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AOPA endorses new pilot certificate, asks for more time on aircraft registrationAOPA endorses new pilot certificate, asks for more time on aircraft registration

AOPA endorses new pilot certificate, asks for more time on aircraft registration

As part of the FAA's drug enforcement assistance proposal, the agency wants to require pilots to get counterfeit-resistant plastic pilot certificates and wants aircraft sellers to return their old aircraft registration documents within five days.

AOPA submitted formal comments [ download] on the proposal this week, supporting the plastic pilot certificate requirement and requesting a 10-day window for aircraft sellers to return their old aircraft registration documents.

The association has been an advocate for making pilot certificates more secure.

"Many pilots have already voluntarily replaced their paper certificates with plastic ones," said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. "The only difference is that now those who haven't upgraded would be required to do so within two years after this proposal takes effect."

Through the drug enforcement assistance proposal, the FAA also seeks to provide the Transportation Security Administration and law enforcement officials with better aircraft registry information.

To track the thousands of aircraft sales that take place each year - 48,343 general aviation aircraft were sold in 2005 - and keep the federal aircraft registry current, the FAA wants aircraft sellers to return their old aircraft registration certificates within five days of the transaction.

AOPA believes that although sellers should return the certificates as soon as possible, the five-day limit is too short and should be extended to 10 days because there was no previous limit. Those who turn in their old registration documents after that time period could face enforcement action from the agency.

"AOPA believes that it is in the public's best interest for the agency to give sellers a more reasonable time frame for returning their old aircraft registration papers," Rudinger told the agency.

March 8, 2007

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