The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and other associations today requested the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) extend the effective date for several exemptions or extensions for pilot medical certifications, training proficiency and a host of other requirements contained in Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) 118.
The relief package, which became effective on April 30, 2020, with most extensions expiring on June 30, 2020, provides regulatory relief for affected pilots to remain in compliance with several FAA mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a May 29 letter to FAA Associate Administration for Aviation Safety Ali Bahrami, NBAA and other associations expressed gratitude to the FAA for the agency’s quick response to the compliance challenges caused by stay-at-home and other mandates resulting from COVID-19. While many states are lifting stay-at-home mandates, and businesses are beginning to reopen, some restrictions continue to negatively impact general aviation.
To ensure general aviation can continue to play a vital role in COVID-19 response, management and recovery, the associations requested:
- An additional month of flexibility for pilots, operators, and certificate holders to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing and checking requirements provided in SFAR 118;
- Additional relief until September 30 for duration, medical and renewal requirements provided in SFAR 118, and;
- Relief for pilots, operators and certificate holders facing expiring experience, testing, checking, duration, medical and renewal requirements in July, August and September.
“The aviation community continues to move through an unprecedented and unpredictable period in our nation’s history” the associations said in the letter. “The nation’s return to unrestricted movement and person-to-person contact is taking longer than expected. While government entities continue to progress through various stages of reopening, additional flexibility will allow airmen and examiners to abide by CDC and individual state recommendations, while stimulating the economy and moving medical and emergency supplies when needed. The current mitigations in SFAR 118 will continue to ensure the safety of these operations during this additional extension.”
“While states and businesses are reopening, we are still far from normal,” said Brian Koester, CAM, NBAA director of flight operations and regulations. “This extension will give pilots and operators an opportunity to meet training and proficiency requirements in a safe manner, and allow pilots to fill critical roles in COVID-19 recovery.”