete. Many of the authorizations require the scrutiny of
Avionics, Maintenance, and Operations inspectors. If there is a disagreement
between a PAI, PMI, and POI regarding the contents of an operator/program manager’s
OpSpec/MSpec template, the issue must be resolved prior to the issuance of the template in question.
F. Doing Business As (DBA). If the certificate holder, program manager,
or operator conducts operations under other names, these are put into the DIS
at this location and are labeled “doing business as,” or abbreviated as “DBA.”
This information is inserted into OpSpec/MSpec A001. (See OpSpec/MSpec A001 in
Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 3 for more information on DBAs.)
1) This area contains basic and generally static information about the
certificate holder’s, program manager’s, or air operator’s responsible personnel.
The information field(s) include the FAA accountable manager in a fractional
ownership program management company, the maintenance and avionics points of
contact (POC), FAA-recognized position titles, names of the approved personnel,
the company’s equivalent position title, and what, if any, parts of the OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs
they are authorized to sign. The following are examples of the titles and corresponding templates, indicated in parentheses:
• AD Notification Representative (A447),
• Chief Inspector (A006),
• Agent for Service (A007),
• Director of Operations (DO) (A006),
• Director of Maintenance (DOM) (A006),
• Other Designated Persons (A007),
• Chief Pilot (A006),
• Director of Safety (DOS) (A006),
• FAA Accountable Manager (part
91K only) (A007), and
• POCs for Part
Maintenance, and Avionics (A007).
2) For operators that have a split certificate and operate under both parts
OPSS provides position selections to accommodate this situation. If the operator separates parts
with specific personnel for position titles, the appropriate title selection must indicate
which 14 CFR part that person is responsible for. If there is no split certificate, the position title would not contain a reference to any 14 CFR part.
H. Authorized Areas. This area contains the information that is selected
for insertion into the operator/program manager’s approved geographic areas
of operations for OpSpec/MSpec B050. It is used by other district offices (other
than the CHDO) that have a surveillance work program for the operator/program
manager in their respective geographic Areas of Responsibility (AOR). The OPSS
guidance subsystem contains names and locations of islands and countries that may be used for insertion into OpSpec/MSpec B050.
I. Review Insurance Information. This online module is made available
for the PIs to review the status of the liability insurance of the certificate holder. See paragraph 3-719 for detailed information.
3-703 OPERATIONAL USE OF AIRCRAFT AND KINDS OF OPERATIONS.
A. Kind of Operation. Section
119.49, Contents of Operations Specifications, and §
in pertinent part that each certificate holder conducting domestic, flag, commuter, supplemental,
or on-demand operations must obtain OpSpecs containing the “kind and area of operations authorized.” Title 14 CFR part
states that, “Kind of operation means one of the various operations a certificate
holder is authorized to conduct, as specified in its operations specifications…”
For instance, if a certificate holder normally conducts only domestic operations
and wants to extend those operations to any foreign point, “flag” must be entered
in OpSpec A001 (by virtue of the definition of a flag operation), even if the
certificate holder has authorization to conduct those operations under domestic regulations.
only agency actions that alter the overall type of operations that an air carrier (part
121 or part
authorized to conduct. These operations are identified in template A001, which lists the
kinds of operations that the FAA authorizes the air carrier to perform under
its certificate (e.g., commuter, domestic, supplemental, flag, or on demand
operations). These must be appropriately selected for each certificate holder.
2) For part
125 certificate holders, part
the OpSpecs to contain the kinds of operations authorized. The certificate holder
is authorized to conduct flight operations in noncommon carriage and private carriage pursuant to §
119.23(a) and part
the certificate holder does not engage in common carriage. In addition, the part
holder may not conduct operations carrying people or property for compensation or hire,
where such operations result directly or indirectly from any person’s holding
out to the public to furnish transportation (i.e., common carriage). The kinds of operations for part
holders are included in the standard OpSpec template A001 and are not selectable.
119 does not govern part
ownership operations, and kinds of operations as defined in §
110.2 do not apply. Therefore, part
will not list kinds of operations authorized.
B. OpSpec/MSpec A003. By contrast, OpSpec/MSpec A003 does not identify
the operator/program manager’s overall authority to conduct a particular kind
of operation. Instead, OpSpec/MSpec A003 represents the FAA’s approval of the
operator/program manager’s use of particular aircraft in carrying out the kinds
of operations that are authorized, presumably through the air carrier or operating certificate and OpSpec A001.
C. Operational Use of the Aircraft. For part
121 and part
carriers, the column “Operational Use of the Aircraft” in OpSpec A003 reflects this true
effect by identifying the FAA-approved use for the aircraft types listed. When
listing aircraft that are used for more than one kind of operation, as authorized
in OpSpec A001, those aircraft should be identified with the most extensive
use of the aircraft. For instance, if the certificate holder is authorized domestic,
flag, and supplemental operations in OpSpec A001 and the aircraft could be used
in any one of the three operations, the certificate holder should identify the
aircraft as a “flag” aircraft. However, if the certificate holder intends to
use an aircraft in only one kind of operation, despite the multiple authorizations in A001, the certificate holder should identify the aircraft as such.
D. Authorization. The rest of the “set” of OpSpec/MSpec templates are
then developed to authorize the conduct of specific types, areas, or routes
of operations in accordance with the authorizations issued in A001 and A003,
and must not contradict the authorizations for the kind of operation authority
issued to them in A001 and A003. Thus, through the issuance of a variety of
OpSpecs/MSpecs (e.g., OpSpec A050, Helicopter Night Vision Goggle Operations
(HNVGO); OpSpec B036 for Class II Navigation; and OpSpec C065, Powerback Operations
with Airplanes), different types of operations are authorized in order to support the kinds of authorization(s) granted in OpSpec A001.
3-704 REQUIRED AND OPTIONAL OPSPEC AND MSPEC TEMPLATES. The following is a general discussion of the available OpSpec/MSpec templates and part
91 templates and LOAs for each database.
A. Required and Optional OpSpec/MSpec Templates. With the development
of the OPSS, specific required and optional OpSpec/MSpec templates for a certificate
holder, program manager, or operator operating in accordance with certain 14
CFR parts are automatically extracted from the databases. For example, if the certificate holder is certified under part
only the OpSpec templates that are required and optional for part
121 authorizations will be available. Part
OpSpec templates will not be available in that database. Likewise, only the required and optional MSpec templates will be available in the part
B. LOAs. In the part
all the LOAs are optional authorizations for issuance to the operator; however, in the part
inspectors will need to process the operator name, identification number, address, and aircraft
information in order to issue an LOA. Inspectors will need to sign and activate LOAs A001, A003, A004, A007, and activate them in WebOPSS. (See
Volume 3, Chapter 18, Sections 3,
7 for details about each template in the database.)
