Separate Focuses- economics v. safety
Unusual when they share jurisdictions
FAA issues InFO for DOT = PAY ATTENTION
The jurisdictions of the DOT Office of Air Carrier Fitness (and its predecessor agency CAB)and of the FAA Aviation Safety have been separate since 1958. But their specific areas of oversight—economics vs. safety—have rarely crossed over (prominent exception Eastern Airlines as it slid toward bankruptcy).
Mark E. McKinnon flags just such a crossover- an Information for Operators (InFO) which cites only 14 C.F.R. Part 205, which is under the Secretary’s authority. The significance of the McKinnon find is that someone in the DOT leaned on the FAA’s Office of Flight Standards to issue this notice to all carriers. Such a request and such a posting signals that
THIS IS IMPORTANT and THAT DOT and/or FAA WILL BE CHECKING THE STATUS OF YOUR INSURANCE
(liability insurance policy or have a self-insurance plan that meets certain minimum amounts).
CHECK YOUR INSURANCE POLICIES NOW!!!
By Mark E. McKinnon on October 26, 2020
Virtually all Americans know that the FAA regulates air carrier safety in the United States. However, most Americans are unaware that the Department of Transportation also maintains oversight of air carrier operations through a robust set of economic regulations. According to a newly released Information for Operators (InFO), the FAA is concerned that a number of direct air carriers are also unaware of some of these economic regulations.
On October 21, 2020, FAA Flight Standards Service released InFO 20006, to “remind” U.S. and foreign direct air carriers that they are required to maintain evidence of aircraft accident liability insurance coverage on file with the FAA. Pursuant to 14 C.F.R. Part 205, all such carriers must maintain a liability insurance policy or have a self-insurance plan that meets certain minimum amounts. In addition, adequate documentation of the plan or coverage must be filed with the Department of Transportation. For direct and foreign air carriers, the insurance must cover, among other things, accident liability insurance for bodily injury to or death of passengers, with minimum limits of $300,000 per passenger.
Despite the clear mandate in the regulations, the InFO states that the FAA has “learned that U.S. and foreign direct air carriers, as part 205 describes, might not submit necessary information to the FAA to ensure compliance with part 205.” It appears that there have been incidents where carriers have lost or changed their coverage and failed to notify the FAA, or have failed to update the documents on file when policies are renewed.
The FAA recommends that all air carriers “should review their most recent air carrier liability certificates of insurance filed with the Technical Programs Branch and ensure all information for aircraft listed on the applicable operations specifications remains accurate.” Air carriers can update their insurance information by submitting OST Form 6410 or 6411 to the Technical Programs Branch. All of the forms and filing instructions are available HERE.
While the FAA and DOT have relaxed a number of regulatory requirements in the age of COVID, this is not one of them. The FAA has just reminded everyone that it expects everyone to ensure the accuracy of their insurance filings and provide updates in a timely manner
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