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FAA Issues Final Rule On Airmen Certificate Replacements

February 29, 2008 — The FAA this week issued a final rule that will require all pilots to replace their paper airmen certificate with a counterfeit-resistant plastic certificate by March 31, 2010. After that date paper pilot certificates may no longer be used to exercise piloting privileges. Three years after this date, certain other paper airmen certificates, such as those for flight engineers and mechanics, may no longer be used to exercise the privileges authorized by those certificates. Student pilot certificates, temporary certificates, and authorizations are not affected under this rule.

These changes are in response to concerns raised in the FAA Drug Enforcement Assistance Act. The purpose of this rule is to upgrade the quality of data and documents to assist federal, state, and local agencies to enforce the nation's drug laws.

EAA has supported changes to more secure and counterfeit-proof certificates consistently since September 11, 2001.

EAA encourages its members to replace their paper certificates soon, keeping in mind there is currently a slight backlog at the Airmen Registry branch with many pilots seeking replacement certificates to comply with the new ICAO "English Proficient" endorsement requirement.

To make the replacement process as quick and easy as possible, the FAA has set up a system that allows certificate holders to request a replacement online at http://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/. The Airmen Certification Branch can be reached at 866-878-2498.

Click here to read the complete final rule.

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