The new standards, which affect those applying for a Private Pilot Airplane certificate or an Instrument Rating Airplane, are available on the FAA’s airman testing website.
Pilots who want to familiarize themselves with the new standards also can take an online FAA Safety Team course, “Understanding the Airman Certification Standards,” which qualifies for Wings credit.
“Throughout this process, the goal has been to ensure that pilots taking the knowledge test understand the information and how it can effect their flying, rather than just memorizing facts to pass,” said David Oord, AOPA senior director of government affairs and working group chair. “The new system not only addresses today’s cockpit technology, it’s also designed to adapt as that technology changes and to link the knowledge and practical exams, resulting in an integrated system for airman training and testing. The standards encompass all the critical elements pilots must know, consider, and do in order to be a safe and competent.”
The new standards eliminate some topics associated with little-used technologies or discontinued products, including questions about ADF/NDB operations and world aeronautical charts.
Before taking the new standards nationwide, the working group tested them in Florida and Washington and found them to be comparable to existing standards in terms of difficulty, time, and information required.
More information about the updated standards is available from the FAA. A frequently asked questions page covers the most common issues identified so far while a section titled “What’s New and Upcoming in Airman Testing” addresses the development of the new knowledge test, handbook revisions, changes to the bank of knowledge test questions, sample knowledge tests, and new Airman Certification Standards codes.
“The new standards have been a long time in development, and we’re pleased to see them being deployed on schedule,” said Oord. “We believe the changes will align the knowledge and practical tests and make both more valuable learning experiences for pilots."