Part 91 vs Part 135: What Private Jet Owners Need to Know


Owning your own private jet comes with many perks from flying on your schedule to enjoying privacy. However, it also comes with responsibilities and expenses. You work hard to keep your plane in tip-top shape and keep up with any new regulations.
You might have heard of Part 91 and Part 135, which are regulations created by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). You aren’t sure which one applies to your situation, or if they both do. This guide can help you understand the differences and apply them to your personal situation.

What Is Part 91 in Aviation?

Part 91 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations is a regulation created by the FAA to oversee the operation of a private aircraft. When you own a private jet, you probably need to make sure that your plane, pilot, and flight crew are maintaining the standards set forth in Part 91.

The law applies to general aviation pilots and makes them responsible for the safety and well-being of the plane, cargo, and passengers on a private plane. To be clear, this regulation applies to private planes that aren’t used for a commercial charter.

A pilot can transport dangerous goods without the consequences or need to meet federal regulations. However, these goods must be for private use and not for commercial resale.

Part 91 provides a lot of guidelines for the operation and maintenance of a private plane. This includes things such as dropping items out of a plane, the overall behavior of the flight crew, and ways to handle a plane that requires multiple pilots or a co-pilot.

In the simplest of terms, if you’re making money from owning a private jet, Part 91 probably isn’t the regulation that applies to you, although some of the parts might.

What Is Part 135?

Part 135 is the regulations for the operation of charter-style planes and the pilots who fly them. This part doesn’t apply to commercial airlines, such as Delta, United, or British Airways. It does apply to cargo planes and outlines when and how they can accept dangerous cargo. It is a lot more detailed and offers more strict regulations on a private plane than Part 91.

Part 135 details how much rest is required between flights that the flight crew must receive and limits the number of hours that they can fly. It also determines the type of weather that the plane can fly in. It holds pilots who fly charters to a higher standard of safety to ensure the overall well-being of the paying passengers.

However, if your private plane is used for both personal use and charters, you might wonder when you need to follow the different regulations. It’s a good rule of thumb to follow the regulation involved in Part 135 if you ever let your private jet be used for charters of passengers or cargo.

Like Part 91, Part 135 makes the pilot the person who is ultimately responsible for the condition of the plane and ensuring that all regulations are met.

Understanding the Differences Between Part 91 and Part 135 in Aviation

If you aren’t familiar with aviation and the rules and regulations, Part 91 vs. Part 135 can be a little confusing. Here’s a metaphor to help you better understand when each applies:

Imagine that you want to buy a minivan to drive your kids to school and yourself to work. You go to the dealership and pick out the right size. You’re responsible for ensuring that you have a driver’s license and insurance. You’re also responsible for making sure that you keep the minivan in good working order.

Now, imagine that you own a daycare center, and you’re buying the minivan to not only drive yourself and your children but also the children at your daycare center. Now, you need a commercial license. You need to get special insurance. There are rules and regulations about how long you can drive and the rest you need to ensure the safety of children who aren’t yours.

Part 135 offers stricter guidelines to ensure the overall safety of passengers and cargo that have hired your private plane.


With a better understanding of Part 91 vs. Part 135, you can ensure that you don’t end up on the wrong side of the FAA and face penalties or worse. Whether you allow charters to offset the expenses of owning a private jet or not, you always want to maintain your plane and ensure passenger safety.

You can enjoy your private plane more when you allow an aviation management company to take over the day-to-day operations of your private jet. At Mayo Aviation, we’re ready to partner with you. Contact us today to get started!

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