Saturday, November 25, 2017

Federal Aviation Administration Seeks Rule Changes to Ease Transition of Military Pilots Into Airliner Cockpits: Agency move avoids White House requirement to eliminate two existing regulations for every new proposed rule

The FAA’s proposal provides more leeway for pilots of what it calls large ‘powered-lift aircraft,’ such as the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey, to transfer military flight-hours to meet civilian requirements.

The Wall Street Journal
By Andy Pasztor
Nov. 25, 2017 7:00 a.m. ET

As part of efforts to make it easier for U.S. military aviators to become commercial airline pilots, the Federal Aviation Administration has found a strategy around White House mandates to eliminate two existing regulations for each new rule that is proposed.

Seeking to permit additional current and former military flyers to claim civilian credit for hours spent behind the controls while in uniform, the agency on Friday formally proposed revising current regulations spelling out experience requirements for new commercial captains and co-pilots. The goal is to help alleviate shortages of entry-level pilots, an undersupply that particularly is dogging certain regional carriers.

But it is also the first major safety rule to come out of the FAA this year without simultaneously identifying any regulations that are slated be scrubbed.

The document published in the Federal Register—previously reviewed by officials at the Transportation Department and White House Office of Management and Budget—explicitly indicates the proposed rule falls outside the scope of President Donald Trump’s  executive order demanding a 2-for-1 trade-off between existing and future regulations. The reason, according to the FAA, is that the initiative is “a deregulatory action” because the proposed changes “result in cost savings” rather than additional financial burdens.

Anticipated savings include simplified record-keeping for the FAA, plus tens of thousands of dollars in potential savings for individual pilots who would avoid paying for extra flight hours now required before they are eligible to transfer into civilian cockpits.

The FAA’s move has potentially broad implications for future rule-making by federal transportation officials affecting a variety of issues, ranging from drones to air-traffic control to autonomous vehicles. In some aviation areas, FAA chief Michael Huerta and Dan Elwell, the agency’s deputy administrator, similarly hope to persuade White House regulatory officials to sign off on new safety initiatives without automatically imposing a 2-for-1 regulatory swap, according to people familiar with their thinking.

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Secretary Elaine Chao is pursuing a common-sense approach and a regulatory agenda—spanning ground and air technologies—built on a “carefully crafted balance that accelerates the safe integration of technology without imposing additional costs or stifling innovation.”

The expense and time needed to build up requisite civilian flight hours before being allowed to fly passengers, according to industry officials, has discouraged some military applicants and reduced the pool of acceptable pilot candidates for certain airlines. The FAA already has rules in place giving pilots of fixed-wing aircraft extra credit for their military experience. But under Friday’s proposed move, the agency would open the door for pilots of helicopters and other aircraft types to transfer their military experience to meet certain minimum FAA experience levels.

Agency officials haven’t proposed lowering total flight-hour requirements for airline co-pilots or captains with military backgrounds, a step that likely would prompt sharp opposition by many lawmakers. Instead, the FAA document proposes more leeway for pilots of what it calls large “powered-lift aircraft” such as the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey, which takes off like a helicopter but cruises like an airplane, to transfer military flight-hours to meet civilian requirements.

The proposal comes less than two weeks after Transportation’s Ms. Chao unveiled a separate pilot program intended to help all types of U.S. military veterans train to become airline pilots.

Even before the latest White House regulatory directive, FAA leaders faced major hurdles issuing wide-ranging safety regulations because record low commercial accident rates make it increasingly difficult to justify tighter rules on a strict cost-benefit analysis. But more than ever, FAA and other agencies are under White House pressure to show that whatever regulations are proposed will end up reducing overall costs for industry.

Original article can be found here ➤


Anonymous said...

There is plenty of dead wood in the Federal Aviation Regulations; if the FAA can't make the 2-for-one swap, then too bad... live with it. Quit being lazy and stubborn, go find the least-relevant laws in your books and take 'em out! Everyone needs to be onboard with the effort to simplify the regs, no exceptions.

Anonymous said...

who does the FAA answer to? No one, thus they have run rogue. Good to have someone finally force their hand. FAA = Finally Abolish Aviation.

Anonymous said...

Amen. The bureaucracy has become the 4th leg of government, throwing a temper tantrum if it is not fed. If the FAA wants some suggestions on eliminating regulations, how about ceasing its assault on general aviation? If FAA regulations were applied to your privately owned home the way they are to privately owned hangars, you'd only be able to use your home for approved domestic activities. You would not be allowed to work from home, nor start a home based business. Kitchen facilities could be used only for food consumed on the premises, and you would not be allowed to make food for a sack lunch or school bake sale. Temporary occupants (e.g. your parents coming for a visit) would not be allowed, nor would you be able to hold a room open for someone not living there full time (e.g. holding your son or daughter's room while they're at college).

Seriously, it's that bad. Over the past decade you can make the argument that the FAA wants to eliminate general aviation.