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Regulatory Hot Topics

Limiting the Pilot Records Database Burden

The final rule establishing a new Part 111 Pilot Records Database (PRD) was published this past May. The related Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), published in 2020, introduced the electronic PRD, including new mandates for certain Part 91 operators. The intent was to enhance safety by improving the hiring process for select aircraft operators. Much of business aviation is not currently subject to the reporting requirements outlined in the NPRM, resulting in many new mandates for these operators.

NBAA and many of its member companies – almost 800 parties in total – submitted comments on the final rule, pushing back on the codification of the term “corporate flight department” and objecting to new and onerous recordkeeping requirements, and the inclusion of check airman comments in the PRD.

“The final language of the PRD regulations, including the limited applicability to Part 91 operators, is a significant win for business aviation,” said NBAA Senior Vice President of Safety, Security, Sustainability and International Affairs Doug Carr. He thanked NBAA members that submitted comments, saying, “The outcome clearly demonstrates that your voice matters.”

Certain Part 91 operators, including operators with two or more type-rated airplanes or turbine-powered rotorcraft, are still subject to submitting certain documents upon request by another regulated entity. These operators must register for PRD access by Sept. 8.

Within 14 days of receiving a request for pilot information, Part 91 operators subject to the rule will be required to provide information on:

  • Drug and alcohol testing (if applicable)
  • Pilot training, qualifications and proficiency
  • Final disciplinary actions related to pilot performance
  • Final separation from employment
  • Certain historical data (which is voluntary)

However, Part 91 operators will only have to submit this data if they possess the information.

“The final language of the PRD regulations, including the limited applicability to Part 91 operators, is a significant win for the business aviation community. ”

DOUG CARR Senior Vice President of Safety, Security, Sustainability and International Affairs, NBAA

Part 135 operators and other air carriers are subject to the bulk of the PRD requirements. However, the PRD will eventually phase out the Pilot Records Improvement Act (PRIA) requirements for hiring pilots, explained Paul Lange, managing member of Paul A. Lange, LLC, during a recent NBAA News Hour webinar on the topic. Air carriers must register for PRD access by Sept. 8 and begin using the PRD for FAA record evaluations no later than Dec. 7. Until Sept. 9, 2024, it might be necessary to obtain and review pre-hire records using both PRD and PRIA processes.

Jason Herman, CAM, chair of the NBAA Domestic Operations Committee, said during the same NBAA News Hour webinar that pilots could realize some benefits to full PRD implementation, including increased knowledge of what their records contain and the ability to correct errors. View the recorded NBAA News Hour webinar.

All entities subject to the PRD rules are cautioned to submit only the information directly required by regulation in order to minimize the risk of creating a labor-related liability.

Industry Challenge

The FAA established the PRD to be a centralized source for FAA and employer records related to pilot hiring. Several entities, including certain Part 91 operators and all Part 135 operators, are subject to various compliance requirements, with rolling compliance dates through Sept. 9, 2024.

NBAA Response

NBAA will continue to monitor FAA guidance materials regarding PRD compliance and will conduct educational events for member companies as necessary.

September 1, 2021

Special Edition Podcast: The FAA Pilot Records Database Goes Live

The first compliance date for the FAA's Pilot Records Database will be Sept. 8, but many business aircraft operators and pilots still have questions about their responsibilities under the program, and who will be able to access their information. Listen to this podcast to get the answers.
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August 17, 2021

NBAA Members: New Pilot Records Database Resource Guide Now Available

Association members trying to decipher and comply with the new Pilot Records Database (PRD) regulations may find assistance from NBAA’s new Pilot Records Database Resource Guide. The first compliance date for the FAA’s new PRD comes Sept. 8, 2021.
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July 16, 2021

NBAA News Hour: What You Need to Know About Pilot Records Database Compliance

With the first compliance date for the FAA’s new Pilot Records Database (PRD) coming on Sept. 8, 2021, experts taking part in the latest NBAA News Hour shared a summary of the new rule and its applicability to Part 91 flight departments, air carriers, including Part 135 operators, and pilots.
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May 27, 2021

NBAA: Industry’s Voice Critical to Pilot Records Database Rule Improvements

NBAA said the FAA’s consideration of public feedback – including hundreds of comments submitted by the business aviation community – has been critical to key improvements in the agency’s final rule on its electronic Pilot Records Database (PRD).
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