Proposed Branch Would Oversee On-Demand Charter, Air Cargo
Friday, Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association (RACCA)
President Stan Bernstein confirmed the association’s strong
support of a new branch within the FAA.
The proposed new organization, initially known as the "Part 135
Branch" within the agency is designed as a clearinghouse for issues
related to activities conducted under Part 135 of the Federal
Aviation Regulations. These include on-demand charter operations,
certain scheduled passenger and sightseeing flights, cargo and air
transportation of US mail chiefly in smaller aircraft.
"RACCA's endorsement of
an FAA branch dedicated to FAR 135 flying predates the
recently-concluded Part 125/135 Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC)
meetings," said Bernstein. "We are convinced that a 'one-stop shop'
for operators and FAA personnel alike, at the headquarters level,
will be of great benefit to the agency and the industry it
Likely tasks for a headquarters-level Part 135 Branch include
implementing revisions arising from the Part 125/135 ARC's
recommendations. Those regulatory proposals are expected to be
released over the next few years and include modernization and
other changes to Part 135's existing rules addressing pilot minimum
experience and flight-duty-rest rules.
Additional issues likely to be addressed by a dedicated Part 135
Branch within FAA headquarters include air cargo operations,
policies related to minimum equipment lists used by Part 135
operators, analyzing operator activity and agency oversight of this
industry segment, to name a few. The proposed branch would also
serve as a focal point both for industry and other government
institutions involving aircraft operations under Part 135.
"Recent events, like industry-wide meetings to address concerns
raised in Congress with the Mitsubishi MU-2 fleet have suggested
better standardization is needed among various operators and at the
FAA, for example," said Bernstein.
"Ground and in-flight icing issues with the Cessna 208 Caravan
fleet are another hot issue," he continued. "A branch within the
FAA dedicated to serving as both a central resource and advocate
for Part 135 operators on these and other issues will help enhance
both aviation safety and the agency's efficiency."
Recently, RACCA's leadership was briefed on the FAA’s
plans to create a Part 135 Branch during a meeting with James J.
Ballough, director of the FAA's Flight Standards Service, and
others at the agency's headquarters in Washington, DC.