C. Standard OpSpec/MSpec Templates and LOA Templates for Part
and Rotorcraft Operations. These OpSpec/MSpec templates and LOA templates are divided into six parts, described in subparagraphs
3-704C1) through 6). Each part contains standard templates that can be consecutively
numbered from 001 to 999. Approval of all OpSpec/MSpec templates and LOAs may
be indicated by the signature of the PIs, supervisor, or the CHDO manager who
may sign for any of the PIs (see paragraph 3-714 for details). Most of the authorizations
in Parts A, B, and C need thorough coordination between the PAI, PMI, and POI
for issuance. If there is a disagreement between a PAI/PMI and a POI regarding
the contents of an operator/program manager’s OpSpec/MSpec template, this issue
must be resolved prior to the issuance of the template in question. The part
91 database contains standard part
91 LOAs and the part
contains the official standard MSpec authorizations for fractional ownership program managers.
1) Part AGeneral. Part A templates are generally considered to be the
responsibility of both Airworthiness and Operations aviation safety inspectors
(ASI). Contents of these templates must be carefully coordinated between PAIs,
PMIs, and POIs before approval. Approval of these templates is indicated by
the signature of any one of the three assigned PIs or as determined by individual
CHDO policy (see paragraph 3-714 for details). If there is a disagreement between
a PAI/PMI and a POI regarding the contents of an operator/program manager’s
OpSpec or MSpec template (or LOA), the issue must be resolved before the PIs issue the template (or LOA) in question.
2) Part BEn Route Authorizations and Limitations. Operations inspectors
are primarily responsible for preparing and approving (signing) authorizations
in Part B. Coordination between Operations, Maintenance, and Avionics inspectors is essential.
3) Part CAirplane Terminal Instrument Procedures and Airport Authorizations
and Limitations. Part C pertains only to fixed-wing airplanes. Operations
inspectors are primarily responsible for preparing and approving (signing) the
authorizations in Part C. Coordination between Operations, Maintenance, and Avionics inspectors is essential.
4) Part DMaintenance MSpecs/OpSpecs/LOAs. Maintenance and Avionics
inspectors are primarily responsible for preparing and approving (signing) the templates in Part D.
5) Part EMaintenance MSpecs/OpSpecs/LOAs. Maintenance inspectors are
primarily responsible for preparing and approving (signing) Part E. The maintenance
inspectors must carefully coordinate the Part E OpSpec/MSpec authorization with Operations inspectors.
6) Part HHelicopter Terminal Instrument Procedures and Airport Authorizations
and Limitations. Part H is the rotorcraft equivalent to the Part C templates
for fixed-wing operations. Operations inspectors are primarily responsible for preparing and approving (signing) the templates in Part H. (Parts
and 125 operations
will not have Part H in the databases.)
D. Training Centers. TSpecs are issued in accordance with 14 CFR part
142.5(b). For the purpose of the TSpecs required for part
term “TSpecs” will be synonymous with the terms OpSpecs/MSpecs, and the generic
form for OpSpecs contained within the new automated OPSS will be used in place
of the original FAA Form 8400-8, Operations Specification 1. The Training Center
Program Manager (TCPM) is responsible for the issuance and signing of TSpecs for part
holders (see paragraph 3-714 for signature information). Information regarding the applicability and issuance of TSpecs is contained in §
142.11 and Volume 3, Chapter 54, Part
142 Training Centers. TSpecs
were realigned to correspond more closely with the numbering system employed for
OpSpecs issued to air carriers. This alignment will provide a correlation when
discussing the relationships between the training center and its contracting operators/program managers. Part
are divided into the following four basic sections:
1) Part AGeneral. Includes the issuance and applicability, definitions,
authorizations and limitations summary, exemptions and deviations, flight training equipment and training location authorizations, and personnel listings.
2) Part BTraining Authorizations and Limitations. Includes the approved
curricula listings for individual airmen and operators/program managers, special training programs, and training agreements.
3) Part CAirplane Terminal Instrument Procedures and Airport Authorizations
and Limitations. At this time, this section only contains approved circling approach authorizations for specified simulators.
4) Part DMaintenance Requirements, Limitations, and Procedures. Includes
flight training equipment maintenance and records requirements, minimum equipment list (MEL), and Simulator Component Inoperative Guide (SCIG) authorizations.
E. Repair Stations. Title 14 CFR part
forth the requirements for repair station OpSpecs. The term “certificate holder” is now used to include
the holder of a repair station certificate as described in the OpSpecs. The
OpSpecs lettering and numbering system used for repair stations attempts to
be consistent with those in use by other 14 CFR certificate holders and operators.
The repair station OpSpecs (FAA Form 8400-4-1) have been replaced with the issuance
of the OPSS computer-generated, generic OPSS form. For guidance on issuing part
145 OpSpecs, see
Volume 2, Chapter 11, Section 1. The
principal Airworthiness inspector(s) assigned to the part
are responsible for issuing and authorizing (signing) all of the certificate holder’s OpSpecs. (See paragraph 3-714 for signature proxy guidelines.) Part
(and nonstandard, if applicable) OpSpecs are currently divided into three parts, each of which has an assigned letter designator and contains standard templates.
1) Part A OpSpec templates are considered to be general templates and
are issued for both domestic and foreign repair stations. This part contains the ratings, limitations, and special authorizations.
2) Part B currently contains only OpSpec B050, which applies to foreign
repair stations and provides for the authorization to conduct services under contract to a U.S. carrier/part
flag operator at a location other than the repair station facility. (See
Volume 2, Chapter 11, Section 10.)
3) Part D contains specific authorizations, limitations, and procedures
in OpSpec D100, for work to be performed at a place other than the repair
station’s fixed location. OpSpec template D100 must list the work authorized
and the Repair Station Manual (RSM) must reference the work that the repair
station may perform away from the fixed location. A repair station may have
D107 line maintenance authorization issued if the repair station is contracted to perform maintenance for a part
135 operation U.S.-registered aircraft.
OpSpecs. The standard LOAs for part
external load, and additional policy guidance can be found in this order. Both Operations and Airworthiness inspectors are assigned to a part
and should follow the guidance for signature authority in paragraph 3-714.
1) Part AGeneral. Includes the issuance and applicability; definitions,
authorizations, and limitations summary; exemptions and deviations; personnel
listings; AD information; and other general authorizations. It also contains the official authorizations for Class D and IFR operations.
2) Part DAircraft Listing (for Airworthiness).
are standard LOA templates developed for part
holders. Although these LOAs are not mandatory for the operator, PIs should record information on the part
holder in WebOPSS, per the FAA policy contained in this order. Provisions are available for the part
holder to use WebOPSS in their own offices in the same way as the part
121 or part
holders. For example, if the part
holder requests a waiver from part
Over Congested Areas: General, the waiver may be issued in an OpSpec format through the OPSS part
The POIs and Airworthiness inspectors assigned to the part
are responsible for maintaining the information for that certificate in the OPSS. The guidance in paragraph 3-714 would apply.
1) Part AGeneral. This includes the issuance and applicability; definitions,
authorizations, and limitations summary; exemptions and deviations; personnel listings; any waivers or special authorizations; and AD information.
2) Part DAircraft Listing (for Airworthiness). OpSpec D085 provides
for the aircraft listing of those aircraft that meet the airworthy requirements used in the certificate holder’s agricultural aerial application operations.
