FAA, EC Sign New Pilot Licensing, Training Annexes

 - November 25, 2020, 9:55 AM

The U.S. FAA and European Commission (EC) recently signed decisions on several areas of collaboration, including two new annexes that expand the U.S.-EU Safety Agreement regarding pilot licensing and flight simulation devices. The new annexes mark the culmination of a multi-year effort to permit reciprocal acceptance of certain approvals, the FAA said, adding that they reduce duplication and leverage FAA and EU resources.

One of the annexes facilitates the conversion of FAA and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) private pilot certificates, airplane ratings, and instrument ratings. An estimated 9,000 European residents hold FAA pilot certificates, the agency said. The second annex enables the FAA and EU/member state authorities to conduct recurrent evaluations on flight simulation training devices on each other’s behalf in the U.S. and in Europe.

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) called the new annexes a “significant milestone” in the effort to improve safety and streamline pilot licensing and training acceptances.

“We applaud the work done between the EU and the U.S. to finalize and reach agreement on these long-awaited annexes,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. Noting GAMA’s efforts to advocate for the harmonization of license validations and recognition of flight simulator certifications, Bunce added, “[GAMA] will continue to work for growth and advancements within the general and business aviation industry and look forward to expanding bilateral aviation safety cooperation.”

In all, the FAA and the EC signed four decisions during the 14th meeting of the Bilateral Oversight Board. Also signed were decisions involving authorizations for EU-certificated maintenance technicians and a reduction in the fees that EASA charges U.S. manufacturers for basic design changes on U.S. aerospace products.