Aircraft Re-registration Effort Looks Bad in Public Eye

The FAA's aircraft re-registration initiative has caught the attention of headline writers in the general media. "FAA loses track of 190,000 planes" was one. Naturally, the emphasis in the stories was on the potential threat to security. In fact, the larger concern is one of administrative housekeeping. Under the new rules, aircraft owners will have three years to re-register their aircraft. Up to now, aircraft owners needed to register them just once, when they were purchased. But over time, aircraft that were taken out of service were not accounted for in the records, and there has been confusion over the disposition of their registration numbers. The highest profile case involved pilot training video stars John and Martha King who were detained in handcuffs after the Cessna they were flying was confused with another Cessna that had been stolen several years ago. A database flagged the tail number when the Kings filed their IFR flight plan.