Good News! Revised Guidance for Aerobatic Practice Areas and Contest Box Waivers

Bruce Ballew, IAC Government Relations Chair

On August 10, 2021, the FAA released revised guidance for getting an aerobatic practice area (APA) and an aerobatic contest box (ACB) certificates of waiver. The new guidance reflects many positive changes and clarifications on recurring issues related to APAs and ACBs. Kevin Raymond, the FAA Team Leader, is responsible for getting the final version out and included the IAC, and me during the revision process at every step of the way.

Part of the change included where the new guidance can be found. It is still in 8900.1, Volume 3, however it is now in chapter 6 (not chapter 5), sections 4 (APA), and 5(ACB). Below are the main highlights of the changes;

  • APA and ACB guidance now found in 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 6, sections 4 and 5, respectively,
  • Change to APA/ACB guidance Highlights
  • Requires FAA to begin processing 7711-2/EID within 30 days of receipt by the FAA
  • Addresses overlapping APA’s and coordination requirements,
  • Clarifies a federally funded airport's obligation to operate the airport for the use and benefit of the public and make it available for all types, kinds and classes of aeronautical activity without granting an exclusive right.
  • EID’s shall be forward to the environmental guys within 15 days of receipt
  • Recognizes that APA access is not limited to those listed in Block 10 of the 7711-2, and
  • Encourages the use the FAA’s Aviation Events Specialists (AES’s) as the subject matter experts (SME’s) for APA’s and ACB’s.

Below are the links to the new guidelines:

Aerobatic Practice Area:,Vol.3,Ch6,Sec4

Aerobatic Contest Box:,Vol.3,Ch6,Sec5