Preapplication Phase

This phase starts when a prospective applicant first inquires about or requests an application for an air carrier or air operator certificate. This phase can be initiated by individuals or organizations and may be in writing, or in the form of informal meetings with district office personnel. We provide you with the documentation to file for this phase.

You will be invited to view an orientation video at the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO). During this initial preapplication meeting, basic information and and general certification requirements will be discussed.
We will then submit FAA Form 8400-6, Preapplication Statement of Intent (PASI). Once this form has been submitted to the FSDO, your name will be placed in line for a formal application meeting. This may take weeks or months, depending on the workload of the FAA
FSDO office.

The purpose of the preapplication meeting, and any additional meetings prior to the formal application meeting is to ensure that you fully understand the certification process and all requirements that will need to be met.

While waiting for your formal application meeting, the FAA will assign principal inspectors to meet with you and serve as the certification team to review and direct the certification process. Because UAS certifications are a new form of Part 135, personnel from the FAA national headquarters are also assigned to the process.

Formal Application Phase

The formal application phase begins when the formal application and all the required documents are received by the FAA certification team.

Items that must be submitted include:

  • Formal Application Letter
  • Schedule of Events
  • Compliance Statement
  • Company Manuals GOM
  • Flight and Corporate Training Program
  • Management Qualification Attachments (Resumes)
  • SAS Element Design Assessment Tools (ED-DCT’s)
  • Proposed Operations Specifications

Demonstration and Inspection Phase

FAA regulations Part 135 requires that you demonstrate the ability to comply with regulations and safe operating practices before starting operations. These demonstrations will be observed by FAA inspectors assigned to your certification. During this phase, the FAA will be evaluating the effectiveness of your policies and procedures as described in your manuals and other documents. The FAA will be especially focused on how effective your key management personnel are in executing their job functions.

The following list provides examples of the types of items, equipment, facilities, and activities evaluated during the demonstration and inspection phase:

  • How you conduct training and testing (classroom, UASs)
  • Flight operations facility(s) (equipment, procedures, and personnel)
  • Record keeping procedures (flight and duty times, training, etc.)
  • Operational Control (flight following and flight locating)
  • Maintenance and inspection programs (procedures, record keeping, training)
  • Maintenance facilities (personnel, procedures, technical information, parts, etc.)
  • Aircraft (conformity inspection, aircraft maintenance records, etc.)
  • Weight and balance program (procedures, accuracy, and document control)