DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
On March 29, 1995, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on "Commuter Operations and General Certification and Operations Requirements" (Notice No. 95-5; 60 FR 16230.) In Notice 95-5, the FAA proposed that commuter operations conducted in airplanes with 10-30 passenger seats be conducted under the domestic or flag rules of part 121 of title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Currently, scheduled passenger- carrying operations in airplanes with passenger-seating configurations of over 30 seats or more than 7,500 pounds payload capacity are conducted under part 121. Scheduled passenger-carrying operations in airplanes with passenger-seating configurations of 30 seats or less and 7,500 pounds or less payload capacity are conducted under part 135. Part 121, which provides the safety requirements for all major air carriers (as well as for any certificate holder conducting scheduled or nonscheduled operations with airplanes configured with more than 30 passenger seats), is generally considered to have more restrictive requirements than part 135.
The regulatory changes were introduced in order to address the continually changing needs of the industry and to fulfill the agency's statutory requirement. This is the final rule, based on Notice 95-5.