Airplane ride sharing services such as AirPooler that connect pilots with passengers willing to share fuel costs and other travel expenses aren’t operating legally, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
Arranging such travel is equivalent to a charter flight, which requires additional licenses and regulatory oversight, the FAA said in an Aug. 13 letter to a lawyer for AirPooler. The letter was in response to a request from AirPooler on whether its pilots needed commercial licenses.
The FAA’s legal interpretation rejects the idea that these air travel services simply amount to cost sharing rather than commercial aviation operations. The pilots or the company may face FAA enforcement action should they continue.
The legal opinion is consistent with prior rulings the FAA has made, according to the letter.
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AirPooler was founded in 2013 by Steve Lewis and Andy Finke with the idea of making general aviation more affordable, according to the company’s website.