April 10, 2020

NBAA and other general aviation (GA) associations recently participated in a conference call with senior officials in the FAA’s Flight Standards Division, where they once again reiterated the importance of providing regulatory relief for GA operators.

FAA officials responded that they have a multifaceted team working to develop a regulatory solution for operators facing deadlines. The agency’s team is working to create a special federal aviation regulation addressing all issues raised in an April 1 letter from NBAA and seven other GA associations,including:

  • Extension of 14 CFR Part 61 pilot currency requirements, e.g., flight review, IPC, PIC/SIC proficiency checks
  • Guidance that 709 reexaminations or paperwork
    inspections in person (such as logbook inspections under 61.51, or maintenance record inspections under 91.417) be held off or at least be conducted electronically during the current social distancing safety protocols and directives regarding non-essential activities
  • Extensions for certified flight instructor certificate renewal, expiration and endorsement periods
  • Extension of knowledge exam expiration period
  • Extensions for applicants on the ability to complete practical examinations
  • Extension for filing documents under 14 CFR Part 13 (Subparts C, D, and G)
  • Extensions for aircraft maintenance and continuing airworthiness requirements with necessary mitigation procedures

On the conference call, the associations also confirmed that the FAA’s work includes a regulatory solution for expired medical certificates.

“At this time, I do not have an expected publication date,” said Brian Koester, CAM, NBAA director of flight operations and regulations. “The Flight Standards Division is prioritizing this work, but they remain constrained by administrative checks and balances.”

After receiving several inquiries to determine if the FAA is considering closing all domestic airspace, NBAA also reconfirmed on the call that the FAA is not considering closing airspace, said Koester.

“The air traffic organization has temporarily closed [some] towers and other facilities for COVID-19 related cleaning,” said Koester. “However, once cleaning is complete, these facilities continue to reopen. ATC has been strategic in their mitigations.”

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