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"Flying a plane is no different from riding a bicycle. Its just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes."

— Captain Rex Kramer, in the movie Airplane.

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New rules for Student Pilot Certificates released by FAA, removing AME authority to issue
A new rule released on January 12, 2016 by the FAA changes the way student pilots obtain a Student Pilot Certificate and separates the medical examination portion from the actual certificate as it currently exists. A student pilot will apply for a certificate in person from a local FSDO, via a designated pilot examiner, or from a Certified Flight Instructor in conjunction with a Part 141 flight school. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will vet the application, and the student would then receive a plastic and theoretically tamper-proof card that will be forwarded to the student by the Civil Aviation Registry. There are no estimates as to how long the TSA will take to complete this. This will take effect on April 1. There will be no fee associated with this despite some earlier proposals to levy a $22 fee and to require a photo for the certificate. Student pilots still will have to visit an AME to acquire a separate medical certificate, but the AME will not issue the Student Pilot Certificate.

"This is a move to tighten security and we support measures to keep the nation's airspace secure," said Clayton T. Cowl, MD, President of CAMA. "This may complicate the process for student pilots but since they are working with an instructor in most cases anyway, it should remain a fairly seemless process. The question will be how long it takes the TSA to clear a pilot."

Student pilots who possess the current paper certificate may continue to use it until it expires, according to the rule. A nominal $2 fee is requested if the student pilot wishes to upgrade to a plastic certificate.

The FAA indicated that it will publish a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) that would require all plastic student certificates to be resistant to tampering, alteration and counterfeiting, and to include a photograph and “biometric information.”

CAMA Board prepares for winter meeting

The next CAMA Board fo Directors meeting has been set for Saturday, February 6 in Atlanta.


Additions to the by-laws, a review of partliamentary procedure, and brainstorming for innovative educational formats will be included in the event that involves moving the business of the organization forward.


The agenda will also include: working on offering members more resources for assiting with complex cases; creating a stronger culture of serving pilots who need help navigating FAA aeromedical certification; proactively reaching out to the FAA to decrease turn around times of reviewing cases requiring Special Issuance authorization; and expanding CACIs (Conditions AMEs Can Issue).


The CAMA Board will also review the planning fo rthe 2016 annual scientific and educational meeting and do future planning for state-of-the-art educational meetings that feature FAA renewal certification for examiners.




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Last archived CAMA Newsletter (Flight Physician) Click Here