Media Center

What is a part 121 carrier?

A Part 121 carrier is a regularly scheduled air carrier. Typically large, U.S.-based airlines, regional air carriers, and cargo carriers operating under 14 CFR Part 121 must be certified as such through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

In addition to scheduled air operators, the FAA provides designations for private operators (Part 91), foreign air carriers and foreign registered operators of U.S. aircraft (Part 129), and commuter and on-demand operators (Part 135), among others. 

Carriers are required to comply with a number of FAA requirements and safety standards based on their part certification, as well as manage risks related to hazards in their operating environment. Of the many regulations for Part 121 carriers, two recent rules mandate that commercial airlines retrofit existing aircraft and OEMs update capabilities of their models moving forward: the Fuel Tank Flammability Reduction (FTFR) rule and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B Out) mandate. 

Part 121 Carriers and the FTFR Rule

Passed by the FAA in 2008 after the TWA 800 accident that resulted in more than 200 fatalities, the FTFR rule requires affected passenger aircraft flying within or into the U.S. and operating under FAR Part 121 to implement one of two solutions for reducing fuel tank flammability: a flammability reduction means such as nitrogen inerting or an ignition mitigation means. Aircraft must be manufactured or retrofitted to meet the FTFR rule to avoid being grounded. 

The FTFR rule required airlines to install solutions in a number of aircraft models by the end of 2010: 737s, 747s, 767s, 777s, Airbus A300s/A310s, models in the A320 family, A330s, and A340s. Airlines were required to retrofit 50% of affected aircraft with an approved system by 2015, and to achieve compliance for their remaining aircraft by 2018.

To help Part 121 carriers and other operators achieve FTFR rule Compliance, AerSale® developed AerSafe®: a proprietary aircraft fuel tank ignition mitigation solution approved by the FAA for Airbus 319, 320, and 321 series, and Boeing 767, 737 NG, and 737 Classic series operators.

Learn more about the FTFR rule, the difference between nitrogen inerting systems and ignition mitigation solutions, and how AerSafe satisfies the FAA mandate with less cost and downtime.

Part 121 Carriers and the ADS-B Out Mandate 

ADS-B uses GPS signal tracking to enhance navigational accuracy. A key component of the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) includes the shift away from radar in favor of ADS-B. ADS-B’s precise tracking enables more direct flight plans—reducing time, costs, and emissions—and expands navigational coverage to remote areas previously beyond radar range.

The FAA’s ADS-B Out mandate requires that Part 121 carriers and other aircraft operating in airspace defined in 14 CFR § 91.225 be equipped with an ADS-B Out system that meets the rule’s minimum performance requirements. Read more about the performance requirements outlined in 14 CFR § 91.227

With the mandate’s January 1, 2020 deadline quickly approaching, now is the time for Part 121 carriers and other affected operators to secure an FAA-approved ADS-B Out solution. Whereas FTFR rule systems differ in design—some use nitrogen, whereas solutions like AerSafe leverage cost-effective, maintenance-free foam inserts—ADS-B systems share the same core functionality. The key differences are in cost, installation time, and lead time. 

FAA approved for Boeing 737 Classic, 737 NG, 757-200, and 777-200 series aircraft, AerSale’s AerTrak® solution for ADS-B Out compliance makes equipping your fleet with this NextGen functionality easier than ever. AerTrak seamlessly integrates with most existing avionics and cockpit controls, as well as Boeing 737 Classic, 737 NG, 757-200, and 777-200 series aircraft fitted with any OEM transponder/Multi-Mode Receiver (MMR) combination. Learn more about AerTrak’s easy installation, cost savings and short lead time ahead of the January 1, 2020 FAA deadline.

Download our AerTrak ADS-B out solution checklist.

The Power of Integrated Solutions for Part 121 Carriers

As the commercial aviation and technology landscapes continue to evolve, it’s more critical than ever for Part 121 carriers to partner with an integrated solutions provider who can streamline and optimize every aspect of their fleet’s performance. By choosing an aircraft services partner with robust MRO, sales and leasing, parts manufacturing, asset acquisition, and aircraft supply chain expertise, commercial airlines can navigate new regulatory developments with more value and less downtime.

Contact AerSale today to discover how our experts keep Part 121 carriers flying high at every stage of the aircraft life cycle—from fleet growth to service life, FAA mandates, and aircraft retirement.

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic
Subscribe to Blog