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