Flight Standards Inspector Resource Program
- Jim Weaver
Part 135 operators who depend on FAA inspectors rather than their own check airman for testing and checking of pilots should note that the NBAA and FAA have worked together to update the Flight Standards Inspector Resource Program (FSIRP) policy to ensure better access to National Resource Inspectors (NRIs).
According to the NBAA, "the problem arose in recent years when changes to FAA policies and processes significantly reduced the number of in-company FAA check airman authorized for specific Part 135 certificate holders, resulting in Part 135 operators relying on FAA 'national resources' to complete required Part 135 checking events." NRI availability has been hampered by scheduling and budget constraints of FSDO Managers.
The new FAA guidance raises the priority of NRI assignments so that POIs/FSDOs who have exhausted their ability to fulfill an operator's request for pilot testing and checking will receive timely responses and support from NRIs.
NBAA points out that the new guidance requires that operators provide at least a 30-day notice when a pilot test or check is required. This could present challenges for checking a new-hire pilot where lead time for a new pilot is often far less than 30 days. NBAA encourages operators who do not receive options for requested tests or checks in a timely manner to work with their POIs or elevate the requests if necessary.
See NBAA Advocates for New FAA Inspector Guidance and FAA Notice 8900.328 for more information.