Feb. 24, 2004 - Questions AOPA raised about a proposed rule to regulate flight training devices (FTDs) have prompted the FAA to reopen the comment period on the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). Flight schools actively use what are known as Level 1, 2, or 3 FTDs to provide a well-rounded general aviation flight-training curriculum. Those schools would not be able to meet the onerous quality assurance, maintenance, and record-keeping requirements of the proposed rule. And as a result, the use of FTDs to enhance flight training would be compromised.
As drafted, the NPRM would mandate an expensive one-size-fits-all quality assurance program and set strict maintenance and record-keeping requirements for all types of FTDs. It would make no distinction between high-end FTDs used at major college aeronautical programs and the relatively simple Level 1-3 FTDs used by a majority of flight schools.
"The use of FTDs gives general aviation pilots access to important procedures and proficiency training opportunities in a safe environment that helps enhance safety," said AOPA Director of Regulatory and Certification Policy Luis Gutierrez.
The FAA is forming a subcommittee of the Flight Simulation Device Aviation Rulemaking Committee to address AOPA's concerns. AOPA will actively participate in this new group to ensure that the use of these devices, and ultimately flight training, remains affordable.
Comments may be submitted until March 11, 2004 by:
Be sure to include the docket number (12461) in any comments not filed electronically.