FAA Expunges Previous Enforcement Action Records Policy

 - February 17, 2011, 9:15 AM

“The FAA has temporarily suspended its policy of expunging certain records of legal enforcement actions against individuals to ensure compliance with recent amendments to the Pilot Records Improvement Act [PRIA],” the agency said late last week in a policy statement. In 1991, the FAA adopted a policy of expunging records of certain closed legal enforcement actions against airman certificate holders. Under the previous policy, records of legal enforcement actions involving suspension of an airman certificate or a civil penalty against an individual were maintained for five years and then expunged. Cases closed with no enforcement action were expunged within 90 days. But the Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act of 2010 Congress enacted in August caused a policy change. The act amends PRIA by requiring the FAA to create a pilot records database that air carriers will use to perform background checks on pilots before hiring them. The database will contain various records, including summaries of FAA legal enforcement actions, that the FAA must keep “until it receives notice that the individual is deceased.” However, the agency “will continue to expunge records of administrative actions and cases with no enforcement action, as PRIA does not require the FAA to put this information in the pilot record database.”