FAA To The Rescue With Extensions For Aviators
With much of the nation still on mandated lockdowns of one form or another, pilots’ access to airports and examiners has been spotty, at best. With this, the FAA did something that AOPA, EAA and other organizations have been begging for—it extended the validity of certain certificates for up to three months, depending on a few factors.
The relief for pilots comes in two main forms. First, medical certificates that were set to expire between March 31st (there was a previous extension for the month of March) would be given a three-month grace period on their medical. This will come as a relief to all pilots with expiring certificates, but it will be especially welcomed by those who make a living flying and who can’t legally fly without this grace period. The FAA, in fact, said just that the skills of profession pilots associated with coronavirus pandemic relief, who might otherwise have been grounded, can now continue to fly. But just to be clear: The relief is for all pilots, commercial ones or otherwise.
The FAA also extended the flight review period for pilots whose every-other-years currency would’ve expired. They, too, get another three months.
Finally, the FAA granted a three-month buffer to CFIs whose certification might otherwise have expired without them having been able to re-up their certificate.
The details, like you’d expect in an FAA document doing something it has never done before, are a little murky, especially when it comes to how one figures the dates of the extensions. However, most observers believe that the FAA intended the guidance to be of broad assistance, so that a more liberal interpretation is the most likely reading.
Still, be sure to read the FAA’s guidance on it and confirm with your AME or FSDO if you have questions. Note that the document isn’t scheduled to be published on the docket until Monday, May 4th, but the link above allows you to download a PDF that will give you the gist until that point.