FAA Extends Training Exemptions - Due to COVID-19

With COVID-19 resurging nationwide, the FAA has approved four petitions that extend the previous exemptions for training, testing or checking requirements for crewmembers and ground personnel employed by Part 119 certificate holders operating under Part 135 and Part 121, including Part 135 operations who train and qualify pilots in accordance with Part 121.

To employ the exemptions, Part 119 certificate holders should request relief in a letter to the FAA. If an operator’s principal operations inspector (POI) has authorized the application of the preceding exemption, there is no need to submit another letter. The exemptions apply only to the personnel required to complete training during the periods explained in each exemption.

Operators must document how their alternative methods of training, testing, and checking will mitigate the potential spread of coronavirus, and detail how they will ensure that personnel are adequately trained, current, and proficient. This training plan must include the POI with an applicable safety management system risk assessment or analysis.

Through Nov. 30, 2020, Exemption 18509B allows Part 135 operations to use alternative methods to conduct certain required crewmember emergency procedures that involve equipment placed on or over the head during recurrent or upgrade training. This exemption does not apply to personnel undergoing initial or transition training, checking or testing.

Through Sept. 30, 2020, Exemption 18510B provides Part 135 operators with relief from recurrent training and qualification requirements for ground personnel and some crewmembers. It does not expand the relief provided by the previous exemption. It provides the same relief to a new cohort with training due in August and September.

Through Sept. 30, 2020, Exemption 18511B is available to Part 121 operations (and Part 135 operations that train and qualify pilots in accordance with Part 121). It provides limited relief from the timeframes for completing recurrent training and qualification requirements for ground personnel, aircraft dispatchers and crewmembers.

Through Nov. 30, 2020, Exemption 18512B enables Part 121 (and applicable Part 135) operators to employ alternative methods to conduct required emergency and abnormal procedures during crewmember recurrent and upgrade training, checking and evaluation.