Oct. 17, 2018

The always popular Meet the Regulators education session returned to NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) this year with high-ranking representatives from the Department of Transportation (DOT) and FAA sharing the latest on air charter broker regulations, FAA safety initiatives and more.

Jonathan Dols, deputy assistant general counsel for the DOT, explained the new air charter broker rule, which defined air charter brokers for the first time and created a new set of regulations. Part 295 Air Charter Brokers establishes consumer protection methods for air charter broker customers. Dols said the new rule does not include a registration requirement for air charter brokers, but does allow for self-aggregation, in which passengers form their own group, then contact a broker for transportation, under certain circumstances.

“The intent of this rule is to expand charter operations and allow charter operations to be marketed more freely,” said Dols. “We wanted to encourage some creativity in the market.”

John Duncan, the FAA’s deputy associate administrator for aviation safety, shared the importance of the recently passed FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which is the first long-term FAA funding commitment from Congress in many years.

Duncan discussed current safety initiatives by the FAA including runway incursion, wrong surface event and loss of control prevention. He also stressed the importance of complying with TFRs, specifically presidential TFRs.

Duncan encouraged attendees to be mindful of increased drone activity and to help educate drone operators who are sometimes new to the aviation environment and may not be fully aware of the impact of drone activity on flight operations.

Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president of regulatory and international affairs, asked the FAA representatives for an update on concerns involving Minimum Equipment Lists (MELs), specifically the authorization of Part 91 MEL use through Letter of Authorization (LOA) D095, rather than LOA D195, when flying internationally. Duncan said the FAA is still working toward a solution that does not require the agency to review and approve every Part 91 MEL, whether by using designees for the agency or requiring attestation from a responsible person of the Part 91 operation that the MEL is fully compliant.

Attendees raised concerns resulting from limited or lack of resources at local FAA offices.

“The [FAA] culture over time has been one of isolation,” said Duncan. “Our intention is that that culture is changed and we are one organization that can reach out to other parts of the organization to get the job done.”

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