The FAA has rolled out new airman certification standards (ACS) this week aimed at applicants for private pilot airplane certificates and instrument ratings. The ACSs replace practical test standards. The agency expects to make similar transitions for other certificates and ratings in the future.
Developed in collaboration with industry experts over the past five years, the ACSs are designed to provide pilots, instructors and evaluators a single-source set of “clear, logical standards that tell them what they need to know, consider and do to qualify and pass both the knowledge and practical tests for airman certification and ratings,” the agency said. The ACS incorporates aeronautical-knowledge and risk-management elements to support skills in the practical tests and includes “special emphasis” areas.
The FAA implemented the standards nationwide after a more limited prototype test in Florida and Washington State, said AOPA, which chairs the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee’s Airman Certification System working group. AOPA noted the ACSs were found to be comparable to existing standards in terms of difficulty, time and information required.
The FAA has established an Airman Certification Standards page with detailed information on the standards and is planning a series of webinars on June 25, July 1, July 9, July 18 and July 30 to discuss the changes.