3-705 OPSPEC/MSPEC (AND LOA) CHECKLIST FOR OPTIONAL AUTHORIZATIONS AND LIMITATIONS.
A. OpSpec/MSpec A004 Checklist. OpSpec/MSpec A004 contains a series
of statements considered to be a checklist for optional authorizations or available
LOAs. A004 also gives a statement of prohibitions if the operator/program manager
is not authorized those optional authorizations. The A004 checklist provides
for the selection of authorizations that are available for the specific 14 CFR
type of certificate holder, operator, or program manager. When accurately selected
in the A004 checklist, the checklist describes the optional authorizations applicable
for the specific certificate holder, operator, or program manager for which
OpSpecs/MSpecs or LOAs are being prepared. Required OpSpec/MSpec templates will
not appear in the A004 checklist. Some of the statements in A004 describe general
information about the operator/program manager’s, responsibility and certain
statements describe the capability of the aircraft being operated. Other statements
identify specific authorizations and/or limitations which apply or will apply to the operator or program manager.
B. Selecting Authorizations. When selecting authorizations concerning
the operator/program manager, the authorizations must be factually correct.
When selecting a statement which describes a limitation or restriction, inspectors
must be aware that the selection will result in the A004 checklist showing the
authorization of an OpSpec/MSpec template or LOA. Standard OpSpec/MSpec templates
providing special authorizations usually require special training curriculums,
maintenance programs, and modifications to the operator/program manager’s manuals
and minimum equipment list (MEL). The A004 checklist includes both operations
and maintenance items. Coordination between Operations, Avionics, and Maintenance
inspectors is absolutely essential for these authorizations. The PAI, PMI, and
POI must all agree that the selections made on the A004 checklist are accurate.
PIs should also review the A004 checklist with the operator/program manager
and agree that the selected statements accurately describe the operations authorized to be conducted.
C. Completing Templates. After the selections are moved to the OPSS
workspace grid, the appropriate standard templates or LOAs can then be completed
(reference the current OPSS user’s manual for details). The active table of
contents can be printed to review all the standard templates applicable to the
operator/program manager and identifies templates or LOAs which provide special authorizations or prohibitions.
3-706 TEST OR TRAINING OPSPECS/MSPECS. Each Flight Standards office can
generate a set of practice or test OpSpecs/MSpecs. When generating practice
OpSpecs/MSpecs, refer to either the OPSS Student Training Manual or to the OPSS
user’s manual for details. A set of practice or test OpSpecs/MSpecs can be used
when someone wants to practice using the OPSS and does not have a “real” operator
in the database or does not want to experiment with the information on a “real”
operator. From time to time, the OPSS database managers will purge the testing
and training databases. For information about obtaining a precertification or certification number, please refer to the OPSS user’s manual.
3-707 OPERATOROR PROGRAM MANAGERREQUESTED OR FAA-INITIATED OPSPEC/MSPEC
CHANGES. The signature block of each OpSpec/MSpec identifies whether the
FAA issued the template because of an FAA-initiated change or if the certificate holder applied for a change to the content of the specific paragraph.
A. Origin Options. During the signing process for each OpSpec/MSpec,
within the signature block section, under the “Origin (FAA or Operator)” tab,
two selections are available for the user to choose from: “Issued by the Federal
Aviation Administration” or “The Certificate Holder applies for the Operations in this paragraph.”
B. Issued by the FAA. If the user selects the “Issued by the Federal
Aviation Administration” toggle, no further comments can be made. The user can
find a brief synopsis of FAA-initiated change information in the revision history
for each document. The revision history, as well as the official handbook documentation
with applicable guidance for the revision, can be found in the OPSS guidance subsystem.
C. Requested by a Certificate Holder. If the user selects “The Certificate
Holder applies for the Operations in this paragraph” toggle, the user can enter
a brief statement documenting the reason for the reissuance or amendment in
the “Support Information Reference” clear text box. In this text box, the user
may want to refer to the date of the operator/program manager’s letter requesting the authorization or any other pertinent information applicable to the change.
3-708 DRAFTS OF AND FINAL SIGNED OPSPECs/MSPECs OR LOAs.
A. Coordinate Drafts. Inspectors should coordinate the draft OpSpecs/MSpecs
or LOAs with the operator/program manager. This coordination should involve
the operator/program manager throughout the final preparation of the documents.
This provides an opportunity to develop a common understanding between the operator/program
manager and the FAA about the authorizations, limitations, and provisions in
the authorizations. The operator/program manager must also be given the occasion to verify that added operator or program manager specific information is correct.
1) The OPSS guidance subsystem provides access to various guidance documents in association
with individual OpSpec/MSpec and LOA authorizations. Inspectors should review
these documents with the certificate holder, program manager, or operator, along
with a draft of the authorization, to see what the operator must do to be in compliance prior to the issuance of the requested or required OpSpec/MSpec/LOA.
2) Access to guidance documents is found in the Maintain Authorizing Documents area of WebOPSS using the Guidance button.
B. Final Authorizations. After the draft OpSpecs/MSpecs or LOAs have been reviewed
and final corrections made, if any, the final authorizations can be printed
and physically signed or, if the certificate holder or operator has electronic
signature capability, the authorizations can be electronically signed. The FAA
must sign (electronically) to issue/activate the authorization to the certificate
holder’s or operator’s grid as a final document for issuance. The certificate
holder or operator should also sign the final document (either electronically
or physically). However, the certificate holder does not have to sign the OpSpec/MSpec
for it to be effective. A certificate holder may provide a physical or electronic copy of the signed OpSpec to the FAA either physically, by mail, or electronically.
3-709 TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR AUTHORIZATIONS. The automated OpSpecs/MSpecs
and LOAs table of contents is an integral section of an operator/program manager’s
authorizations. The OPSS can automatically print a table of contents for each part individually.
3-710 AUTOMATED FEATURES AND SYMBOLOGY OF AUTOMATED OPSPEC/MSPEC TEMPLATES AND LOAs.
A. Page Numbers. The OPSS prints page numbers automatically on the OpSpecs/MSpecs and LOA forms.
B. Control Date. The OPSS automatically prints the words “Control Date”
and the date on the upper right corner of the OpSpecs/MSpecs or LOA template
and gives reference to the latest revision. This “Control Date” is for control
purposes only and must not be construed as an effective date. The OPSS prints
the operator/program manager’s certificate or identification number in the lower
right corner of the template and the operator/program manager’s name will be
printed on the bottom center of each page. See paragraph 3-711 for a discussion about the revision terminology.
C. Effective Date and Signature Date. For original issuance of an OpSpec/MSpec
template or LOA, both the effective date and the signature date should be the
same, but they are not required to be the same. For authorization amendments,
these dates may also be different. The effective date may be later than the
signature date, or in the case of an FAA-initiated, required change, the effective
date may be before the authorization is actually signed by the certificate holder,
program manager, or operator. For an authorization to be effective, it does
not necessarily have to be signed by the certificate holder, program manager, or the operator; it is effective by FAA signature only.
