FAA Outlines Hawaii Air Tour Safety Improvements
News Release from FAA, Friday, August 4, 2023
WASHINGTON - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is moving to improve Hawaii air tour safety.
The agency has outlined a consistent new process where air tour operators can receive authorization to safely descend below specific altitudes to avoid flying into bad weather.
“This process will help prevent situations where pilots encounter poor visibility and become disoriented,” said David Boulter, the FAA’s Acting Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety.
FAA regulations require Hawaii air tour operators to fly at least 1,500 feet above the surface unless they have authorization to fly lower. The new process provides detailed guidance to help operators develop safety plans to support their authorization requests.
The proposed new process includes recommendations for pilot training and qualifications and aircraft equipment. The FAA will thoroughly review each operator’s safety plan before issuing an authorization.
The public will have 30 days to comment on the new process, which would take effect in spring 2024. It would replace an outdated, 15-year-old manual.
The FAA also encourages Hawaii air tour operators to adopt Safety Management Systems while the agency works on a rule that would mandate these programs.
Additionally, all operators must follow the provisions of Air Tour Management Plans for Hawaii National Parks.
R: US FAA proposes improvements to Hawaii air tourism safety
AP: FAA sets up new process for Hawaii air tour operators to fly at lower altitudes after fatal crashes | AP News