General Aviation & Commercial Division

The General Aviation and Commercial Division is responsible for regulations and policy development governing the training, certification, inspection, and surveillance of General Aviation (GA) airmen, flight instructors, GA air agencies (pilot schools), commercial operations (rotorcraft, external-load, agricultural, banner tow, Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 125 operators, part 91, corporate, business, personal and recreational (aviation events, experimental aircraft, parachute, and ultralight operations), part 91 subpart K fractional ownership (part 91K)), and public aircraft operations.

The division is the focal point for the aviation community at the national level on matters pertaining to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations, including remote pilot certification requirements. The division is also the FAA focal point and co-chair for the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (USHST, a regional partner of the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST)).

The division is also responsible for safety outreach and the National FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam.) The FAASTeam’s mission is to “Lower the Nation's aviation accident rate by conveying safety principles and practices through training, outreach, and education; while establishing partnerships and encouraging the continual growth of a positive safety culture within the aviation community.”

The division:

  • Develops and recommends national policies, standards, systems, procedures, and program plans to include international operation activities.
  • Determines the need for, justifies, and formulates new or amended regulations and supplementary regulatory material; participates in regulatory review programs; recommends grants or denials of exemptions; and develops applicable operations specification and other authorizations and waivers available in WebOPSS.
  • Advises Flight Standards Service, the Associate Administrator, and other principal officials, and serves as a central point of contact for the public and the aviation community on matters appropriate to the national level.
  • Participates in the analysis and evaluation of field execution of programs.
  • Determines the need for and recommends research and development (R&D) projects.
  • Guides and assists the other divisions and other elements of the agency in the implementation and conduct of related programs, and provides guidance on applying agency policies, standards, and procedures pertaining to safety issues.
  • Develops, coordinates, and issues national directives to provide technical guidance on policies and procedures.
  • Recommends, initiates, and coordinates regulatory and policy actions to resolve safety problems resulting from accidents, incidents, or other sources.
  • Provides direction and support to the Regulatory Support Division regarding General Aviation & Commercial Division's areas of responsibility, as they relate to defining and managing delegation programs, regulations, policies, and procedures.
  • Provides liaison between FAA and other offices for GA issues regarding airspace rules, air carrier interface, pilot certification, human factors, and other vital topics.
  • Facilitates and coordinates concerns of the aviation community to assure GA views are considered in air traffic rules and aviation safety regulatory actions. Works with the GAJSC, IHST, and USHST to develop data-supported risk-based mitigation strategies to reduce the GA accident rate.
  • Oversees the environmental responsibilities for all of the Flight Standards Service (AFS).
  • Liaises with the Transportation Security Administration, Department of Justice, and other agencies on security issues related to pilot certification.
  • Participates and is a member of international panels and groups, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, European Aviation Safety Agency, and Transport Canada.
  • Develops and implements policies and procedures related to the FAASTeam and aviation safety outreach.

Division Groups


Phone: (202) 267-1100

Last updated: Monday, July 24, 2023