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Brooks introduces bill to help DOD pilots qualify for civilian licenses

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) has introduced legislation that would require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to modify regulations regarding its recognition of pilot ratings for Department of Defense (DOD) civilian pilots.

The Civilian Aviation Certification Equity Act would allow Defense Department civilian pilots who have received the same training, instruction and qualifications as their non-civilian counterparts to receive the same treatment from the FAA.

“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) currently allows active-duty, reserve, and national guard pilots to use their training and flight hours earned from their time in the military to qualify for a civilian pilot license and for type ratings,” explained Brooks.

The North Alabama congressman noted that DOD civilian pilots do not currently enjoy these same privileges and expressed his desire to bring fairness to licensing requirements.

He continued, “It is unjust to force DOD civilian pilots to pay out-of-pocket, which can easily exceed $20,000, in order to qualify for FAA pilot’s license and/or type rating when they have proven to be as competent flying their aircraft as other military pilots. This issue was brought to my attention by a Meridianville pilot who recently asked the FAA if he could add ‘pursuant to existing regulations for military pilots’ a certificate or type rating based on the qualifications he earned as part of his job as a DoD civilian. When the FAA declined his request, the pilot contacted my office for help.”

Brooks concluded, “By requiring the FAA to expand the definition of ‘military pilot’ to include DOD civilians, I aim to ensure equal treatment of pilots with the same training and qualifications no matter if they serve as a civilian or as an active-duty, reserve, or National Guard pilot.”

Alabama’s fifth congressional district, which Brooks represents, is home to a substantial retired military population and civilian military workforce. Recent studies have ranked the Yellowhammer State as one of the best states to live for military retirees.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL