FAA Publish SFAR For Part 107 Remote Pilots
FAA Publish SFAR For Part 107 Remote Pilots. This Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to drone Part 107 holders who have expiry dates approaching.
This SFAR covers pilots in charge who have been unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to COVID-19 outbreak.
Why is the FAA SFAR Important?
While your FAA Remote Pilot Certificate never expires, to continue your operating privileges, you need to have passed either the initial test or the recurrent test within the last 24 months.
You can let time lapse beyond that, but you cannot legally operate commercial drones within that time.
This relief allows operators to continue to use pilots and other crewmembers in support of essential operations during this period. Additionally, this SFAR provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and renewal requirements due to the outbreak
This SFAR is effective April 30, 2020 through March 31, 2021.
Who Is This SFAR for?
If you are a commercial drone operator or current Part 107 holder, and your 24 month recurrent knowledge is due between 1st April 2020 through to 30th June 2020.
Other Extensions applicable to all pilots (regardless of the type of flying) include:
- Medical certificates. The FAA extended the validity periods of airman medical certificates that expire between March 31 and May 31 through June 30. However, the prohibition on operations during medical deficiency remains in effect.
- Knowledge tests. Applicants whose knowledge tests expire between March and June will have their knowledge tests’ validity extended by three calendar months, making the applicants eligible for a practical test for a certificate or rating issued under Part 61 for those additional three calendar months.
- Flight instructors. Flight instructor certificates, unlike pilot certificates, expire every 24 calendar months. The SFAR will extend the validity of flight instructor certificates that expired between March 31 and May 31 until June 30 in certain circumstances.
How does it Works?
If your aeronautical knowledge test is due between 1st April 2020 through to 30th June 2020, you would normally book into a test centre to take a current knowledge exam.
Most knowledge test centres however are closed, or have reduced capacity due to social distancing due to COVID-19.
By completing the free online course ALC-515 at the FAA safety website you will be able to extend your due date by 6 calendar months to stay compliant.
For example. If your knowledge certificate expires on the 15th May 2020, by taking and passing the online course your new expiry date would be 14th November 2020.
The extension under this SFAR is only valid for 6 calendar months. It can only be extended once UNLESS another SFAR is issued by the FAA.
On this example, you would have to attend a knowledge test centre before 14th November 2020 to stay in compliance.
What if your Knowledge Cert Expired before 1st April?
Well, its no joke, if your certificate expired before the 1st of April 2020, then you do not qualify for The SFAR relief. You no longer have the recency of knowledge required by the FAA and not eligible to take the online test.
If you want to fly commercial or enjoy Part 107 privileges, then you will have to be under the direct supervision of a valid Part107 holder. Tricky if observing social distancing in these times of COVID-19.
Full details of the SFAR from the FAA can be found HERE.