The FAA Part 121 Flight Locating Regulations have differences from Part 91 and Part 135 Flight Locating regulations and requirements. Under Part 125 of the FARs the Flight Locating regulations are basically the same for larger aircraft operating under Parts 91, 135 or 121. But in Part 121 since these are usually airlines with larger aircraft there are additional requirements and regulations. The addition of dispatch centers and flight following system are some of the differences.

FAA Part 121 Flight Locating Regulations

While the regulations are similar the FAA Part 121 Flight Locating regulations are re-termed for 121 air carriers as Flight Following System. This is primarily due to the enhanced hands on requirements for a Part 121 operator required by the FAA.

In a Flight Following system dispatchers are activity monitoring and following aircraft movement and providing updated information the flight crews or responding to their requests.

These aircraft that usually operate under FAA Part 121 Flight Locating regulations usually have ACARS which provides real time departure and arrival information as well of other information to/from the aircraft to ground dispatch centers for the operators.

These regulations are outlined below:

14 CFR 121.125

§ 121.125 Flight following system.

(a) Each certificate holder conducting supplemental operations must show that it has—

(1) An approved flight following system established in accordance with subpart U of this part and adequate for the proper monitoring of each flight, considering the operations to be conducted; and

(2) Flight following centers located at those points necessary—

(i) To ensure the proper monitoring of the progress of each flight with respect to its departure at the point of origin and arrival at its destination, including intermediate stops and diversions therefrom, and maintenance or mechanical delays encountered at those points or stops; and

(ii) To ensure that the pilot in command is provided with all information necessary for the safety of the flight.

(b) A certificate holder conducting supplemental operations may arrange to have flight following facilities provided by persons other than its employees, but in such a case the certificate holder continues to be primarily responsible for operational control of each flight.

(c) A flight following system need not provide for in-flight monitoring by a flight following center.

(d) The certificate holder’s operations specifications specify the flight following system it is authorized to use and the location of the centers.

[Doc. No. 6258, 29 FR 19195, Dec. 31, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 121-253, 61 FR 2611, Jan. 26, 1996]

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