The nearly 850,000 certificated pilots and flight instructors in the USA will have four to five years to replace their plastic certificates with eight-year duration photo identification cards each priced at $22 or more under a new rule to be proposed by the US Federal Aviation Administration.
Fuelling the change is the US Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention law passed in 2004. The law requires the FAA to issue pilot certificates that, along with being resistant to tampering and fraud, must include a photograph and a biometric identifier “or any other unique identifier the FAA administrator considers necessary”, according to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued late in November.
While the FAA is proposing only to have passport-quality photos on the certificates in the NPRM, the agency notes that the Transportation Security Administration “is considering” an unrelated rulemaking “to improve security vetting of airman certificate holders” that may later affect the pilot certificates.
The new rule would also require student pilots to obtain the photo IDs, and any pilots upgrading their certificates, for instance from private pilot to commercial pilot, would have to purchase a new ID as well.
To receive a licence, pilots will either have to travel to one of the 96 flight standards district offices in the USA to verify their identity, or make an appointment with one of 2,700 FAA-designees worldwide, which can tag on an additional charge that the FAA has no control over.
I told you it was coming… the highly trusted professions such as pilots, doctors and other medical and public safety personnel… you know, people who you MUST count on without error… we are going to get “the mark of the beast” whatever it is FIRST… they they will force it on everyone else later. All in the name of anti-terrorism and security of course. I am paying strict attention to the wording here: “or any other unique identifier the FAA administrator considers necessary”, which could include RFID chips etc.
It it true, however, that since the government decided you must be licensed to fly an airplane, that the “certificates” we all carry was enough, because it is a relatively small community in which all pilots are generally “known” by a good many of the others in our community, thus being self-policing to some extent. That is a thing of the past, I’m afraid…