“Special authorizations” is a collective term for certain specific authorizations from the FAA that come in various forms:

  • Letters of Authorization (LOAs) or Letters of Deviation (LODAs) primarily for non-commercial operators
  • Operations Specifications (OpSpecs) for commercial and certain other operators
  • Management Specifications (MSpecs) for fractional operators

Obtaining special authorizations – figuring out which ones you need and how to get them – can be one of the most confusing tasks for professional aviation managers to tackle.

The purpose of this resource is not to give a definitive list of what authorizations each operator needs or forms to fill out to apply for them, because they and their individual requirements can literally change from day to day. Instead, this resource is designed to provide some background information on where the concept of special authorizations came from, where to find information on specific authorizations, and some best practices an aviation manager – be it a single-pilot operation up to a multi-crew flight department– can use to obtain the appropriate authorizations as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Download “The Whys and Hows of Special Authorizations – Part 91 LOAs” (PDF)