NOTICE

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

N 8900.581

 

National Policy

Effective Date: 2/19/21

 

 

Cancellation Date: 2/19/22

 

SUBJ:

OpSpec A131, Contract Training—Standardized Curricula

1.    Purpose of This Notice. This notice introduces and provides guidance on the issuance of operations specification (OpSpec) A131. This OpSpec is used to authorize a Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 135 certificate holder to use standardized curricula under contract or agreement with 14 CFR part 142 training centers authorized to offer these curricula to part 135 certificate holders in the part 142 training center’s training specifications (TSpecs). The training curricula are developed to meet the specific training, testing, or checking requirements of part 135. Once issued to the certificate holder, the OpSpec identifies the training curricula, curriculum segments, and portions of curriculum segments that the certificate holder has vetted and is authorized to use. The training curricula authorized in OpSpec A131 become part of the certificate holder’s approved training program.

2.    Audience. The primary audience for this notice is Flight Standards offices, Training Center Program Managers (TCPM), Principal Operations Inspectors (POI), and associated inspectors assigned oversight of training centers that conduct operations under parts 142. The secondary audience includes all other Safety Assurance and Safety Standards personnel.

3.    Where You Can Find This Notice. You can find this notice on the MyFAA employee website at https://employees.faa.gov/tools_resources/orders_notices. Inspectors can access this notice through the Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS) at https://fsims.avs.faa.gov. Operators can find this notice on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) website at https://fsims.faa.gov. This notice is available to the public at https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/orders_notices.

4.    Applicability. The notice applies to POIs with oversight of part 135 certificate holders that request authorization to use standardized curricula as described in Advisory Circular (AC) 142-1, Standardized Curricula Delivered by Part 142 Training Centers, and FAA Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 16, Part 135 Standardized Curricula Delivered by Part 142 Training Centers. Only training curricula authorized in a part 142 training center’s TSpec B005, Special Rule Curricula (and continuation TSpecs) and applicable to part 135 can be authorized in OpSpec A131. Training curricula are only authorized in A131 after a certificate holder requests the curricula be included in its approved training program and the POI has approved the certificate holder’s training program amendment to include the requested curricula.

5.    Background. On January 21, 2014, the FAA established the Air Carrier Training Rulemaking Committee (ACT ARC) to provide a forum for the U.S. aviation industry to discuss, prioritize, and provide recommendations to the FAA on air carrier training. The ACT ARC Steering Committee established an Air Carrier and Training Center Workgroup (AC&CT WG) and tasked it to consider strategies to improve part 135 certificate holder training and checking, including training and checking conducted by part 142 training centers. The AC&CT WG produced several recommendations for improving the relationship between training centers and air carriers, enhance standardization (where appropriate) and leverage significant administrative efficiency gains in check pilot qualification, flight instructor qualification, and part 135 air carrier training curricula delivered by part 142 training centers.

6.    Discussion. The FAA has published several documents to provide guidance on the implementation of standardized curricula. Standardized curricula approved under part 142 that are designed to meet specific regulatory requirements of part 135 are authorized for delivery to part 135 certificate holders in a part 142 training center’s TSpecs. The creation of OpSpec A131 includes provisions to document and authorize a part 135 certificate holder to use standardized curricula offered by part 142 training centers.

a.    Guidance. Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 16 provides detailed information on the requirements leading up to the issuance of OpSpec A131, authorizing a certificate holder to use standardized curricula offered by part 142 training centers. It is expected that most certificate holders will take advantage of the safety and administrative improvements offered by the standardized curricula. During the transition, it is likely that certificate holders with multiple aircraft will have aircraft training listed in both OpSpec A031, Contract Training, and OpSpec A131. However, when a POI issues A131, they must also remove any training authorized in A031 that will be replaced by training authorized in A131. Certificate holders may not be issued both A031 and A131 for the same training purpose or curriculum. Additional information regarding the transition is found in AC 142-1 and Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 16.

b.    Purpose of OpSpec A131. The purpose of OpSpec A131 is to authorize a part 135 certificate holder to use standardized curricula, curriculum segments, and portions of curriculum segments, under contract or agreement with a part 142 training center authorized to offer these curricula to part 135 certificate holders, to meet the requirements of part 135. This OpSpec authorizes the use of curricula that the FAA and certificate holder have determined to be suitable for use by the certificate holder. Each curriculum authorized is designed to meet the special rule requirements of part 135, § 135.324. A131 also lists the instructor/check pilot curricula that qualifies the training center personnel as instructors/evaluators for the standardized training curricula authorized for use by the certificate holder. OpSpec A131 contains two tables:

