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FAA reorganizes Flight Standards ServiceFAA reorganizes Flight Standards Service

The FAA’s Flight Standards Service (AFS) has been reorganized, and now operates under a four-unit functional structure that replaces the former “geography-based regional structure.” The new structure divides Flight Standards into the functional areas of Air Carrier Safety Assurance, General Aviation Safety Assurance, Safety Standards, and Foundational Business.

The Federal Aviation Administration is one of the many government agencies that have influence over general aviation. Photo by David Tulis.

“The legacy regional structure no longer exists in Flight Standards,” the FAA said in an email to AOPA.

The changes, brought about under a project the FAA calls the Future of Flight Standards Initiative, are expected to be “transparent” to the aviation community, and make Flight Standards more responsive to the needs of the highly dynamic aviation community.

In an Aug. 22 news release, the FAA said the Flight Standards Service reorganization—which includes the agency’s 77 former flight standards district offices—“will enable it to operate with greater accountability, better use of resources, and more readiness to adapt to change,” and will “make sure AFS employees develop and interpret regulations and policy consistently across the organization.”

“To enhance the AFS safety culture, interdependence, critical thinking, and consistency will now be embedded in every AFS employee's work requirements,” it added.

AOPA plans to meet soon with Flight Standards Service officials to discuss details of the unit’s reorganization and assess its impact on pilots and aircraft operators, said David Oord, AOPA senior director of regulatory affairs.

All current and valid documents, media, and products issued by the FAA remain valid, the agency said in an Information for Operators publication issued about the reorganization project July 26.

This quick reference page lists policy matters and the FAA offices to which they should be directed. (It also advises operators who would typically contact a Flight Standards office to “continue to contact that same person/office.”)

Answers to frequently asked questions about the initiative are available on the FAA's website.

Pilots also can compare the new and superseded Flight Standards Service organizational structure charts.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: Advocacy, FAA Information and Services

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