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NPR 7900.3D
Effective Date: May 01, 2017
Expiration Date: May 01, 2024
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: Aircraft Operations Management

Responsible Office: Office of Safety and Mission Assurance

| TOC | ChangeHistory | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | Chapter8 | Chapter9 | Chapter10 | Chapter11 | Chapter12 | Chapter13 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | AppendixH | AppendixI | ALL |

Chapter 8. Aircraft Acquisitions and Dispositions

8.1 General

8.1.1 This chapter establishes policy for acquisition and disposition of all NASA aircraft, including UAS.

8.1.2 The Center's Aircraft Flight Operations organizations shall coordinate all aircraft acquisition and disposition actions with the cognizant Center Supply and Equipment Management Officer(s) in accordance with NPR 4200.1. [675]

8.1.3 In addition, transfer of aircraft between Federal agencies and disposal of aircraft, including exchange/sales by Federal agencies in accordance with 41 CFR Part 102-39, Replacement of Personal Property Pursuant to the Exchange/Sale Authority, shall be completed by GSA. [676]

8.2 Aircraft Inventory

8.2.1 All aircraft acquired by NASA for flight or the logistics support of aircraft operations are either in Active or Inactive status in accordance with the following definitions:

a. An Active Aircraft is an aircraft being actively operated in support of the Agency's missions, being modified or prepared to perform planned Agency missions, or temporarily removed from operations for maintenance.

b. An Inactive Aircraft is an aircraft being used as a parts aircraft, used as display, stored for developing requirements, or retained for the interim until final disposition.

8.2.2 In accordance with NPR 4200.1, Centers shall conduct annual physical inventories of Center-owned aircraft, including display aircraft, parts aircraft, and aircraft in flyable or non-flyable storage to determine the accuracy of the records and the PPES control system and adjustments made to ensure that financial statements are accurate. [677]

8.3 Aircraft Acquisition

8.3.1 Prior to acquiring aircraft and UAS that meet the Agency asset capitalization threshold established by NPR 9250.1, for operational use, the Mission Directorate, the Associate Administrator, or the Center Director shall submit an acquisition request to the HQ AMD, per Appendix I, along with a business case analysis in support of the aircraft acquisition, including the costs to purchase the aircraft and make it operational. [678] The Business Case Analysis may be in a format of choice, but shall contain sufficient detail to answer capital asset planning questions posed in OMB Circular A-11, (Aviation Business Case-ABC). [679] The purpose of the business case analysis is to determine the most economical acquisition alternative, over the life cycle of the program, in meeting stated aircraft requirements. The business case analysis also shall clearly link the aircraft acquisition to Agency strategic objectives and specific program/project goals and identify life-cycle budget requirements. [680] Typical acquisition alternatives include use of existing Agency aircraft, use of other agencies' aircraft, aircraft lease, aircraft rental, turn-key aircraft services, and procurement. Procurement of aircraft shall be conducted in accordance with established FAR and guidelines, including OMB Circular A-126, and initiated only after approval from the Director, Aircraft Management Division and after the alternatives below have been considered in the following order:

a. Use of available NASA aircraft resources.

b. Use of public aircraft owned by other Government agencies through loan or transfer.

c. Charter or lease of civil aircraft. [681] The acquisition of UAS that are below the Agency asset capitalization threshold shall be approved by the Center Director in accordance with documented Center process for UAS acquisition. [682]

a. Integral to the Center UAS acquisition process shall be an affirmation statement that the mission of the UAS, resources required, and the oversight burden are aligned with Center and Agency objectives and goals. [683]

b. Mission Directorate concurrence with the UAS mission requirements shall be documented and the Center Director approval of the UAS acquisition forwarded to HQ AMD. [684]

c. The Center process for acquisition of below-threshold UAS shall be evaluated for compliance during Inter-Center Aircraft Operations Panel (IAOP) Reviews. [685]

8.3.2 In completing the requirements of Appendix I, the program/project manager shall coordinate with the Center Environmental Management Office to determine whether the proposed aircraft acquisition requires preparation of an environmental assessment. [686]

8.3.3 The Director, Aircraft Management Division (AMD) reviews and approves aircraft acquisition requests, including long-term aircraft leases, after coordination and consultation with the appropriate Mission Directorate Associate Administrator, the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, and the Office of International and Interagency Relations (if DoD related).

