Nov. 21, 2023

The FAA recently published a complete revision of guidance dealing with airplane performance certification and operating rules, citing recent changes that can be “complex” and have led to questions and potential confusion among inspectors and stakeholders.

The Flight Technologies and Procedures Division (AFS-400) developed Notice 8900.683 – Revision—FAA Order 8900.1, Volume 4, Chapter 3, Airplane Performance and Airport Data, along with a change to FAA Order 8900.1, Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS), regarding Airplane Performance and Airport Data.

“This guidance helps address long-standing questions in business aviation about performance, particularly in respect to transport category airplanes,” said Richard Boll II, chair of the NBAA Domestic Operations Committee’s Airspace and Flight Technologies Subcommittee.

Boll explained many groups tried to address these issues in the past, including the Transport Airplane Performance Planning (TAPP) working group, which began its work in this area around 2010. The TAPP working group, an industry/FAA collaborative, also produced airplane performance videos.

This language replaces FSIMS Volume 4, Chapter 3, Sections 1-5 in its entirety.

This revision is significant with a restructuring of the information contain in the chapter and improved information on airplane performance and its regulatory basis. The revision also includes a new section (Section 3) to address non-turbine-engine-powered transport category airplanes and to introduce the recent changes to 14 CFR part 23 certification.

A new Section 6 contains direction and guidance concerning specific, airplane-related performance topics, including Takeoff and Landing Performance Assessment (TALPA), since TALPA is now applicable across airplane certification types.

“The new guidance accurately articulates the application of the performance standards by classification of aircraft and ties the standards to the actual rules. It should help eliminate confusion and get everyone to common baseline understanding,” said Boil, adding that training providers should incorporate the guidance in their training materials.