FAA Seeking Public Comments on Proposed Policy Change

The agency seeks comments on a proposed policy change to protect airspace for emergency operations when an aircraft engine fails during departure.

The FAA has announced it is seeking public comment on a proposed policy change that would protect airspace for emergency operations when an aircraft's engine fails during departure. According to the FAA, the proposed policy change "strikes a balance by providing the option to designate one path for all airlines to use when one engine inoperative (OEI) procedures are needed."

FAA's current evaluation plan assesses the takeoff path of airplanes to ensure it is free of any obstruction. However, the current evaluation system only considers the takeoff path for planes with both engines operating, and airlines are required to establish their own flight path that is free of obstructions in the event an engine fails. The proposed change would allow stakeholders the option to invite FAA to assist with the planning for a single departure path for OEI operations for all carriers.

According to the FAA, the agency "managed a successful pilot program at five airports (MIA, LAS, PHX, DCS, BOS) that faced constrained departure paths. The FAA led the stakeholders to solutions that worked for all parties."

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