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AOPA creates alternative to aircraft registration proposalAOPA creates alternative to aircraft registration proposal

The FAA’s proposal to make aircraft registrations expire every three years isn’t sitting well with AOPA members, and that’s why the association has suggested an alternative plan.

“Although AOPA supports the FAA’s goal of improving the accuracy of its aircraft registry, we do not agree with the way the agency is proposing to do that,” said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. “We’ve prepared an alternative that is simpler, less burdensome to aircraft owners, and less costly for the government.”

The FAA proposal replaces existing aircraft registrations that do not expire with ones that would expire after three years. They would also require renewal every three years. Aircraft owners who do not renew or re-register their aircraft in the time specified by the FAA could be denied access to the National Airspace System or lose their registration number.

AOPA’s plan would not require re-registration but instead registration verification every three years. The verification could be completed online through the FAA’s aircraft registry database. Aircraft registration would not expire, but would instead become “inactive.”

“There are numerous valid reasons why aircraft do not fly for long periods of time and no activity is reported to the registry,” Cebula said. “Two common reasons are long-term maintenance and restoration. Owners who do not register their aircraft are not in violation of any FAA regulations, and they should not lose their N number.”

Because AOPA’s plan would utilize the FAA’s current infrastructure for the Triennial Aircraft Registry Report, it could be implemented without imposing any addition fees or fee increases on aircraft owners.

“Aircraft owners are very concerned with the cost of operation as they face unprecedented fuel prices and other expenses,” Cebula said. “We object to aircraft owners bearing the burden of correcting a system that has deteriorated over time and have recommended an alternative plan that balances the stated needs of the FAA with the concerns of our members.”

Comparison chart

FAA Proposal AOPA Proposal
Aircraft registration expires after three years. Aircraft registration does not expire.
Renew registration every three years. No registration renewal, simply verify the registration online.
Lose N number if aircraft registration not renewed. Aircraft would be considered “inactive” if registration wasn’t verified every three years, would not lose N number.
$5 fee for initial and recurrent re-registration fees, option for increased fees. No fee increase, no additional fees.

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