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Wed, Jan 12, 2005

Air Safety Foundation CFI Refresher Offers Security Awareness Training

TSA Orders Training For All CFIs By January 18

All flight instructors must complete TSA-mandated security awareness training by next Tuesday, January 18. To help CFIs comply, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation is adding the training at no additional cost to each of its Flight Instructor Refresher Courses nationwide, starting this weekend.

The Air Safety Foundation's in-person courses are the only FAA-approved flight instructor refresher courses offering this required training, certified by the Transportation Security Administration to meet all of the requirements of the alien flight training/citizenship validation rule. Graduates will receive a TSA-approved certificate proving that they've satisfied the security awareness training requirements.

"Air Safety Foundation refresher courses have always kept CFIs current on FAA changes," said Bruce Landsberg, AOPA Air Safety Foundation executive director. "Now we're doing the same thing with these mandatory TSA rules, and because AOPA is in contact with TSA on an almost daily basis, instructors are assured of the latest information."

In fact, TSA's own online security awareness training module is already out of date. It doesn't include the very important notation that flight instructors can now make a simple logbook entry to show that they've checked a student's citizenship, rather than having to keep copies of a student's personal papers for five years. AOPA got that improvement to the rule last October.

Experienced instructors teach the 30-minute TSA segment as part of the "Instructor Professionalism and Fundamentals of Instruction" unit and award the TSA-approved completion certificates at the end of the weekend.

In the new TSA training, instructors will learn about:

  • Types of suspicious behavior that require further investigation
  • Actions to take if the instructor suspects terrorist intent
  • 22 different scenarios covering actions that terrorists may attempt at airports

The course also offers proactive suggestions for flight instructors to upgrade security at their general aviation airports.

Security awareness training is required of all flight instructors and flight school employees, even if they have no contact with foreign students. Current instructors and employees must complete TSA-approved training by January 18. New instructors and employees must complete security training within 60 days of the start of employment.

The Air Safety Foundation pioneered the two-day weekend flight instructor refresher course, starting in the mid-1970s with a 24-hour training program. In the late 1990s, the foundation's innovative curriculum and multimedia teaching techniques convinced the FAA to reduce the required training to 16 hours.

Flight instructors are required to renew their certificates every two years. More than 6,000 CFIs annually choose Air Safety Foundation instructor refresher courses to update their teaching skills, knowledge of regulations, and to learn the latest safety information.



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