Operating Regulations

NBAA Exemption – Small Aircraft Exemption

By November 3, 2020 September 1st, 2022 No Comments
NBAA Small Aircraft Exemption

The NBAA Exemption (Exemption 7897K), also known as the NBAA Small Aircraft Exemption, was renewed and now extends until March 31, 2022.


FAR 91.501 applies to operation of large (aircraft of more than 12,500 pounds, maximum certificated takeoff weight) airplanes (an engine-driven fixed-wing aircraft heavier than air, that is supported in flight by the dynamic reaction of the air against its wings) of U.S. registry and turbojet-powered multiengine civil airplanes of U.S. registry when they are not required to be operated under FAR Parts 121, 125, 129, 135, or 137.

Exemption 7897K is an exemption granted by the FAA for exemptions from FAR 91.409(e) and FAR 91.501(a) to allow NBAA and its members to operate small civil airplanes and helicopters of US registry under the operational rules of 91.503 – 91.535 and to also select an inspection program as described in FAR 91.409(f).


Operators Must Register Prior to Operating Under Exemption

The FAA wants to know which parties are operating under the exemption so it can conduct appropriate oversight and so that the FAA can identify and prevent unauthorized parties from operating under the exemption.

To accomplish the FAA’s goal, the FAA adds a new Condition and Limitation 2 to the Exemption.  It requires NBAA members who want to operate under the exemption to submit a Notice of Joinder to FAA Exemption 7897K prior to conducting any operation under the exemption.

How to Register under the NBAA Exemption

Effective 6 months after the effective date (by September 27, 2020) the Notice of Joinder must be electronically submitted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal.

NBAA  created an online tool to assist its members in complying with the new requirement.

What to include in the Notice of Joinder to FAA Exemption No. 7897K

The Notice of Joinder to FAA Exemption No. 7897K must include all of the following:

  • The person’s name and, for a person other than an individual, the name of the authorized representative submitting the Notice of Joinder
  • The person’s physical address and, for a person other than an individual, the physical address for the authorized representative. If the person or the authorized representative does not receive mail at the physical address provided, a mailing address must also be provided
  • The person’s email address or, for applicants other than individuals, the email address of the authorized representative
  • The person’s telephone number(s)
  • The person’s NBAA membership number
  • A request that the FAA add the person to the list of NBAA members authorized to utilize Exemption 7897K
  • An attestation that the person will not conduct any operation under Exemption 7897K if the person ceases to be a member of NBAA
  • An attestation that the person will comply with all conditions and limitations of Exemption 7897K

Operations Under Exemption Outside The US

The FAA reviewed ICAO Annexes 1 through 19 and FAA determined that the exemption would be in compliance with ICAO Standards so the FAA added a new Condition and Limitation 7 to allow operations under the exemption outside of the United States, the District of Columbia, or any territory or possession of the United States unless otherwise prohibited by a foreign country.


Most of the rest of the conditions and limitations from the prior exemption remain applicable.  They are:

Term and Condition 1 – Know What Operations are Allowed

  • Only operations in FAR 91.501(b)(1) through (7) and (9) may be conducted under the exemption. Those operations must be conducted in compliance with the operating rules in FAR 91.503 through 91.535. Aircraft operated under the authority of this exemption must use an inspection program listed in FAR 91.409(f).  Helicopter operations are not required to comply with the flight altitude rules of FAR 91.515(a), provided the operations comply with the minimum safe altitude requirements in FAR 91.119.

Term and Condition 3 – Remember to Notify the FSDO

  • You must notify the appropriate Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) that the operation will be conducted under the exemption prior to your first operation and you must provide the FSDO a copy of the time-sharing, interchange, or joint ownership agreement under which each aircraft is being operated, if appropriate.
  • Each agreement must include the aircraft registration number of each aircraft involved so make sure your documents reflect your current N# if you have changed your N#.

Term and Condition 4 – Remember the Logbook Entry

  • An entry must be made in the AFS-20-131833-E aircraft logbook showing the provisions of Part 91, subpart F, under which the aircraft is being operated.

Term and Condition 5 – Submit your Inspection Program to the FSDO

  • Make sure your inspection program has been submitted to and approved by the appropriate FSDO.

Term and Condition 6 – No Part 135 Operations under the NBAA Exemption

  • The exemption does not authorize any operation required to be conducted under the rules of Part 135.

Exemption 7897K provides operational options for small aircraft and helicopters, however it is important to follow all of the terms and conditions.

Michelle M. Wade is a partner with the law firm of Jetstream Aviation Law and counsels’ clients on the acquisition, financing and operation of corporate jets operated under Part 91 and Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.  Jetstream Aviation Law can be found at www.JetstreamLaw.com.

The information provided here is not legal advice and does not purport to be a substitute for advice of counsel on any specific matter. For legal advice, you should consult with an attorney concerning your specific situation.

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