AOPA Warns: Re-Registration Coming, Fee Possible

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A rule proposed in 2008 to remove invalid listings from the aircraft registry would require chronic aircraft re-registration with a proposed chronic fee of $5, yet to be confirmed in the final rule expected this fall. The FAA estimates that about 104,000 of the 343,000 aircraft currently on its aircraft registry are invalid. The rule would address that problem by transitioning the registry from its current non-expiring registrations to registrations that would expire every three years. Owners would have to take action within a three-month window to re-register their aircraft, according to AOPA. The costs associated with the FAA's measure won't be known until the rule is published in the Federal Register this fall, but the FAA has proposed application of the current $5 registration fee to re-registrations and all subsequent renewals. AOPA supports the FAA's intent to improve the registry's accuracy, but proposed an alternative method.

AOPA's alternative avoided registration expirations, and fees, and would have allowed owners to verify their registration information online or through the Triennial Aircraft Registration Report already used by the FAA. It "would not have canceled N numbers for aircraft owners who did not re-register their aircraft on time," according to AOPA, but would require verification for all aircraft in the FAA Aircraft Registry within 36 months." AOPA believes this would allow more flexibility for owners of aircraft that remain unflown for extended periods of time like those that undergo long-term maintenance or restoration.