After meeting with AOPA representatives yesterday, South Dakota transportation officials have agreed to delay implementing a new law that could have permitted the state to require and to issue pilot photo IDs. The governor recently signed that law into effect.
In the meeting with members of the South Dakota Aeronautics Commission and officials from the South Dakota Department of Transportation, AOPA outlined its recent petition to the FAA for a rule that would require pilots to carry photo identification, such as a valid driver's license or passport, along with their FAA-issued certificate. AOPA Central Region Representative Bill Hamilton stressed that such a program could be implemented immediately at far less cost than photo identification issued by the state.
Hamilton said that a "one size fits all approach" is not an effective means to address GA security. Furthermore, he expressed AOPA's position that airport operators should be consulted in addressing security issues at their own airports.
As a result of the meeting, the aeronautics commission delayed taking any formal action on the pilot identification issue and promised to work with AOPA and others in the GA community in adopting measures that are acceptable to all. Finally, officials made clear that they would follow any program similar to the one proposed by AOPA that may be implemented by the FAA in the future.