June 3, 2004 - The long-awaited Sport Pilot rule has passed a major milestone and has been resubmitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval. In March, the FAA temporarily withdrew the proposed rule so that the agency could address questions about the economic cost/benefits raised during the OMB review.
"The driver's license medical standard remains the single greatest benefit for AOPA members in this proposed rule," said AOPA Senior Vice President of Government and Technical Affairs Andy Cebula. "It means that pilots who are otherwise healthy but unable to obtain an FAA medical certificate will be able to continue flying."
With a final rule on the new Sport Pilot certificate and Light Sport Aircraft specifications looming, AOPA has made it easy for pilots to find answers to their questions with a new Web page that pulls all of AOPA's resources together.
"There has been so much speculation about Sport Pilot and the Light Sport Aircraft that it can be confusing separating fact from fiction," said Cebula. The new Web site contains links to AOPA's issue brief, which describes the proposed rule and AOPA's position; a frequently asked questions page; and a comparison of the different FAA pilots' certificates, as well as links to the FAA's own Sport Pilot page and the agency's Light Sport office. "We'll be updating the page often as we learn more about what's expected to be in the final rule, and once the final rule itself is issued," Cebula added.
AOPA is also involved in the other half of the Sport Pilot rule, establishing a new category of aircraft called Light Sport Aircraft (LSA). The FAA asked the general aviation industry itself to develop consensus standards for LSA design, performance, and continuing airworthiness. AOPA staff members participated in recent meetings of the ASTM International committee held in Salt Lake City.