One of the most heavily attended sessions at this year’s Convention was the FAA Forum. In this session, the FAA’s National Aviation Events Specialist, Sue Gardner, outlined coming changes to federal policy governing air shows, FAA Order 8900.1 Volume 3, Chapter 6, Section 1. These changes have been painstakingly coordinated within the air show community. After many years in development and review, the FAA expects final approval not later than the end of January, 2018. When the policy is finalized, ICAS will immediately notify the entire membership. Until that happens and so that you can begin planning for any changes that the new policy may require, here are a few of the big changes to come in this revised edition of FAA Order 8900.1 Volume 3, Chapter 6, Section 1.
- 60 second response times will be required for all emergency personnel at air shows. Specifically: ARFF must be capable of arriving at any location within the aerobatic box/flying display area within one minute (60 seconds) of an accident or incident.
- Dynamic Maneuvering endorsements will be available for air show performers seeking to operate in the realm between normal maneuvering and aerobatic maneuvering. ICAS has worked with the FAA over the course of two years to develop this endorsement which allows for air show performers that do not perform aerobatics with an avenue to safely perform non-aerobatic routines at air shows. These new Dynamic Maneuvering endorsements will be administered through the ICAS Aerobatic Competency Evaluation (ACE) program.
- Electronic submission of performer documents will now be possible! Performers will be able to get the ramp check portion of the air show covered 30 days prior to even arriving at an air show. The performer can supply all the information electronically after scanning all required documents, and — if desired — completing the Aircraft Status and Inspection Form, in lieu of logbooks, and emailing these scanned documents to the event organizer and the IIC. This new process is intended to eliminate distractions and hassles and will allow performers to put proper focus on their air show performances rather than working to make sure the IIC has all of their documents.
- The 15 day practice rule has been changed. Previously, performers were required to provide evidence of practice in the previous 15 days in order to perform at an aviation event. ICAS worked with the FAA to change this requirement from 15 days to 45 days.