(1)    Table 1 – Part 135 Standardized Curricula. Use this table to authorize the use of curricula based on a standardized curriculum for part 135. Part 135 curricula in this table are considered published curricula in accordance with § 135.341 and allow part 135 certificate holders to take advantage of specific administrative benefits (refer to Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 16 and AC 142-1).
(2)    Table 2 – Part 135 Special Rule Instructor and Evaluator (Check Pilot) Approved Curricula. Table 2 must be completed to list a training center’s approved instructor/evaluator curricula for both common training topics and aircraft-specific instructor/evaluator training that qualifies the training center personnel as instructors/evaluators for each of the standardized training curricula authorized in Table 1. The curricula must contain the training that is common to instructor/evaluators (check pilots) and aircraft specific training to prepare the personnel to deliver the associated curricula listed in Table 1.

7.    Guidance.

a.    Order 8900.1. Changes to Order 8900.1 introduce the standardized curriculum concept for part 135 training conducted by training centers. New information is incorporated into:

    Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 3, Part A Operations Specifications—General, OpSpec/MSpec/LOA A031 and OpSpec A131.

    Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 4, Part B Operations Specifications—En Route Authorizations and Limitations, TSpec B005 and continuation TSpecs B105 and B106.

    Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 1, Scope, Concepts, and Definitions.

    Volume 3, Chapter 20, Section 5, Safety Assurance System: General—Part 135 Certificate Holders.

    Volume 3, Chapter 20, Section 6, Safety Assurance System: Part 135 Check Pilot Approval and Surveillance.

    Volume 3, Chapter 54, Section 1, Part 142 Training Centers: Training Center and Training Center Program Manager Overview.

    Volume 3, Chapter 54, Section 2, Part 142 Training Centers: Training, Qualification, and Designation of Training Center Instructors and Evaluators.

    Volume 3, Chapter 54, Section 5, Safety Assurance System: Part 142 Training Centers: Outsource Training—Certificate Holders and/or Fractional Ownership Program Managers Contracting With Training Providers.

    Volume 6, Chapter 8, Section 1, Part 142 Inspections: Surveillance and Inspection Activities for Part 142 Training Centers, Satellites, and Remote Sites.

b.    Sample OpSpec. A sample OpSpec A131 template is in Appendix A of this notice.

c.    Job Aid. The OpSpec A131 job aid is available in the Web-based Operations Safety System (WebOPSS).

8.    Action. POIs with oversight responsibility for part 135 certificate holders should review Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 16. POIs should only issue OpSpec A131 after the certificate holder requests authorization to use a standardized training curriculum in its approved training program and the POI has approved the certificate holder’s training program amendment to include the requested curricula, and after all conditions in Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 16 and this notice are satisfied. When a POI issues A131, they must also remove any training authorized in A031 that will be replaced by training authorized in A131. Certificate holders may not be issued both A031 and A131 for the same training purpose or curriculum. If all training authorized in A031 is replaced by training authorized in A131, archive the certificate holder’s A031 and reissue the certificate holder’s A004 to de-authorize A031. POIs should only issue OpSpec A131 after the certificate holder requests approval of a standardized training curriculum, and after all conditions found in Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 19, Section 16 and this notice are satisfied.

9.    Disposition. We will incorporate the information in this notice into Order 8900.1 before this notice expires. Direct questions or comments concerning the information in this notice to the Air Transportation Division at 202‑267-8166.

