Aussies Slow To Sign Up For Photographic Licenses

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Australian pilots are being urged to "get their skates on" and get their applications in for credentials that become mandatory on Jan. 1. Officials are now worried they won't be able to process the last-minute influx of applications before the deadline. Only about half of Australia's 30,000 pilots have applied for either an aviation security identification card or a photographic license. There are two options. Those flying into security-controlled airports need a police- and security-agency background check while others can get by with the photo license alone. "There's still half out there who have got to get their skates on and start deciding which one they need and put in the application," Peter Gibson, of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, told The Australian. The photo license costs $95 AUD and the higher-security documents cost $145 AUD. Gibson said it's important that pilots know the difference between the two and get the paperwork that applies to the type of flying they do. To streamline the application process, CASA has been made the issuing body for both documents. As might be expected, the background checks for access to secure areas of major airports are more thorough than those issued to pilots who don't use those facilities.