The Commercial Operations Branch (AFS-820) is responsible for the operational aspects of 14 CFR part 91 (except for air traffic and aircraft maintenance rules). Additional operational responsibilities include aerial work and public aircraft operations, as well as private and commercial (non-air carrier) flights conducted in piston and turbine aircraft by individuals and companies under parts 91 and 125, fractional ownership program managers under part 91K, helicopter external load operators under part 133, and agricultural aircraft operators under part 137. The branch:

  • Ensures the initiation of appropriate corrective actions concerning FAA policies, procedures, standards, and operating practices, as a result of reviewing investigations and hearings resulting from GA accidents, incidents, and violations.
  • Participates on the FOEB and FSB.
  • Analyzes NTSB Safety Recommendations and Support Requests and prepares required responses on its findings following an accident investigation.
  • Responds to FAA Safety Recommendations from field offices and takes proper action.
  • Develops and carries out division policy pertaining to the Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) in coordination with AFS-200.
  • Evaluates and participates in development of classroom and flight training for GA Operations inspectors.
  • Develops and carries out rotorcraft policy, including agricultural and external-load operations policy.
  • Drafts and reviews applicable chapters of Order 8900.1 for operations under part 91, including subpart K, and parts 125, 133, and 137 (except for air traffic and aircraft maintenance rules).
  • Administers and oversees the headquarters (HQ) regional 4040 flight proficiency program.
  • Develops and implements policy concerning aerial work operations, such as banner towing and motion picture operations.
  • Works with Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) policy. Develops and implements NAFTA guidance and policy for FAA field offices.
  • Coordinates/participates on the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) and with the FAA co-chair of the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) to review/implement IHST/USHST recommendations.
  • Develops and implements policy related to public aircraft operations (except for airworthiness and maintenance policy).
  • Coordinates with AFS-400 and AFS-80 (as applicable) to develop and implement general aviation policy related to NextGen, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), performance-based authorizations, and emerging technologies.
  • Develops and implements regulations and policy regarding general aviation operations utilizing Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS) and night vision goggles (NVG).
  • Develops and implements policy related to Air Operator Organization Designation Authorizations (AO ODA).
  • Represents the division at Document Control Board (DCB) meetings.
  • Advises AFS-1, the Associate Administrator, and other officials on the public aircraft operations, NAFTA matters, and the operational aspects of parts 91, 91K, 125, 133, and 137.

Areas of Responsibility

55 M Street, S.E.,
Washington, DC 20003

Mailing Address:
Federal Aviation Administration
Commercial Operations Branch, AFS-820
800 Independence Avenue, S.W.,
Washington, DC 20591

Phone: (202) 385-9600
Fax: (202) 267-9597