FAA Examines CFI Renewal Process

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The FAA held a two-day meeting this week to hear the public's views about the biennial renewal process now used for certified flight instructors to maintain their currency. The current process, which requires that instructors must either meet certain training criteria or complete a flight-instructor refresher course every two years, "may lack sufficient effectiveness in ensuring that CFIs are being provided the best information in the most useful manner," the FAA said. At this week's forum, the FAA said it doesn't expect to change its rules anytime soon, according to Jason Blair, executive director of the National Association of Flight Instructors. "The discussion was focused on continually improving the quality of material that flight instructors encounter in their renewal process," he said.

The FAA and NAFI share the same goal, Blair said: professional, knowledgeable flight instructors who can provide effective instruction for their clients. To prepare for this week's forum, NAFI conducted a survey of its members to explore some of the topics under discussion. That effort (PDF) found that NAFI members are opposed to increasing the complexity of the current regulations. NAFI also suggested that perhaps CFI certificates should be issued without the current two-year expiration date, so inactive CFIs wouldn't have to keep taking FIRCs to keep their certificate, but would instead have to meet other, to-be-determined, currency criteria before actively instructing.