Up against the wall! And by the way, that’s a nice picture of you!

Todd Huvard, president of AircraftMerchants, a North Carolina-based aircraft brokerage, is a commercial pilot with multi-engine, instrument and seaplane ratings and is typed in Cessna 500 and Falcon 20 jets. He founding editor and publisher of The Southern Aviator.

It has been reported that the FAA will soon publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to require your photograph and some sort of biometric data on your pilot’s license. The NPRM has been slow in coming, even though a 2004 law – the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act – requires the change in format.

This is one of the more stupid and invasive ideas foisted upon us as an extension of the Sept. 11 homeland security knee-jerk that we are still seeing flail about. What on earth is the purpose of the extra hassle and expense of revising the pilot’s license when you must already carry government-issued photo identification to exercise your privileges?

“It is mind-boggling that six years, after spending millions of dollars, the FAA license still does not have a photograph,” wrote Rep. John Mica, (R-Florida) complaining of the lapse. This from the same lame brain that suggested that Air Traffic Controllers were to blame for not seeing the birds on their radar that landed Sully and company in the Hudson. Mica is deservedly reputed for being an inept, bungling incompetent in Congress. Just who we need on the Aviation subcommittee.

What is actually mind-boggling is that such a lame-brain idea ever got written into law. It serves no real purpose and does not secure any aspect of aviation – or national – security.

Just how often are you called upon to produce your pilot’s license or accompanying medical certificate? And what self-respecting sociopath would bother to have any such valid document if intending to break the law using an aircraft?

This will be yet another overreaching, intrusive and dumb regulation that accomplishes nothing but costing you money. Not to mention kicking your civil rights to the curb by requiring your fingerprints or other personal biometric information to be embedded on the new tickets.

AOPA, EAA and the other alphabet groups are not nearly strident enough in lobbying against this dumb idea. But if we don’t start heckling loudly now to get it stopped, get out your best smiles. And your wallets.


  1. Earl says

    Fact: I don’t need a pilot license to use my plane for something illegal. I only need it if I’m flying legal. Duh….to FAA.

  2. Larry D. Butler, Ph.D. says

    I couldn’t have said it better myself! More worthless non-sense and garbage from inept members of Congress who haven’t got a clue and a regulatory agency gone amuck!

  3. John says

    I have to agreer with Todd, what benefit will this bring to security or aviation? Americans need to standing up for your rights and request the law makers produce a cost benefit analysis to demonstrate the benefits to the country exceed the costs.

  4. Jim Bruchas says

    Todd is absolutely correct. Dumb idea and Mica is just trying to gain some press. The Picture is just another expense since you need a Government ID anyway what does it add? It certainly does not contribute to security. Mica needs to go away. The cost of doing this is paid by whom? Biometric data requirementis an invasion of Privacy. Why doesn’t the idiot get the FAA Funding Bill passed after all these years.

  5. Matt Comerford says

    Section 61.3 in the FAR clearly states we need government issued photo ID along with your FAA certificate and medical. This is just plain silly.

  6. Josh Davis says

    I can see the rationale, because as they are now, FAA pilot certs could be used by someone with the same name, or with a fake ID.

    But it’s true, as you’ve stated, that we don’t have to produce this ID with any sort of regularity. Having the ID be provable to authorities doesn’t buy us anything.

    Maybe the next step is to have a steel fence around every airport and TSA patrols around the perimeter.

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