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Fri, Jun 08, 2007

FAA Issues Corrections To Air Tour Safety Standards

Includes Wording Changes, Clarifications

The Federal Aviation Administrations released a correction to the Commercial Air Tours and National Parks Air Tour Management regulations this week, to conform to amendments made by the National Air Tour Safety Standards final rule.

The correction deals with drug and alcohol testing requirements. The announcement reads, "The purpose of the technical amendment was to conform to those requirements to the National Air Tour Safety Standards. In one paragraph of the regulations, we inadvertently referred to an "antidrug program" when we should have referred to an "Alcohol Misuse Prevention Program."

The FAA is also removing a sentence in the rule's preamble referring to aircraft certificated as "Experimental Category" and clarifying the applicability of the rule to the "Young Eagles" program.

As ANN reported, Earl Lawrence, the Experimental Aircraft Association's vice president of industry and regulatory affairs, contacted senior FAA officials shortly after the new rules were released to explain how certain elements of the rule's preamble -- not the rule itself -- could be interpreted in a way that would severely limit what aircraft could be used for Young Eagles flights, with additional restrictions on pilot qualifications and frequency of Young Eagles activities.

"While we're sure FAA did not intend to create a major hindrance to introducing young people to flight, this unexpected language in the rule's preamble could place severe restrictions on the Young Eagles program," said EAA President Tom Poberezny. "Since Young Eagles pilots do not receive compensation, this language does not belong in a rule that focuses on commercial air tours.

"If there had been any inclination that such language would be included in the rule's preamble, we would have immediately and vigorously defended Young Eagles against such a threat," Poberezny added.

The corrections were effective as of June 7, 2007.

FMI: Read The Amended Final Rule (.pdf)

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