Airplane-side-on-runwayFAR Part 135 and Part 91 operators move within two distinct worlds within the common realm of aviation regulations. Each one embodies a different aviation mission and has its own set of rules and requirements.

What is a Part 135 Operator?

RAI Jets is an example of an FAA Part 135 Certified Non-Scheduled Air Carrier that offers “on-demand” flights. Certified Air Carriers have a hefty responsibility for getting their passengers to their destinations safely and on time.

Part 135 operators meet many rigorous requirements and operational and safety standards from the FAA before obtaining the FAA-issued Air Carrier certificate. It may take up to two years to get an Air Carrier Certificate approved by the FAA; only then can they operate as commercial jet charter company.

Under the watchful eye and frequent inspections and oversight from the FAA, Part 135 operators must comply with many requirements for:

  • Crew requirements, including number of people needed, flight hours and qualifications
  • Crew training on specialized equipment and operations
  • Record-keeping
  • SMS (Safety Management System)
  • Aircraft maintenance
  • Operational control (responsibility) for the flight
  • Safety equipment
  • TSA safety program requirements and annual inspections

As for the exact requirements they must meet, it usually depends upon the type of flight and the specifics of it.

What is a Part 91 Operator?

The designation of FAR Part 91 applies to private flights and includes recreational flying, corporate flights, and personal transportation. Corporate flight departments typically qualify as FAR Part 91. Part 91 operators are not required to obtain an Air Carrier Certificate and therefore have far less FAA oversight with operational procedures including flight planning, scheduling, and the overall operation of their aircraft.

Unlike Air Carrier ventures, Part 91 operators must take responsibility and monitor their own operation to stay in compliance with FAA requirements. It is up to the Part 91 operator to ensure that their aircraft is air worthy, and their crew is certified with sufficient flight hours and a clean safety record.

Part 91 operators should be vigilant not to inadvertently engage in in illegal dry leasing, which is the transport of passengers in certain circumstances that would require an Air Charter Certificate. If an individual “Dry Leases” the aircraft from a Part 91 aircraft owner, the individual assumes the responsibilities of the Part 91 Operator (Operational Control). In the eyes of the FAA and insurance companies, they become responsible for all aspects of the aircraft and the crew, including violations of FAA compliance.  This is the pitfall that often leads to illegal operations.   The individual leasing the aircraft often doesn’t understand and/or is not able to comply with the responsibilities of an Operator with Operational Control.

What Do They Have in Common?

Both operations help transport folks from point A to point B, and both must maintain a safe aircraft, operated by a safe crew.

Both FAR Part 135 and Part 91 offer options for everyone to enjoy the fun and excitement of aviation. So next time you need reliable aircraft maintenance for your jet, remember RAI Jets at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport. We can help your aircraft meet all FAA requirements for your aircraft, whether you operate under FAR Part 135 or Part 91.

The RAI Service Center is a Part 145 Repair Station  that maintains aircraft for BOTH Part 135 and Part 91 operators.  We offer Inspection Authority (IA) and Airframe and powerplant (A&P) inspections, as well as maintenance for jets of all sizes.