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Temporary airman certificate expiring? Here’s how to keep flying

FAA offers advice to request temporary authority

Editor's note: This story was updated Jan. 30 to report that holders of temporary airman certificates nearing expiration should continue to request temporary authority to exercise their certificates while the FAA processes the backlog caused by the partial government shutdown.

Holders of temporary airman certificates that were nearing expiration during or after the partial shutdown of the federal government may request authority on the FAA website to continue exercising their airman privileges. The temporary authority is valid for 60 days.

If your temporary airman certificate is about to expire, you might need to request authority to continue exercising your privileges during the federal government partial shutdown. Photo by Mike Fizer.

To help mitigate the shutdown’s effects on temporary airman certificate holders, the FAA distributed instructions explaining what to do if your temporary airman certificate might expire while the FAA deals with the processing backlog that was caused by the shutdown that ended, perhaps only temporarily, on Jan. 25.

The step-by-step instructions explain how you can check the status of your certificate application and request temporary authority to exercise it, if necessary. The instructions pertain to “all airmen (pilots, ground instructors, flight instructors, flight engineers, flight navigators, mechanics, air traffic control tower operators, aircraft dispatchers, repairmen, and parachute riggers) for whom the application was processed, but a certificate was not mailed or not yet received,” the FAA said.

The first step is to navigate to the FAA website to check to see if your application has been processed. If it has, which you can determine by verifying that the airman certificate information the FAA has on file matches your temporary certificate that is about to expire, you should follow the instructions and proceed to the Airmen Online Services page to request temporary authority. (If it is your first time visiting this site you must create an account).

Once you log in to Airmen Online Services, select Request Temporary Authority to Exercise Certificate Privileges and follow the instructions.

There is no charge for receiving a letter of temporary authority to exercise the privileges of your certificate.

If the information from the website does not match your soon-to-expire temporary airman certificate, your application has not been processed by the FAA and you cannot request temporary authority to exercise privileges.

Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz
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 35-year AOPA member.
Topics: Advocacy, Pilot Regulation, Training and Safety

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