FAA to Launch Changes to Pilot Certification Process in January

The ACTS site hosts updates on pilot certificate testing. istock

The FAA announced that on January 13, 2020, it would launch changes to the pilot certification process, including the requirement for an FAA Tracking Number for knowledge exam testing, and additional updates for airman knowledge exam results.

The FAA Tracking Number, or FTN, should be familiar to those who have undergone a practical test in the last few years, as it has been used within the application process for a new rating or certificate. That process utilizes a form known as IACRA (Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application). A prospective pilot previously first created a profile in IACRA, which delivers an FTN, when applying for an initial student pilot certificate. Because some students take the knowledge exam prior to beginning any flight training, inconsistencies could develop between the profile entered for the knowledge test—including the user’s name—and that used on the application for the initial certificate. By creating an IACRA profile and using the FTN on the subsequent knowledge exam (such as that for private pilot), the user eliminates the chance that different names will need alignment between the knowledge exam results and the application for the pilot certificate.

FAA has posted information regarding the changes on their Airman Certificate Testing Service (ACTS) site. The agency offers several sessions to go over the new process, including the following:

  • Thursday, December 19, 2019, at 10 a.m. EST
  • Thursday, December 19, 2019, at 3 p.m. EST
  • Wednesday, January 8, 2020, at 10 a.m. EST
  • Wednesday, January 8, 2020, at 3 p.m. EST

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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