The FAA can get back to its long-stalled effort to publish new airman certification standards now that the Department of Transportation has removed obstacles that froze the project in 2019, AOPA and other aviation industry members said in a letter to FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.
The April 1 letter, which followed up the industry's broaching the subject with officials in February, urges the FAA to make the publication of ACS volumes—a key component of a yearslong effort to modernize the training and testing of pilots, mechanics, and other aviation personnel—an agency priority.
While the freeze has been in place, the flight training industry and practical test applicants have endured uncertainty about what test standards might apply to some practical exams. Also, the release dates of numerous FAA handbooks that were being reworked to go hand-in-glove with the new ACS volume remained to be determined.
The letter, which was signed by AOPA and 22 other aviation industry groups and individuals, notes that 12 new ACS volumes await rollout.
The FAA now has a clear path to “take the needed steps to fully implement this policy change by resuming ACS publication on a consistent and predictable timetable. This will serve to deepen the trust and collaboration between community and agency for a truly effective framework, and ultimately result in a safer National Airspace System,” it said.