Aircraft owners looking for unique structures to operate their aircraft under Part 91 may be enticed by some of the exemptions carved out under 14 C.F.R. §91.501, such as time-sharing agreements, interchange agreements, and joint ownership agreements.
However, the provisions of 91.501 are only available to owners of aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds or turbojet-powered multiengine aircraft. With the increasing popularity of aircraft such as the Pilatus PC-12, the Cirrus Vision jet, and other turboprop-powered airplanes and helicopters, we occasionally receive requests to structure operations to take advantage of 91.501 for aircraft that are not otherwise able to operate under this part.
Fortunately, these aircraft owners are not out of luck. The NBAA has obtained an exemption from the FAA to the applicability requirements for 91.501 through FAA exemption number 7897L. This exemption allows NBAA members to operate their aircraft under the unique structures allowed in 91.501 without needing to own large, or multi-jet powered airplanes. Aircraft owners that wish to use this exemption must be members of the NBAA and must submit a Notice of Jointer to FAA Exemption No. 7897L. There are several additional formalities which must be observed as well, prior to taking advantage of this exception, but for owners that need unique solutions to operating their aircraft, joining this exemption can open new doors for aircraft operations.
For owners of lighter airplanes and helicopters looking to partner with other entities or share expenses with other parties without needing to obtain a Part 135 certificate, joining the NBAA exemption can provide exciting new avenues to legally share expenses on their aircraft. We are happy to speak with aircraft owners to help guide them through the process of obtaining this exemption and structuring their operations to benefit from the exemption’s advantages.
The information in this article is intended to highlight potential issues with aircraft ownership and operations and is therefore general in nature. Please feel free to contact one of our experienced aviation attorneys directly to discuss your specific business/personal needs.