In a Final Rule published today in the Federal Register, and effective March 31, 2008, the FAA is implementing changes to its airmen certification and aircraft registration requirements. According to the Rule, two years after the Rule becomes effective, an airman will no use a paper pilot certificate to exercise piloting privileges. Five years after the rule becomes effective, an airman with any other types of paper airmen certificates (e.g. flight engineers and mechanics) will no longer be allowed to use those paper certificates to exercise the privileges authorized by those certificates.
All airmen will be required to upgrade their paper certificates to counterfeit-resistant plastic certificates by the applicable dates. However, student pilot certificates, temporary certificates, and authorizations are not affected. Note that the Rule does not revoke or otherwise cancel a paper certificate, but rather requires that the pilot have the plastic certificate to exercise the attendant privileges after the effective date. Also, an airman holding a paper pilot certificate will not need to surrender the paper certificate when getting the new plastic certificate.
With respect to aircraft registration, anyone transferring ownership of a U.S.-registered aircraft will have 21 days from the closing of the transaction (e.g. conveyance of title) to notify the FAA Aircraft Registry. Also, applicants will need to include their printed or typed name with their signature. This “printed name” requirement isn’t new, but will now be a formal regulation: The Registry already includes this requirement in the instructions for completing the aircraft registration application and currently rejects an application if it is not completed or if the name and signature on the application are not the same throughout.
According to the Rule, “[t]hese changes are responsive to concerns raised in the FAA Drug Enforcement Assistance Act. The purpose of the changes is to upgrade the quality of data and documents to assist Federal, State, and local agencies to enforce the Nation’s drug laws.” If you would like further information regarding the Final Rule or the changes implemented by the Final Rule, you may contact John Bent, Civil Aviation Registry, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, 6500 South MacArthur Boulevard, Oklahoma City, OK 73169, telephone (405) 954-4331.