Thirty-two members of the U.S. House of Representatives General Aviation Caucus have asked the U.S. DOT to accelerate review of a FAA proposal to reform the third-class medical process. Under the proposal, the FAA would allow holders of private pilot certificates and valid driver’s licenses to fly without a third-class medical certificate.
Pilot certification in the United States
The AirPooler general aviation ride-sharing system has advised pilot-members not to list any flights, pending a discussion with the FAA to clarify AirPooler’s regulatory standing.
Until recently, the sharing economy enabled by modern technology has been limited to industries less regulated than aviation such as taxicabs (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar), hotels (Airbnb) and cars (RelayRides). But now the sharing economy is coming to general aviation, in the form of new ways to rent airplanes (OpenAirplane) and systems for sharing expenses and empty seats in Part 91 non-commercial aircraft (AirPooler and Flytenow).
The Department of Transportation’s recent requirement for first officers to have 1,500 hours is taking its toll on air service to some parts of the U.S, a Regional Airline Association spokesman said during a recent hearing on air service to small communities before the U.S. House aviation subcommittee. Brian Bedford, president and CEO of Republic Airways, urged the FAA and Congress to work together to fix the pilot supply challenges created by the new qualification issue by allowing structured credit for more of the logged flight hours required for an air transport pilot certificate.
U.S. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta on Tuesday made his second appearance in three years at the annual Regional Airline Association Convention.
Between 2010 and 2012 the number of active GA aircraft declined by 6.4 percent, to 209,034 from 223,370, according to the 2012 General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey (GA Survey). But the FAA said that the 2012 GA Survey recorded the partial effect of the 2010 Rule for Re-Registration and Renewal of Aircraft Registration. According to the agency, the complete effect of this rule, which requires all aircraft registered in the U.S. to re-register within the three-year period from 2011 to 2013, will be noted after the 2013 survey.
The FAA will begin formal rulemaking to consider whether to allow private pilots to use a driver’s license in lieu of an FAA medical certificate in some circumstances, the agency announced on April 2. The announcement comes two years after the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) filed a joint petition asking the FAA to expand the third-class medical exemption to cover more recreational pilots.
After the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) submitted a petition for exemption for the third-class medical requirement for private or recreational pilots on March 20, 2012, more than 14,000 comments overwhelmingly in support of the exemption were submitted to the FAA. However, the agency failed to act on the exemption request, and now Congress is exerting pressure on the FAA to expand the third-class medical exemption, which currently applies to sport pilots.
King Schools, the flight instruction empire founded by John and Martha King, announced a pair of initiatives aimed at increasing the pilot population and enhancing the sense of community among those within it this week at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. A free eBook, So You Want to Learn to Fly, introduced at the show, covers all aspects of attaining a pilot’s license, written in a fun and easy-to-read style. The book is available through the King Schools website and iTunes book store.
For the hundreds of helicopter pilots that have trained or flown with Dr. Gordon Jiroux in a Robinson R22 over his 30-plus, accident-free years as a flight instructor and the countless others in the industry who know him, the announcement that he would receive the W.A.“Dub” Blessing Award (Flight Instructor of the Year) here at Heli-Expo 2014 was probably met with the thought, “Well, it’s about time!”
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