8.3.4 Mission Directorates shall establish and Centers endorse the requirements and funding level for each aircraft assigned to support their programs and approve the program/project managers' acquisition requests prior to submission to HQ AMD. [687]

8.3.5 The HQ AMD coordinates and assists Mission Directorates, program/project managers, and Centers with acquisition, assignment, and disposition of all aircraft. AMD shall enter all acquired aircraft into the Federal Aircraft Interactive Reporting System (FAIRS). [688]

8.3.6 Centers shall record all acquired aircraft in the NASA Equipment Management System (Plant, Property, and Equipment System (PPES)) in accordance with NPR 4200.1. [689]

8.3.7 Centers shall register all aircraft, including UAS but excluding parts and DoD-loaned aircraft, with the FAA. [690]

8.4 Aircraft Materiel Acquisition Procedures

8.4.1 "Parts Aircraft" Acquisition. The program/project manager or Center Director shall notify the HQ AMD prior to acquisition of an aircraft whose intended use is for "parts aircraft." [691] In addition to all applicable Federal regulations, acquisition of aircraft whose intended use is for "parts aircraft" are subject to the following procedures:

a. Centers shall remove the data plates from all aircraft acquired solely for parts purposes and forward the data plates to HQ AMD for disposition. [692]

b. Centers shall enter parts aircraft into each respective Center's property inventory records, in accordance with NPR 4200.1. [693]

c. Centers shall dispose of parts aircraft within 5 years of initial acquisition unless otherwise extended by AMD. [694]

d. Prior to operating any aircraft that were acquired for parts purposes, Centers shall submit a request to activate an aircraft as outlined in 8.2.1. [695]

8.4.2 Aircraft Materiel Acquisition. Aircraft materiel, such as spare parts, shall be acquired, managed, and controlled in compliance with NPR 4100.1 and 41 CFR Part 102-33. [696] Aircraft materiel will be maintained under proper storage, protection, maintenance procedures, and recordkeeping throughout their life cycles.

8.4.3 Flight Safety Critical Aircraft Parts (FSCAP) and Life Limited Parts. For as long as FSCAP or Life Limited Parts are used or kept by NASA, the documentation that accompanies those parts shall be maintained and kept updated. [697] When FSCAP and Life Limited Parts are disposed, the up-to-date documentation shall accompany the parts. [698] The Criticality Code of an FSCAP shall be maintained and perpetuated on all property records and reports of excess. [699]

8.4.4 Dual Use Military FSCAP. Dual-use military FSCAP may be used on nonmilitary aircraft operated under restricted or standard airworthiness certificates if the parts are inspected and approved for such installation by the FAA. Guidance on such use is provided in FAA Advisory Circular 20-142, CHG 1, Eligibility and Evaluation of U.S. Military Surplus Flight Safety Critical Aircraft Parts, Engines, and Propellers.

8.5 Aircraft Disposition

8.5.1 NASA aircraft are usually unique, highly modified aircraft used to meet a requirement or capability not readily available in the marketplace. It is NASA policy to expeditiously disposition those Inactive Aircraft without mission requirements to reduce the Agency's infrastructure footprint and associated logistics support burden. Unless extended or waived by AMD, all Inactive Aircraft shall be dispositioned within 5 years of inactive status in coordination with Center Logistics. [700] Disposal of NASA aircraft identified as artifacts or heritage assets shall be in accordance with NPR 4310.1. [701] Aircraft disposition shall be coordinated and approved in advance by HQ AMD. [702] Loans of NASA Aircraft to External Organizations. External loan agreements shall be reviewed by the Center's Chief Counsel, other Center officials as appropriate, and approved by the Center Supply and Equipment Management Officer (SEMO), in accordance with NPR 4200.1. [703]

a. When the concurrence of the authorizing official has been obtained and the loan is to be made external to NASA, the SEMO will determine the appropriate method for accomplishing the loan.

b. Aircraft loaned externally by NASA for display, even when done as part of the NASA Exhibits Program, shall be accompanied by a loan agreement signed by the Center SEMO. [704] Exchange/Sale. An exchange/sale generally occurs when a NASA organization desires to replace or upgrade an item of property. NASA aircraft can be exchanged or sold, but shall be coordinated with the General Services Administration (GSA). [705]

a. Requests accompanied by written justifications shall be coordinated through the NASA AMD and the NASA Property Disposal Officer (PDO) as outlined in NPD 4300.1. [706]

b. In addition, the following conditions apply:

(1) The property exchanged or sold is similar to the property acquired.

(2) The property exchanged or sold is not excess or surplus, and a continuing need exists for similar property.

(3) The property exchanged or sold was not acquired for the principal purpose of exchange or sale.

(4) When replacing personal property, the exchange allowance or sales proceeds from the disposition of that property can be used only to offset the cost of the replacement property, not services.

c. Aircraft with an FAA Certificate of Airworthiness. When an aircraft that has an FAA Certificate of Airworthiness is removed from the inventory, the Certificate shall be removed from the aircraft and forwarded to the HQ AMD for disposition, unless the aircraft is transferred to another Government agency that intends to operate it or it is sold through GSA to a civil operator. [707]

8.5.2 Aircraft without an FAA Certificate of Airworthiness. When an aircraft is removed from the inventory that is not capable of obtaining an FAA Certificate of Airworthiness or is deemed by the Center's Flight Operations Office to be unsafe for civil use, the manufacturer's data plate shall be removed and forwarded to HQ AMD for disposition. [708] Every effort will be made to ensure that aircraft parts that are not FAA certified are kept out of circulation.

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