FAA Releases Important Information for Applicants Pursuing Mechanic, Parachute Rigger, and Dispatcher Certifications

The Regulatory Support Division (AFS-600) recently awarded a new airman knowledge testing contract called the Airman Certificate Testing Service (ACTS). The ACTS contract is a comprehensive, best-practices approach aimed at enhancing the overall quality of FAA Airman Knowledge Testing. As a result, there are several enhancements going into effect on January 13, 2020, that are changes from current procedures as indicated below.

Why the Change?

The increasing numbers of airmen pursuing FAA certification from all over the world creates a need to make standardization enhancements to the knowledge test portion of the certification process enabling the FAA to better track an airman consistently through their entire certification process and collect better data to support risk-based decision-making.Currently, when applicants taking a knowledge test provide the knowledge testing center a form of ID that differs from the name they provide on the paper application, it can lead to returned files and lengthy delays in the certification process.

These and similar problems can be reduced by utilizing the FAA Tracking Number generated when an applicant creates a profile in the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) system. For several years, AFB-720 has issued the FAA Tracking Number (FTN) when the certification package reaches AFB-720, although IACRA won’t be used to submit mechanic, parachute rigger, and dispatcher application packages to AFB-720.Requiring all applicants for FAA certification to obtain an FTN in IACRA prior to taking a knowledge test will allow the FAA to rely on the name in the IACRA profile for all actions associated with that applicant.

Accordiong to FAA, the registration process takes only a few minutes, and will:

•significantly reduce the number of returned files, saving FAA resources;•encourage the use of IACRA; and

•allow for future expansion of the electronic application process.

What is Changing?

Beginning last week (January 13, 2020), all applicants must establish an FAA Tracking Number (FTN) within IACRA before taking any FAA airman knowledge test. This identification number will be printed on the applicant’s Airman Knowledge Test Report (AKTR) in replacement of the Applicant ID number.