FAA Grants NATA Extension of Existing Relief and New Check Airman Exemption

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) was pleased to announce to its members the granting of COVID-related relief extending deadlines for proficiency and competency checks and completion of crew training.

The Association worked to secure a vital exemption, FAA Exemption No. 18685, extending the timeframe for a check airman to conduct a proficiency or competency check under the observation of an FAA inspector or an aircrew designated examiner from 24 to 36 months.

“These exemptions highlight NATA’s ongoing work with the FAA and the industry to ensure the continued ability for our members to safely operate throughout the public health crisis,” stated NATA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs John McGraw. “We could not be more grateful to the FAA for their swift, innovative, and exceptional response to mitigating unconventional circumstances that greatly impact our members and the industry.”     ​

The FAA is granting the requested relief to NATA members and other part 135 air carriers and operators that submit a Letter of Intent as described in the exemption. In making its determination, the agency recognized the immense value of part 135 air carriers and operators to remote communities and the essential services they provide in the movement of people, goods, and mail.

In filing the petition, NATA highlighted risk mitigation measures for consideration that would maintain at least an equivalent level of safety with current operations.

The FAA has also granted a NATA petition to extend relief on crew training deadlines previously provided in Exemption No. 18510C. The new Exemption No. 18510D  provides limited relief from the timeframes for completing recurrent training and qualification requirements for ground personnel and crewmembers through March 31, 2021.

Importantly, the extension does not expand upon the relief already provided to ground personnel and crewmembers with training and qualification requirements due through December 31, 2020. Rather, it provides relief to ground personnel and crewmembers with training and qualification requirements due in January, February, and March 2021.