Wants All Groups At Table To Hash Out New Restrictions
NATA announced Tuesday
it has sent a letter to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, urging her
to establish an Aviation Rulemaking Committee to discuss concerns
with the recent landing distance assessment Safety Alert for
Operators, or SAFO for short.
That SAFO -- announced early last month --
asks commercial operators of turbine-powered aircraft to adopt a
voluntary policy to complete a new en-route landing distance
assessment, that takes into account current runway conditions and
allow a full stop landing with at least a 15% safety margin beyond
the actual landing distance.
tell Aero-News the FAA originally intended to impose the policy
outright, thru a mandatory Operations Specification (OpSpec)... but
partly in response to heavy pressure from NATA, decided to issue
the information instead in the form of the voluntary SAFO and
pursue formal rulemaking before mandating policy changes.
"The FAA appears to be driven by an accident that occurred while
the aircraft was operating under Part 121, and the agency released
first a policy statement requiring mandatory compliance, and later
a SAFO. Processes contained in both documents draw from a study of
Part 121 experience. The Part 135 and 91(K) communities were not
specifically considered in the development of this SAFO, nor the
notice that preceded it. As a result, the SAFO does not consider
the unique needs of these communities and, therefore, leaves many
unanswered operational questions," wrote NATA President James K.
Coyne explained NATA’s concern, stating, "As it is likely
the FAA’s rulemaking will be based upon the SAFO, NATA
remains concerned that the ultimate notice of proposed rulemaking
may still reflect practices best applied to the Part 121 community
and may create unnecessary problems and safety concerns for Part
91(K) and 135 operators."
The letter closes with a request to include the industry in the
FAA’s rulemaking, reminding the agency, "Collaborative
efforts have proven to be very successful in the past."
"We believe the FAA’s desire to establish new safety
margins for landing is precisely the type of issue that an ARC is
perfectly suited to address. We hope the FAA will recognize this
and establish an ARC," explained Coyne.