When AFSP-approved flight training and the practical exam have been successfully completed (within the 365 day time limit!), and the student has earned the rating or certificate for which training was approved, the training provider (flight school or independent CFI) is REQUIRED to update the AFSP website with the student’s training status.
If the APPROVED TRAINING is not completed by the 365 day expiration date, ALL TRAINING MUST CEASE! The student must reapply through the AFSP website. The student will NOT usually be required to resubmit the documentation, but they WILL have to pay the $130 fee again!
What if the Candidate is Denied?
Denial of eligibility for flight training is a very real fear that even the most innocent candidate may have. No one likes background checks. With the alien applicant, this is an opportunity for the CFI to exercise judgment, concern and kindness. If the TSA determines that the candidate is a security threat, the training provider will be notified by email, as will the applicant.
Take time to talk with the applicant if he or she is willing. Denial for flight training does not mean that the individual is subject to certain arrest or deportation, nor is it an automatic determination that the person is under investigation or suspicion. It is possible that the applicant submitted erroneous information that was inconsistent with other verification data. The applicant may re-apply if he or she chooses, particularly if there is incorrect information that can be resolved satisfactorily.
In short, always maintain goodwill and a positive attitude with any candidate seeking your services as instructor. This will enhance your reputation with students and fellow pilots. And you never know…even if one applicant falls through, you may still get a successful referral.
No one enjoys having someone look over their shoulder…
The TSA regularly visits flight schools to conduct inspections, with visits both announced and unannounced. If you train foreign-born students, it’s a safe bet that eventually, you will be checked up on. The student and pilot’s records will be audited to ensure that they are in compliance with the ASFP rules and regulations.
It is best to simply always be prepared; have all your records in good order and complete compliance at all times! Don’t wait for that phone call or unannounced visit to start getting your act together.
And remember, these audits apply to independent CFIs, not just flight schools. If you do happen to be selected for audit, there is no need to panic. If you are maintaining your records as required, everything will be fine. Remember: the auditor is just doing his job, a very important one, at that. His mission is to ensure everyone’s safety.
- Keep all the required records, in a neat and orderly fashion
- Be prepared
- Be polite
- Be positive (about yourself, your school, your students, the TSA…)
- Watch the process go smoothly!