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Tuesday, 21 April, 2009

TSA Announces New Fees Under Alien Flight School Program

April 20, 2009

What's at Issue

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently announced new fees for completing threat assessments on foreign students who take recurrent flight training.

Why It's Important

The new fees will affect all flight schools that provide recurrent training to alien flight students. This training is considered Category 4 training by the TSA. Currently, no fees are collected for background checks of Category 4 alien flight students.

Major Provisions

Category 4, or recurrent training, is defined by the TSA as periodic training required for pilots under 14 CFR parts 61, 91(K), 121, 125, or 135. This also applies to training mandated by corresponding regulations of foreign civil aviation authorities that are recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration. Recurrent training does not include training for a new certificate or type rating. It also does not include a flight review, proficiency check, or any check to demonstrate existing skills in an aircraft with a maximum take off weight of 12,500 pounds or less.

The notice also increases information collection requirements for Category 4 students. The TSA will now request information from the student's passport, including the student's date of birth, gender, birth country, nationality, height, weight, eye color, hair color, country of citizenship, and other passport information. The agency will also require contact information for the student, such as address, phone number, email address, and employment information. The submission of this information is already mandatory for alien flight students in Categories 1-3.

The fee will be $70 for each Category 4 recurrent training request. The TSA may adjust the fee higher to recuperate costs not covered by this $70 fee, or lower if the total fees exceed the costs of the agency, by publishing another notice in the Federal Register. The fee and information will be collected through the TSA's Alien Flight School Program Web site at

NATA Position

The Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act of 2009 requires the Department of Homeland Security to establish a process to determine that an alien who takes recurrent flight training is properly identified and does not pose a threat to national security. The Act also allows the department to impose a reasonable fee to recoup the cost of performing these background checks. NATA strongly encourages all flight training providers who conduct this type of training to review the notice and be prepared to comply by the effective date.

The TSA's announcement appeared in the Federal Register on April 13, 2009. The notice is effective on May 13, 2009.

Click here to view the notice.

Staff Contact:
Jacqueline E. Rosser
Director, Regulatory Affairs

View in PDF format.

For general press inquiries, contact Shannon Chambers at 703-298-1347 or

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has been the voice of aviation business for over 75 years. Representing nearly 2,300 aviation businesses, NATA’s member companies provide a broad range of services to general aviation, the airlines and the military and NATA serves as the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies.