Part 135 Startups – Certification and FAA Notice N 8900.687 

Are you in in the FAA’s queue for the part 135 certification process? If you are reading FAA Notice N 8900.687 and have questions, we have help available.

If you’re working on the certification readiness checklist, we can help.

While preparing to meet with your FAA inspectors and begin the Certification Services Oversight Process (CSOP), there are a number of items to prepare:

Part 135 – Single Pilot or Single Pilot in Command (PIC) (as Applicable)

8400-6, Preapplication Statement of Intent

You have probably already submitted this document, but you should retain a copy of it for reference during meetings with the FAA.

Compliance Statement: sized and scoped for intended operations

The compliance statement is essentially an inventory of the applicable regulations from 14 CFR Parts 119, 135, and 91. An explanation or reference to procedures for each regulation must be provided by the applicant.

List of proposed operations specifications (OpSpec) with procedures, if applicable

This list needs to specify all of the basic OpSpecs required for all operators, plus those unique to your operation. This could include aircraft types, regions of operation, etc.

Category and Class of Aircraft to be used (type not necessary) representative of aircraft to be used in proposed certification

This is a simple item, specified in the application. This could be multi engine land, single engine land, etc.

Intent of will or will not carry of hazardous materials (HAZMAT) and HAZMAT Training Manual

The intent to carry or not carry must be specified. A training manual is required in either case.

Flight Locating Procedures

A description of flight locating procedures must be part of the application. This is often specified in the General Operations Manual.

Ground Deicing Procedures

A description of ground deicing procedures must be part of the application. This is also normally specified in the General Operations Manual.

Formal Application Letter

This is a simple letter describing the application, the attachments and other items.

Proposed Schedule of Events (SOE)

A schedule of events and a realistic timeline must be provided by the applicant. It is helpful to obtain experienced assistance with this item.

Named Pilot Resume / Copy of Pilot and Medical Certificate(s)

This is a requirement for Single Pilot and Single PIC applications. For Basic or Full applicants, the named Chief Pilot serves this requirement.

Corporation Papers: legal business name

Whether S-Corp, C-Corp, LLC, partnership or other arrangement, the documents establishing the legal status of the company must be provided.

Sample Aircraft Discrepancy Log

Typically an excerpt from the General Operations Manual, this document shows the applicant’s intended means of complying with maintenance discrepancy record keeping requirements.

Sample Pilot Record

Typically these are sample pilot training record documents from the training program.

Sample Flight and Duty Log

Typically these are samples of pilot flight and duty records from the GOM.

Deviation or Exemption Requests, if required

These are listings of deviations or exemptions from regulatory requirements. An example might be a Single PIC operator receiving a deviation to operate without the manual requirements of 135.21(a).

Another example is receiving authorization to combine two of the required Part 119 positions (such as a combined Chief Pilot and Director of Operations role).

Part 135 – 9 or Less Basic or Full (In Addition to Single Pilot or Single PIC)

These additional items are required for Basic or Full applications.

General Operations Manual

This is an extensive document and must be specifically tailored to the applicant’s proposed operations. It is risky to purchase a stock manual without customization and expect it to pass review by the FAA. Discrepancies between the operations described in the manual and the applicant’s intended operation will cause delays and concern from the FAA team reviewing your application.

Training Manual

Pilot training manuals that comply with Part 135 are very detailed documents and must precisely define all training requirements in FAA order 8900.1. There are extensive lists of training elements, and multiple categories of training. This manual also must be precisely tailored to the applicant’s aircraft and operation.

Management Resumes:

  • Director of Operations
  • Director of Maintenance
  • Chief Pilot

These positions have specific requirements as stated in 14 CFR Part 119. There are provisions for deviations from the requirements based on experience. This deviation process is complex and requires expertise to navigate.

Copy of Pilot and Medical Certificates for Director of Operations and Chief Pilot

These must be part of the application.

Approved Aircraft Inspection Program (AAIP), if required

Certain types of aircraft require a separate inspection program document.

Part 135 – 10 or More (In Addition to Single Pilot or Single PIC and 9 or Less Basic or Full)

Most new applicants will not be seeking this operational authorization initially. For those that are, the following are required:

Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program (CAMP)

General Maintenance Manual (GMM)