ORIGINAL SIGNED by

/s/ Robert C. Carty

Deputy Executive Director, Flight Standards Service

Appendix A. Sample OpSpec A131, Contract Training—Standardized Curricula: 14 CFR Part 135

a.    The certificate holder is authorized to use standardized curricula under contract or agreement with certificated 14 CFR Part 142 training center(s) as listed in Table 1 of this operations specification. The certificate holder must ensure the training center holds authorization in the Part 142 training center’s training specifications to deliver the standardized curricula. Table 2 of this operations specification lists approved instructor/evaluator curricula used to qualify instructors/evaluators for the standardized training curricula authorized in Table 1. This operations specification authorizes curricula that meet the special rule requirements of 14 CFR Part 135, § 135.324 and that the certificate holder has determined suitable to meet their training requirements.

b.    The certificate holder must ensure that all instruction and evaluations conducted by each Part 142 training center listed in this operations specification are performed in accordance with the certificate holder’s operating rules and, as approved by the certificate holder’s training program, those personnel providing training, checking, or testing functions are trained and qualified.

c.    The certificate holder must continuously monitor changes to all curricula in this operations specification for continued operational suitability and take appropriate action to ensure the curricula continues to adequately train personnel in accordance with the requirements of Part 135. The certificate holder must conduct an initial operational delivery assessment of each curricula within 30 days of commencement of training to validate the adequacy of the training.

d.    The certificate holder must report safety-related information that could contribute to continuous improvement of standardized curricula to the Training Standardization Work Group.

e.    The certificate holder is authorized to use the curricula listed in the tables below:

Table 1 – Part 135 Standardized Curricula

Training Center Name and Certificate Number

Training Category

Aircraft M/M/S

Duty Position

Curriculum Name

Training curricula, curriculum segments, and portions of curriculum segments approved for delivery

SC ID, Revision Number, and Amendment Number

Facility(s)

Approval Date

Description and Remarks

Superior Training Inc. (C3SX)

Initial training – ground and flight

Upgrade training – ground and flight

Recurrent training – ground and flight

Requalification training – ground and flight

BD-700-A1-10

Pilot in Command,

Second in Command,

Pilot in Command and Second in Command

Global Express Classic BD-700-A1-10

PIC&SIC – Initial

SIC – Initial

PIC&SIC – Recurrent

SIC – Recurrent

PIC – Upgrade

PIC&SIC – Requal

SIC – Requal

SC-Part135-01-BD-700-rev-0-amend-0

C01X,

C02X

C03X

01/31/2019

Non-HUD equipped Global Express

Superior Training Inc. (C3SX)

Initial training – ground and flight

Recurrent training – ground and flight

Requalification training – ground and flight

C-90-A

Pilot in Command

C-90-A King Air

PIC – Initial

PIC – Recurrent

PIC – Requalification

SC-Part135-C-90-A-rev-1-amend-3

C03X

1/31/2019

Single pilot training

Table 2 – Part 135 Special Rule Instructor and Evaluator (Check Pilot) Approved Curricula

Training Center Name and Certificate Number

Instructor/ Evaluator Training Category

Aircraft M/M/S

Duty Position(s)

Curriculum(s) Name

Training curricula, curriculum segments, and portions of curriculum segments approved for delivery

SC ID, Revision Number, and Amendment Number

Facility(s)

Approval Date

Description and Remarks

Superior Training Inc. (C3SX)

Initial,

Recurrent,

Standardized Curriculum Transition

NA

Ground Instructor,

Flight Instructor (Simulator),

TCE (Check Pilot) Simulator

Instructor/Evaluator Standardized Curriculum

Ground Instructor

Flight Instructor

Evaluator (135 check pilot)

SC Instructor transition

SC Evaluator transition

SC-Part135-Instructor/Evaluator-rev-0-amend-0

C01X,

C02X

C03X

1/31/2019

Foundational Training Elements

Superior Training Inc. (C3SX)

Initial,

Recurrent,

Standardized Curriculum Transition

BD-700-A1-10

Ground Instructor,

Flight Instructor (Simulator),

TCE (Check Pilot) Simulator

Global Express

Instructor/Evaluator Standardized Curriculum

Ground Instructor

Flight Instructor

Evaluator (135 check pilot)

SC-Part135-01-BD-700-Appendix A - rev-0-amend-0

C01X,

C02X

C03X

1/31/2019

Global Express aircraft specific instructor and evaluator training

Superior Training Inc. (C3SX)

Initial,

Recurrent,

Standardized Curriculum Transition

C-90-A

Ground Instructor,

Flight Instructor (Simulator),

TCE (Check Pilot) Simulator

C-90-A King Air

Instructor/Evaluator Standardized Curriculum

Ground Instructor

Flight Instructor

Evaluator (135 check pilot)

SC-Part135-C-90-A-Appendix A - rev-1-amend-3

C03X

1/31/2019

C-90-A aircraft specific instructor and evaluator training