The Special Programs Branch is the principal element in the division for all aging aircraft rulemaking projects to include enhanced airworthiness program for airplane systems (EAPAS), widespread fatigue damage (WFD), damage tolerance, repair assessment programs, corrosion prevention and control program, structural maintenance programs, and inspections and records reviews required by Congressional mandate. The Special Programs Branch also provides expert guidance in the areas of composite maintenance / repair, nondestructive inspection (NDI), commercial derivative military aircraft maintenance issues, and recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concerning airworthiness of aircraft. Branch activities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Provides technical assistance and support for special programs such as aging aircraft, rulemaking projects, damage tolerance, repair assessment programs, corrosion prevention and control programs, structural maintenance programs, Department of Defense (DoD) programs, commercial aerial refueling, unmanned aircraft systems, safety management systems, and other programs and/or reviews mandated by Congress.
- Provides technical support and guidance in the development of regulations, standards, policies and procedures, letters, notices, orders, handbook changes, and advisory circulars (ACs) in the branch’s areas of responsibility.
- Provides guidance for maintenance issues concerning the use of NDI, including applications and the qualification and training requirements of persons performing NDI.
- Sponsors and provides oversight of safety and educational programs related to its area of specialization for aging aircraft rulemaking projects to include EAPAS, WFD, damage tolerance, and repair assessment programs, a corrosion prevention and control program, and structural maintenance programs, and inspections and records reviews required by Congressional mandate.
- Represents the division in international meetings to further U.S. interests and to develop international standards and recommended practices. Participates as a member of policy boards, including interagency and industry workgroups to include national and international standards, procedures, and policies.
- Coordinates and develops responses to the NTSB safety recommendations involving airworthiness.
- Office of primary responsibility for policy and procedures for commercial derivative aircraft (CDA) operated by the U.S. Armed Forces in regards to maintaining airworthiness.
- Reviews, analyzes, prepares, and processes required reports; recommends amendments to regulations; grants or denies petitions for exemption and rulemaking; and participates in rulemaking, as related to branch functions.
- Develops guidance materials and presentations to upper management and industry groups to present Flight Standards positions across other lines of business.
Federal Aviation Administration Headquarters
Program Management and Information Branch, AFS-320
5th Floor, 950 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W.
Washington, DC 20024