Nov. 6, 2023

The FAA has released new guidance reminding Part 135 operators of the requirements and authorizations necessary to use airport aeronautical data, including airport runway analysis products.

In its recent Information for Operators (InFO) 23009, the agency wrote that “routine surveillance” has revealed that some operators lack proper authorization or sufficient knowledge, training and checking on the application of obstacle analysis software, including for one-engine-inoperative departure routing/procedures.

The InFO states that Operation Specification (OpSpec) A009 should allow for – and pilot training and procedures, including operator manuals, should address – the safe, daily use of these software products, including how they affect a pilot’s pre-takeoff briefing and flight deck setup.

Ben van Niekerk of GrandView Aviation, who co-chairs NBAA’s Part 135 Subcommittee, welcomed the InFO, saying it will serve as an important reminder to operators and crew to align with federal regulations, and will promote the practical application of standards in professional aviators’ daily briefings and activities.

“Some pilots do not know how to use airport aeronautical data correctly, which could cause procedural errors and possibly result in a controlled flight into terrain, especially during an engine failure during takeoff, but also during routine operations,” van Niekerk said. “The new InFO is an important proactive step by the FAA to minimize the risk of such avoidable accidents.”

Van Niekerk said the aviation community should pursue additional efforts to educate pilots on the proper use of airport aeronautical data. He noted that the FAA recently updated its guidance for inspectors, which also serves as a resource for operators. The updated guidance for inspectors can be found in the FAA’s Dynamic Regulatory System by searching for FAA order 8900.1 Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 3 (OpSec guidance) and Volume 4, Chapter 3 (approval of performance data).

Read InFO 23009.

Search the FAA’s Dynamic Regulatory System.