Today in a letter to FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, Senator Max Cleland (D-Ga.) wrote in support of AOPA's petition to require pilots to carry government-issued photo identification as a supplement to the required pilot certificate. His endorsement of the AOPA petition is important, considering he sponsored an amendment in the Aviation Security Act (PL107-71) expanding the scope of the airman registry to address terrorism. AOPA President Phil Boyer praised the senator, saying, "Senator Cleland clearly recognizes the value of this common-sense, low-cost, and easy-to-implement measure. We appreciate his leadership on this issue."
In the petition submitted to the FAA last month, AOPA asked the FAA to issue a "direct final rule" that would require pilots to carry a valid, government-issued photo ID when in command of an aircraft. Under AOPA's proposal, a driver's license, passport, state ID card, or government agency photo ID would be acceptable. The proposal could go into effect within 30 days after the FAA publishes the rule.
In December, AOPA and other industry groups recommended pilot photo IDs to the FAA and the Transportation Security Administration. The request is currently pending at the FAA.