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AOPA's Guide to TSA's Alien Flight Training/Citizenship Validation Rule

The TSA rule has several parts, all of which are relevant to flight training providers. AOPA has compiled easy to understand information concerning each of these parts. Below you will find information on applicability, step by step guidance to complying with the various parts of the rule, and answers to frequently asked questions. You can also contact AOPA’s Pilot Information Center at 1-800-USA-AOPA for more information.

Flight schools providing flight training to aliens or non-U.S. citizens

AOPA has developed step by step guidance to complying with TSA’s Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP). Information on this page applies to flight schools or flight instructors who wish to provide flight training to aliens or non-U.S. citizens in an aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds ( typically under a Category 3 training request, review the AFSP Application Guide).

Any questions about the AFSP may also be directed to AOPA’s Pilot Information Center by calling 1-800-USA-AOPA or by emailing [email protected]. The TSA AFSP Help Desk is available at (571) 227-1004 or [email protected].


Proof of Citizenship/Citizenship Verification: Flight schools instructors providing flight training to U.S. citizens.

Flight Training Provider Frequently Asked Questions

Is a flight instructor who is not actively instructing required to take the initial security awareness training, and then continually undertake the recurrent training if they remain inactive?

TSA has clarified the applicability of the security awareness training. Current and active instructors must take the training. However, current and inactive instructors are not required to take the training, but it is recommended. Expired instructors are not required to complete the training. The deadline for TSA's security awareness training was January 18, 2005. Compliance is still required for active instructors who have yet to complete this training.

I am a CFI only teaching ground school, do I need to meet the security awareness training requirements?

Yes, as an active ground school instructor who has direct contact with flight students, you are required to complete initial and yearly recurrent security awareness training. 

It is my understanding that the logbook endorsement requirement for U.S. citizens should be done anytime an instructor/flight school is presented with a new student who received a logbook endorsement from a different school and/or location. But for students who remain at one flight school throughout their training, and are known by all the instructors, a recurring endorsement is not necessary. Is this correct?

Yes, this is a correct interpretation. Think of the endorsement as a replacement of the copy of the proof of citizenship. If you had a copy of my birth certificate from private training, and now I want to do an instrument rating, no need to run a new Xerox copy just because I'm doing a new rating.

What is the flight training provider's responsibility if a candidate is denied?

The flight training provider may not provide training to a candidate who has been denied by the AFSP. If the flight training provider has already initiated training for a candidate, and TSA notifies the flight training provider that the candidate poses a threat to aviation or national security, the flight training provider must stop the training immediately. TSA will contact the flight training provider both electronically (e-mail) and by telephone and provide further instructions.

What is a provider admin? What is a provider agent?

A provider admin is the administrator of a flight training provider account. Only one provider admin is allowed per flight training provider. The administrator user ID has access to all of the same screens and functionality as the provider agent but is also able to change flight training provider information, such as the telephone number of the school. Each school MUST have one provider admin.

A provider agent is the standard flight training provider account. This type of account allows the user to validate candidate requests, submit and review Category 4 candidate information, upload candidate photographs, and mark candidate training requests as completed. The provider agent account does not have access to change school information. A school may have any number of provider agents, including zero.

TSA's security awareness training document is required to have a distinct identification number and also indicate whether or not the training is initial or recurrent. Neither of these is provided on the TSA security awareness training certificate. What should I do?

  • After rechecking the rule and with our Chief Counsel's Office, here's what we have regarding the identification number:
  • Under 1552.25(a), a flight school must issue a document to each flight school employee each time the employee receives training (initial and recurrent). Paragraph (a)(1) requires the document to contain the employee's name and a distinct identification number.
  • The purpose is for TSA auditors to be able to better track/identify employees who have received the training. TSA does not provide the identification number. The flight school should make up a numbering system for employees or use any employee numbering system that the school already uses to identify employees.
  • The school is also free to note initial or recurrent training on the certificate for their record-keeping purposes.