FAA: Plastic Pilot Certificates Mandatory in 2009
Your paper pilot certificate will be suitable for framing -- and not much else -- likely sometime in 2009 as the FAA puts every pilot on plastic. The new, more forgery-resistant certificates were introduced at EAA AirVenture in 2005 as a security enhancement. The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) Friday that will make them mandatory two years after the final rule is adopted. A comment period lasts until March 6 so the final rule could be adopted as early as this coming spring. Those holding mechanic or flight engineer certificates will have five years to convert, but student pilots won't be affected. The NPRM also makes it a requirement that when an airplane is sold that the FAA is notified within five days. Buyer's and seller's names have to be printed or typed beside the signature on the transfer papers to make the paper trail more meaningful when other agencies are trying to track drug smugglers.