VI.A.3. Subpart G - Manual Requirements
Manual requirements: Contents and personnel:
Under subpart G of part 121 certificate holders are required to
prepare and keep current a manual containing policies, procedures,
applicable regulations, and other information necessary to allow
crewmembers and ground personnel to conduct the operations properly
(see § 121.133 and § 121.135). While the requirements of parts 121
and 135 are similar, part 121 manual requirements contain a more
extensive list of manual contents (§ 121.135). Under part 121 the
manual or appropriate parts must also be furnished to more personnel,
such as aircraft dispatchers and flight attendants, and made available
to others, such as station agents. Notice 95-5 stated that the effect
of these differences between compliance with part 121 versus
compliance with part 135 would be significant for commuter operators.
The proposal would require developing, producing, and distributing
new manuals appropriate to part 121. In addition, § 121.137 requires
the air carrier to issue a manual or appropriate parts to each
crewmember and requires each crewmember to keep the manual up to date
and have it with him or her when performing assigned duties. Part 135
does not require that flight attendants be issued a manual; however,
it does require that any person to whom a manual is issued must keep
it up-to-date (see § 135.21).
Comments: Fairchild Aircraft states that § 121.137 would require
at least one copy of the manual specified by § 121.133 to be carried
in the airplane and that this is a reasonable proposal that they fully
support. Fairchild Aircraft also states that
§ 121.141(b)(2) contains a reference to "rotorcraft" which should be
ALPA states that the key to an efficient, safe airline operation
can normally be found in the manuals developed by the airline. ALPA
supports the FAA in adopting all facets of Subpart G. ALPA also
states that § 121.135(b)(2) should be amended by removing, "in the
case of supplemental air carriers and commercial operators," so that
the paragraph reads: "Duties...of the ground organization, and
management personnel." According to ALPA, the requirement to include
in the manual duties and responsibilities of management personnel
would no longer be applicable only to supplemental and commercial
operators since proposed part 119 requires management personnel for
all certificate holders.
One commenter states that § 121.133 should require compliance
with the certificate holder's manuals.
Metro International Airways states that the cost of new manuals
would be excessive for small businesses and that an outline of
procedures would be a more useful reference than a highly detailed
FAA Response: All but one of the comments received regarding the
manual requirements support the implementation of Subpart G of part
121. Only one comment regarding the costs associated with the manuals
required by § 121.131 was received.
Additionally, the FAA has received requests from certificate
holders that would like to begin the process of transition prior to
implementation of the rule. This would allow those certificate
holders to spread the cost of manual production and distribution over
a longer period of time. The question of phased-in-implementation is
not unique to this issue and is addressed elsewhere in this document.
The FAA agrees with ALPA's suggestion to revise the wording of §
121.135(b)(2). This is not a substantive change from Notice 95-5
because § 119.65(e) also requires that manuals contain the duties and
responsibilities of required management personnel. The FAA also
agrees with Fairchild's suggestion to delete the word "rotorcraft"
from § 121.141(b)(2). These recommendations are appropriate. In the
final rule §§ 121.135(b)(2) and 121.141(b)(2) are revised accordingly.
In response to the comment that § 121.133 should require
compliance with the certificate holder's manual, the holder of an air
carrier certificate with operations specifications to operate under
part 121 must comply with the regulations in part 121 (and other
applicable regulations). Requirements for preparing and maintaining a
manual serve the purpose of supplying information to personnel.
Information in the manual must be accurate and consistent with the
regulations. Since the manual may also include company policy and
guidance to personnel, all portions of the manual are not enforceable
as regulations. The language of the manual requirements does,
however, imply that the certificate holder must adhere to all of the
contents of the manual and that the certificate holder's personnel
must use the manual in conducting operations.
In response to the comment that the manual requirements will be a
burden for small businesses and that an outline of procedures would be
more helpful to personnel, small certificate holders are already
meeting the manual requirements of part 135; this rulemaking requires
an update of manuals and broader distribution of the manuals. An
outline of procedures could be used as guidance in addition to the
manuals or as part of a manual, but under current part 135 it would
not suffice as meeting the manual requirements.
In the final rule § 121.133 has been revised to update the