Air Carrier Certification
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Air Carrier Certification and Operations

Highlights
(https://faa.gov)
  1. General Information
    1. Types of 14 CFR 135 Operations
          ◉ Air Carrier Certificate: Interstate, foreign, overseas, or carry mail.
          ◉ Operating Certificate: Intrastate operations only.
    2. Kinds of 14 CFR 135 Certificate Operating Authorities
          ◉ On-demand: Less than 5 round trips per week.
              ❍ At least one scheduled route between two or more points.
              ❍ Maximum passenger seating of 30 seats or less.
              ❍ Maximum passenger seating of 9 seats or less.
              ❍ Maximum payload 7500 pounds.
              ❍ No turbo-jet aircraft.
              ❍ Any rotorcraft.
          ◉ Commuter: Can be 5 or more scheduled or non-scheduled round trips per week.
              ❍ Cannot be conducted in any turbo-jet aircraft.
              ❍ Maximum passenger seating of 9 seats or less.
              ❍ Maximum payload capacity of 7500 pounds.
              ❍ Any rotorcraft.
    3. Scope of Part 135 certificates
          ◉ Single Pilot Operator: Maximum of one pilot.
              ❍ No Director of Operations, Chief Pilot, or Director of Maintenance.
              ❍ Pilot is specified by name and certificate number on ops specs.
              ❍ No manuals or training program required.
              ❍ Hazmat manual is required.
          ◉ Single Pilot in Command: One PIC and up to 3 SIC maximum.
              ❍ Aircraft with maximum passenger seating of 9 or less seats.
              ❍ Operations limited to US, Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean.
              ❍ Manuals, except Hazmat, are not required.
              ❍ Pilots are listed by name in ops specs.
              ❍ No Cat II or III approaches.
          ◉ Basic 135 Operator: Limited size and scope.
              ❍ Requires General Operations Manual and Training Program.
              ❍ Operations limited to US, Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean.
              ❍ Maximum passenger seating of 9 seats or less.
              ❍ Maximum of five pilots, including SIC's.
              ❍ Maximum of 3 different aircraft types.
              ❍ No Cat II or III approaches.
              ❍ Maximum of 5 aircraft.
          ◉ Standard Part 135 Operator: Unlimited size and scope.
              ❍ Requires General Operations Manual and Training Program.
              ❍ General Maintenance Manual required for 10 or more passenger seats.
              ❍ Flight Attendant Program required for more than 19 passenger seats.
  2. General Requirements for Certification
    1. Company Ownership
          ◉ Must be a US citizen.
          ◉ Partnership members must be US citizens.
          ◉ Corporation must be formed in the US or US Territory or US Possession.
          ◉ President and two-thirds of board of directors and managing officers must be US citizens.
          ◉ Voting interest must be 75% US citizens.
    2. Principal Base of Operation
          ◉ Must demonstrate a physical location for the principal base of operations.
    3. Aircraft
          ◉ Must have at least one exclusive use aircraft.
          ◉ Must have a lease agreement for a period of at least 6 months.
          ◉ May instead have ownership and aircraft registration.
          ◉ Must comply with CFR 135.25.
          ◉ Must meet the requirements for all intended operations.
    4. Maintenance Requirements for Part 135 operations
          ◉ 9 or Less:
              ❍ Maintained under CFR 91 and CFR 43; and,
              ❍ Maintained under CFR 135 paragraphs 415, 417, 421, and 422; and,
              ❍ Must comply with Annual and 100 hour inspections or approved AAIP.
          ◉ 10 or More:
              ❍ Maintained under CFR 135 paragraphs 415, 417, 432, and 443; and,
              ❍ Compliant with Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program (CAMP).
          ◉ All Aircraft: Compliant with:
              ❍ Manufacturer recommended Time Between Overhaul (TBO).
              ❍ Maintenance records may have no gaps, especially for time or cycle limited components.
              ❍ A Conformity Check must be performed to demonstrate compliance.
              ❍ USAC has an automated tool to help with Conformity Checks.
    5. Economic Authority
          ◉ OST Form 4507: Air Taxi Operator Registration and Amendments
              ❍ Must be completed 30 days or more before commencing operations.
    6. Insurance
          ◉ OST Form 6410: US Air Carriers Certificate of Insurance
              ❍ Must be completed by insurance underwriter and submitted.
    7. Management Personnel
          ◉ CFR 119.69: Specifies the need for a DO, DOM, and Chief Pilot.
          ◉ CFR 119.71: Specifies the requirements to serve in these positions.
          ◉ Deviations: May combine the DO and Chief Pilot if conditions are satisfied.
              ❍ There is an equivalent experience worksheet to make this determination.
    8. Manuals
          ◉ General Operations Manual
          ◉ General Maintenance Manual (10 or more)
          ◉ Hazmat Training and Operations Manual
          ◉ International Flight Operations Manual (beyond US, Canada, Mexico)
          ◉ PRIA Manual
          ◉ Minimum Equipment List
          ◉ Training Manual
          ◉ Aircraft Flight Manual
    9. HazMat Manual- Will or Will-Not Carry Program
          ◉ The Will-Not Carry addresses HazMat recognition; and,
          ◉ Procedures in case of a spill.
          ◉ It is a good idea to do initial certification with a Will-Not Carry Program.
    10. Training Programs
          ◉ Basic Indoctrination Training
          ◉ Emergency Training
          ◉ Crew Resource Management (CRM) Training
          ◉ Initial Ground and Flight Training
          ◉ Upgrade Ground and Flight Training
          ◉ Recurrent Ground and Flight Training
          ◉ Requalification Training
          ◉ Differences Ground and Flight Training
          ◉ Transition Ground and Flight Training
          ◉ Hazardous Materials (hazmat)
    11. Drug and Alcohol Program Requirements
          ◉ Administered by the Office of Aerospace Medicine, Drug Abatement Division AAM-820.
          ◉ AAM-820 reviews the Hazmat manual for certification.
          ◉ AAM-820 conducts an annual audit of records starting one year after certification.
          ◉ Violations are expensive.
    12. TSA Security Program Requirements
          ◉ TFSSP: The Twelve-Five Standard Security Program (TFSSP) outlines:
              ❍ Requirements for FAA Part 135 certificated carriers.
              ❍ A maximum certificated takeoff weight between 12,500 pounds and 100,309.3 pounds.
    13. Minimum Equipment List (MEL)
          ◉ Provides procedures for operating with inoperative equipment .
          ◉ Must be approved by the FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector.
          ◉ Must include Non-Essential Equipment and Furnishings (NEF).
          ◉ Is tailored for specific aircraft and operators.
          ◉ Must be included in Ops Spec D095.
    14. Proving and Validation Testing
          ◉ Applies to turbojet aircraft; or,
          ◉ An aircraft that requires two pilots for VFR operations.
          ◉ A minimum of 25 hours conducted with FAA inspectors aboard.
          ◉ Flight time may be reduced under certain circumstances.
    15. Pilots Record Improvement Act (PRIA) of 1996
          ◉ Requires reviewing the last five years of pilot records.
          ◉ The manual is reviewed but no approval is required.
          ◉ The manual must be created and kept on file.
  3. The Certification Process has five phases.
    1. Phase 1 — Pre-application
    2. Phase 2 — Formal Application
    3. Phase 3 — Design Assessment
    4. Phase 4 — Performance Assessment
    5. Phase 5 — Administrative Functions
  4. Useful Resources are provided by the FAA.

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