June 24, 2024

The Part 135 Subcommittee to the NBAA Domestic Operations Committee has introduced a new member resource to foster greater understanding of runway obstacle clearance requirements and restrictions for on-demand operators.

“Airport Runway Obstacle Analysis & FAA InFo 23009 Compliance: A Guide for Part 135 Operators” details how business aviation flight departments can implement third-party airport runway obstacle analysis software and gain approval under OpSpec [operational specification] A009 and incorporate that guidance into daily operations, company manuals, standard operating procedures and training events.

Review the guide

Rich Boll, chair of the Airspace, Air Traffic and Flight Technologies Subcommittee of the NBAA Domestic Operations Committee, said the guide aims to eliminate confusion about revised obstacle clearance regulations published by the FAA in October 2023 for operators of large, turbine-powered transport category and commuter aircraft.

“These regulations are absolute,” he emphasized, “and they pose a penalty on the airplane’s takeoff weight to clear obstacles in the immediate takeoff flight path in the event of an engine failure on takeoff. The guide details how operators can incorporate these requirements into their GOM (general operations manual) and training to ensure flight crews are trained, knowledgeable and prepared to implement any necessary special flight procedures.”

Many on-demand operators and Part 142 training providers have expressed confusion about those requirements, Boll continued.

“There are three basic elements at play to ensure compliance with FAA InFo 23009,” he said. “Understanding the regulatory requirements and obtaining the required authorization for your operation; training and practical knowledge for how to compute necessary obstacle clearances on takeoff; and then training to these requirements in the simulator and online.”

The guide also refers to information outlined in Chapter 4, Volume 3 of FAA 8900.1, available online through the FAA’s Dynamic Regulatory Library. “That gives more detail into the actual performance requirements,” Boll said, “as well as requirements on the operator and what parameters the [FAA] inspector will use when reviewing your operation to ensure you meet your regulatory requirements.

“These are things you need to start thinking about for when that knock comes on your door,” he added. “You need to be able to put your GOM and your training manual in front of the FAA and demonstrate your operation has addressed this issue, you have your A009 and you’re doing what’s required to meet these standards.”