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On September 21, 2004, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued an interim final rule on flight training for aliens and other designated individuals. As a result of this rule, TSA inspectors have been tasked with inspecting flight schools and instructors for compliance. For guidance on this rule, contact AOPA's Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA or visit AOPA's Web site ( www.aopa.org/tsa_rule/).
AOPA created this checklist to help flight schools and independent instructors prepare for TSA inspections.
TSA inspectors have had responsibility for larger airports and recently have been tasked with visits to GA facilities. AOPA recommends that TSA inspectors be received with professionalism, courtesy, and patience.
TSA includes in its definition of "flight school" flight training centers and independent instructors certificated under parts 61, 141, and 142 that provide training in an aircraft or flight simulators.
Active instructors and flight school employees who have direct contact with flight students must complete annual security awareness training.
Initial Security Awareness Training
TSA's Initial Security Awareness Training is located online ( http://download.tsa.dhs.gov/fssa/training/).
Recurrent Security Awareness Training
More information on recurrent security awareness training and the exemption can be found online ( www.aopa.org/tsa_rule/).
Documentation of Security Awareness Training
(We recommend that you keep all required documentation in a secure and accessible location.) Flight schools must issue a document to each flight school employee when initial or recurrent security awareness training is received. It must include:
Flight School Recordkeeping Requirements
Flight schools or instructors have two options for recording their documentation of U.S. citizens to whom they have provided flight training. Note: These also apply to U.S. citizens who are receiving training outside the United States for a U.S. airman certificate:
Make an endorsement in both the instructor's logbook, or other record used by the instructor to record flight student endorsements, and the student's logbook with the following:
"I certify that [insert student's name] has presented me a [insert type of document presented, such as a U.S. birth certificate or U.S. passport, and the relevant control or sequential number on the document, if any] establishing that [he or she] is a U.S. citizen or national in accordance with 49 CFR 1552.3(h). [Insert date and instructor's signature and CFI number.]" Click here for the TSA letter explaining this logbook endorsement.
TSA defines an alien as any person who is not a citizen or national of the United States. This definition includes resident aliens (green-card holders) and visa holders in the United States. These requirements also apply to aliens receiving training outside the United States for a U.S. airman certificate.
Aliens — Flight school and alien registration
Aliens — Flight school recordkeeping requirements
Flight schools and instructors that provide flight training to aliens must keep certain records for five years, including:
Visit AOPA's Web site ( www.aopa.org/tsa_rule/) for a step-by-step registration process for both flight schools and aliens.
AOPA's Pilot Information Center at 800/872-2672 is interested in receiving any comments regarding your experiences with TSA inspections at your flight school.
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