NOTE: In the event where the FAA issues an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA amendment
that has an effective date sometime in the future, the previous version of the
OpSpec/MSpec/LOA will automatically be archived in WebOPSS. However, the archived version remains valid until the effective date of the superseding amendment.
D. OPSS Provides a Filter. The OPSS provides a filter under the “Tools”
pull-down menu and affects what is seen within the OPSS. The OPSS filter automatically
displays, in color, those templates that Flight Standards has changed or archived and is intended to alert the users that a change has occurred.
3-711 MANDATORY AND NONMANDATORY CHANGES. Changes to OpSpec/MSpec and LOA templates are categorized as either mandatory or nonmandatory.
• A mandatory change is typically based on a regulatory change or
• A nonmandatory change is typically used for minor text or format
changes, or for changes that are limited in scope.
A. All Changes. For all OpSpec/MSpec/LOA changes, PIs should review
the “History” tab in WebOPSS to determine the cause of the change. PIs should
also review the guidance documents associated with the OpSpec/MSpec/LOA. Guidance
documents are accessed through the “Guidance” button in WebOPSS. Mandatory changes
(and some limited nonmandatory changes) will typically be accompanied by a new
policy document (usually a notice). The policy document will be available in
the Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS) and with the guidance documents associated with the template in WebOPSS.
B. Mandatory Changes. When Flight Standards makes a mandatory change
to an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA template, PIs must issue the new template and archive
the old one. PIs must follow the instructions contained in any accompanying
policy documents (e.g., a notice or a change to Order 8900.1) prior to issuing
the new template. PIs must complete the issuance of a mandatory OpSpec/MSpec/LOA
template change within 30 days, or as otherwise directed by the appropriate
Flight Standards policy division. Flight Standards will typically provide this
direction in a notice. Mandatory changes to OpSpec/MSpec/LOA templates will
result in a change to the revision number of the template (e.g., from revision 010 to revision 020).
C. Nonmandatory Changes. When Flight Standards makes a nonmandatory
change to an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA template, PIs must determine if the change affects
any particular certificate holder(s)/program manager(s). If a PI determines
that the nonmandatory change impacts a certificate holder/program manager’s
particular operation, the PI will issue the new template as directed by Flight
Standards or within 90 days for all affected certificate holder(s)/program manager(s).
Nonmandatory changes to OpSpec/MSpec/LOA templates will result in the addition
of a letter to the current template revision number (e.g., from revision 010
to revision 01a; revision 02a to revision 02b, etc.). If a nonmandatory change
does not affect a particular certificate holder/program manager, PIs do not have to reissue the OpSpec/MSpec/LOA template.
D. Archived and Decommissioned Templates. When an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA template
is revised by Flight Standards, WebOPSS automatically archives the previous
version of the available template within the system; however, each individual
certificate holder/program manager or PI will need to manually archive any old
templates in the WebOPSS Workspace. Flight Standards may also permanently withdraw
or decommission an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA template without replacing it with a revised
template. Once Flight Standards archives, withdraws, or decommissions a template,
it will no longer be available for issuance or editing in WebOPSS. Inspectors
may view archived/decommissioned templates and guidance by adjusting the filter settings in WebOPSS.
3-712 NONSTANDARD AUTHORIZATIONS. The FAA may develop and issue nonstandard
authorizations based on unique and/or temporary situations. A nonstandard authorization
may be in the form of an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec template or through nonstandard
text (previously referred to as “Text 99”) added to a standard OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec
template. All nonstandard templates and nonstandard text require approval from
the appropriate Flight Standards policy division. Procedures for obtaining Flight
Standards approval to issue a nonstandard template or nonstandard text are contained
in paragraph 3-713. ASIs with primary oversight responsibility (ASI, PI, or
TCPM), and who have responsibility for issuing OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOA/TSpecs, must
follow the procedures before issuing any nonstandard template or nonstandard text.
A. OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec Templates, Nonstandard Temporary Data Collection,
and Time‑Limited Templates: 300-, 400-, and 500-Series.
1) Three Hundred-Series (300399). All 300-series templates (OpSpec/MSpec,
etc.) are nonstandard authorizations and are designated by an “N” in the “Type”
column in the OPSS (WebOPSS). These authorizations may be issued to account
for unique situations. A prime example of a unique situation requiring a nonstandard
authorization is emerging technologies, where complete guidance may not have
been developed. All 300-series OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs must be approved by the appropriate
Flight Standards policy division. No ASI may issue a 300-series OpSpec/MSpec/LOA without first obtaining approval from Flight Standards.
2) Four Hundred-Series (400499). These templates are used for data
collection when the Administrator determines that it is necessary. These data
collection templates are not considered to be authorizations. For example, the
Administrator may issue an OpSpec to collect information on which certificate
holders/air operators/program managers are conducting operations in sensitive
international areas (B450) or information on who to provide emergency AD notifications
to (A447). Generally, 400-series templates appear as “Standard,” or “S,” in
the “Type” column of WebOPSS. However, on the rare occasion that a 400-series
OpSpec/MSpec/LOA template is depicted as “Nonstandard,” or “N,” in WebOPSS,
ASIs must obtain approval from the appropriate Flight Standards policy division prior to issuing the template.
3) Five Hundred-Series (500599). These OpSpec/MSpec/LOA template authorizations
are temporary and time-limited. The 500-series authorizations grant temporary
authority to a certificate holder, air operator, or program manager based on
a particular situation or event, such as a merger, substitute or seasonal operation,
Special Flight Authorization (SFA), Special Federal Aviation Regulations (SFAR),
or a natural disaster. (This is not intended to be a complete list.) At the
conclusion of the time limit or event specified in the authorization, the responsible
ASI must withdraw the authorization by archiving the OpSpec/MSpec/LOA. There
are two types of 500-series authorizations (OpSpec/MSpec/LOA templates): standard
and nonstandard. Standard templates are designated with an “S” in the “Type”
column of WebOPSS, and nonstandard templates are designated with an “N.” See
Figure 3-66H, Standard (S) Versus Nonstandard (N) 500-Series Authorizations,
for a depiction of “S” and “N” templates in WebOPSS.
a) Standard 500-Series Templates. An ASI may issue a standard (S) 500-series
OpSpec/MSpec/LOA without obtaining approval from the appropriate Flight Standards
policy division. Two examples of standard 500-series authorizations are A510 and A570.
b) Nonstandard 500-Series Templates. No ASI may issue a nonstandard (N)
500-series OpSpec/MSpec/LOA without first obtaining approval from the
appropriate Flight Standards policy division. Two examples of nonstandard 500-series templates are A502 and A529.
Figure 3-66H. Standard (S) Versus Nonstandard (N) 500-Series Authorizations
4) Nine Hundred-Series (A999 Only). OpSpec A999 is currently the only
active 900-series OpSpec. The Air Transportation Division (AFS-200) created
this OpSpec to enable certificate holders to fulfill the International Civil
Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 6 requirement to carry a standardized certified
true copy of the Air Operator Certificates (AOC) on board any aircraft operated
internationally. The maximum number “999” was chosen for the ICAO-Compliant AOC to separate it from all other certificate holder OpSpecs.
