A rebirth of sorts is coming to the FAA’s civil aviation registry in October when web-based services will begin to replace many current processes and systems for registering U.S. aircraft and certifying airmen.
The upgrade is the product of an effort known as the Civil Aviation Registry Electronic Services initiative—“CARES” for short—mandated by the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.
Also, in a March 2020 report to Congress, the Government Accountability Office discussed the need to protect registry information exploitation for “fraudulent purposes,” noting that current FAA processes lack “strong controls.”
“The aviation world is changing rapidly. The tools we use to perform our jobs and the services we provide to our aviation partners and stakeholders need to maintain the same pace and provide the agility needed to support our role in the aviation community particularly when it comes to safety,” said Bob Gonzalez, deputy director of the FAA’s Office of Foundational Business. “CARES will provide our workforce and our stakeholders with the services needed at the time they are needed.”
According to information provided by his office, in the program’s first phase, after a user creates a profile, you will be able to perform tasks including:
Phase 2 of CARES will fully integrate capabilities from the Integrated Airmen Certification and/or Rating Application (IACRA) into the registry.
Drone registration will be incorporated into the system in a third phase.
As the upgrade moves toward its October 5 deadline, AOPA is working with the FAA to disseminate information about registry digitization to the aviation community online (of course) through various in-person and digital platforms, said AOPA Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs Christopher Cooper.
The FAA also has been posting periodic updates on its website. On June 28, a tech-heavy summary discussed capabilities to provide “functionality that further ensures the integrity of user profiles.” That “sprint,” as the FAA calls some steps in the digitization effort, followed a May 27 announcement of completing a sprint adding functionality to amateur-built aircraft and light sport aircraft registration, among other tasks.
There is also a webpage of frequently asked questions about the project.