The FAA wants your opinion on whether photos should be on pilot certificates. The FAA announced the proposal Thursday, Nov. 18, and set a deadline of Feb. 17, 2011, for submitting comments.
Under the current proposal, a new pilot certificate would cost $22 and be valid for eight years. At the end of that time pilots would have to obtain a new certificate and update the photo. If finalized as proposed, existing pilots with commercial certificates would have four years to comply, pilots with airline transport ratings would have three years to obtain a new certificate, and existing private, recreational or sport pilot certificate holders would have five years to comply.
FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said the current certificates “are plastic and tamper-resistant, but this proposal will make them even more secure.”
This is not the first time photo IDs would be required in aviation. Long before there was an FAA and aviation matters came under the Department of Commerce, Airman Identification Cards were issued by the Civil Aeronautics Administration. These cards had not only the individual’s photo but a fingerprint as well.