B. Nonstandard Text (Previously Known as Text 99). All OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec
templates are developed and controlled by Flight Standards. Any text that is
hard coded into a template is considered to be standard issue from Flight Standards.
The policy divisions within Flight Standards recognize that there may be situations
where a certificate holder, air operator, or program manager may have unique
operational needs that are not addressed by standard template text. Therefore,
Flight Standards has provided a “Nonstandard Text” field (box) in each OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec
template. The Nonstandard Text box of any template is also controlled by Flight
Standards. Therefore, all ASIs are required to obtain Flight Standards approval
before authorizing and/or entering any text into that box. Nonstandard text,
when entered into an otherwise standard template, effectively changes the standard
authorization contained in the template into a nonstandard authorization. Flight
Standards will not approve any nonstandard text that effectively changes the intent, the format, or the structure of a particular template.
1) Use Nonstandard Text Only When Necessary. The intent of the Nonstandard
Text box is to either accommodate unique operational needs or circumstances
by allowing a modification to a standard template authorization, or to allow
an ASI with primary responsibility for oversight to impose additional conditions
or limitations when the situation warrants. The Nonstandard Text box is not
intended to be used to simply make notes. Additionally, because all nonstandard
OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec text requires prior approval from the appropriate Flight Standards policy division, ASIs should use it carefully.
2) Nonstandard Text is Depicted in Italics. The Nonstandard Text
box is automatically configured to display the entered text in italics.
As the text is entered into the box, it appears normal. Once the text is saved
it is converted to italics. The Nonstandard Text box is typically located at the end of an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA template.
3) Nonstandard Text Box Instructions ( ). There are two different sets
of Nonstandard Text box instructions: updated instructions and older instructions.
AFS-200 updated the Nonstandard Text box instructions in 2012. However there
are thousands of OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec templates in WebOPSS, and it is not
practical to retroactively update templates to include the updated Nonstandard
Text box instructions. The updated instructions will only appear when an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec
template is revised by Flight Standards. The updated Nonstandard Text box instructions
state that text entered into the box requires approval from the appropriate
Flight Standards policy division. The older instructions do not depict this
requirement. Regardless of whether a template has the updated or older instructions,
all ASIs require Flight Standards approval to issue any nonstandard text.
3-713 PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING NONSTANDARD OPSPEC/MSPEC/LOA/TSPEC AUTHORIZATIONS AND NONSTANDARD TEXT.
A. Request a Nonstandard OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec AuthorizationAll 300-Series
Templates and 400/500-Series Templates Designated as Nonstandard or Nonstandard
Text. ASIs with primary responsibility for oversight (ASI, PI, or TCPM)
of certificate holders, air operators, or program managers conducting 14 CFR parts
125 (including part
125 LODA holders),
must submit their request for approval to issue a nonstandard OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec
template or nonstandard text to the General Aviation and Commercial Division (AFS-800). POIs of certificate holders conducting operations under parts
submit their request for approval to issue a nonstandard template or nonstandard text to AFS-200. PAIs and PMIs must submit all airworthiness-related
requests for approval to issue a nonstandard template or nonstandard text to
the Aircraft Maintenance Division (AFS-300). Nonstandard authorizations for part
air carriers and persons require approval from the International Program Division (AFS-50). POIs of certificate holders, air operators, or program
managers requesting approval for certain instrument flight and Next Generation
Air Transportation System (NextGen)‑related operations must submit their request
for approval to issue a nonstandard template or nonstandard text to the Flight
Technologies and Procedures Division (AFS-400) and AFS-50, AFS-200, or AFS‑800, as appropriate.
B. Supporting Information. Prior to submitting a request to the appropriate
Flight Standards policy division for approval to issue a nonstandard template
or nonstandard text, ASIs with primary responsibility for oversight must ensure
that all requests for nonstandard templates or nonstandard text submitted by
a certificate holder/air operator/program manager contain enough information
to support the request. Supporting information must include at least the following items, as they apply to the particular request:
1) The original request made by the certificate holder/air operator/program
manager along with supporting documentation. This is only required when the request is initiated by the certificate holder, air operator, or program manager.
2) For nonstandard text authorizations requested by a certificate holder,
air operator, or program manager, a statement of why the certificate holder,
air operator, or program manager requires the nonstandard authorization, and
an explanation of how the nonstandard text authorization will provide an equivalent or greater level of safety to what is authorized by the standard template.
3) The areas of operation, airports (including alternates), and routes specific to the operation.
4) The type of aircraft to be used.
5) Pertinent navigational and communications equipment.
6) Company procedures that ensure the safety of flight.
7) Training requirements.
8) The equivalent level of safety (ELOS) proposed by the certificate holder, operator, or program manager.
9) Any other supporting documentation that the PI or certificate holder/air operator/program manager deems necessary.
C. ASIs with Primary Responsibility for Oversight Must Evaluate Information
Submitted By a Certificate Holder/Air Operator/Program Manager, Prior to Submitting
a Request to the Flight Standards Policy Division Manager. Responsible ASIs
must evaluate and substantiate information that is submitted by the certificate
holder, air operator, or program manager in association with a request for a nonstandard OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec template or nonstandard text.
1) If the ASI does not find the information to be acceptable, and/or
does not concur with the certificate holder/air operator/program manager’s request,
the ASI will send a letter denying the request for the nonstandard template or nonstandard text and include an explanation of the reasons for denial.
2) If the ASI finds the information to be acceptable, he or she must
then request approval from the appropriate Flight Standards policy division
manager to issue the nonstandard template or nonstandard text. All requests
for approval from Flight Standards must come directly from the ASI’s office manager. Therefore, the ASI will prepare a request memo on behalf of the manager.
D. The CHDO Manager Will Make the Official Request for Approval. For
the purposes of this section, the term CHDO applies to a Flight Standards District
Office (FSDO), certificate management office (CMO), or International Field Office
(IFO). The memo from the CHDO manager requesting approval to issue the nonstandard
template or nonstandard text must be addressed to the manager of the appropriate
Flight Standards policy division. The memo must include the recommendation and
request for approval by the ASI with primary oversight responsibility, along
with the certificate holder/air operator/program manager’s complete information package.
E. Route the Memo Through the Appropriate Safety Assurance Office for Review
and Concurrence. Except as outlined in subparagraph 3-713E1), the CHDO must
route all requests for approval to issue a nonstandard template or nonstandard
text through the appropriate Safety Assurance office, along with the complete
information package, for review and concurrence by the Safety Assurance office
manager. CHDOs requesting NextGen-related nonstandard authorizations will route
their requests through the Safety Standards Flight Operations Group (AFS-410).
1) Exceptions. The following circumstances do not require Safety Assurance office review and concurrence:
a) An IFO will route all requests for nonstandard templates or nonstandard
text directly to AFS‑50. No Safety Assurance office review or concurrence is required.
b) An OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec-specific guidance specifically states that
routing through the Safety Assurance office for review and concurrence is not required. Template-specific guidance is contained in
Volume 3, Chapter 18, Sections 3,
c) A notice issued by the Executive Director, Flight Standards Service (AFX-1)
specifically states that Safety Assurance office review and concurrence is not required.
