Flying High: FAA certification takes ARNE Aviation to new heights 

Published 8:00 am Thursday, May 9, 2024

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It was clear skies for ARNE Aviation as the Suffolk aviation company celebrated receiving their 14 CFR Part 135 certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last Wednesday, May 1.

As of April 25, the business became a certified Part 135 cargo company, now having access to cargo, disaster relief, and HAZMAT carriage capabilities. Stationed at Hangar Seven at the Suffolk Executive Airport, ARNE Aviation was formed in 2015 and is run by retired Navy and Marine Corps officers. It previously operated as a Part 91 aviation company. ARNE Aviation is one of seven nationwide vendors cleared to fly United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) personnel. 

During the ceremony, ARNE Aviation Owner Laura Manthey talked about the journey to receiving the certification, detailing that the pre-application intent for Part 135 was submitted in December 2020 with an inspection team following suit.

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“We were assigned that inspection team in September of 2021, so because of the fact that we decided to start this process in the throes of COVID, we waited about nine months to start the official process with the FAA,” Manthey said. “We completed all of our requirements April 17, and was officially issued a Part 135 operating certificate on April 25 … It took about a day for that to set in, like, ‘Three years later, it’s done!’ And so we decided that we need to commemorate this a little bit.”

Manthey says their next goal is to gain CARB (Commercial Airlift Review Board) certification through the military, which they hope to have in the next six to nine months. Richmond Flight Standards District Office Manager Jeff Slaughter presented the Certificate of Accomplishment to Manthey and her team, congratulating them on a “job well done.”

“What it comes down to [is] that you’re able to perform to the standards of what a 135 certificate requires and then be able to do that safely in the future,” Slaughter said. “Think of the FAA as your business partner. We are here to help guide you, help be successful, and keep you in the confines of regulation as counsel for you and to manage that with your team. It really is a business partnership and we’re proud to be part of it with you.”

After the ceremony, Manthey commended the team for their hard work and reaching this point. 

“The team worked so hard to get this done,” Manthey said. “It’s hard to convey just how many different regulations we have to meet, and everything that goes into each of those, to meet what the FAA is looking for. So these guys really did a good job.”

Manthey also said the certification opens many doors for ARNE to provide relief to others.

“So if, say, one of these companies from the Port of Virginia says, ‘Oh my goodness, one of our cranes isn’t working. We need this motor taken back to the factory in Georgia and we need it back ASAP.’ Well, you can’t put it on a truck. It’s going to take too long. We can transport that and back,” Manthey said.

Manthey also humorously says that she herself felt “relief.” 

“Not only is this three-year process done, but my public speaking is done! I detest public speaking! Well, for now, until next time!” 

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