Part 13 Regulatory Update – Highlights Relating to Adjudication

On October 1, 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published new rules in the Federal Register that will become effective on November 30, 2021. The new rules amend subparts A, C, D, E, and G. Subpart D concerns informal hearings provided by the Office of Adjudication. Subpart G concerns formal hearings provided by the DOT Office of Hearings. The FAA Office of Adjudication will continue receiving administrative appeals under subpart D and subpart G.

Changes to Subpart D

Before the recent amendment, subpart D provided the rules of practice for informal FAA hearings involving legal certain FAA-issued certificates, hazardous materials violations by any person, and other types of enforcement actions. Under the new rule, subpart D no longer applies to hearings for emergency orders of compliance issued under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act because Part 109, DOT Hazardous Material Procedural Regulations, now provides the procedures for this process.

Other amendments to subpart D recognize the role and function of FAA's Office of Adjudication and provide for the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures.

This final rule:

  • consolidates sections relating to filing and service;
  • updates addresses;
  • allows for filing and service by fax and email;
  • clarifies the discovery process and modifies the subpoena rule;
  • consolidates and incorporates the appeal procedures previously stated in other subparts of part 13 into subpart D; and
  • contains new procedures in § 13.67 that expedite the review process for emergency orders issued under § 13.20.

The Federal Register notice contains a detailed discussion of the new rule.

Changes to Subpart G

Subpart G provides the rules of practice in FAA civil penalty actions. Just as with subpart D, this final rule amends subpart G to recognize the FAA's Office of Adjudication, the use of mediation as an ADR procedure, and the addition of fax and email as options for filing and service. This final rule also codifies the current practice of treating timely petitions to reconsider initial decisions as appeals to the FAA decisionmaker. Additionally, this final rule requires a party applying for a subpoena to show the general relevance and reasonable scope of the evidence sought by the subpoena. The rule also discontinues the practice of publishing initial decisions and other non-precedential case documents in the Federal Docket Management System but does not change the practice of publishing precedential orders from the Administrator in administrative appeals. Other changes codify existing practices and create consistency within subpart G.

The Federal Register notice contains a detailed discussion of the new rule.

Last updated: Friday, October 01, 2021