Updated DPE Policy Announced

Changes may help reduce examiner backlog.

Last week's release of FAA Notice 8900.485 is the first of changes in designated pilot examiner policies that FSANA and other industry representatives hope will help alleviate practical tests backlog in some areas of the country. The notice was created from input received by the FAA from the flight training community to allow more testing to take place in each day by each DPE.

Changes will allow DPE's located near FSDO boundaries to operate without the previous geographic restrictions, to offer specialty tests such as glider or seaplane testing throughout the country, and for examiners who may find themselves regularly or seasonally in other areas, to provide tests without needing prior approval from local FSDO offices. The eased restrictions are expected to provide some degree of flexibility to restrictions that have slowed practical test production in the past.

Some of the notice's highlights say initial CFI practical tests can directly be scheduled with examiners who have authorization to conduct those tests and that they no longer must contact a FSDO office to have an examiner assigned. DPE's are also now authorized to give up to three full practical tests and an unlimited number of retests in a day. The FSANA lead industry task force continues to collaborate with the FAA for positive testing administrative changes that will allow practical tests to be scheduled within 14 days of being signed off by their CFI.