The FAA has announced that starting March 1, 2010, it will no longer mail airworthiness directives (ADs) and special airworthiness information bulletins (SAIBs) for free. You will need to sign up for free electronic versions or pay for a subscription for biweekly paper ADs.
“AOPA has been working with the FAA for four years on the transition from paper to electronic ADs and SAIBs,” said Leisha Bell, AOPA director of aircraft and environmental affairs. “Our goal is to ensure the transition goes smoothly and that the FAA continues to mail paper copies of emergency ADs.”
The free e-mail system, called GovDelivery, was announced in 2007 and allows you to subscribe to all published documents or only those pertaining to a specific product make and model. The service sends ADs and SAIBs to the e-mail address of each affected subscriber within minutes of publication.
The FAA stopped mailing paper ADs and SAIBs for transport airplanes and engines on transport airplanes in September 2007. Mailed paper ADs and SAIBs for transport rotorcraft and rotorcraft engines will end Oct. 1, 2009; all other rotorcraft and rotorcraft engines Jan. 1, 2010; and all aircraft, engines, and propellers March 1, 2010.
Since 2006, AOPA has maintained that the transition to an electronic AD system should not be rushed. AOPA members reported glitches with the early version of the electronic AD system, and the association worked with the FAA to address those problems. A glitch in the early system caused an AD for Airbus evacuations slides to be sent to 19,000 subscribers to the service.
AOPA is collecting pilots' feedback on their experience with the electronic AD system. Once you start using the service, contact AOPA's Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA to let us know how it is working for you.