Late last month, after several years of development and multiple revisions, the FAA formally accepted the ICAS Air Boss Recognition Program. Originally scheduled to be fully implemented on January 1, 2019, the program was not finalized in 2018 as originally scheduled. Recognizing that a January 1, 2019 implementation would be difficult with final acceptance this late in the 2018 season, ICAS requested that ICAS and the FAA work together to implement the program in phases. Just yesterday, the FAA agreed to the following phased implementation:
- By August 1, 2018: The online application to the ABRP will be available to all prospective applicants on the ICAS website.
- By September 31, 2018: The FAA will post the new process on the FAA Aviation Events website and brief all FSDOs on the new process.
- By October 31, 2018: The online objective test will be available for all applicants to take as a pre-requisite to scheduling an evaluation at any point in the 2019 air show season.
- By October 31, 2018: The FAA will be prepared to issue FAA Air Boss LoAs.
- By October 31, 2018: ICAS will develop an online system for the FAA to determine which air bosses have met the following requirements: completed the online application, satisfactorily completed the written test, and scheduled (not completed) an evaluation prior to March 31, 2019.
- On January 1, 2019: The FAA will begin to accept ICAS ABRP recommendations for LoAs and issue Air Boss LoAs.
- By March 31, 2019: All prospective applicants for a Standard Air Boss LoA, Recognized Air Boss/Single Venue LoA, or Recognized Air Boss/Multi Venue LoA must have applied online, achieved a satisfactory score on the written test, and scheduled an evaluation for the 2019 air show season.
- All air shows issued a FAA Certificate of Waiver (CoW) after December 31, 2019 must use an air boss with an FAA-issued Basic Air Boss LoA, Standard Air Boss LoA, Recognized Air Boss/Single Venue LoA, or Recognized Air Boss/Multi Venue LoA.
This phased implementation was developed and approved to ensure that all applicants have sufficient time to read, understand and comply with the terms of this new program. ICAS urges all event organizers, air bosses and prospective air bosses to familiarize themselves with the details of this new program to ensure compliance by the December 31, 2019 deadline and avoid surprises and problems late in the implementation schedule.