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FAA updates policy on designee termination

The FAA policy that outlines management of representatives of the agency was updated to include further guidance on termination procedures—now instituting a panel review prior to termination of a designee.


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

Aviation medical examiners, designated pilot examiners, and designated mechanic examiners are just a few examples of FAA employees that fall under the umbrella of designees.

FAA order 8000.95C, a U.S. Department of Transportation FAA National Policy, establishes policy and procedures for managing these designees—and the order was updated on September 21 to implement a review process if a termination of a designee is initiated.

“Designees are selected, appointed, and trained to serve the needs of the FAA in fulfilling its safety mission, allowing the FAA to leverage its resources. Therefore, the FAA can rescind a designation at any time for any reason considered appropriate by the Administrator,” per the order.

The two types of termination of FAA designees are “for cause” and “not for cause.” Designees who are terminated for cause—that is for performance deficiencies, lack of integrity, misconduct, and similar reasons—are now eligible for a review panel to determine if the termination is appropriate.

“The review panel will review the facts and circumstances surrounding the termination for cause decision, including all documentation and the designee’s record in [the designee management system], and provide a recommendation to the [appointing official(s)] responsible for making the decision,” according to the updated order. The review panel will consist of three or more members to include national level policy personnel, whose specialty depends on the designee type being reviewed for termination.

The members of the review panel are charged with determining whether a thorough investigation was performed; whether the designee was provided an opportunity to respond to the investigation; and whether the termination is justified.

After completing the review process, the panel will submit a recommendation within 45 calendar days of the termination initiation. Final decision of termination or reinstatement is left with the manager/appointing official following the review.

Lillian Geil

Communications Specialist
Communications Specialist Lillian Geil is a student pilot and a graduate of Columbia University who joined AOPA in 2021.

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