The FAA today published its Final Rule establishing a second-in-command (SIC) pilot type rating and associated qualifying procedures. The rule is intended “to allow U.S. flight crews to continue to operate in international airspace without the threat of being grounded for not holding the appropriate pilot type rating.” Up until now, The FAA second-in-command requirements differed from the ICAO standards in that the FAA did not issue a pilot type rating for the SIC pilot flight crewmember position. As a result, “some foreign civil aviation authorities (European and Caribbean) had notified the FAA and U.S. flight crews that they intended to enforce the ICAO type rating standards for SIC pilot crewmembers when U.S. flight crews operate in their airspace. This could have resulted in U.S. flight crews being grounded.”
To resolve the situation, the FAA issued an NPRM on November 16, 2004 (discussed in my post that day) proposing to establish SIC type ratings on U.S. airmen certificates. In response, the FAA received 49 comments: Approximately 50% supported the proposal; 25% opposed it; and the remaining commenters had specific questions about the proposed procedures for issuing the SIC pilot type rating.
The Rule is effective on September 6, 2005. It is important to note that the final rule does not require the SIC pilot type rating for domestic flight operations within United States airspace, but rather requires pilots who plan to fly outside U.S. airspace and land in foreign countries to obtain the SIC pilot type rating. The FAA also recommends having the SIC pilot type rating when flying over or into airspace controlled by a foreign civil aviation authority that requires it.
For specific procedures for applying for and obtaining the SIC type certificate, you should read the Rule in detail. Alternatively, if you would like more information regarding the Rule, you can contact John D. Lynch, Certification Branch, AFS-840, General Aviation and Commercial Division, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-3844 or via the Internet at: firstname.lastname@example.org.