Hundreds of hours of development have gone into making this IOM as turn-key and user friendly (and FAA-friendly) as possible. However, effective implementation of any IOM will depend on the level of active commitment from the management team of the operator. The operator’s management team will need to thoroughly review the entire document.
It is also recommended for the operator’s management team to perform tabletop testing of the procedures, specifically itinerary prep, flight release, crew assignment, record keeping, and oceanic procedures. It is further recommended that the operator test the in-flight procedures in an aircraft with navigation systems initialized. Any software planned to be used by flight operations should be tested in parallel with the GOM test.
Testing these procedures should not take more than two or three days, and will give the operator confidence when presenting the document to the FAA.
The IOM is formatted in MS Word, and uses standard paragraph heading styles and 1 inch page margins. This document is very easy to edit for operators that prefer to do their own revisions. We are always willing to assist with future revisions, but most operators have no problem working with the document and creating the revisions on their own.
Is this IOM already FAA-approved?
First, a technical point, IOMs are accepted rather than approved. The difference is relatively minor from the operator’s perspective, see below. To address the point of the question, there isn’t anything like a manual that has already been given a standing approval or acceptance by the FAA. Each FAA office has its own idea of what a manual should contain. A manual that passes review at one FSDO with no issues could end up having a long list of required corrections at another. Each time a manual is submitted, it is as though it is a brand new document with no previous history. See the next question for more info.
How long will it take to get this IOM accepted?
This depends on two things: How long it takes your FAA team begins to start and complete the review, and what level of change they want to see. Substantial effort has been put into this IOM to make it as comprehensive as possible, and so far it has been passing review with a small list of corrections. In some cases, only 5-10 changes, all of them minor.
The complication with IOMs is that the document will usually need to be reviewed by both the local FSDO and the FAA regional specialist. The limited number of FAA specialists can cause delays in this process. It is a good idea to coordinate with your FSDO well in advance of application.
Can you help me get the required LOAs (Part 91) or OpSpecs (Part 135)?
Yes, this is done as an additional service. The reason this is charged for separately is that there are many operators who already hold the required authorizations but only need a modern IOM.
The application process for these authorizations can be labor and time intensive. Some operators prefer to do the work on their own, and some prefer to have us handle the process. Even when we assist with the application, the operator will still need to do some collection of aircraft certification and maintenance data.
When the FAA returns the GOM with the list of required corrections, what happens next?
One major key to success is a very fast turn-around. Most of the time we can collaborate on any required changes and return the revised IOM within a week, sometimes less. In a few instances, the FAA wants a more highly developed procedure for some item. As long as the operator makes their management personnel available, we can usually turn the document around in less than two weeks.
A fast turnaround time is crucial for two reasons. First, it shows the FAA that the operator is serious about moving the process along. Second, it prevents the FAA inspectors from losing track of the project in the interim. Inspectors are busy people, and like anyone, you don’t want to give them a month to lose track of where the project was and what the nature of their required corrections were.
Generally speaking, the most common obstacles are related to validating the correct aircraft equipment, avionics, and software versions.
My current IOM is need of updating. Will this IOM help?
Absolutely yes. This IOM has been used more often by existing operators who want to update their current IOM than it has been by new start-ups.
Do you offer a subscription service?
Not specifically. See the expanded explanation on page 1.
Do you guarantee FAA acceptance?
We do not make a specific guarantee of acceptance. That said, we have never left an operator hanging without a completed authorization or approval. Every effort will be made to get the ball over the goal line. Having stated that, it is possible to run into some FAA offices or inspectors who make the approval process extremely difficult. So far, we have not run into one that made it impossible. There have been one or two instances where the FAA made additional demands on the content of the manual outside of the scope of the FAA requirements. In these cases there may be some small additional hourly charges. This will always be discussed with the client before any charges are made. The Terms of Service document (available upon request) sets the official terms and explains contractor and client obligations.
What about revisions? What does this cost?
While we have no problem doing revisions for you if you want us to, our real goal is to deliver a document that is very easy for you to revise yourself. Document formatting is very simple, and it does not take a Word Ninja to make simple corrections. If you really want help, we perform that on an hourly basis.
Also see the explanation of subscriptions on page 1.