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Comment period open on aviation maintenance technician ACSComment period open on aviation maintenance technician ACS

The FAA is continuing to replace its practical test standards publications with modernized airman certification standards (ACS), and has published a new draft set of certification standards for aviation maintenance technician (AMT) applicants.

The Federal Aviation Administration is one of the many government agencies that have influence over general aviation. Photo by David Tulis.

The draft AMT ACS may be reviewed on the Airman Testing page of the FAA website. Public comments will be accepted until May 31.

“The industry-developed draft combines the General, Airframe, and Powerplant standards into one combined standard, using the same framework that the AOPA-chaired aviation rulemaking advisory committee’s ACS working group developed for the pilot standards that are now in use,” said David Oord, AOPA senior director of regulatory affairs.

AOPA encourages members to review the draft and to email their comments to the FAA by May 31.

As was the case when the ACS volumes that have already been approved were being drafted, the working group found that test material for AMT applicants had become dated, and sometimes irrelevant, leading applicants to prepare for exams “disconnected from the real skills and knowledge required for safe maintenance of today’s equipment,” Oord said.

Like the other volumes now in use, the AMT ACS is an “enhanced” version of the PTS, connecting test standards to guidance and test questions, and providing a single set of standards for the AMT airman knowledge, oral, and practical tests. The ACS informs applicants, instructors, and evaluators what aeronautical knowledge the FAA expects AMT applicants to have, and how their aeronautical decision-making and proficiency will be examined.

“Testing under the ACS remains comparable to the superseded PTS in terms of difficulty, time, and information required, but we’ve witnessed better prepared applicants because they clearly understand what they need to know, consider, and do for a particular certificate or rating,” Oord said.

The first ACS volumes took effect in June 2016 for the Private Pilot-Airplane certificate, and the Instrument-Airplane rating.

Revised versions took effect in June 2017, as did the first ACS for the Commercial Pilot Airplane certificate. The FAA, working through the ARAC working group, plans eventually to replace PTS with ACS for all aircraft categories and classes.

The initial ACS for the Remote Pilot Certificate took effect on August 29, 2016.

Work on the airline transport pilot (ATP), instructor, and rotorcraft/powered-lift ACS volumes is in progress, along with finalizing the draft AMT ACS, once comments are reviewed and incorporated.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: Maintenance, Pilot Training and Certification, Aircraft

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