The FAA today published its Final Rule regarding Hazmat training requirements for certain air carriers and commercial operators. According to the FAA, it “is updating its regulations because hazmat transportation and the aviation industry have changed significantly since the FAA promulgated its hazmat regulations over 25 years ago. The rule will set clear hazmat training standards and ensure uniform compliance with hazmat training requirements.” The final rule also discusses the comments received to the initial NPRM and the changes to that NPRM contained in the final rule.
“The final rule establishes a two-pronged training program–one for part 121 and part 135 operators electing to transport hazmat (will-carry certificate holders), and the other for part 121 and part 135 operators electing not to transport hazmat (will-not-carry certificate holders). Will-carry certificate holders will have to conduct in-depth training for persons directly supervising or performing any of the following job functions involving items for transport on aircraft–acceptance, rejection, handling, storage incidental to transport, packaging of company materials owned or used by the certificate holder (known as COMAT), and loading…Will-not-carry certificate holders will be required to conduct training sufficient to enable the persons directly supervising or performing a TRF to identify material marked or labeled as hazmat, or material that is not marked or labeled as hazmat but possesses indicators that it might contain hazmat.”
With respect to Part 145 repair stations, the final rule requires repair stations to submit a certification to the FAA that all hazmat employees are trained under the hazardous materials regulations prior to the FAA issuing a certificate and requires a repair station to notify each of its workers of the will-carry or will-not-carry status of the part 121 or part 135 operators for which the repair station works as soon as it is informed of the part 121 or part 135 operator’s status and to “verify receipt of the notification and communicate this status to its employees, contractors, or subcontractors that handle or replace aircraft components or other items regulated by 49 CFR parts 171 through 180 prior to performing work for, or on behalf of the part 121 or part 135 operator.”
Under the final rule, a special federal aviation regulation (“SFAR”) is established that contains all current part 121 and part 135 hazmat training regulations that would be replaced by the changes contained in the final rule. The SFAR will exist for a 15 month transition period during which time certificate holders certificated on or before November 7, 2005 will be responsible for bringing their hazmat training programs into full compliance with the new regulations and, in the meantime, will be able to continue to comply with the current requirements or elect to comply with the new requirements.
The effective date for the rule is November 7, 2005 and the SFAR will expire February 7, 2007, which is also the deadline for compliance. If you would like more information on the rule you can contact Janet McLaughlin, Office of Hazardous Materials, ADG-1, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-8434.