A Boston based website, Flytenow, which connected pilots with people willing to share their charter flights, was shut down in December. Federal courts ruled against flight sharing services similar to Uber and Lyft saying these types of charter flights violate FAA regulations. People sharing these flights did not pay for tickets, rather, they only shared fuel and fee costs with the pilot.
The FAA argued that this type of service was similar to a commercial common carrier because its flights were open to the public. The problem is private and commercial pilots and aircraft have to go through different types of regulations.
They also shut down a few other flight-sharing websites.
Flytenow argued that these types of plane sharing flights have been going on for decades.
All aircraft operators that are legal for public charter must have an Aircraft Operating Certificate (AOC) and that certificate must be approved through the relevant aviation authority. Here in the US, that authority is the FAA and the information regarding this AOC is under part 135 of the FAA regulations. Hence, we refer to them as Part 135 operators.
The FAA has the authority to oversee the operations of these Part 135 operators. They hold the operator to a very high level of standards, and hold the certificate holder accountable for their actions or omissions. Pilots of these operators undergo extensive training at least every six months. These pilots are also subject to regular flight reviews from senior pilots, must be type-rated in their …