FAA to Review Its Procedural Rules for Their Effect on Small Entities

The FAA is required to perform periodic reviews of its rules to make sure that they minimize the significant economic impact on small entities. This requirement comes from section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

The purpose of the review is to determine whether the rules should be continued without change, or should be amended or rescinded, in order to meet the stated objectives of the applicable statute while also minimizing any significant economic impact of the rules upon a substantial number of small entities.   The acronym used for ‘‘significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities’’ is SEIOSNOSE (yes, that is the actual acronym used by the Federal Government in official publications).

The FAA has divided its rules into 10 groups – each representing about 10% of the FAA’s rules. This means that it takes the FAA 10 years to review its rules, so there is a significant opportunity to comment on this process for each rule once every ten years.

The FAA uses a two-step, two-year process for reviewing its rules.  During the first year (the ‘‘analysis year’’), the selected rules will be analyzed to identify those with a SEIOSNOSE.  During the second year (the ‘‘review year’’), each rule identified in the analysis year as having a SEIOSNOSE will be reviewed.  The purpose of the review is to determine if the rule should be continued without change or changed to minimize impact on small entities.

The results of the reviews are published in the Regulatory Agenda in the Federal Register.  For example, for the repair station rules found in Part 145, the FAA “conducted a Section 610 review of this part and found no SEIOSNOSE.”  Many repair stations might be surprised to learn that Part 145 does not impose on them a significant economic impact.

In the upcoming year, the FAA plans to analyze some significant rules.  The 2011 year list includes:

  • 14 CFR part 189—Use of Federal Aviation Administration Communications System
  • 14 CFR part 198—Aviation Insurance
  • 14 CFR part 1—Definitions and Abbreviations
  • 14 CFR part 3—General Requirements
  • 14 CFR part 11—General Rulemaking Procedures
  • 14 CFR part 13—Investigative and Enforcement Procedures
  • 14 CFR part 14—Rules Implementing the Equal Access to Justice Act of 1980
  • 14 CFR part 15—Administrative Claims Under Federal Tort Claims Act
  • 14 CFR part 16—Rules of Practice for Federally Assisted Airport Enforcement Proceedings




About Jason Dickstein
Mr. Dickstein is the President of the Washington Aviation Group, a Washington, DC-based aviation law firm. He represents several aviation trade associations, including the Aviation Suppliers Association, the Aircraft Electronics Association, the Air Carrier Purchasing Conference, and the Modification and Replacement Parts Association. He also represents private clients drawn from the spectrum of the aviation industry.

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