FAA Proposes New Pilot Certification and Training Rules

Part 61 changes, including more sim time for instrument training, come in response to a petition by aviation groups led by AOPA.

New rules proposed by the FAA could soon improve pilot certification and flight training in general aviation.

The agency’s recently published notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) mainly addresses Part 61, which governs the certification of pilots, flight instructors and ground instructors at smaller flight schools. Proposed rule changes would allow pilots to complete more of their instrument training on aviation training devices (ATDs) and reduce the number of tasks pilots must perform to meet recency requirements in an ATD.

Under the proposed rules, applicants for commercial pilot certificates would be able to use a wider range of new technically advanced airplanes instead of older complex or turbine-powered airplanes for training.

The NPRM would also affect sport pilots planning to earn a higher certificate level. Pilots could put their hours spent on sport pilot training toward experience requirements for a Recreational or Private Pilot certificate.

Some of the FAA’s rule changes are in response to a petition by AOPA and other aviation groups in favor of facilitating the training process for pilots.

“AOPA has long advocated for many of the changes in the NPRM, and we believe they will benefit the general aviation community,” said David Oord, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. “Many of the proposals in the NPRM will save pilots time and money while making it easier for them to maintain or expand their skills.”


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