Re-registration rule adds cost, paperwork


AOPA disappointed in FAA’s final rule

July 19, 2010

The FAA has released its final rule requiring the re-registration of all civil aircraft over the next three years and renewal every three years thereafter.

In order to transition from the current non-expiring aircraft registration to one with a three-year expiration date printed on the certificate, the FAA is requiring all aircraft registered before Oct. 1 to be re-registered. Owners will be given a three-month window to comply, based upon the month of current registration. The FAA proposed a $5 re-registration and renewal fee, but the FAA reauthorization bill if enacted as passed by the House authorizes the FAA to increase the initial registration fee to $130 and re-registration and renewals to $45.

AOPA submitted an alternative to the rule when it was proposed in 2008 that would have allowed the FAA a method to achieve the same goals without the expense of reissuing aircraft registrations; the association will watch closely for issues that may arise with its implementation.

“We are disappointed that the FAA has chosen what may turn out to be a complicated and costly method of updating the aircraft registry,” said AOPA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Rob Hackman. “AOPA will be monitoring the implementation of the rule closely and communicating with the FAA about any issues that arise.”

The rule is intended to improve the accuracy of the civil aviation registry database. Currently, there is a one-time aircraft registration with a $5 fee; the FAA attempts to update the aircraft registry with the use of its triennial aircraft registration report. The agency estimates that slightly more than one third of the current 357,000 registered aircraft, or 132,100, are inaccurate. The new rule eliminates the triennial report and requires owners to re-register all aircraft and then renew their registration every three years. The rule estimates that the program will reduce the error rate to 5.7 percent, or 18,800 aircraft.

The plan calls for the re-registration of all U.S. civil aircraft by Dec. 31, 2013. The FAA will cancel the N numbers of aircraft that are not re-registered or renewed. To ensure that their aircraft do not slip through the cracks, owners should check the FAA website now and make sure the FAA has accurate information regarding their aircraft.

AOPA supported enhancing the validity of the aircraft registry when the rule was proposed but expressed concerns to the FAA that any new requirements and fees not impose an unnecessary burden on pilots. The association suggested an alternative plan that would not have required expiring registrations; would have allowed owners to verify registry information online or through the existing Triennial Aircraft Registration Report; and would not have canceled N numbers for aircraft owners who did not re-register their aircraft on time.

The association is now focusing efforts on educating members about how to comply with the rule and communicating directly to the FAA all problems that arise.

If your certificate was issued in this month (of any year)

Certificate expires

Re-registration required

March

March 31, 2011

Nov. 1, 2010, to Jan. 31, 2011

April

June 30, 2011

Feb. 1 to April 30, 2011

May

Sept. 30, 2011

May 1 to July 31, 2011

June

Dec. 31, 2011

Aug. 1 to Oct. 31, 2011

July

March 31, 2012

Nov. 1, 2011, to Jan. 31, 2012

August

June 30, 2012

Feb. 1 to April 30, 2012

September

Sept. 30, 2012

May 1 to July 31, 2012

October

Dec. 31, 2012

Aug. 1 to Oct. 31, 2012

November

March 31, 2013

Nov. 1, 2012, to Jan. 31, 2013

December

June 30, 2013

Feb. 1 to April 30, 2013

January

Sept. 30, 2013

May 1 to July 31, 2013

February

Dec. 31, 2013

Aug. 1 to Oct. 31, 2013

Download the final rule.