FAA proposes pilot training requirements and operational rules for powered-lift


The FAA has released proposals for pilot training and operational rules for powered-lift aircraft, in what it calls a “key step toward safely enabling AAM”.

Acting Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, David Boulter, said: “These proposed rules of the sky will safely usher in this new era of aviation and provide the certainty the industry needs to develop.”

The powered-lift proposed rule is being designed to give certainty on what the requirements and expectations will be to operate powered-lift aircraft once it is finalised, according to the FAA.

Under the proposed rule: 

  • A clear pathway is proposed for pilots to earn powered-lift ratings specific to each type of aircraft they fly.
  • Pilots who work for powered-lift aircraft manufacturers could serve as the initial cadre of flight instructors, who could then train instructors at flight schools, training centres and air carriers.
  • To safely accelerate pilot certification, alternate eligibility criteria would enable certain pilots to meet flight-time experience requirements faster. This would apply to pilots who already hold a commercial pilot certificate and are instrument rated.
  • Powered-lift aircraft would follow the same set of operating rules as traditional aircraft that are used in private and commercial flights and air tours. 
  • The proposal would conform to International Civil Aviation Organization requirements, enabling US pilots to operate in other countries. 

Comments are welcomed on the proposed rule for 60 days after it publishes in the Federal Register.