Aug. 30, 2018
The recent reorganization of the FAA Flight Standards Service (AFS), which eliminated AFS geographic regions and restructured field offices, has led to a change in the wording of certain truth-in-leasing requirements.
According to the FAA, 14 CFR 91.23 requires a truth-in-leasing clause in leases and conditional sales contracts, with some exceptions. It defines certain language to be included in leases or contracts of conditional sale involving U.S-registered large civil aircraft, including:
- The Federal Aviation Regulations under which the aircraft was maintained and inspected during the 12 months preceding the execution of the lease or contract of conditional sale
- The name, address and signature of the person responsible for operational control of the aircraft
Availability of information on the factors bearing on operational control
- The lessee or conditional buyer must notify the FAA at least 48 hours before takeoff of the first flight of the aircraft under lease, or contract and provide the FAA with the location of the airport of departure, the departure time and the registration number of the aircraft involved.
After the recent FAA reorganization, §91.23 was revised to read:
“No person may operate a large civil aircraft of U.S. registry that is subject to a lease or contract of conditional sale to which paragraph (a) of this section applies, unless …The lessee or conditional buyer, or the registered owner if the lessee is not a citizen of the United States, has notified by telephone or in person the responsible Flight Standards office.”
Previously, the requirement was to notify the “nearest FAA Flight Standards District Office.”
The intent of §91.23 is to confirm lessees understand their responsibilities regarding operational control and to ensure proper use of dry leases, timeshares and other arrangements, explained Joanne Barbera, founding partner of Barbera & Watkins, LLC. Reporting to the FAA office nearest the departure airport of the first flight allows the FAA an opportunity to conduct a ramp check and ask questions of the lessee, if the agency deems necessary.
“It’s probably acceptable to continue notifying the Flight Standards Office nearest the departure of the first flight of a lease,” added Barbera. “This was likely meant to be an administrative change and not a substantive change to FAA policy regarding truth-in-leasing notification.”