June 22, 2020

NBAA has sounded a Regulatory Alert members can use to tell the FAA that its proposed new pilot-data requirements raise a host of privacy and other concerns.

The concern centers around a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which introduces sweeping new mandates for certain Part 91 operators and others to submit a raft of additional pilot data to the agency, through the use of an electronic Pilot Records Database (PRD).

The FAA published the NPRM on March 30, 2020 – if adopted, the NPRM would have a substantial impact on a large portion of the business aviation community, much of which already complies with certain reporting requirements.

The comment period closes June 29, 2020, so action is needed quickly.

NBAA’s Regulatory Alert provides an overview of the regulatory impact of the NPRM, and identifies key concerns for the industry as a whole, as well as individual segments of the industry. View the alert.

Key concerns include:

  • A requirement to include check pilot comments from training events in PRD records
  • Overly burdensome and inconsistent reporting requirements
  • A codified definition of “corporate flight department”
  • Onerous reporting of historical records data back almost a decade

The proposed rule results from Public Law 111-216 (Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010), which indicates operators must report training and employment records already maintained by operators.

“This proposal imposes a significant administrative burden on small flight departments with no real safety improvement for the flight department,” said David Keys, chief pilot of a small Florida-based flight department.

One of NBAA’s biggest concerns with the NPRM is the FAA’s attempt to define “corporate flight department” and what the future implications of a codified definition mean for the segment.

After all, business aviation organizations are not homogenous, cookie-cutter entities. Each flight department is structured differently, maintains different records and has unique hiring and employment policies.

“The unintended consequences of the proposed rule are enormous” said Paul Lange, an aviation attorney at the Law Offices of Paul A. Lange, LLC. “Especially the newly created definition of ‘corporate flight department’, which appears nowhere in the act itself, nor anywhere else in the FARs.”

NBAA encourages member companies to use the Regulatory Alert as a guide when conducting their own analysis of the NPRM, considering the potential financial, legal and operational impacts of this proposed rule on their organizations, and then drafting and submitting comments to the FAA.