By TODD HUVARD.
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.
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.