The FAA has proposed a rule that would remove the 24-month expiration date on flight instructor certificates and instead establish 24-month recent experience requirements. According to a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published on Tuesday, the methods of demonstrating recent experience would be the same as the current renewal methods established in 14 CFR § 61.197(a), namely passing a practical test; endorsing at least five students for a practical test with at least 80 percent passing on the first attempt; serving as a company check pilot, chief flight instructor, company check airman or flight instructor in a Part 121 or Part 135 operation; completing an approved flight instructor refresher course; or passing an official U.S. Armed Forces military instructor pilot or pilot examiner proficiency check. The proposed rule would also let instructors establish recent experience by serving as a flight instructor in an FAA-sponsored pilot proficiency program. A similar rule to allow the issuance of flight instructor certificates without expiration dates was proposed in 2007, but was later withdrawn.
“Industry advocates have expressed support for removing the expiration date on a flight instructor certificate and amending the renewal and reinstatement requirements,” the FAA wrote in the NPRM. “These industry advocates asserted that requiring an expiration date on a flight instructor certificate is overly burdensome, costly, and provides no safety benefits.”
In addition, the proposed rule would allow flight instructors “whose recent experience has lapsed by no more than three calendar months to reinstate flight instructor privileges by taking an approved flight instructor refresher course rather than completing a flight instructor certification practical test.” It would also add two new methods by which instructors could qualify to provide training to initial flight instructor applicants. The first proposed method would allow an instructor to train a first-time flight instructor applicant once they have trained and endorsed at least five applicants for a pilot certificate or rating practical test with at least 80 percent passing on their first attempt. The second suggested method requires the instructor to have graduated from an FAA-approved flight instructor enhanced qualification training program (FIEQTP) and have given at least 200 hours of flight training. As described in 14 CFR § 61.195(h), instructors providing training to initial flight instructor applicants are currently required to meet the eligibility requirements of 14 CFR § 61.183, hold the appropriate flight instructor certificate and rating, have held a flight instructor certificate for at least 24 months and have given at least 200 hours of flight training.
The NPRM is open for public comments until June 22, 2023. Further information is available via the Federal Register.