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14 CFR Ch. I (1–1–18 Edition) 

Pt. 11, App. 1 






















1. What is an ex parte contact? 

‘‘Ex parte’’ is a Latin term that means 

‘‘one sided,’’ and indicates that not all par-
ties to an issue were present when it was dis-
cussed. An ex parte contact involving rule-
making is any communication between FAA 
and someone outside the government regard-
ing a specific rulemaking proceeding, before 
that proceeding closes. A rulemaking pro-
ceeding does not close until we publish the 
final rule or withdraw the NPRM. Because 
an ex parte contact excludes other interested 
persons, including the rest of the public, 
from the communication, it may give an un-
fair advantage to one party, or appear to do 

2. Are written comments to the docket ex parte 


Written comments submitted to the docket 

are not ex parte contacts because they are 
available for inspection by all members of 
the public. 

3. What is DOT policy on ex parte contacts? 

It is DOT policy to provide for open devel-

opment of rules and to encourage full public 
participation in rulemaking actions. In addi-
tion to providing opportunity to respond in 
writing to an NPRM and to appear and be 
heard at a hearing, DOT policy encourages 
agencies to contact the public directly when 
we need factual information to resolve ques-
tions of substance. It also encourages DOT 
agencies to be receptive to appropriate con-
tacts from persons affected by or interested 
in a proposed action. But under some cir-
cumstances an ex parte contact could affect 
the basic openness and fairness of the rule-
making process. Even the appearance of im-
propriety can affect public confidence in the 
process. For this reason, DOT policy sets 
careful guidelines for these contacts. The 
kind of ex parte contacts permitted and the 
procedures we follow depend on when the 
contact occurs in the rulemaking process. 

4. What kinds of ex parte contacts does DOT 

policy permit before we issue an ANPRM, 
NPRM, Supplemental NPRM, or immediately 
adopted final rule? 

The DOT policy authorizes ex parte con-

tacts that we need to obtain technical and 
economic information. We need this informa-
tion to decide whether to issue a regulation 
and what it should say. Each contact that in-
fluences our development of the regulation is 
noted in the preamble. For multiple contacts 
that are similar, we may provide only a gen-
eral discussion. For contacts not discussed in 
the preamble, we place a report discussing 

each contact or group of related contacts in 
the rulemaking docket when it is opened. 

5. Does DOT policy permit ex parte contacts 

during the comment period? 

No, during the comment period, the public 

docket is available for written comments 
from any member of the public. These com-
ments can be examined and responded to by 
any interested person. Because this public 
forum is available, DOT policy discourages 
ex parte contacts during the comment pe-
riod. They are not necessary to collect the 
information the agency needs to make its de-

6. What if the FAA believes it needs to meet with 

members of the public to discuss the proposal? 

If the FAA determines that it would be 

helpful to invite members of the public to 
make oral presentations to it regarding the 
proposal, we will announce a public meeting 
in the F




7. Are any oral contacts concerning the proposal 

permitted during the comment period? 

If you contact the agency with questions 

regarding the proposal during the comment 
period, we can only provide you with infor-
mation that has already been made available 
to the general public. If you contact the 
agency to discuss the proposal, you will be 
told that the proper avenue of communica-
tion during the comment period is a written 
communication to the docket. 

8. If a substantive ex parte contact does occur 

during the comment period, what does FAA do? 

While FAA tries to ensure that FAA per-

sonnel and the public are aware of DOT pol-
icy, substantive ex parte contacts do occa-
sionally occur, for example, at meetings not 
intended for that purpose. In such a case, we 
place a summary of the contact and a copy 
of any materials provided at the meeting in 
the rulemaking docket. We encourage par-
ticipants in such a meeting to file written 
comments in the docket. 

9. Does DOT policy permit ex parte contacts the 

comment period has closed? 

DOT policy strongly discourages ex parte 

contacts initiated by commenters to discuss 
their position on the proposal once the com-
ment period has closed. Such a contact at 
this time would be improper, since other in-
terested persons would not have an oppor-
tunity to respond. If we need further infor-
mation regarding a comment in the docket, 
we may request this from a commenter. A 
record of this contact and the information 
provided is placed in the docket. If we need 
to make other contacts to update factual in-
formation, such as economic data, we will 
disclose this information in the final rule 

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