The FAA recently approved an extension to NBAA’s Small Aircraft Exemption, allowing NBAA members that operate small aircraft to take advantage of the flexibility usually offered to operators of larger, turbine-powered aircraft. Additionally, the FAA has removed a previous limitation that restricted the use of the exemption only to operations conducted within the United States.
The latest extension, received earlier this year, conveys these benefits through March 31, 2020.
The current version of the exemption – officially known as Exemption 7897J, the NBAA Small Aircraft Exemption – provides operators of piston-powered airplanes, small airplanes (those with a gross weight of 12,500 pounds or less) and rotorcraft a number of advantages, including the use of alternative maintenance programs and limited cost-reimbursement for certain flights in accordance with Part 91 Subpart F of the Federal Aviation Regulations.
The cost-sharing benefits of Part 91 Subpart F are typically limited to aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of over 12,500 pounds, multi-engine turbojet aircraft or fractional ownership program aircraft.
The cost-reimbursement options of Part 91 Subpart F are useful in regards to transportation of a guest on a company aircraft, the use of the aircraft by employees of a subsidiary company and other common scenarios. Time sharing, interchange and joint ownership agreements are also permitted under Part 91 Subpart F.
The exemption is not applicable to operations conducted outside the U.S., a concern NBAA has raised with the FAA in hopes of extending this exemption to international operations.
“NBAA is pleased that the FAA has again extended our long-established small aircraft exemption, a valuable tool for businesses utilizing smaller aircraft,” said Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president of regulatory and international affairs. “The FAA’s extension of the exemption for 24 months provides operators with greater ability to plan for the future. Additionally, the removal of the international limitation will ensure that aircraft covered by the exemption can utilize these provisions regardless of where they fly.”