FOR OPERATING UNDER
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The Certification Process
Generally, with few exceptions, if a person provides air transportation of persons or property for
compensation or hire, that person must become certificated as an operator under Part 119 of
the Federal Aviation Regulations. This certification package was developed by Flight Standards
personnel to assist individuals desiring to become certificated in a minimum amount of time.
Most first time applicants are initially intimidated by the certification process. This is due, in part,
to the large amount of information provided to an applicant in the initial certification meeting.
Actually, the certification process is not difficult if an applicant takes it one step at a time. The
following information is tailored toward an applicant conducting on-demand intrastate
operations, visual flight rules, 9 passengers or less, utilizing only one pilot (single pilot operator)
under Part 119 and 135. Applicants who wish to conduct a more complex operation such as
interstate operations, scheduled service, instrument flight rules or use multiple pilots will find
this information provides a solid basic foundation, but will need to develop additional documents
to become certificated.
Instructions For Completing Submissions
We recommend applicants review the following information, complete the required documents,
and submit a complete package to the Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) having jurisdiction
over your area. This will help expedite the certification process. To complete the package use the
following highlighted sections as a checklist. Those sections that contain sample documents,
programs, or forms will be hyperlinked. Down load and/or print each hyperlinked section as
necessary. Sample letters and programs will need to be modified to reflect your individual
information. All documents were created in Word or Acrobat PDF format. When all the required
sections are complete or if you need any additional assistance please contact the FSDO nearest
Advisory Circular 120-49:
This advisory circular provides an overview of the certification process. Each applicant should
review this document during the initial stages of the certification process.
PASI (Preapplication Statement of Intent):
The PASI must be completed by all applicants and submitted to the FAA. A blank form is
provided. Detailed instructions for completing this form can be found in Appendix 1 of AC120-
Formal Application Letter:
A formal application letter must be completed by all applicants and submitted to the FAA. A
sample letter is provided. Choose the correct Flight Standards Office and fill in the required
information as indicated. Additional information detailing the contents of a formal application
letter can be found in AC120-49.
All applicants need to review the Operations Specifications work sheet. Enter the person(s)
who will have authority to sign operations specifications for the applicant in A007. Complete
the information contained in A008, A009 & A010 and submit. This information will be used to
develop the Operations Specifications.
Letter of Compliance:
A letter of compliance (LOC) or compliance statement must be developed by all applicants
and submitted to the FAA. The development of the LOC is normally the most time consuming
portion of the certification process. Currently, many FAA offices are requiring the compliance
statement to address FAR Parts 91, 110, 119 and 135. Some of this does not apply to Part
135 operations but responding with "Not applicable" is inadequate. A reason why the
requlation does not apply must be addressed.
If a corporation makes the application, the FAA must have a copy of the Certificate of
Incorporation by the State and any accompanying documentation to evaluate the eligibility of
Pilot Resume to Include Total Pilot Hours:
All applicants must submit a pilot resume in the certification package indicating their work
history and flying experience to meet Part 135 requirements.
Pilot Certificate & Medical Certificate:
All applicants must provide a copy of the pilot certificate and medical certificate for pilots
utilized during initial certification.
Exclusive Use of One Aircraft:
Applicants must have exclusive use (135.25(b) and (c)) of at least one aircraft (6-month
minimum) for for at least one kind of operation authorized in the certificate holder's
operations specifications. All applicants must provide a copy of the aircraft registration for the
aircraft to be used and a copy of a lease agreement if the applicant does not own the aircraft.
HazMat Procedure Manual & Training Program:
All Title 14 CFR part 121 and 135 operators are required to provide training on the
identification of hazardous materials to their personnel. The requirements for part 121 and
part 35 operators to receive approval and/or acceptance of the hazardous materials manual
and training program have significantly changed. SFAR-99, which previously contained
procedures associated with hazardous materials training program and manual contents
expired on February 7, 2007. Previously used templates have been replaced by specific code
You will also need the "Guide To Preparing Hazardous Materials Incidents reports"
(5800guid.pdf) and the "DOT Chart 16 Hazardous Materials Marking, Labeling & Placarding
Guide". You can order copies of DOT Chart 16 by writing to: OHMIT/DHM-51, Washington, D.C.
