Back in 2014, I wrote about six different universities and a community college that were all petitioning the FAA to become exempt from the requirement to hold a ground school certification so that they could participate in the R-ATP program.
That post had become somewhat stale, so here is a look back at what happened in the past few years.
Chandler-Gilbert Community College was denied its exemption in November 2017 and as of May 2018 was not authorized to certify R-ATP applicants.
Metropolitan State University of Denver was denied its exemption in July 2014 and as of May 2018 was not authorized to certify R-ATP applicants.
Denied and Then Authorized
Baylor University was denied its exemption in December 2014 and later gained R-ATP authorization in February 2016.
Eastern Michigan University was denied its exemption in August 2015 and later gained R-ATP authorization in July 2016.
Jacksonville University formally withdrew its petition for exemption in September 2016 and gained R-ATP authorization later that same month.
Auburn University was granted its exemption in November 2015, allowing Part 61 students who graduated between August 2010 and December 2016 to apply for R-ATP.
Purdue University was granted its exemption in July 2014, allowing Part 61 students who graduated between January 2009 and December 2016 to apply for R-ATP.
Part 141 flight training graduates have been denied participation in the R-ATP program again, this time at Baylor University. In its recent denial letter, the FAA explained that even though Baylor’s students are enrolled in an aviation degree program with part 141 ground and flight training, the lack of a ground training certificate in the university’s name prevents the graduates from qualifying under the new regulations.
The FAA reviewed the description that Baylor provided of its arrangement with TSTC for the ground and flight training of students enrolled in its Aviation Science Bachelor degree program. The arrangement does not meet the intent of having the ground training integrated with the broader academic curriculum by virtue of Baylor not holding an air agency certificate issued in accordance with part 141. Baylor does not have control over the curriculum provided by TSTC. As noted in the petition, Baylor students pursuing their instrument rating and commercial pilot training become TSTC students during those phases. Therefore, the FAA has determined that Baylor’s aviation degree program does not meet the minimum level of integrating its pilot ground training with its broader academic curriculum of an aviation degree program.
The FAA also cites the recent denial at MSU Denver as precedent for this new denial at Baylor University.
Update: R-ATP Exemption Follow-Up
My searches on federal websites found four petitions by universities seeking R-ATP authorization without a required part 141 ground school certificate.
The petitioners are, in alphabetical order: Eastern Michigan University, Jacksonville University, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Purdue University.
Letters and documents filed by these universities seem to be routine. I will point out also that the Jacksonville petition included a copy of the university’s rejection letter from the FAA dated December 2013.
While the FAA is not currently accepting comments on these petitions, I would like to offer my encouragement. The FAA should authorize these universities as rapidly as possible, recognizing they are accredited institutions that offer 4-year degrees with aviation concentrations. This is the purpose and intent of the R-ATP program, after all.
Details and reference numbers are listed below, in chronological order.
Continue reading R-ATP Exemption for Part 61 Training