Avionics News October 2019 - 43

make sense for eVTOL and UAM operations? Might it
make more sense to have managers familiar with electric
technology, especially for the maintenance function?
Wing Aviation requested an exemption from certain
Part 119 management personnel qualifications. The
exemption was denied, with the FAA saying no
exemption is required because the regulations allow for
deviations. Technically, that is true - ยง119.71 allows
an operator to request a deviation to the experience
requirements, which the FAA may approve if the
agency finds the person has "comparable experience."
However, in reality, it is difficult to get local FAA
offices to approve a waiver on management personnel
qualifications.
This is one area that should be looked at from a
higher level with a broader application than individual
scenarios, especially considering the workforce
challenges much of the aviation industry already faces.
It might be more appropriate for management personnel
- even just the director of maintenance - to have more
experience with electric motors and batteries than Part
135 operations.
Air Traffic
Wing Aviation requested a number of exemptions
related to airspace and air traffic rules. The FAA
declined to approve those exemptions, saying they are
not necessary because waivers are permitted by Part 91
and are available through the air traffic system.
It seems untenable for each operator to apply for
individual waivers, so as more companies of either UAS
or eVTOL aircraft become operational, a longer-term,
broader-scope solution is likely needed.
Pilot in command definition
Who or what is the pilot in command? An updated
concept of pilot in command and "crew member"
will be required for simplified and heavily automated
commercial operations, with the pilot in command made
up of some combination of an in-aircraft operator (for
simplified operations), ground/operations personnel
(especially for heavily automated operations), facility
personnel, and the vehicle itself.
The Wing Aviation exemption allowed the operator
to assign certain responsibilities typically held by the
pilot in command to other personnel. Wing Aviation
refers to these individuals as visual observers and nest
managers. The FAA established certification and training
requirements for the pilot in command, visual observers
and nest managers, including Part 107 remote pilot
certificate for visual observers and nest managers, plus

specific training for all three personnel.
One challenge presented by the Wing Aviation
exemption is a one aircraft to one pilot ratio. Each
aircraft must have a pilot in command who remains
the pilot in command for the duration of the flight. In
future operational models including autonomous flight
technology, a one-to-one ratio is undesirable and would
unnecessarily inhibit growth of the industry.
Passenger Compliance
Future operations, especially heavily automated
operations with no company employee in the aircraft
during the flight and some others, might face challenges
ensuring or proving passenger compliance with a number
of regulations. Parts 91 and 135 both require passengers
to comply with a number of requirements. A few of these
include prohibitions on carrying narcotics, dropping
items from the aircraft, and carriage of intoxicated
passengers. Parts 91 and 135 also address passenger
requirements regarding use of seat belts and child
restraint systems.
Part 121 airline policies and procedures might set
a precedent for ensuring passenger compliance. For
example, at check-in, passengers must verify they are not
carrying hazardous materials or other items, including
narcotics and weapons, prior to being issued a boarding
pass. This is often done electronically through an app,
website or ticket kiosk, but is sometimes done by ticket
agent personnel at the airport.
These are only a handful of the operational issues that
will need to be addressed prior to fully implementing
eVTOL commercial endeavors. The industry, FAA
and DOT will have to work together to address these
challenges by establishing consensus standards.
Resolutions will likely come in many forms, including
individual exemptions, new operations specifications,
FAA-approved training programs and ATC waivers.
Inspector guidance, as found in the Flight Standards
Information System, will undoubtedly need significant
revisions to address the operational environment
presented by eVTOL aircraft and UAM.
The FAA's willingness to tackle these challenges
head-on has been impressive. The Division of
Aircraft Certification Service Policy and Innovation,
as well as other divisions, are actively participating
in conversations with industry to ensure safe
implementation of these new technologies.
While resolving these issues will require significant
industry and government collaboration, current
engagement levels from both sides indicate practical
solutions are on the horizon. q
avionics news

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Avionics News October 2019

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