EAA Lists Concerns on Pilot Certificate Photo Proposal
February 17, 2011 —In response to a 2004 congressional mandate, the FAA has proposed a new form of pilot certificate that would include a photo. The requirements from Congress include security measures like resistance to tampering and a unique identifier such as a digital photo or biometric ID. EAA and other industry groups argue that the new requirements increase costs to certificate holders and are unnecessary since the current rules require pilots to carry a photo ID. Also, that new ID may still not conform to Department of Homeland Security standards, which means in the future certificate holders would have to replace their IDs a second time.
EAA contends the proposal would require certificate holders to pay for the new form of ID, which would cost the pilot community as a whole $445.8 million over the 20-year implementation period. There is also concern about issuance of student pilot certificates, which are currently paper and are issued by a medical examiner. The proposal would also require student pilots to get plastic certificates with a photo, which could take up to eight weeks to receive from the FAA.
While EAA and AOPA are working with members of Congress, the FAA is also feeling pressure from Florida Representative John Mica. The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman has been publicly pressuring the FAA to comply with the mandate.