The FAA announced today that it intends “later this year” to issue a formal notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to increase the mandatory airline pilot retirement age from 60 to 65. The planned proposal follows several other recent related actions.
Federal Aviation Administration
At the Dubai Air Show last month, Tbilisi Aerospace Manufacturing (TAM) of Tbilisi, Georgia (the former Soviet Republic, not the Peachtree State), featured as part of its small stand a wall-size photograph of the twin-engine Maverick Jet kitplane.
Hoping to stave off a shortage of air traffic controllers caused by an expected wave of retirements, the FAA intends to hire 12,500 new controllers during the next 10 years and improve training so that candidates can become fully certified professional controllers more quickly.
The FAA is reviewing a proposed noise-compatibility program for Dannelly Field, Montgomery, Ala. The program, being developed under FAR Part 150, is scheduled to be approved or rejected no later than August 27. Comments may be submitted until April 29. For more information, contact the FAA’s Kristi Ashley in Jackson, Miss.; telephone (601) 664-9891.
Concerned by its findings between 1998 and 2003 involving airline pilots, the FAA late last year proposed to amend airman medical standards so that a refusal to submit to a required drug or alcohol test would result in revocation or disqualification of an airman medical certificate. Only about 20 comments were submitted.
While the national intelligence reform law President Bush signed in December carries a provision for photo IDs for “pilots”, confusion reigns over which airman certificates are included. An FAA spokesman told AIN that the law would include any U.S.-issued license, including that for pilots, A&Ps, air traffic controllers and dispatchers. But the law only refers specifically to improved pilot licenses.
As it searches for 12,500 new air traffic controllers, the FAA extended the eligibility period for college students with training in ATC to become controllers. Previously, graduates of the agency’s Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) could be hired on an expedited basis only within two years of graduation.
Failure to provide timely distribution of guidance material to repair stations has prompted the FAA to delay for one year–until April 6 next year–the compliance deadline for repair stations to meet new regulations (FAR 145.163) for having an approved training program in effect. “This action will give repair stations sufficient time to develop their programs,” the FAA said, “and will give the FAA time to evaluate them and approve them.”
“This is a recording” will have more meaning to accident investigators if the FAA enacts a proposal to beef up rules regarding cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) and flight data recorders (FDRs). The rules, proposed primarily in response to NTSB recommendations, would not mandate the installation of CVRs or FDRs in aircraft not already required to have them.
H.R.2115, the House of Representatives’ “Vision 100–Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act,” was combined with S.842, the Senate’s “Aviation and Investment Act,” and was more commonly known as the FAA reauthorization bill. The bill made its tortuous way through the House and a joint conference committee, and it was finally approved by the Senate in late November. President Bush signed it on December 16.