Hundreds of hours of development have gone into making this GOM as turn-key and user friendly (and FAA-friendly) as possible. However, effective implementation of any GOM 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, weight and balance, performance, and flight planning. Any software planned to be used by flight operations should be tested in parallel with the GOM test.
Maintenance personnel should tabletop the maintenance procedures and test the forms and methods in the GOM to determine if the GOM needs customizing in order to work with any software packages maintenance will be using.
Testing these procedures should not take more than one or two days, and will give the operator confidence when presenting the document to the FAA.
Best Practice. For operators who want to have the best understanding of their GOM and develop a fuller picture of the regulatory and guidance requirements, it is highly recommended that the management team read through the SAS questions thoroughly and then look at the cross-reference in the GOM to see how the requirement was met. This process, though slightly painstaking, will put the operator’s management team in the best possible position for a fast approval and to be able to deal with any issues raised by the FAA.
Reading Lists. We have developed reading lists from the FAA guidance and SAS checklists. Contact us and we can provide this list along with an initial consultation. These lists will help you learn about the 10 or more requirements and the level of knowledge and procedures that will be required. These are free with the initial phone call (the call is also free).
SAS Checklists. We have a summarized version of the FAA SAS checklists (DCTs) that will give you an overview of the design requirements for a GMM. These are also available free of charge with an initial consultation.
The GOM 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 GOM already FAA-approved?
First, a technical point, GOMs 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 GOM 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 GOM 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.
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 GOM 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.
My current GOM is need of updating. Will this GOM help?
Absolutely yes. This GOM has been used more often by existing operators who want to update their current GOM than it has been by new start-ups. Many operators have been using a GOM that has been added to and modified over the years and is now poorly organized and hard to use. This GOM gives them the opportunity to clean up the disorganized procedures in one easy step.
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.
No watermarks or copyright information is places on the GOM. Once we complete the project together the manual is provided to you in an unlocked Word document. Finished PDF copies are provided as a convenience as well. No password protection or document security is used.
The only thing asked of you is that you follow the provisions in the Terms of Service agreement and avoid disclosing the document to persons who do not have a direct need for access. Rather than attempt to restrict your access or use of the document, we prefer to trust the operators we do business with. Many of our clients have given us business referrals to other operators, which is always appreciated.