Though some pilots have managed to fly during the COVID-19 pandemic using appropriate safety protocols, the impact on many is widespread. Julie Boatman

FAA has updated the COVID-19 SFAR 118, originally published on May 4, 2020, with a new regulation extending expiration dates and establishing new protocols for a number of key certifications, currency requirements, and knowledge tests. The document SFAR 118-1 went into effect on June 25, 2020, with final publication on June 29, and it’s effective through March 31, 2021.

The SFAR covers the following: “The amended relief applies to new persons who may have challenges complying with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements. This relief allows operators to continue to use pilots and other crewmembers in support of essential operations during this extended period. This SFAR also provides regulatory relief to additional persons unable to meet duration and renewal requirements due to the public health emergency.”

A table in the SFAR text outlines updates for flight reviews, instrument currency, PIC and SIC proficiency checks, and crewmember requirements, among a host of special certification extensions. In particular, the validity of medical certificates expiring from March 2020 onward now extends to those expiring up through September 2020, with a 3-month extension.

For further information and technical questions, pilots are advised to contact Craig Holmes at (202) 267-1100; or email 9-AVS-AFS800-COVID19-Correspondence@faa.gov.

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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