In an important statement of support, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee endorsed AOPA's petition to the FAA for a rule requiring pilots to carry valid photo identification. The recommendation for prompt action was included in the official committee report (Rept. 107-406) that accompanies the General Aviation Reparations Act of 2002 (H.R.3347). This legislation provides $2.5 billion in direct aid and $3 billion in loan guarantees to general aviation small businesses affected by the post-9/11 airspace shutdown. (See also: AOPA's issue brief.)
"The committee's support of our petition requiring pilots to carry a picture ID may help push the FAA, the Department of Transportation, and the Office of Management and Budget to act on this common-sense measure that can be implemented immediately," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. AOPA filed the petition in February and received an FAA reply on April 1 stating that it (the FAA) has begun drafting a regulatory document that considers the specifics of the proposal. "Perhaps this directive from the U.S. Congress will get this resolved."
In its report, the committee said, "While the reported bill focuses on compensation for general aviation entities and their employees, the committee is also concerned about general aviation security. One of the best ways to address general aviation security is to systematically and immediately identify and characterize general aviation pilots. This issue has been the subject of security discussions within the general aviation community.
"The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association have [sic] petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a rule requiring pilots to carry valid photo identification. This can be implemented quickly and would result in pilots having a picture identification (most likely a valid state-issued driver's license, government ID card, passport, or other form of identification that is acceptable to the FAA for security purposes), in addition to their pilot and medical certificates on their person when flying. The committee recommends prompt action by the FAA on this petition for rulemaking."