“The Federal Aviation Administration is formally deliberating on whether amateur pilots can use apps and websites to trade extra seats on flights they’ve planned in exchange for gas money,” Josh Constine reports for TechCrunch. “Amateur pilots aren’t allowed to profit from flying passengers, but several startups like Flytenow have set up private plane ridesharing sites, akin to Zimride for the sky.”
“Now, one startup called AirPooler has submitted an official request for legal interpretation to clear up the grey area, and confirms the FAA is expected to take a stance within its traditional 120 day window to respond,” Constine reports. “Until then, AirPooler has ceased listing flights on its site.”
“The FAA has historically prohibited private pilots from acting like taxis out of concern for safety,” Constine reports. “Commercial pilots and their planes are held to stricter “common carriage” safety standards because they’re so viscerally taking other people’s lives in their hands. Pilots typically only use word of mouth or other low-tech means of asking around if anyone wants to fly with them. There’s just too much risk of corner-cutting if they’re allowed to chase profits.”
Much more in the full article here.