VOLUME 12 INTERNATIONAL AVIATION
CHAPTER 4 PART
Section 16 Blanket Special Flight Authorizations for Eligible Part
129 Foreign Air Carriers
16.1.1 Purpose. This section provides the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) Flight Standards Service (FS) with policy guidance and information associated
with the issuance of blanket Special Flight Authorizations (SFA) to eligible Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part
129 foreign air carriers.
16.1.2 Scope. This section is applicable to all FAA FS International
Field Offices (IFO), principal inspectors (PI), and aviation safety inspectors (ASI) with oversight responsibility for part
129 foreign air carriers.
16.1.3 Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS) Activity Codes. See paragraph 16.5.3.
a) Operations: 1395.
b) Maintenance: 3323.
c) Avionics: 5323.
16.1.4 Regulatory References. All regulatory references in this section are found in 14 CFR unless otherwise indicated.
a) In 1996, the FAA introduced policy on SFAs specific to certain Canadian
air carriers applying for “continuous SFAs” in the U.S. National Airspace System
(NAS). Both the FAA Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) Production and Airworthiness
Certification Division and the FS Aircraft Maintenance Division collaborated on the development of the policy.
b) In 1997, the FAA issued Flight Standards Handbook Bulletin for Airworthiness
(HBAW) 97-11, Procedures for the FAA to Permit Certain Canadian Air Carriers
Continuous (Blanket) Special Flight Authorizations. The bulletin outlined FAA
policy regarding certain Canadian air carriers’ eligibility for FAA continuous (blanket) SFAs.
c) The FAA reviewed the continuous SFA policy early in 2018 and identified
that the policy developed in 1996 was no longer appropriate as written. The
review identified that the continuous SFA policy (now referred to as the “blanket SFA” policy) is applicable to all part
air carriers in accordance with part
AIR CARRIER BLANKET SFAS. The following information and policy guidance will be used and followed when a part
air carrier submits an application for a blanket SFA for unairworthy aircraft capable of safe flight.
16.3.1 Responsibility. Airworthiness PIs are responsible for evaluating,
accepting, and authorizing blanket SFAs. However, because of the operational
aspects of air carrier ferry flights, Airworthiness PIs must closely coordinate
the review and evaluation of the authorization with the Principal Operations Inspector (POI).
16.3.2 International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Airworthiness
Standards. ICAO Annex 8, Airworthiness of Aircraft, Part II, details the
airworthiness requirements for all ICAO contracting States. Part II specifies
that all contracting States operating their aircraft over foreign (other contracting
States’) territory must be airworthy. All aircraft operating under the provisions of ICAO must meet this requirement.
a) When foreign civil aircraft cannot meet this condition (i.e., are unairworthy),
the operator must have special permission from each foreign country it will overfly.
b) The United States meets this ICAO obligation in accordance with §
91.715 and FAA Order
8130.2, Airworthiness Certification of Aircraft.
16.3.3 Eligibility. Part
air carriers eligible for FAA blanket SFAs under this guidance must:
a) Belong to an International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Category 1 country; and
b) Possess valid special purpose flight permits or continuing authorization
to conduct a ferry flight program (CAFP) and accompanying procedures. These
permits, issued by the responsible Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), allow foreign
air carriers to issue special flight permits (SFP) for aircraft listed in their
maintenance control manual that do not meet all airworthiness requirements but are capable of safe operations.
16.4 APPLICATION AND ASSOCIATED REQUIREMENTS.
16.4.1 Application to the FAA.
a) A foreign air carrier applying to the FAA for a blanket SFA must submit, in writing, the information required by Order
22, Special Flight Authorizations for Foreign Civil Aircraft (§
91.715), and any other information deemed necessary by the FAA.
b) The foreign air carrier submits this application package to the responsible
FAA IFO. Typically, this is accomplished via the assigned Airworthiness PI or
appropriate IFO management. PIs must evaluate the completed application and foreign air carrier history to assess:
1) Any safety concerns; and
2) Whether a blanket SFA should be issued.
16.4.2 CAA CAFP Elements. The IFO Airworthiness PI should verify that the CAFP contains
requirements for displaying the SFP in the aircraft. The CAFP should include
requirements for carrying responsible CAA operations specifications (OpSpecs),
management specifications (MSpecs), or portions of the foreign air carrier’s
manual containing those conditions, unless the SFP used by the foreign air carrier
lists those conditions and limitations. FAA ASIs do not approve or accept a
foreign carrier’s CAFP or equivalent program; however, ASIs must review the
foreign air carrier’s CAFP or equivalent program to ensure it addresses elements
such as crew training, operational limitations, flight equipment limitations,
limitation to essential crew, nonrevenue operations, and aircraft inspection procedures.
16.4.3 Operating Limitations. The blanket SFA may include additional
conditions and limitations unique to the foreign air carrier or CAA, which may be due to the operating environment.
16.4.4 SFA Documentation. Foreign air carriers issued FAA blanket
SFAs may issue SFAs in the United States and must carry the following documents aboard when operating with an SFA in the United States:
a) A copy of the FAA blanket SFA; and
b) A copy of the foreign air carrier’s SFP or CAFP, issued by the responsible
CAA, and the appropriate section of its maintenance control manual.
16.4.5 Aircraft Inspection. The foreign air carrier must have the
aircraft inspected or evaluated prior to each flight (under this blanket SFA)
according to procedures in its CAFP, and have an appropriately rated mechanic
or maintenance provider certify in the aircraft record that the aircraft is
in a safe condition for the flight as specified in the operator’s manual.
16.4.6 Duration. A blanket SFA may be issued for any duration up to a maximum of 1 year.
16.4.7 Renewal. Renewal of issued authorizations will follow the application procedure identified in paragraph 16.4.
16.4.8 The FAA May Rescind or Cancel a Blanket SFA. The FAA may rescind or cancel a blanket SFA at any time.
16.4.9 Foreign Air Carrier Operational Notification to FAA.
a) The foreign air carrier must inform their FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector
(PMI) or Principal Avionics Inspector (PAI), within 72 hours of operating an aircraft under an FAA blanket SFA, of the following information:
1) The reason for operation (including aircraft malfunction),
2) Date of operation,
3) Aircraft registration number,
4) Flight route, and
5) Preparatory maintenance actions accomplished.
b) PIs must ensure the foreign air carrier is not misusing or exploiting the blanket SFA provision.
16.5.1 Blanket SFA Format. Refer to Order
the form and required content of a blanket SFA.
16.5.2 Office Record. The responsible IFO will:
a) Track issued blanket SFAs in accordance with office procedures; and
b) Maintain a copy of the blanket SFA in the operator file, in accordance with office procedures.
16.5.3 PTRS Records.
a) Initial and Renewal. PIs will enter a PTRS record upon the initial issuance
and renewal of a blanket SFA. The record must include the part
Comments must include the duration of the blanket SFA. Use “BLKT” (without quotation marks) in the “National Use” field.
b) PI Notification. PIs will enter a PTRS record when notified by the foreign
air carrier of an operation under a blanket SFA. The appropriate PTRS fields
and comment field must include the information identified above in paragraph
16.4.9. Use “BLKT” (without quotation marks) in the “National Use” field.