Gov. Shutdown Effects on Aviation

This political showdown has given both “sides” a megaphone to voice political viewpoints. Avoiding all this hostility (please?), the effect on aviation – and especially flight training – is increasingly damaging as this shutdown continues to deepen. (We had two charter jets grounded waiting for RVSM approval – FSDOs closed – but fortunately the reg. now has changed allowing ADS-B to serve for separation)

As far as FAA testing goes, PCI (CATS/LaserGrade) is advising everyone that you can take a FAA knowledge test but the results will not be recorded by the FAA (so no good until the guvm’nt gets rolling again).

“Valued PSI Customer, we have been authorized to resume FAA Airman Knowledge Testing. However, please be advised that processing of results will be delayed until the FAA resumes normal operations.
Thank you for your understanding.”

It is theoretically possible take that newly printed paper test result to a DPE and manage your practical test entirely with a FAA paper 8710-1, sending it directly to the FAA in Oklahoma City. That should work if you have a DPE willing to work the paper.

For those with valid (historic) knowledge test you can take a practical test through IACRA and obtain a FAA 8o6o-4 temporary certificate (good for 120 days) but no plastic will be coming from FAA Registry. FSDOs are closed so no extensions after the 120 day duration will be available. And with loss of FSDO services, there will be no LOAs for RVSM or other approvals issued. Our company has two jets sitting because they cannot recertify them for Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums. Fortunately, ADS-B will be an accepted method for RVSM separation starting on Jan 22 due to a recent FAA rule change.

The FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where controllers go for training, is closed which is unfortunate at a time of critical controller shortages. The FAA Aeronautical Central Counsel office is closed and unable to issue opinions, delaying aircraft registration for certain types of trusts and businesses until the shutdown ends. And the FAA’s medical certification branch is closed, meaning pilots will have to wait until the shutdown is over to receive their medical certificates from the FAA if they have a special issuance.

The Airline Pilots Association has written to President Trump asking him to end the shutdown in the interest of aviation safety:

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association is holding a rally in Washington today to ask government to end the shutdown and work on a separate political solution that does not jeopardize aviation safety:

StopShutDown

That is the story as far as we know now, let us know *YOUR experiences* and thereby help others through this difficult time?  Feel free to share your (aviation) stories and concerns here. Please do not vent about your political viewpoints here (social media works for that!)


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Author: David St. George

SAFE Director, Master CFI, 141Chief Instructor, FAA DPE, ATP (ME/SE) Currently flying 135 charter (again)

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