NBAA presses government to change 'archaic' regulation that restricts aircraft use by overseas citizens

The US government's Office of Management and Budget has completed its review of proposed changes to Department of Transportation (DoT) regulation Part 375, which oversees the operation in the USA of foreign civil aircraft.

These are defined as non-military, either foreign-registered or US-registered aircraft owned, controlled or operated by persons who are not citizens or permanent residents of the USA.

The review was prompted by pressure from the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), which argues that a growing number of its members have become frustrated at the restrictions imposed by the regulation.

Many operators of private, foreign-owned aircraft registered in the USA say Part 375 is archaic and is restricting their businesses by not allowing companies to take advantage of aircraft interchange agreements permitted under Federal Aviation Regulation Part 91, Subpart F governing these private operations.

The restriction applies to a US company that is either headed by a non-US citizen or where the majority of the board of directors are not US citizens. These companies cannot gain access to business aircraft owned and operated by a US parent or affiliate as any interchange will be deemed commercial, according to Doug Carr, NBAA corporate secretary.

"These members are questioning whether they are getting full value out of their business aircraft if their affiliates cannot use it," says Carr. He adds that opposition to the proposed changes has come from a "major US airline", which argues that altering the regulation will allow foreign carriers to gain access to US markets through the back door. "This is simply nonsense," Carr says.

The DoT is expected to make the amended rule available for public comment by the end of 2004.


Source: Flight International