The FAA today issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) that proposes changes to the airmen certification and aircraft registration rules. Under the NPRM, two years after a final rule becomes effective, an airman would no longer be able to exercise piloting privileges using a paper pilot certificate. Five years after a final rule becomes effective, certain other paper airmen certificates, such as those of flight engineers, mechanics and other flight crewmembers, would also become ineffective. In order to exercise the privileges after those times, a certificate holder would have to have upgraded to the counterfeit-resistant, plastic certificate that the FAA is currently issuing for new or replacement airmen certificates. This rule would not affect student pilot certificates which are currently issued in paper format in connection with an airman’s initial third-class medical examination.
In addition, the NPRM proposes that anyone transferring ownership of a U.S.-registered aircraft would have to notify the FAA Aircraft Registry within five days of the closing of the transaction. Applicants for aircraft registration would also have to include their printed or typed name with their signature on the Form 8050-1, Aircraft Registration Application.
According to the FAA, the “changes are responsive to concerns raised in the FAA Drug Enforcement Assistance Act” and are intended “to upgrade the quality of data and documents to assist Federal, State, and local agencies to enforce the Nation’s drug laws.” The FAA believes the rule changes will allow law enforcement agencies to more readily establish the true identity of those who hold legitimate airmen certificates, as opposed to counterfeit certificates, and to identify the actual owner of an aircraft, particularly when ownership of the aircraft has recently been transferred.
Comments to the NPRM are due no later than March 6, 2007. For more information you should review the NPRM here or you may contact Mark D. Lash, Civil Aviation Registry, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, 6500 South MacArthur Boulevard, Oklahoma City, OK 73169, telephone (405) 954-4331.