Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs)

Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) are the rules that govern aviation activities. The FARs outline the FAA requirements for skydivers, pilots and parachute riggers and are available for convenience in the Skydiver’s Information Manual, Section 9: FAA Documents (PDF).

Part 61—Certification: Pilots, Flight Instructors and Ground Instructors
This section establishes the qualifications and requirements for certificates and ratings, along with the privileges and limitations.

Part 65—Certification: Airmen other than Flight Crewmembers
Parachute riggers receive certification through this regulation.

Part 91—General Operating and Flight Rules
Flight operations for skydiving operations are conducted under Part 91.

Part 105—Parachute Operations
This section prescribes the rules governing parachute operations.

Part 119—Certification: Air Carriers and Commercial Operators
This section covers requirements for certification and operation of commercial operators; Section 119.1(e)(6) exempts parachute operations when flown within 25 miles of the airport.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation has the responsibility for regulating airspace usage in the United States. Concerning skydiving activities, the FAA fulfills this responsibility by specifically regulating certain aspects of skydiving and by relying upon the self–regulation of the participants through the guidelines and recommendations published by USPA.

The FAA’s main responsibility is to provide for the safety of air traffic, as well as persons and property on the ground. The FAA does this by certificating pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers and parachute riggers and by requiring approval data for aircraft and parachutes. The agency has the authority to impose fines and suspend or revoke certificates it has issued. In the case of a skydiving violation, the FAA can fine the pilot, rigger, and the jumpers, as well as suspend or revoke the certificates of pilots and riggers.

The FAA relies upon self policing from within the skydiving community for most training and operational requirements.