AOPA, NBAA Survey Highlights Misgivings of PRD Proposal

 - November 20, 2020, 7:38 AM

A new survey jointly conducted by NBAA and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is highlighting significant concerns that pilots have over the FAA’s electronic Pilot Records Database (PRD) proposal, the associations said.

Published earlier this year, the notice of proposed rulemaking will impose new mandatory record-keeping requirements for corporate flight departments, and along with it create the first formal definition of a corporate flight department. Designed to help guide employer hiring, the proposal applies to a range of commercial, Part 91K, and corporate operations, seeking detailed information such as check airmen comments. AOPA and NBAA launched the survey to gather data that could be evaluated by government agencies as a final rule is crafted.

More than 1,200 pilots responded, the associations said, all of which were skeptical at some level about the proposal. The three key concerns expressed centered on the codification of the term “corporate flight department,” overly burdensome recordkeeping with no clear safety benefit, and inclusion of the check airman and instructor comments, NBAA said.

More than half of respondents that have two or more type-rated aircraft in their operations were against the inclusion of check airman comments, while 20 percent believed those comments should be included. Some respondents estimated that the requirements would take more than 18 hours a month to maintain the appropriate records, including activity such as night landings or instrument approaches.

“The survey results are clear—our members do not believe the proposed electronic Pilot Records Database will significantly improve hiring processes or safety,” said NBAA director of flight operations and regulations Brian Koester.

AOPA further expressed concern that the proposal lacked adequate protections. “AOPA strongly believes that the Pilot Records Database must include a clear process for correcting erroneous information, with the FAA responsible for evaluating and correcting inaccuracies if a pilot’s employer is unwilling or unable to do so,” said AOPA v-p of regulatory affairs Murray Huling. “The need to provide pilots with transparency and convenient access to their records is why we also recommend giving any holder of an FAA-issued pilot certificate the opportunity to inspect their information on file in the database.”