Public participation in the FAA's rulemaking process is the key to keeping general aviation accessible, secure, and affordable. And AOPA wants to ensure that process remains effective. The association has requested the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) expand that participation by making FAA orders and notices available for public comment.
"These FAA directives have a significant impact on the aviation community, and unlike advisory circulars and policy statements, they are issued without the benefit of public comment," said Luis Gutierrez, AOPA director of regulatory and certification policy. "For example, the FAA could make dramatic changes to the field approval process without allowing public comment."
FAA orders and notices spell out how the agency expects to carry out its responsibilities on a full range of activities, including pilot enforcement actions, development of airworthiness directives, and aircraft field approvals.
And even though these documents are intended to serve as workforce instructions, "they could inadvertently become rulemaking that bypasses regulatory development and review procedures," Gutierrez said.
AOPA is asking the OMB to remedy this by expanding the definition of a "significant guidance document," which would require the orders and notices be made available for public comment.
January 19, 2006