NOTE: CHDOs should inform the appropriate Safety Assurance office of
the request to Flight Standards so the Safety Assurance office is aware, except when the request is coming from an IFO to AFS-50.
2) Safety Assurance Office Action.
a) When the appropriate Safety Assurance office receives the request from
the CHDO, the appropriate technical branch/section must review it. If the technical
branch/section concurs with the request, the branch/section manager will move
it forward for ultimate concurrence by the Safety Assurance office manager.
The Safety Assurance office will then forward the complete information package
to Safety Standards, along with the concurrence and recommendation from the
Safety Assurance office manager. The Safety Assurance office manager’s concurrence
and recommendation must accompany the CHDO’s request and recommendation and
any original request made by the certificate holder/air operator/program manager.
If the Safety Assurance office does not concur with the request, it will advise the CHDO and provide the reason for nonconcurrence.
b) There is no action required by the Safety Assurance office where specific
template guidance or a notice issued by AFX-1 does not require Safety Assurance office review and concurrence.
F. Safety Standards Action. The Safety Standards policy division will
review all of the documentation forwarded by the CHDO and/or Safety Assurance office.
1) If Safety Standards does not concur with the request, the policy
division will either provide the CHDO with the reason(s) for nonoccurrence and
request additional supporting information, or it will simply deny the request.
Safety Standards may request additional information via informal notification,
such as an email or a telephone call. If Safety Standards denies the request
to issue a nonstandard template or nonstandard text, the policy division will
provide its determination by memo to the CHDO manager through the appropriate
Safety Assurance office manager, unless Safety Assurance office routing is not required, in accordance with subparagraph 3-713E1).
2) If the Safety Standards policy division concurs with the request,
the policy division will provide approval to issue the nonstandard template
or nonstandard text by memo to the CHDO manager, through the appropriate Safety
Assurance office manager, unless Safety Assurance office routing is not required,
in accordance with subparagraph 3-713E1). The Safety Standards policy division
may send notification of the approval to the PI/CHDO/Safety Assurance office via email.
G. Issue the OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec Following Flight Standards Approval.
Once Flight Standards approves the request for the nonstandard template or nonstandard
text, the ASI with primary oversight responsibility may sign and issue it in WebOPSS.
1) Enter Flight Standards Approval Information in a Nonstandard Template.
Flight Standards approval information is required for all nonstandard templates
issued after January 1, 2015. Enter the Flight Standards approval information
in the “Support Information Reference” box in the digital signature block of
the nonstandard template. For example: Approved by AFS-200, Memo dated 01/01/2015.
(See Figure 3-66I, Example of Flight Standards Approval Information in a Nonstandard Template.)
2) Enter Flight Standards Approval Information in Nonstandard Text.
For all nonstandard text issued after April 1, 2013, include the Flight Standards
approval information as part of the nonstandard text. For example: Approved by AFS-300, on 04/01/13.
Figure 3-66I. Example of Flight Standards Approval Information in a Nonstandard Template
H. Flight Standards Approval is Required to Reissue or Amend a Nonstandard
Template or Nonstandard Text. ASIs must obtain Flight Standards approval
to amend a nonstandard template or any nonstandard text. In addition, ASIs must
obtain Flight Standards approval to reissue a nonstandard template or nonstandard text under the following circumstances.
1) Flight Standards Revises an OpSpec/MSpec/LOA Template.
a) If Flight Standards revises a nonstandard OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec template,
no ASI may issue the new template without obtaining prior approval from the
appropriate Flight Standards policy division, unless otherwise stated in the template-specific guidance or in a notice.
b) If Flight Standards revises a standard OpSpec/MSpec/LOA/TSpec template
in which nonstandard text had previously been issued, no ASI may reissue the
nonstandard text from the previous template without obtaining prior approval from the appropriate Flight Standards policy division.
c) When requesting Flight Standards approval under these circumstances,
ASIs may base the request on prior Flight Standards approval. This is only allowable
when the nonstandard authorization is being reissued exactly as originally approved
by Flight Standards, and the ASI provides documentation of having received the
prior approval. The request must be made in writing, via memo through the appropriate
Safety Assurance office, in accordance with the instructions contained in subparagraph 3-713C2).
2) An ASI or Certificate Holder/Air Operator/Program Manager Initiates a
Revision to a Nonstandard Template or Nonstandard Text. ASIs must obtain
Flight Standards approval to make any changes and/or otherwise revise a nonstandard
template or nonstandard text, in accordance with the requirements specified
in subparagraphs 3-713A, B, and C. This is always required unless template-specific
guidance states otherwise. ASIs must include the Flight Standards approval information
in the nonstandard template or nonstandard text, in accordance with the instructions provided in subparagraphs 3-713G1) or G2), as applicable.
3) There is a Change to the Air Carrier, Air Operator, or Air Agency Certificate
or Operating Authority. Flight Standards permission is required to reissue
a nonstandard template or nonstandard text to a certificate holder, air operator,
or program manager that has had a change to its Operating Certificate or operating
authority. This includes a partial or total change to operating certificate number and mergers and acquisitions.
I. Expedite the Flight Standards Review Process. In order to expedite
the Flight Standards review process, the appropriate Safety Assurance office
(or CHDO, if Safety Assurance office routing is not required by a particular
OpSpec) should contact the appropriate Flight Standards policy division and
request the division’s preferred method of communication. Most Flight Standards
policy divisions have a division correspondence mailbox. Other policy divisions
have SharePoint sites set up to specifically accept request packages of this
nature. Requests for approval to issue nonstandard OpSpec authorizations may
be submitted electronically, provided the memos that are part of the request are signed and dated accordingly.
J. Retention of OpSpec Authorization Memos. Retain OpSpec authorization
memos in accordance with the guidelines contained in the current edition of FAA Order
Management, and the Records Disposition Reference Table, items 8300 and 8400. The Records Disposition Reference Table can be accessed at:
1) Operations. In accordance with the Records Disposition Reference
Table, item 8400, section 1b, Air Carrier Operations Files, Basic Certificates,
Specifications and Authorizations, the CHDO will retain all OpSpec authorization/approval
memos issued by Flight Standards for the life of the authorization. The CHDO may destroy the memo 5 years after the authorization is superseded or canceled.
2) Maintenance Part D OpSpecs. In accordance with the Records Disposition
Reference Table, item 8300, section 11, Operations Specifications Maintenance
Part “D” Files, the CHDO will retain all OpSpecs authorization/approval memos
for the life of the authorization. The CHDO may destroy the memo 5 years after the OpSpec authorization is canceled.
3-714 SIGNATURE AUTHORITY FOR OPSPEC, MSPEC, TSPEC, LOA, OR OTHER ISSUANCE
OF DOCUMENTS USING THE OPSS. In general, for OpSpecs, MSpecs, LOAs, and other authorizations or documents in the OPSS, the following guidance applies:
A. Which Types of (Qualified) ASIs. The following list shows which types
of (qualified) ASIs are responsible for and who may sign each type of OpSpec/MSpec:
1) Part A. Both Operations and Airworthiness inspectors are responsible
for and may sign Part A authorizations. Issuance requires coordination between the Operations and Airworthiness inspectors.
