Feb. 25, 2019

A report summarizing the first year of work completed by the General Aviation International Authorization and Tabletop Exercises Working Group (GIATE WG) includes recommendations to improve communications delays, unclear guidance, inconsistent tabletop evaluations, preparing for tabletops exercises and delayed use of new aircraft.

“The work product from the GIATE Working Group is a win for the industry,” said Brian Koester, NBAA’s senior manager, flight operations and regulations. “These efforts will improve a significant pain point for Part 91 and Part 135 operators by providing clarity and expediting the process of obtaining international authorizations.”

Historically, tabletop exercises have been inconsistently applied to operators trying to obtain international operations authorization. The GIATE WG recommended the FAA use a risk matrix for inspectors to objectively evaluate letter of authorization (LOA) applications to determine the appropriate type of evaluation for each operator and circumstances and developed a sample Part 91 International Operations Risk Assessment.

The group also developed a Tabletop Exercise Pre-Briefing to assist operators in preparing for OpSpec authorization and a sample tabletop discussion guide for oceanic and remote continental navigation validation.

The GIATE WG, co-chaired by NBAA and the FAA Flight Technologies and Procedures Division and including representatives from Part 91 flight departments, Part 135 operators, training providers and other stakeholders, first met to begin their work in March 2018.

“This work clarifies FAA inspector guidance, creates efficiencies in the LOA issuance timeline and provides an objective standard for the conduct of tabletop exercises,” said Jason Herman, vice chairman of NBAA’s Domestic Operations Committee and a lead in this project. “Not only will operators gain efficiencies in requesting international operations authorizations but the FAA will also reduce time consuming redundancies and be able to process requests more effectively.”

The GIATE WG expects to complete its work this summer.

“NBAA appreciates the FAA’s support of this initiative over the past year,” Koester said. “Inconsistencies and lack of clarity in obtaining international operations authorization is one of the top frustrations NBAA members report to the association. While this is a major step to providing a solution, NBAA’s work will continue on this front through other projects and work groups.”

View the GIATE WG Report, which was presented at this week’s NBAA International Operations Conference, taking place through Feb. 28 in San Francisco, CA.