Instead of taking the estimated 18 months to two years, Business Air received FAA authorization to manage, operate and maintain larger cabin aircraft for up to 30 passengers in just seven months. Receiving this distinction on our Part 135 Certificate and becoming among a select group of charter operators was the accomplishment of VP of Operations and Director of Maintenance, Pat Hall.
Business Air got the chance to ask Pat, a 30-year aviation veteran, what made the difference?
Business Air: Understand this accomplishment is one many operators strive for but few accomplish. What allowed Business Air to accomplish this—and accomplish this in a shorter turnaround?
Pat: It is important to note upfront that the effort is not about getting another certificate, it is about drafting a more comprehensive maintenance plan to prove to the FAA that Business Air can operate and maintain larger cabin aircraft. Upon their review and approval of the plan, a letter is sent.
I believe, the three things that helped us achieve this milestone and get through the process more quickly was our ability to:
First – Interpret the regulations correctly.
We first met with our local FAA representative, who gave us reading material and outlined the regulations we must meet. Fortunately, we were able to interpret the regulations correctly based on our years’ of experience.
Second – Determine Business Air’s current plan was close to required plan.
We were able to also determine early on that Business Air’s current maintenance plan was not far from what was being asked for under the new regulations. For example, we already had tool calibration and a training program for mechanics. By chance, and by assumptions made earlier when drafting our original plan, we were already doing a lot of what was required. No pilot retraining was necessary and many of our current procedures could stay the same, which was an advantage.
Third – Submit a well-written plan. Our goal was to submit plan within six months and receive approval in 30 days—which we accomplished. After submitting the more comprehensive maintenance plan to the FAA and receiving their approval by letter, I received a phone call. The FAA wanted to inform us that the document we had submitted was well-written making it easy to read and understand. I had to laugh about this comment because I am a published writer and this proved to be an asset.