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FAA Part 135/Part 380 Notice of Intent Sparks Concerns

Industry Challenge

Changes to definitions in Part 110 could disrupt public charter operations conducted under on-demand Part 135 operations, jeopardizing service options in small communities, unnecessarily threatening long-standing industry business models and hurting innovative and emission-free emerging technologies.

NBAA Response

NBAA, along with industry partners, submitted comments to the FAA’s Notice of Intent in October. The association continues to engage with both legislators and regulators to ensure any proposed changes to definitions address identified safety risks and are implemented in a thoughtful, measured manner.

Part 380 public charter flights operating in accordance with Part 135 on-demand regulations are in the headlines as business aviation seeks to ensure small communities have scheduled air transportation options, while maintaining a pathway to implement innovative aircraft technologies.

The FAA recently published a Notice of Intent (NOI), suggesting potential revisions to regulatory definitions of “on-demand operation,” “supplemental operation” and “scheduled operation” under Part 110. 14 CFR Part 110 defines on-demand operations, including all Part 380 operations under the Part 135 on-demand umbrella.

NBAA and industry partners responded to the NOI, highlighting the absence of data to inform changes to regulatory definitions and citing concerns for unintended negative consequences.

“Changes that increase the regulatory burden on those service providers need to be justified.”

Kyle Wanner Chair, National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO)

“For more than 45 years, Part 135 carriers have operated aircraft safely and reliably on behalf of public charter operators under DOT Part 380 … providing valuable air transportation to many communities that otherwise would not have commercial air service,” the coalition stated in its comments.

Presenting potential regulatory changes through an NOI is unusual for the FAA, said attorney Aaron Goerlich, principal of Garofalo Goerlich Hainbach PC, which specializes in aviation regulatory law. A more common tool for collecting information in a rulemaking process is an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) but Goerlich explained an ANPRM typically includes detailed justification for a proposed rule change, as opposed to what he called the “bare bones” NOI.

Goerlich added that the FAA has not provided a reasoned safety basis for any proposed change and he believes changing the definitions would have a pronounced anti-competitive effect.

Kyle Wanner – executive director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission and chair of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) – said changing the definitions of public charter operations could negatively impact rural communities nationwide. Many rely on Essential Air Service and Part 135 and 380 charter operations in order to connect citizens and businesses to air transportation. “Changes need to be justified,” Wanner said. “Due to higher operating costs, workforce challenges and fleet mix changes, our rural communities are entering a time where it is very challenging to maintain current air service levels. These communities need additional options aside from Part 121 air carriers. The FAA needs to produce safety data that concludes that a problem exists and that change is needed.”

In addition, the emerging electric aircraft industry anticipates moving urban passengers under public air charter regulatory provisions. Removing this flexibility could limit the scope of advanced air mobility (AAM) ventures and slow overall industry growth, the coalition said.

NBAA co-signed the NOI comments with the Airline Passenger Experience Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International, International Flight Services Association, National Air Transportation Association and NASAO.

Review NBAA’s resources on Part 135 operations at

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