FAA DPERWG ARAC Report Delivered

A few who know me know that over the past year and a half I have had the opportunity to be a representative of the aviation training and testing industry on an FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee focused on recommending enhancements to the testing process provided by FAA Designated Pilot Examiners.

This past week, the final report from the team of FAA staff and industry representatives was delivered and is now public.

The work that was completed is a direct response to a request from Congress and industry requests for modernization and improvement.

On October 5, 2018, Congress enacted the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (P.L 115-254). Section 319 (Designated Pilot Examiner Reforms) of P.L. 115-254 requires the Administrator assign to the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee the task of reviewing all regulations and policies related to designated pilot examiners appointed under section 183.23 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations.

On June 20, 2019, the FAA assigned this task to ARAC, which ARAC designated to the Designated Pilot Examiner Reforms Working Group.

This work has resulted in a final report that will be reviewed by the FAA for implementation of recommendations as possible going forward.

I consider the ability to have participated in this effort a privilege and am hopeful that the work this group did will be able to be implemented for positive effects on the provision of testing for FAA certification in the United States.

With that said, I encourage others to take the time to review the work that was done in the final report and to continue the conversation as the FAA and industry representatives work to continue to enhance safety while at the same time improving service to all stakeholders in our aviation industry.

Click here to see the final Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee Designated Pilot Examiner Reforms Working Group report

What did the 2020 FAA FAA US Civil Airman Statistics Tell Us?

With a year of uncertainty behind us there were questions about pilot certification numbers that many in the industry were asking. Did we keep training the next generation of pilots in 2020? How did flight training operations fair with shutdowns, very different business pressures, and a unique regulatory environment that was affected by local and national restrictions?

Just this past week, the 2020 US Civil Airman Statistics (https://www.faa.gov/data_research/aviation_data_statistics/civil_airmen_statistics/) were released and the data included allows some interpretation of what happened in 2020 compared with past years.

There is mostly good news in here with a little bit of expected bad.

Here are some highlights from the 2020 year and some comparisons with previous years.

Overall, an extremely minimal reduction in overall Pilot Certificates Issued

In a year when many businesses were closed, or at reduced capacity, and when we know that many flight training providers did experience at least temporary stoppages in training provision, the rally that was experienced is impressive.

Compared to 2019, 2020 saw an overall reduction in pilot certificate issuance of a mere 463 certificates, or an equated 0.049% compared with 2019 and was still an increase over 2018 of 8239 certificates, a nearly 10% increase in pilot certificate production. The gist, the pilot training industry is jamming and churning through certification of pilots at a good pace and that didn’t slow down in 2020. Continue reading

A Lost Year of Full ATP Pilot Certificate Production?

Some things you just can’t get back. Like time. And time is what it takes to train pilots.

About mid-way through 2020, as the country managed its responses to COVID-19, most regional airlines stopped hiring new pilots due to reductions in the need for pilots as airline service needs were significantly reduced. Without an actively flying public, fewer flights were needed, and that meant fewer pilots were needed. Most of these pilots were put on reduced hours or even given time off.

While our country is beginning to return to some higher volumes of flight activity, we still haven’t reached the same production level of ATP certificates that we were seeing approximately one year ago at this time.

When we look at the numbers month-to-month in 2020 and this January, we see that by May and June the production levels of ATP certificates had dropped precipitously. Continue reading