2) Part B. Operations inspectors are responsible for and may sign for
Part B authorizations, but only after coordination with the Airworthiness inspectors responsible for the operator/program manager.
3) Part C. Operations inspectors are responsible for and may sign for
Part C authorizations, but only after coordination with the Airworthiness inspectors responsible for the operator/program manager.
4) Part D. Airworthiness inspectors are responsible for and may sign for the issuance of the Part D authorizations.
5) Part E. Airworthiness inspectors are responsible for and may sign
the authorization, but only after coordination with the Operations inspector responsible for the operator/program manager.
6) Part H. Operations inspectors are responsible for and may sign the
Part H authorizations, but only after coordination with the Airworthiness inspectors.
B. Proxy for Signature Authority. For certificate holders, part
142 TCPMs, part
managers, and the PIs assigned to the operator/program manager are given the applicable signature authority by virtue of their position.
For situations where the appropriate PI is not available and an authorization
or other document needs to be signed and activated, each FSDO should develop
office policy in regard to the proxy or proxies for the PI’s signature authority. The following items should be addressed in the office policy:
1) Normally, the office manager and the supervisor of the PI has signature
authority by virtue of their positions and could sign for the PI in his or her absence.
2) The PIs for each certificate holder/operator or program manager should
designate additional proxies for his or her signature that are qualified and authorized. These could include, but not limited to:
a) Assistant PIs assigned to the same operator or program manager.
b) Other qualified ASIs (that are not assigned to the operator or program manager), as designated by the office policy.
C. Other Office Policy Determinations. Office policy should also determine:
1) Who is responsible for maintaining the ASI list in the OPSS.
2) That the signature block is changed to show the inspector doing the
signing for the assigned PI. (In the future it may be possible to have the name of the proxy inspector doing the electronic signing in the watermark.)
3) Procedures for determining proxy authorization limits, such as:
a) If the proxy is authorized to sign mandatory and nonmandatory authorization amendments.
b) If the proxy is authorized to sign and activate a 400-series (data collection) template.
c) If the proxy is authorized to sign and activate templates in the databases
where the documents are not required by regulation or are not official authorizations,
but are completed, signed, and activated for recordkeeping purposes. For example, part
the exception of the issuance of official waivers, etc., in the OPSS) or part
the exception of the issuance of official IFR and Class D authorizations, etc.).
3-715 PRINTING AUTOMATED AUTHORIZATIONS OR DOCUMENTS.
A. Printing During Development. Any template, authorization, or document
can be printed at different stages in the development toward issuance. Please refer to the OPSS user’s manual for more detailed instructions.
B. Printing for Signature. After an authorization or document has been
reviewed, verified for accuracy, and coordinated with the operator/program manager,
it can be printed for signature. An authorization or data collection document
is considered to be effective if the FAA has signed it electronically or by
hand. In cases where the FAA generates the authorizations for the certificate
holder or operator, the FAA should hand sign the individual authorizations and
ask the certificate holder or operator to hand sign. Because the FAA is still
transitioning to a paperless environment, the CHDO should retain the paper copy
with the operator’s or certificate holder’s signature in the office file for
a minimum of 5 years. All MSpecs authorizations and documents will be electronically
signed by both the FAA and the individuals designated to sign for the program
managers. There is no need, nor requirement for, paper copies of the MSpecs
to be retained in the CHDO office files, as the OPSS will retain the official
copies that are electronically signed by both parties. A single authorization
or a selected set of authorizations may be printed with or without the table
of contents in each part. Please refer to the OPSS user’s manual for more detailed instructions.
3-716 OPERATOR’S RECEIPT OF APPROVED AUTHORIZATIONS OR DOCUMENTS.
A. Authorizations or Documents Signed by Hand.
1) After the operator completes a new or amended OpSpec, LOA, or other
document, the CHDO will review the proposed document in the workspace and make
or suggest any proposed changes. Once the CHDO and operator agree on the proposal,
the CHDO will place the document in “Signed” status, move it to “Active,” print
two copies, and sign both by hand. Both copies will then be hand-delivered or
sent by U.S. mail with return receipt to the operator for signature. When both
copies have been signed by the operator, both the CHDO and the operator must
retain one copy. When the operator signs the document as being received, they
are acknowledging that they have reviewed it, agree that the information is
correct, and that they will comply with the specifications appearing in that document.
2) PIs will keep a current, signed copy of all hand-signed OpSpec documents,
including the table of contents, on file in the CHDO for at least 5 years. The
signed documents that are currently in effect for the operator will be filed
together. Superseded, surrendered, or revoked documents and authorizations and
table of contents will be marked appropriately and retained in the CHDO office
for at least 5 years. If an operator’s certificate is surrendered or revoked,
the OpSpecs will be marked appropriately and retained in the district office
files for at least 5 years. Surrendered or revoked OpSpec templates or other
authorizations must be inactivated in the OPSS by the applicable PI. The OPSS
active OpSpecs or other authorizations remain in effect within the OPSS until
they are amended or inactivated by the FAA. When amended or inactivated, the
previous active document will be electronically archived. Under certain circumstances,
the FAA allows for the “suspension” of a certificate holder’s OpSpecs. OpSpec
A501 is issued to an air carrier certificate holder that requests to completely
cease all kinds of operations for all of its aircraft for a designated period
of time. The issuance of OpSpec A501 voluntarily holds all of the air carrier
certificate holder’s OpSpecs, with the exception of template A501, in a state
of suspension for the established period of time, as listed in OpSpec A501. (See OpSpec A501 in
Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 3.)
3) All MSpecs will be electronically signed by both the FAA and the
individuals designated to sign for the program managers. There will be no issuance
of MSpecs using paper copies. Therefore, there is no requirement to store hard
copies of MSpecs. The official copies will remain in the OPSS database either as active or archived.
B. Electronically Signed Authorizations and Documents Issued From the OPSS.
1) After the operator/program manager has completed a new or amended
OpSpec template, LOA, or other document and placed it in “Draft” status in the
OPSS, the CHDO will review the proposed document in the “Workspace” area and
make or suggest any proposed changes. Once both the CHDO and operator/program
manager agree on the proposal, the operator/program manager must electronically
sign the template and advise the CHDO that the industry signature has been accomplished.
When the industry signature has been accomplished, the operator/program manager
is acknowledging that the information is correct and that they agree to comply
with the specifications appearing in the template, authorization, or document.
The CHDO will then electronically sign the template and move it to the “Certificate Holder” area.
2) Once the document is in the “Certificate Holder” area, the CHDO may
wish to print a paper copy of the document for data retention purposes. A printed
copy is not required because the active official documents will be retained
in the OPSS database. When an OpSpec or other document is amended or revoked,
the previous active OpSpec or document will be electronically archived. Surrendered
or revoked OpSpec templates, authorizations, or documents must be deactivated
in the OPSS. The OPSS active OpSpec, authorization, or document remains in effect
within the OPSS until they are amended or inactivated by the FAA. When amended
or inactivated, the previous active document will be electronically archived for an indefinite period of time.
