1. What orders or regulations govern the obstruction evaluation process? Where can I find this information?
Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 77, Safe, Efficient Use and Preservation of the Navigable Airspace, is the federal regulation governing the obstruction evaluation process. FAA Order 7400.2, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters, Part 2, contains the process and procedures the FAA uses to conduct an aeronautical study and/or a discretionary review. We strongly recommend you review both of these documents, which are available on this website, prior to submitting a petition.
2. What action is available to me if I disagree with an issued determination?
You may submit a request for discretionary review of the determination to the FAA. The FAA has discretion to grant or deny a request.
3. Where do I send my petition for processing?
Manager, Airspace Policy & Regulation
800 Independence Ave., SW.
Washington, DC, 20591, or
Facsimile: (202) 267-9328
4. Is there a form, or specific format I must use to submit a petition?
No, there is no form. However, the petition must contain a full statement of the aeronautical basis on which the petition is made, and must include new information or facts not previously considered or presented during the aeronautical study, including valid aeronautical reasons why the determination, revisions, or extension made by the FAA should be reviewed.
The petition must also include your name, address, phone and FAX number and email address.
For example, if you believe an FAA order, directive or regulation was not considered or appropriately applied in the study, or you have information that would change the outcome of the study, please include it. In effect, your request for discretionary review is a request to reverse a federal government decision, and one that we take very seriously. Your petition should include compelling evidence or data that would support a reversal of the aeronautical study.
5. Are there any criteria that must be met for my petition to be considered?
Yes. Specific criteria for the submission of petitions are found in Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations section 77.39 (available on this website).
The FAA must receive the petition within 30 days after the issuance of the determination (NOTE: We do not consider a petition that is postmarked within the timeframe to meet these criteria. In addition, if this date falls on a day when the federal government is closed, the petition must be received by the FAA by the next day the government is open.).
The request for review must be of an aeronautical nature.
6. Is there a deadline for submission of a petition?
Yes. We must receive your request for discretionary review within 30 days after the issuance date of the determination. This requirement is set by law, and we make no exceptions. If the FAA offices are closed on the 30th day, then it is your responsibility to submit the petition by the next day the government is open. And although the IRS considers submission to be timely if they are postmarked on the due date, the FAA does not. Again, we must receive the petition within 30 days after the issuance of the determination.
7. Will I receive any notification that a petition has, or has not been filed?
Only when a petition for review is received by the FAA, are the sponsor and petitioner notified in writing, or telephone that the determination is not final pending disposition of the petition. Every effort is made to contact the sponsor prior to the day the determination becomes final (40 days after issuance).
8. How long does it take to process a petition?
There is no regulatory requirement that mandates a time period for review. However, we make every effort to process requests within 6 months of receipt of the request. The FAA will notify both the sponsor and petitioner of the request for discretionary review, and will provide a name and phone number that you can contact should you have any questions.
9. How many petitions are submitted every year? How many determinations are reversed?
In 2018, the FAA received nearly 160,000 OE cases. During that year, the FAA was petitioned 12 times. There were 5 Invalid petitions received and 7 Valid. Discretionary Review was completed on 6 of these Valid petitions and the original determinations issued have been Affirmed. The Discretionary Review revealed that the Obstruction Evaluation Group followed all of the current procedures in issuing the determinations and the petitioner did not provide any new facts or information that would change the basis on which the original determinations were made. 1 valid petition is still pending.
10. Who can I contact if I have more questions about this process?
Airspace Policy & Regulation, at (202) 267-8783, or OEPetitions@faa.gov.