§ 23.13 - How does the Department issue guidance, interpretations, exemptions, and waivers pertaining to this part?
(a) Only guidance and interpretations (including interpretations set forth in certification appeal decisions) consistent with this part 23 and issued after April 21, 2005, express the official positions and views of the Department of Transportation or the Federal Aviation Administration.
(b) The Secretary of Transportation, Office of the Secretary of Transportation, and the FAA may issue written interpretations of or written guidance concerning this part. Written interpretations and guidance are valid, and express the official positions and views of the Department of Transportation or the FAA, only if they are issued over the signature of the Secretary of Transportation or if they contain the following statement:
The General Counsel of the Department of Transportation has reviewed this document and approved it as consistent with the language and intent of 49 CFR part 23.
(c) You may apply for an exemption from any provision of this part. To apply, you must request the exemption in writing from the Office of the Secretary of Transportation or the FAA. The Secretary will grant the request only if it documents special or exceptional circumstances, not likely to be generally applicable, and not contemplated in connection with the rulemaking that established this part, that make your compliance with a specific provision of this part impractical. You must agree to take any steps that the Department specifies to comply with the intent of the provision from which an exemption is granted. The Secretary will issue a written response to all exemption requests.
(d) You can apply for a waiver of any provision of subpart B or D of this part including, but not limited to, any provisions regarding administrative requirements, overall goals, contract goals or good faith efforts. Program waivers are for the purpose of authorizing you to operate an ACDBE program that achieves the objectives of this part by means that may differ from one or more of the requirements of subpart B or D of this part. To receive a program waiver, you must follow these procedures:
(1) You must apply through the FAA. The application must include a specific program proposal and address how you will meet the criteria of paragraph (d)(2) of this section. Before submitting your application, you must have had public participation in developing your proposal, including consultation with the ACDBE community and at least one public hearing. Your application must include a summary of the public participation process and the information gathered through it.
(2) Your application must show that -
(i) There is a reasonable basis to conclude that you could achieve a level of ACDBE participation consistent with the objectives of this part using different or innovative means other than those that are provided in subpart B or D of this part;
(ii) Conditions at your airport are appropriate for implementing the proposal;
(iii) Your proposal would prevent discrimination against any individual or group in access to concession opportunities or other benefits of the program; and
(iv) Your proposal is consistent with applicable law and FAA program requirements.
(3) The FAA Administrator has the authority to approve your application. If the Administrator grants your application, you may administer your ACDBE program as provided in your proposal, subject to the following conditions:
(i) ACDBE eligibility is determined as provided in subpart C of this part, and ACDBE participation is counted as provided in §§ 23.53 through 23.55.
(ii) Your level of ACDBE participation continues to be consistent with the objectives of this part;
(iii) There is a reasonable limitation on the duration of the your modified program; and
(iv) Any other conditions the Administrator makes on the grant of the waiver.
(4) The Administrator may end a program waiver at any time and require you to comply with this part's provisions. The Administrator may also extend the waiver, if he or she determines that all requirements of this section continue to be met. Any such extension shall be for no longer than period originally set for the duration of the program waiver.