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Private Jet Charter: Identifying the Right Provider
Almost every company in the private air industry claims to have the best safety standards. But how can a customer really determine what defines high standards? Below is a general guideline to consider when working with any private jet provider. FAA Documentation A charter company must have a valid FAA Part 135 air taxi certificate which authorizes it to fly for hire. Sometimes companies attempt to fly under the less strict Part 91 regulations. These rules have far less FAA oversight, and as a result, the liability of the passenger is increased. Therefore, it's important to ask for a copy of the FAA air taxi certificate, and under which regulations your flights will be flown.
Insurance Insurance can provide a great deal of information about a charter company. Typical limits are $25mm for a small jet, $50mm for a mid-sized, and $100mm for a large jet. Along with the FAA certificate, prospective flyers should ask for proof of adequate insurance. Third-party Verification Essential data about the aircraft operator can be obtained from an industry auditing company. One leading company in this field is Aviation Research Group (ARG/US).
A charter customer should ask their private jet provider for an ARG/US TripCHEQ prior to booking. Pilot Experience Does the provider have minimum standards for pilot hours? Are the assigned pilot’s hours verified prior to the flight? Both answers should be yes- pilot hours are verified time that a pilot has spent operating an aircraft. It is an indicator of experience, and is easy to obtain. In addition to the audit rating, prior to every trip, the private jet provider should verify the assigned pilots' flight hours on the specific jet type. Operational Control This is an essential aspect of safety, yet knowing whose jet you're flying on isn't always clear-cut. Many customers book a private jet through a well-known jet provider, but are placed - without knowing it - on a small independent one they know nothing about. If outsourcing occurs, your private jet provider should be able to ensure that the operator who maintains operational control meets high safety standards.
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