March 26, 2020
The FAA Civil Aviation Registry in Oklahoma City, OK has implemented a number of changes that affect how aircraft transactions are processed in the public document room (PDR) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new procedures have been instituted to slow the spread of the disease and to minimize exposure for FAA employees, PDR permit holders, families and the general public.
Instead of the normal, open access for PDR permit holders to file documents at the registry throughout the day, the FAA will accept or pick up documents on a limited schedule. Nevertheless, parties can continue to mail documents to the FAA, and the agency is now accepting email filing of documents through its email portal under certain circumstances. During the pandemic, the FAA will not be able to guarantee expedited processing as in the past.
In addition, all incoming documents received by mail or filed in the PDR will be quarantined for 72 hours. This quarantine will include documents that would normally be capable of priority processing, such as documents for aircraft requiring international flights or imports. However, documents properly submitted through the email portal will be processed without delay.
Even though a “safer at home” order – similar to many of the “shelter at home” orders already in place in many U.S. cities – went into effect in Oklahoma City on March 25, the order does not currently prevent the FAA Aircraft Registry from continuing to operate under the altered procedures.
Parties to aircraft transactions should consider these changes as they structure aircraft closings in the near future.