Uncertificated Large Aircraft Operations

Published: Sep 28, 1978. Publicly Released: Sep 28, 1978.

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reports that a number of owners or operators of large aircraft provide commercial transportation for a charge but are able to avoid commercial safety regulations and certificate requirements. There are wide differences between private and commercial aircraft safety regulations even though the same make and model of aicraft can be used for both private and commercial purposes. FAA officials believe that the incentive of higher profits through lower operating costs may lead some operators to avoid compliance with commercial regulations. Commercial regulations are avoided by leasing rather than chartering aircraft to users, purchasing cargo and then purporting to be transporting private goods while subsequently reselling the goods, and leasing aircraft on paper to foreign carriers. While uncertificated operations are primarily cargo operations based largely in southern Florida, they operate all over the United States; cargo is mainly textiles, livestock, or produce destined for the Caribbean and Central America. Past attempts to protect uninformed lessees and to enforce compliance with safety regulations have not been totally successful. There is a difference in the enforcement of commercial regulations by FAA regions. FAA appears to have two options: (1) it can aggressively enforce existing regulations involving commercial operations; or (2) it could place all large aircraft operations under the same safety regulations.