C. Issuance of an OpSpec/MSpec, Authorization, or Document by the FAA Without
the Concurrence or Signature of the Operator/Program Manager. In general,
when the FAA issues and signs a required OpSpec/MSpec template, authorization,
or document, it is considered to be effective, whether or not the operator,
program manager, or certificate holder has signed it. If, in accordance with the provisions and limitations of §
119.51 or part
FAA determines that an amendment is needed, the CHDO will issue the amended OpSpec, authorization,
or document as effective with only the FAA’s electronic signature. For instance,
some of the OpSpec/MSpec paragraphs are not necessarily issued as authorizations
but as data collection documents. These paragraphs are “issued” for information
purposes, such as OpSpec/MSpec A447. It is not a requirement for the operator
or program manager to sign this paragraph/document for it to be effective or
activated in the OPSS. It is desirable for the operator or program manager to
sign the document to validate that the information being collected is correct.
Information regarding the applicability and issuance of TSpecs is contained in
§ 142.11 and
Volume 3, Chapter 54. TSpecs are issued in accordance with §
have been realigned to correspond more closely to the numbering system employed for OpSpecs. This will provide
a correlation when discussing the relationships that will be developed between
the training center and its contracting operators/program managers. (See additional guidance in this order in regard to part
142 training centers and specifications.)
3-718 OPERATIONS APPROVAL PORTAL SYSTEM (OAPS). OAPS provides a means for
all certificate holders to apply for several NextGen OpSpecs electronically via the web-based portal,
13 NextGen-related OpSpecs are available for submission to their PIs by the certificate holder.
Figure 3-268. Operations Approval Portal System Web Page Banner
A. Overview. OAPS provides an electronic means for certificate holders
to apply for OpSpecs. When a certificate holder submits an application through
OAPS, the system will track all requests and provide automation for inspectors
to communicate with certificate holders, and Safety Assurance and Safety Standards
personnel. Eventually, templates will be developed for all OpSpecs which can be used by parts
for all Parts A through H OpSpecs. OAPS has been designed to be intuitive and user friendly.
1) FAA Personnel. OAPS training is available to FAA personnel on the
OAPS web page under the “Training” tab, Training Resource Files, Internal Briefing slides.
2) Certificate Holder Personnel. Certificate holders can obtain training via the training slides on the OAPS website.
C. Templates. Certificate holders can select from the available NextGen
templates, provide the required information, and submit the template/application
directly to their respective PI (see Figure 3-269 below). The PI will receive
an autogenerated email notifying them of the submission. The PI will log on
to OAPS to review the package submitted and take appropriate action. Like WebOPSS,
specific required and optional OpSpec/MSpec/LOA templates for a certificate
holder, program manager, or operator operating in accordance with certain 14
CFR parts are automatically extracted from the WebOPSS databases. For example, if the certificate holder is certified under part
only the OpSpec templates that are required and optional for part
121 authorizations will be available. Part
OpSpec templates will not be available in that database. Likewise, only the required and optional MSpec templates will be available in the part
Additionally, information connected to a specific operator, such as aircraft M/M/S and N-number, will be autogenerated into the templates for ease of use.
Figure 3-269. Application Templates Available for Selection in OAPS
D. Automation. PIs, certificate holders, program managers, and operators
will be able to track the status of an application at any given point. Additionally,
OAPS provides for email correspondence between the operator and the PIs as well
as between the PIs and Safety Assurance and Safety Standards personnel. It also
allows for document submission, retention and transferring of applications between
offices, routing memos for concurrence/approval, and the creation of the memos themselves.
E. Approvals. PIs will be able to approve an application and utilize
the information contained within the completed OAPS template to complete and authorize the appropriate OpSpec in WebOPSS.
F. Privacy. All information and documents submitted by a certificate
holder/operator are considered proprietary and confidential. They are not available through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
3-719 OPSS LIABILITY INSURANCE SUBSYSTEM. The Air Transportation Division, Technical
Programs Branch (AFS-260) maintains the part 298, § 298.21(c)(2) registration for the part
certificate holders. Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) Form 4507, Air Taxi Operator and Commuter Air Carrier Registration
and Amendments Under Part 298 of the Regulations of the Department of Transportation,
and OST Form 6410, U.S. Air CarriersCertificate of Insurance, are to be submitted
whenever changes occur within the certificate holder’s operation. Every (on demand) air carrier operator who plans to begin operations under part
register with AFS-260, no later than 30 days prior commencing such operations.
The registration of an on demand air carrier will remain effective until it is amended by the carrier or canceled by the Administrator. (See
Volume 2, Chapter 2, Section 2, paragraph
2-130 for additional guidance in regard to part 298 liability insurance.)
A. Insurance in a Non-Compliant State. Safety Standards division personnel
review insurance information and, based on their findings, identify which certificate
holders are no longer authorized to operate. If a certificate holder is no longer
authorized to operate, the Safety Standards division personnel place a notification
in the OPSS. This is an immediate notification in OPSS and is visible upon opening
the certificate holder window. The caption “Insurance in a Non Compliant State”
is displayed in red in the top center of the “Maintain Operations Specifications” window (see Figure 3-67, Red Alert Clause).
B. Red Alert Clause. A red alert clause has been added to the OPSS as
a new feature that may appear at the top of the “Maintain Operation Specifications”
window to aid POIs in their surveillance of the certificate holder’s compliance
with part 298 exemption authority regulations. The red alert clause will display
when an applicant or existing certificate holder is not in compliance with these regulations under either of the following two conditions:
1) A new applicant for part
operations is waiting for the part 298 exemption authority, and/or
2) An existing part
air carrier’s part 298 exemption authority has become delinquent.
C. Review Insurance Info. If a red alert clause, “Insurance in a Non-Compliant
State,” appears at the top of the “Maintain Operations Specifications” window
in the OPSS, the “Review Insurance Info” selection can be used to view the details
of the noncompliance. See the guidance document in association with OpSpec A001 that graphically explains this feature.
D. Contact Information. If you have questions regarding a respective part
carrier’s part 298 exemption authority status as displayed in the OPSS, you may contact one of the following by telephone or email:
1) Teia Savage, 202-267-7031.
2) Kim V. Edwards, 907-280-6931 (Alaska only).
Figure 3-67. Red Alert Clause
Follow these steps to review the 14 CFR part 298 exemption authority status for the selected certificate holder:
1. Select “Certificate Holder” from the automated Operations Safety System
(OPSS) certificate holding district office (CHDO)Maintain Operations Specifications menu bar.
2. Select “Review Insurance Info” as shown below:
Insurance Information Screen:
3. The Insurance Information screen (below) shows the three statuses for insurance policies:
• Approved (Active)The insurance policy is in effect and up-to-date.
• CanceledThe insurance policy is no longer in effect, and the
certificate holder should not be operating.
• TerminatedThe insurance policy is no longer in effect, and the
certificate holder should not be operating.
4. When you have finished reviewing the information, click the “Close” button at the bottom of the screen.
RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-720 through 3-735.