The FAA today published a “compliance date correction” in the federal register which extends the compliance date for the Second-in-Command rule it published on August 4, 2005. According to the FAA, the new rule’s effective date remains September 6, 2005. However, in order “to give affected pilots time to prepare and file the paperwork necessary to obtain the SIC pilot type rating” the compliance date has been extended to June 6, 2006. After that date, “pilots acting as a second in command and who will be flying outside U.S. domestic airspace and landing in a foreign country must hold the appropriate SIC pilot type rating.”
Although the FAA originally determined that 30 days was enough time for affected pilots to obtain the SIC type rating, after publication of the final rule and recieving comments from the airlines and trade associations the FAA determined that it was physically impossible for the pilots who need the SIC pilot type rating to prepare and file the necessary paperwork, and the FAA and its designees to process the forms and issue the ratings by September 6, 2005. I suspect this had more to do with the FAA’s inability to process all of the applications within thirty days, rather than the affected pilots’ abilities to prepare and file the necessary paperwork.
Although the extended compliance date gives pilots more time to obtain the SIC type rating, pilots should be aware that several foreign civil aviation authorities intend to begin enforcing the type-rating requirement within the near future. As a result, the sooner pilots receive their SIC pilot type ratings, the sooner they will be able to operate internationally unimpeded.