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  Home > Newsletter > What's Up in Aviation Regulations, July 2012

What’s Up in Aviation Regulations

Flock of BirdsAviation rules and regulations are ever-changing. To help you stay legal, in compliance, and in-the-know, here are some of the latest FAA regulation headlines in the news that pilots and fixed base operators should know.

FAA releases new document on general aviation safety. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has just released a comprehensive Fact Sheet on General Aviation Safety. The document explains how the FAA is partnering with the aviation industry on various safety issues, including risk reduction, aircraft design and new technology, education and outreach. Read the full Fact Sheet on General Aviation Safety.

Register online at FAASafety.gov for safety seminars. The FAA has announced that, as of June 1, they will no longer send postcards regarding safety seminars. The only way for general aviation pilots, flight instructors and mechanics to learn about and register for FAA safety seminars is online at FAASafety.gov. If you have not done so already, go to FAASafety.gov and create an account using your airman certificate number. This will give you access to online courses, safety articles, the WINGS Program, Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Awards Program, and you will receive emails of seminars in your area. If you already have an account on FAASafety.gov that is not yet associated with your airman certificate number, log in and update your Airman Registry information on your preferences page.

FAA takes another look at cargo pilot safety regulation requirements. On May 24, the FAA requested that a federal court postpone a pilot union lawsuit so that the FAA could re-examine whether cargo pilots should be covered by the new Part 121 flight, duty and rest regulations. The FAA’s anti-fatigue ruling last year applied to commercial airline pilots only, and excluded cargo operations. Cargo airlines and pilots were asked to adhere to new rest regulations on a voluntary basis only.

FAA releases report on benefits of general aviation airports. Also in May, the FAA released a study entitled, "General Aviation Airports: A National Asset." The report is the result of 18 months of research with state aeronautical agencies, aviation associations, aviation user groups, airport directors, airport authorities, airport planners, academia, federal agencies and local government councils. The FAA is hoping the information will better educate the public about the importance of GAs to communities, the economy and aviation industry, and help the FAA, state aeronautical agencies and airport sponsors make planning decisions.

FAA releases statement regarding DAHs and ICA documents. On March 29, the FAA released a policy statement that it is inappropriate for design approval holders (DAH) to restrict the use and availability on Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA) between the product owner and the maintenance provider if the FAA has determined the ICA are acceptable for maintaining a DAH's product with FAA-approved replacement parts, articles, or materials installed.

FAA proposes co-pilots must fly 1,500 hours for commercial airlines. Also in March, the FAA proposed regulations that would increase the minimum number of flight hours for all commercial air carrier pilots — including co-pilots — to 1,500 hours. Captains must already meet that threshold, but co-pilots currently need only 250 hours to fly for an airline. Co-pilots would also need a "type rating" specific to the airliner they plan to fly, similar to another requirement that applies to captains. The proposal is the first increase in co-pilot threshold requirements since 1973, when the FAA raised the minimum number of hours from 200 to 250. The new boost follows an aviation safety law enacted after a regional airliner crash near Buffalo, N.Y. killed fifty people.

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