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Business Air News Bulletin
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Part 135 ops can continue under adjusted FAA rules
The FAA has granted a temporary halt on enforcement due to ‘extraordinary circumstances' and solely to pilot flight crew members or flight engineers with certificates expiring between March 31 and June 30, 2020.

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has welcomed an additional FAA provision, allowing Part 135 operators to continue to fly in these uncertain times. The FAA has announced that pilot flight crewmembers and flight engineers with expiring airmen medical certificates will be allowed to continue to fly.

FAA granted a temporary halt on enforcement due to ‘extraordinary circumstances related to the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic' and solely to pilot flight crewmembers or flight engineers with certificates expiring within the prescribed timeframe of March 31 through June 30, 2020.

“We are grateful the FAA is continuing to listen to our requests to support the Part 135 industry during this critical time. We look forward to continuing to engage with FAA leadership to communicate the needs of this vital aviation sector,” states NATA senior vice president Ryan Waguespack.

The FAA encourages airmen who are able to complete their regularly required airman medical certificate exam with an FAA AME to continue to do so at this time.

The FAA indicated that it is continuing to work with leadership on other interim medical certificate solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this week, the FAA had issued exemptions in response to NATA's requests for relief from certain crew training and checking requirements for Part 135 operators.

The two exemptions granted to NATA are available to all Part 119 certificated carriers operating under Part 135. Two additional exemptions granted to Airlines for America (A4A) provide similar relief for those conducting training under Part 121. All operators seeking to use the available relief are required to provide a letter of intent to the FAA in the manner and form described in the exemption, obtain Operations Specification A005 from their FAA inspector, and follow other conditions and limitations outlined within the exemption. Every Part 135 operator should obtain and carefully review these exemptions.

“Our staff have been meeting with FAA and other government officials daily during this crisis to obtain the latest information for members and provide input on industry needs. The association is grateful the FAA is acting quickly to ensure necessary access to air transportation remains available,” states NATA president and CEO Timothy Obitts.

“These exemptions address several currency matters of operators. I am confident additional action granting relief for certain expiring pilot medicals is forthcoming. In this time of great need, NATA and our members value the FAA's willingness to collaborate on effective solutions,” adds VP John McGraw.

Also available is guidance on required drug and alcohol testing programmes. Additional information and resources are available on NATA's website.

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