The National Business Aviation Association and a number of other alphabet groups last week participated in a conference call with senior Flight Standards officials to reiterate the importance of providing general aviation operators with regulatory exemption and accommodation in the face of the devastating industry effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Agency officials said they are developing a regulatory solution for operators facing various deadlines raised in an April 1, 2020, letter to the agency. Civil aviation authorities in some other countries—including the Brazilian ANAC, EASA, the Italian ENAC and the UK CAA—have already provided similar exemptions to both commercial and noncommercial operations.
High on the list of topics the agency is expected to address include an extension of Part 61 flight reviews, instrument proficiency checks and PIC/SIC check rides, and guidance for 709 reexamination paperwork to hopefully include a method of accomplishing these electronically. The FAA is also expected to consider extensions for certified flight instructor certificate renewal expiration and endorsement periods; knowledge exam expiration periods; extensions for applicants to complete practical exams; extensions for aircraft maintenance, continuing airworthiness requirements with necessary mitigation procedures and regulatory solution for expired medical certificates.
Brian Koester, NBAA director of flight operations and regulations said, “The Flight Standards Division is prioritizing this work, but they remain constrained by administrative checks and balances.” A possible publication date for the regulatory changes has not yet been identified.
The organizations that were signatories to the letter to the FAA include NBAA, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; Air Medical Operators Association; Experimental Aircraft Association; General Aviation Manufacturers Association; Helicopter Association International; National Agricultural Aviation Association and National Air Transportation Association.