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Advisory Committees

Advisory Committee – Defined by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of Title 5 United States Code (5 U.S.C.) Appendix 2 as any committee, board, commission, council, conference, panel, task force, or other similar group, or any subcommittee or other subgroup, that is established or utilized by the federal government to obtain advice or recommendations and is not composed solely of full-time or permanent part-time federal officers or employees.

Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) –States that unless specified by a law or presidential directive, advisory committees must be used solely for advisory functions. It includes requirements on advisory committee procedures, meetings, publication of notices in the Federal Register, annual reports, federal officer or employee attendance, and recordkeeping requirements.

Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) – A formal standing advisory committee that is subject to FACA and provides the FAA with information, advice, and recommendations, concerning rulemaking activity for topics such as aircraft owners and operators, airman and flight crewmembers, airports, maintenance providers, manufactures, public citizens and passenger groups, and training providers.

It consists of representatives from aviation associations, aviation industry, public interest groups, advocacy groups, foreign civil authorities, and FAA, that oversees the administration of all ARAC activity, including subcommittee and working group activities.

Subcommittee(s) – Consists of individuals with technical expertise in a specific subject area. The FAA assigns tasks that relate specifically to the subject area. The subcommittee may form a working group to perform a specific task.

Working group – Consists of individuals who volunteer and are chosen to complete a specific task. Working groups are ad hoc and therefore temporary in nature.

Tasking Notice – A detailed description of the issue(s) assigned to a working group who are to analyze and provide recommendations. It contains directions to the working group about the workload, specific deadlines, and expected deliverables. The tasking notice must be published in the Federal Register.

Rulemaking Committees

Rulemaking Committee – Unique to the FAA under the authority of Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.) section 106(p)(5). A rulemaking committee is exempt from FACA requirements, but the FAA must adhere to Administrative Procedure Act requirements if the activities affect a rulemaking project.

Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) – A rulemaking committee that provides information, advice and recommendations to the FAA. The FAA has the sole authority to establish and task ARCs, which are not subject to FACA and therefore somewhat more flexible. ARCs are formed on an ad hoc basis, for a specific purpose, and are typically of limited duration.

Charter – A document that contains the objectives and the scope, information about the workload, specific deadlines, and expected deliverables of the assigned tasks to the ARC. Only the Administrator is allowed to issue a charter. It is optional to publish the charter in the Federal Register.