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United States Department of TransportationUnited States Department of Transportation

Regulations Division

Legal Interpretations & Chief Counsel's Opinions

In 2019, the Office of the Chief Counsel revised its policy addressing requests for legal interpretations of FAA regulations. Before 2019, the number of requests for interpretations steadily grew each year and represented a significant volume of submissions to process. In reviewing these incoming requests, the Office of the Chief Counsel determined that a substantial number did not raise questions of legal interpretation but rather about a rule’s applicability to a described set of facts or sought background, research, or explanation of existing regulatory requirements. The Office of the Chief Counsel reviews every request for interpretation and determines whether the question raises a novel, legal issue that warrants an interpretation. For requests not found to warrant a legal interpretation, the Office of the Chief Counsel will tender the incoming request to the policy office best suited for a response, as appropriate. The policy office will determine on its own accord whether to provide any response. Nonetheless, the Office of the Chief Counsel reiterates that it welcomes submissions for interpretation while reserving its discretion on whether it should answer. 

Recent Interpretations Postings

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