August 20, 2013
By Dan Namowitz
An Aug. 23 deadline is approaching for the pilot community to submit comments on draft airman certification standards designed to improve and modernize training for private pilots, the instrument rating, and certificated flight instructors. The three draft publications are the product of an industry-led Airman Testing Standards and Training working group co-chaired by AOPA.
On July 24, revised versions of the private pilot and instrument rating certification standards were published in response to two rounds of public comments between April and July 2013, during which more than 300 comments were received.
The draft instructor certification standard was released for the first time in July. All three publications were made public for review and comment under docket No. FAA-2013-0649.
AOPA has been an active participant throughout the process and submitted comments in favor of the move to integrated testing and training standards. The association previously represented AOPA members on the aviation rulemaking committee that recommended the launch of the working group’s projects to modernize certification standards. The proposed publications also would facilitate training by centralizing needed information for knowledge testing and practical training in one reference source for each certificate or rating.
The working group will submit its final report—including final drafts of the Airman Certification Standards—on Sept.19.
The report will also include proposals to streamline and consolidate FAA handbooks with the certification standards, and recommendations to ensure that knowledge-test questions are consistent with the standards, and are based on principles for question development.
Members are encouraged to review the draft standards and submit comments, citing docket No. FAA-2013-0649, online or by mail to Docket Operations, M-30; U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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