[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 79 (Wednesday, April 24, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 24289-24290]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-09684]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

[Docket No FAA-2013-0316]


Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) Airman Testing 
Standards and Training Working Group (ATSTWG)

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments

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SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of draft Airman 
Certification Standards (ACS) documents developed by the ATSTWG for the 
private pilot certificate and the instrument rating. These documents 
are available for public review, download, and comment.

DATES: Send comments on or before May 24, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2013-0316 
using any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your 
comments electronically.
     Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30; U.S. 
Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room 
W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket 
Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at (202) 493-2251.
    Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without 
change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the 
docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all 
comments received into any FAA dockets, including the name of the 
individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an 
association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act 
Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 
2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.
    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at 
http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions 
for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12-140 
of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Van L. Kerns, Manager, Regulatory 
Support Division, FAA Flight Standards Service, AFS 600, FAA Mike 
Monroney Aeronautical Center P.O. Box 25082 Oklahoma City, OK 73125; 
telephone (405) 954-4431, email van.l.kerns@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The FAA has established Docket No. FAA-2013-0316 for the purpose of 
enabling the public to comment on several draft documents developed by 
the Airman Testing Standards and Training Working Group. The following 
documents have been placed in that docket for public review and 
comment:
    (1) Background Information; Industry-Led Changes to FAA Airman 
Testing Standards and Training
    (2) Draft PRIVATE PILOT--AIRPLANE Airman Certification Standards;
    (3) Draft Change Tracking Matrix referenced to FAA-S-8081-14B, 
Private Pilot Practical Test Standards for Airplane (Single Engine Land 
and Single-Engine Sea Areas of Operation); Section 1: Private Pilot
    (4) Draft INSTRUMENT RATING--Airman Certification Standards; and
    (5) Draft Change Tracking Matrix referenced to FAA-S-8081-4E, 
Instrument Rating Practical Test Standards for Airplane, Helicopter, 
and Powered Lift
    On August 30, 2012, the ARAC Executive Committee accepted the FAA's 
assignment of a new task arising from recommendations of the Airman 
Testing Standards and Training Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC). The 
ARC recommended ways to ensure that the FAA's airman testing and 
training materials better support reduction of fatal general aviation 
accidents. The new task instructed the ARAC to integrate aeronautical 
knowledge and flight proficiency requirements for the private pilot and 
flight instructor certificates and the instrument rating into a single 
ACS document for each type of certificate and rating; to develop a 
detailed proposal to realign FAA training handbooks with the ACS 
documents; and to propose knowledge test item bank questions consistent 
with the integrated ACS documents and the principles set forth in the 
ARC's recommendations.
    The FAA announced the ARAC's acceptance of this task through a 
Federal Register Notice published on September 12, 2012 [77 FR 56251]. 
This Notice described the task elements and solicited participants for 
the ATSTWG, which subsequently formed and began its work in November 
2012.
    Consistent with the initial part of this tasking, the ATSTWG has 
developed draft ACS documents for the private pilot certificate and the 
instrument rating. These documents align the aeronautical knowledge 
testing standards with the flight proficiency standards set out in the 
existing Practical Test Standards (PTS). In addition to supporting the 
FAA's effort to improve the relevance, reliability, validity, and 
effectiveness of aeronautical testing and training materials, the draft 
ACS documents support the FAA's goal of reducing fatal general aviation 
accidents by incorporating task-specific risk management considerations 
into each Area of Operation.
    The ATSTWG continues the necessary work to develop the authorized 
instructor ACS document and complete its remaining assignments. These 
include developing a detailed proposal to realign and, as appropriate, 
streamline and consolidate existing FAA guidance material (e.g., 
handbooks) with each integrated ACS document; and to propose 
methodologies to ensure that knowledge test item bank questions are 
consistent with both the ACS documents and the test question 
development principles set forth in the ARC's recommendations.
    The ACS documents are designed as the foundation for transitioning 
to a more integrated and systematic approach to airman certification 
testing

[[Page 24290]]

and training. To accomplish this objective and achieve its overall 
safety goals, the ACS documents support the safety management system 
(SMS) framework. SMS methodology provides a systematic approach to 
achieving acceptable levels of safety risk. The ATSTWG is constructing 
ACS, associated guidance, and test item bank question components of the 
airman certification system around the four functional components of 
SMS:
     Safety Policy that demonstrates FAA senior management 
commitment to continually improve safety through enhancements to the 
airman certification testing and training system; specifically, better 
integration of the aeronautical knowledge, flight proficiency, and risk 
management components of the airman certification system;
     Safety Risk Management processes that create a structured 
means of safety risk management decision making to identify, assess, 
and determine acceptable level of risk associated with regulatory 
changes, safety recommendations, or other factors requiring 
modification of airman testing and training materials;
     Safety Assurance processes which allow increased 
confidence on the part of industry and FAA stakeholders in risk 
controls through a continual review of FAA products and the systematic, 
prompt and appropriate incorporation of changes arising from new 
regulations, data analysis, and safety recommendations; and
     Safety Promotion framework to support a positive safety 
culture in the form of training and ongoing engagement with both 
external stakeholders (e.g., the aviation training industry) and FAA 
policy divisions.
    Given the foundational nature of the ACS documents and their 
importance in the ongoing evolution of the FAA's airman certification 
testing and training system, the ATSTWG wishes to make draft ACS 
documents for the private pilot certificate and the instrument rating 
available to the public for review and comment. The ATSTWG will use the 
comments it receives to refine and inform its continuing work on this 
project. Future drafts developed by the ATSTWG may also be published 
for this purpose.

    Issued in Washington, DC on April 19, 2013.
Brenda D. Courtney,
Alternate Designated Federal Officer, Aviation Rulemaking Advisory 
Committee.
[FR Doc. 2013-09684 Filed 4-23-13; 8:45 am]
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