COVID 19 Updates

We are getting lots of inquiries about the impact of COVID 19 on the aviation industry. To ensure everyone stays informed, check back to this page often where we will be sharing resources, news articles and other related content to the pandemic. Stay well!

Tune in weekly to my Youtube Series, “6 Minutes of Aviation Safety and Security” for additional commentary! 

Essential Workers

OSHA Update – US DHS Memo on identification of critical infrastructure workers during covid-19 response

White paper on State and Local Restrictions on Flight Training During Public Health Emergencies. 

State and Local Restrictions on Flight Training During Public Health Emergencies

Virginia Department of Aviation on Flight Training and Flight Operations during the COVID-19 pandemic

Here is another hyperlink to Virginia’s most recent guidance on flight training.

Flight Training and Flight Operations under Executive Orders 53 & 55

17 April 2020

The Department of Aviation, in consultation with the Governor’s Policy Office, offers to the aviation community advice on what kinds of pilot training operations are consistent with Executive Orders 53 and 55.  The following dual-pilot activities are allowed:

  • Bi-annual flight reviews, instrument proficiency checks (IPC), and other currency checks to ensure pilots continue to meet flight proficiency requirements. However, for purely recreational pilots, the Commonwealth strongly encourages delaying any dual instruction, including bi-annual reviews, until the orders are lifted.  Recreational flying is not substantially different from other recreational activities limited by the Executive Orders.
  • Training leading to an instrument rating, where the student either uses the aircraft for business travel or is preparing for a career as a professional pilot
  • Training required to obtain or to remain current in advanced ratings – CFI, CFII, MEI, Commercial, ATP, type rating, or multi-engine

Single-pilot operations are allowed by the orders.  This includes solo flights for any Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rating.  It includes all flights where the six-foot separation between persons called for in Executive Order 55 is maintained, or where the exceptions to the rule for family members or members of a household apply.

Not all flight training meets the criteria for essential services.  For the purpose of this guidance, except as provided above, dual training for individuals not employed as pilots, including recreational pilots, shall cease until Executive Orders 53 and 55 expire or are rescinded.  Exceptions for volunteers participating in relief missions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

All Virginia flight schools shall adhere to strict policies and precautions to protect the health of both instructor and student.  Common sense for the protection and wellbeing of people participating in flight training is essential.  Flight schools must follow best practices to clean all interior surfaces of any aircraft being used for training or lease before each pilot uses the aircraft, as well as exterior doors, inspection plates, and other surfaces likely to be touched by a pilot.

Preemption Law and Legal Definition – cited from

Preemption is the rule of law that if the federal government through Congress has enacted legislation on a subject matter it shall be controlling over state laws and/or preclude the state from enacting laws on the same subject if Congress has specifically declared it has “occupied the field.” Preemption can occur by Congress passing a law, preempting state or local law. If Congress has not clearly claimed preemption, a federal or state court may examine legislative history to determine the lawmakers’ intent toward preemption.

State powers can also be limited by the Supremacy Clause. Article VI, section 2 of the United States Constitution states: ‘This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance there of: and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary not withstanding.’ This clause is commonly referred to as the Supremacy Clause.

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