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How are FARs and SOPs related?

Date: May 18, 2019

MEC Safety, Health & Security Committee

We’ve received a number of questions from Flight Attendants seeking to understand the difference between a Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) and a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).   In reviewing these questions, we are learning there may be a misperception that SOPs are, in some way, less of a priority or “weighted less” in terms of compliance requirements than FARs.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In point of fact, whether a FAR or SOP, it must be complied with because safety is non-negotiable. 

Did you know? The entire contents of the electronic Flight Attendant Operations Manual (eFAOM) is prepared in accordance with Federal Aviation Regulations and most safety policies are designed and written with operational safety and compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations in mind.   The entire eFAOM is accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Flight Attendants are expected to follow all safety procedures as outlined in the eFAOM.

In the event you have a question about any SOP or FAR, you are always advised to follow the direction in your eFAOM. Should a question arise, we recommend that you contact your Local Safety Committee to seek additional background on your concerns.  Your Local Council has access to the additional resources at the MEC level of our Union to obtain the desired clarity or to work to seek a revision to any policy which leads to a compromise of safety.

Safety, it’s not negotiable.  It is our highest priority.

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