March 25, 2024

NBAA has received an extension to its Small Aircraft Exemption until March 31, 2026, allowing NBAA members that operate small aircraft to take advantage of the flexibility usually offered to operators of larger, turbine-powered aircraft.

NBAA members may view the FAA’s Small Aircraft Exemption notice.

“This valuable exemption allows operators of piston-powered airplanes, small airplanes and rotorcraft to realize the cost-sharing benefits outlined in Part 91 Subpart F, making more effective use of their aircraft,” said Doug Carr, NBAA’s senior vice president of safety, security, sustainability and international affairs. “It’s important that members understand and comply with the Letter of Intent submission to the docket and notification to FSDOs to ensure the NBAA Small Aircraft Exemption continues to be valid and is utilized appropriately.”

The current version of the exemption – officially known as Exemption 7897M, the NBAA Small Aircraft Exemption – provides operators of piston-powered airplanes, small airplanes (those with a gross weight of 12,500 pounds or less) and rotorcraft several advantages, including the use of alternative maintenance programs and limited cost-reimbursement for certain flights in accordance with Part 91 Subpart F of the Federal Aviation Regulations.

The cost-sharing benefits of Part 91 Subpart F are typically limited to aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of over 12,500 pounds, multi-engine turbojet aircraft or fractional ownership program aircraft.

The exemption only applies to operations listed in 14 CFR § 91.501(b)(1) through (7) and 91.501(b)(9). The cost-reimbursement options of Part 91 Subpart F are useful regarding transportation of a guest on a company aircraft, the use of the aircraft by employees of a subsidiary company and other common scenarios. Time sharing, interchange and joint ownership agreements are also permitted under Part 91 Subpart F.

The exemption includes a new item in the conditions and limitations section.

In 2022, the FAA introduced a requirement for operators intending to utilize the exemption to submit a Notice of Joinder in the public docket. The newest revision renames this as “Letter of Intent.” Members are required to submit this letter to the docket if they wish to utilize Exemption 7897M, even if they already had a Notice of Joinder on file.

The letter must include:

  1. The member’s legal name and, for a person other than an individual, the legal name of the authorized representative submitting the Letter of Intent.
  2. The member’s physical address and, for a member other than an individual, the physical address of the authorized representative. If the member or the authorized representative does not receive mail at the physical address provided, then a mailing address must be provided where the member or authorized representative does receive mail.
  3. The member’s email address or, for members other than individuals, the email address of the authorized representative.
  4. The member’s telephone number(s).
  5. The member’s NBAA membership number.
  6. An attestation that the member will comply with all conditions and limitations of Exemption No. 7897M.

Letters of Intent must be submitted prior to using the exemption.

NBAA members may use the Small Aircraft Exemption Notice of Intent Submission Tool to submit Letters of Intent under Docket Number FAA-2002-12728.

Operators utilizing the exemption must also notify the appropriate Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) of their intent, providing that FSDO with a copy of the time-sharing, interchange or joint ownership agreement under which each aircraft is being operated, if appropriate.