On August 15, 2011 the FAA issued InFO 11014 (InFO is short for “Information for Operators”) advising air carriers and other persons who employ pilots to prepare for and retain various records for transmission to the FAA’s Pilot Records Database (“PRD”). As you may know, in 2010 the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010, Public Law 111-216, 124 Stat. 2348 (2010) (the “Act”) was signed into law. The Act amends 49 U.S.C. 44703(h), the Pilot Records Improvement Act (“PRIA”) by requiring the FAA to create the PRD to include pilot records to be provided by the FAA, air carriers and other persons who employ pilots. Air carriers required to perform background checks on a prospective pilot-hires will use the PRD to decide whether or not to hire the individual as a pilot. Under the Act, the FAA must maintain a pilot’s records until it receives notice that the pilot is deceased.
The Act requires affected pilot-employers to provide the following records to the FAA for pilots employed on August 1, 2005 and thereafter:
- Records that are maintained under FARs 121.683, 120.111(a), 120.219(a), 125.401, and 135.63(a)(4), as applicable;
- records concerning the pilot’s the training, qualifications, proficiency, or professional competence of the individual, including comments and evaluations made by check airmen designated in accordance with FARs 121.411, 125.295, or 135.337;
- records regarding any disciplinary action taken with respect to the individual that was not subsequently overturned; and
- records regarding any release from employment or resignation, termination, or disqualification with respect to employment.
Once the PRD is implemented, affected pilot-employers will need to provide the listed records to the FAA for inclusion in the PRD. Since the PRD has not yet been implemented, the FAA is recommending that affected pilot-employers take actions now to preserve the specified records that the pilot-employers will need to submit to the PRD.
This is also consistent with the FAA’s February 11, 2011 Policy Statement in which it informed airmen that the FAA was suspending its policy of expunging certain records of legal enforcement actions against individuals. Since the Act requires that the PRD include summaries of enforcement actions in which individuals were determined to have violated the regulations, rather than expunging individual information after 5 years as before, the FAA must now keep these records until it receives notice that the individual is deceased.
If you have any questions or comments regarding InFO 11014 you should contact Jack O’Hare, Regulatory Support Division, Designee Quality Assurance Branch, AFS-600 at (405)-954-9808. Otherwise, for more information about expunction under PRIA, you can read the FAA’s Pilots Records Expunction Policy Frequently Asked Questions or, for a general discussion of PRIA, you can read my article What Will The FAA Say About You?