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To avoid possible interruption of air carrier operations, FAA encourages airport operators to submit certificate applications and Airport Certification Manuals (ACMs) early.

Airport operators wanting to apply for an Airport Operating Certificate (AOC) must initiate the application process, as prescribed in � 139.103. Typically, the AOC application process is as follows:

  • The airport operator wanting to apply for an Airport Operating Certificate (AOC) contacts the appropriate FAA Regional Airports Division Office to initiate the application process.
  • The Regional Airports Division Office interviews the airport operator to obtain information about the airport and air carrier operations served (or anticipated to be served).
  • If FAA determines that a certificate is necessary, FAA staff will provide the airport operator with an application for certification (FAA Form 5280-1, Application for Certificate) and guidance materials.
  • The airport operator submits a completed application (as specified under � 139.103) to the Regional Airports Division Office for approval. The application package must include two copies of the airport's proposed ACM and written documentation as to when air carrier service will begin. Any requests for exemptions should be submitted at this time (as specified under � 139.111).
  • The FAA reviews the application and associated documentation to ensure they are complete and might conduct an inspection of the airport for compliance with the requirements of Part 139. The FAA will work with the airport operator to tailor the ACM to ensure compliance with revised rule and might request changes to the ACM and any procedures it describes.
  • As FAA reviews the application and ACM, FAA staff will contact the airport operator to discuss whether additional action is needed and to what extent air carrier operations can continue until an AOC is issued.
  • The FAA will issue an AOC if the application and other required documentation meets the provisions of Part 139 and any inspection shows the airport operator is in compliance with Part 139. The certificate may include other provisions FAA finds necessary to ensure safety in air transportation.