Fractional Aircraft Owners--Operational Control Without a License

According to the authors of this article (Paragraph No. 35,401), fractional aircraft ownership is the aviation industry's version of time-share property ownership. Fractional ownership programs are the most successful businesses in the aviation industry in the last 10 years. The September 11 terrorist attacks only temporarily slowed the growth of fractional ownership, although they stunted the growth of traditional air commerce. Fractional program managers run fleets made up of dozens of large, sleek turbo-jets, frequently owned by businesses and individuals in shares as small as 1/16. Fractional aircraft provide hours of executive transport on demand, with all the flexibility afforded by the Federal Aviation Administration's General Aviation Operating Rules at 14 CFR Part 91. It was no wonder that certificated On Demand Charter Operators, who carry the same passengers on the same aircraft under stricter rules of Part 135 asked the FAA to do something. The FAA has responded. It responded the way any agency deals with something new and successful--by regulating it. The authors explain that the FAA still is in the business of promoting air commerce. The new rule gave the growing fractional program industry almost everything it wanted. But to satisfy the concerns of many--that fractional programs were simply private shared, on-demand charters--the FAA imposed new fractional regulations that are similar to those found in Part 135. According to the authors, perhaps some of the most important features of the new rule are its explicit requirements regarding the assumption of "Operational Control" by fractional owners. The authors analyze the FAA requirement that fractional owners expressly accept civil liability and regulatory responsibility for fractional flights they direct. Thus, people and businesses who do not even hold a certificate from the FAA--and who often have no aviation training or aeronautical experience--now are jointly responsible with fractional program managers for airworthiness and the safe operation of the flight, the authors warn.

  • Corporate Authors:

    International Aviation Law Institute

    DePaul University College of Law, 25 E Jackson Boulevard
    Chicago, IL  United States  60604
  • Authors:
    • Kolcynski, Phillip J
    • Jones, Valerie Dunbar
  • Publication Date: 2004


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Transfer Binder 1: 2001 to 2004
  • Pagination: pp 22301-22322
  • Monograph Title: Issues in Aviation Law and Policy

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01150723
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 17 2010 12:06PM