Four new FAA rules take effect soon

Compliance with at least four important FAA mandates falls due during the first four months of 2005. One of them is particularly important to pilots flying over water or wilderness.

After Jan. 1, all airplanes on long over-water flights or flying over designated – mostly wilderness – land areas will have to be equipped with at least one emergency locator transmitter (ELT) operating on the 406 mHz frequency. This mandate is part of an international agreement and applies worldwide.

As everyone who flies above 29,000 feet should know, domestic reduced vertical separation minimum (DRVSM) compliance goes into effect Jan. 20. This means that all aircraft flying between FL290 and FL410 must be DRVSM certified. The rule applies to flight in the United States, southern Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. For detailed information: FAA.gov/ats/ato/rvsm_documentation.htm.

March 29 is the deadline for all U.S.-registered turbine airplanes built prior to March 29, 2002, to be equipped with a Class-B Terrain Avoidance Warning System (TAWS). The rule only applies to aircraft with six or more seats, but that’s nearly all GA turboprops and jets.

Repair stations must have new, FAA-approved training programs in effect by April 6, under FAR 145.163. Revised training regulations actually went into effect Jan. 31, 2004, but the no-getting-around-it compliance deadline comes up on April 6.

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