April 3, 2020
The FAA recently approved a 24-month extension to NBAA’s Small Aircraft Exemption until March 31, 2022, allowing NBAA members that operate small aircraft to take advantage of the flexibility usually offered to operators of larger, turbine-powered aircraft. The exemption includes a new item in the Conditions and Limitations section.
The current version of the exemption – officially known as Exemption 7897K, 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 a number of 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 cost-reimbursement options of Part 91 Subpart F are useful in regards to 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.
A new condition is included in the updated exemption.
As of Sept. 27, 2020, no person may operate an aircraft under the NBAA Small Aircraft Exemption unless that person files a “Notice of Joinder to FAA Exemptions No. 7897K.” This requirement can be met electronically and must include:
- Basic contact information for the person,
- The person’s NBAA membership number,
- A statement requesting the FAA appends the Notice of Joinder to the list of NBAA with authorization to use this exemption,
- A statement attesting the person will not conduct operations under this exemption if the person ceases to be an NBAA member, and
- An attestation the person will comply with all conditions and limitations of the exemption.
“Use of the exemption is overseen, in part, by a requirement to notify the local Flight Standards District Office when an operation will be conducted under the terms of the exemption,” said Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president of regulatory and international affairs. “This notification requires the operator to provide a copy of the time-sharing, interchange or joint ownership agreements, and is an opportunity for the local office to review these documents and details of the operation for compliance.
“The FAA is bringing additional compliance checks and scrutiny to all exemptions, so it’s important that NBAA members understand this additional submission to the docket will ensure the NBAA Small Aircraft Exemption continues to be valid and is utilized appropriately,” said Carr.
NBAA will create a form to allow members to easily comply with the new requirements of the exemption. This form will be available prior to the Sept. 27, 2020, notification date.
“This NBAA-provided form will ease the burden of compliance and allow small aircraft operators who need the exemption to operate as they are currently, in compliance with regulations and the exemption conditions,” said Carr.