In a Notice of policy change published in the Federal Register today, the FAA has decided that it will “accept for approval new Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic (FIRC) training course outlines that meet the standards set forth in Advisory Circular (AC) 61-83E, Nationally Scheduled Federal Aviation Administration Approved Industry-Conducted Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics.” Although the notice states that it “rescinds the Federal Register notice (FR Doc. 04-6149) issued March 11, 2004”, this is an incorrect citation since FR Doc. 04-6149 is actually a citation to a federal register page dated February 10, 2004. The actual Notice of Policy Change that this notice rescinds appeared in the Federal Register on March 19, 2004 and is available here. (That notice stated that after April 30, 2004, the FAA’s General Aviation And Commercial Division, AFS-800, would no longer grant any new FIRC approvals and that it would only consider those FIRC providers holding a current FAA approval for renewal).
The current Notice recommends that training providers interested in developing new FIRC programs should contact the AFS-800 organization for further details concerning the approval process. They should also familiarize themselves with the contents of Advisory Circular (AC) 61-83E, and also Volumes 1-3 of the FAA/Industry Training Standards (FITS) and System Safety training documents located here. These documents provide detailed information regarding preparing and obtaining approval of FIRC programs.
This change of policy will be good for the industry because it will allow additional training providers to develop FIRC programs, making them more readiliy available to flight instructors throughout the country. Not to mention, competition should positively affect the pricing for FIRC programs. Since the programs still need to be approved by the FAA, the quality of the programs will at a minimum have to meet the FAA’s requirements. This should reduce the likelihood of some training provider running an inadequate program out of his or her garage.
If you would like more information regarding this policy change, contact Mike Brown, Certification and Flight Training Branch, AFS-840, FAA, 800 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-7653; fax (202) 267-5094; or e-mail email@example.com.