20590 or by phone: (202) 366-4900.
Drug and Alcohol Program:
All applicants must provide a drug and alcohol program to be approved by the FAA. Go to the
Drug Abatement Home page for more information.
Ground Deicing Program & Training:
Applicants intending to operate aircraft in ground icing conditions must develop a training
program for approval. Information on developing a ground de-icing program is provided.
Seat Removal Training:
Applicants wanting the pilot to install and remove seats in the aircraft under the provisions of
Part 43.3(i) must submit a seat removal-training program to be approved. A sample seat
removal training program is provided.
If the applicant requests any deviations where the rule allows it (Parts 119.69, 135.21, and
135.341) must be submitted to the FAA for evaluation in letter form.
Any exemption requests by an applicant must be accomplished in accordance with Part
Minimum Equipment List:
If the applicant wishes to operate with inoperable equipment it may only be accomplished in
accordance with a MEL. Master Minimum Equipment MMEL) Lists can be found at the FAA's
Master MEL site.
Passenger Briefing Card:
Applicants must provide a passenger briefing card for each occupied passenger seat.
Information is provided for the development of passenger briefing cards.
Aircraft Discrepancy Log:
All applicants must develop an aircraft discrepancy log to be utilized by the pilot. An aircraft
discrepancy record is provided or the applicant may develop one.
Pilot Training and Flight & Duty Records:
All certificate holders are required to keep documentation of training and flight and duty
times. We provide sample forms for recording flight and duty time and pilot training or the
applicant may develop their own.
Appropriate D.O.T. Economic Authority:
If the applicant conducts interstate operations (across state line) or transports mail they must
apply for economic authority from the Federal DOT. (Not required for "Operating Certificate").
Aircraft Conformity Inspection:
Aircraft being utilized in Part 135 operations must undergo a conformity inspection by the
FAA. The purpose of an aircraft conformity inspection is to verify that your aircraft conforms
to its type design and is configured/bridged to your approved program and operations. Refer
to FAA Order 8900.1, Volume 10, Chapter 9 Section 1, Aircraft Configuration Control
Document, for more information
Pilot Flight Check:
Each pilot will undergo a checkride conducted by the FAA to evaluate the pilots knowledge,
skills and abilities to act as pilot in command under Part 135 operations.
General Operations Manual:
Applicants that utilize more than one pilot in their operation will need to submit a General
Operations Manual (GOM) containing the information required by Part 135.21.
Applicants that utilize more than one pilot in their operation will need to submit a Training
Program for approval containing the information required by Part 135.341.
Other Required Personnel Resumes:
All applicants using more than one pilot must submit a resume for each person holding a
required management position indicating their work history and flying experience to meet Part
119 and 135 requirements.
Flight Standards Information Management System FSIMS:
The FSIMS is referred to as 8900.1 and directs the activities of operations Aviation Safety
Inspectors (ASI) who are responsible for the certification, technical administration, and
surveillance of air carriers and certain other air operators who conduct their operations in
accordance with Parts 121 and 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. It is a multi-volume
set of handbooks. Volume 2 Chapter 4 describes the certification process for Part 135
operators and Volume 3 Chapter 19 defines the requirements for training programs under
Parts 135 and 121. The entire 20 volume set is available on the internet at
The following information is used by FAA Inspectors as guidance information during the
certification process. This information would be very valuable for the applicant to review.
The Generic Process for Certificating Organizations, from FAA Order 8900.1, Flight Standards
Information Management System (FSIMS), Volume 2, Chapter 1.
From FAA Order 8900.1 (FSIMS), Volume 2, Chapter 4, The Certification Process - Title 14 CFR
• Section 1 -- Preapplication
• Section 2 -- Formal Application
• Section 3 -- Design assessment
• Section 4 -- Performance Assessment
• Section 5 -- Administrative Functions
Part 135 Certification Guide