The FAA and industry partners took another step toward improving the pilot certification process with the publication of revised standards for airline transport pilot certification and type rating issuance that more closely align with the knowledge pilots must have to fly safely.
The new ATP Airman Certification Standards (ACS) have been published online with an effective date of June 28, the culmination of a larger effort undertaken over the past several years to overhaul certification standards for all pilots. With new standards for private and commercial pilot-airplane certificates already in place, the new ATP standards represent the most recent component of the comprehensive overhaul to take effect. AOPA Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs David Oord served as chair of the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee’s Airman Certification System Working Group that worked with the FAA to develop new holistic and integrated certification standards that ensure pilots are trained and tested on all of the elements needed to operate safely in the National Airspace System.
“The FAA developed this ACS along with associated guidance and updated reference material in collaboration with a diverse group of aviation training experts. The goal is to drive a systematic approach to all components of the airman certification system, including knowledge test question development and conduct of the practical test,” the agency wrote. “The FAA acknowledges and appreciates the many hours that these aviation experts have contributed toward this goal. This level of collaboration, a hallmark of a robust safety culture, strengthens and enhances aviation safety at every level of the airman certification system.”
Oord noted that the new ATP ACS consolidated some overlapping tasks, reorganized the areas of operations and tasks to more closely align with the existing airplane ACS standards, and defined the aeronautical knowledge standards by adding tasks that are reflective of the regulations. The draft standards were published in October, and the FAA considered 94 comments submitted before publishing the final version. The new standards include “specific, observable behaviors for risk management and aeronautical decision-making.”
Oord encouraged flight schools and pilots to review the new standards in detail and incorporate the revisions into their training and certification programs. Current standards for all certificate levels are available online.