Meeting via Video Conference to complete IACRA Certification
Joined 04/08/2020 - 1 Posts
Answered By AOPA
Reviewing the IACRA manual and website information, there is no specific restriction against accomplishing the IACRA certification process required between a “certifying officer” (e.g. CFI) and an applicant for completion of a Remote Pilot Certificate.  This would require a screen share in order for the applicant to be able to login to IARCA through the CO’s account (Zoom offers this capability) and exchange of identifying document(s) such as a passport.

Is there any specific regulation or guidance from the FAA that precludes a CFI and applicant from meeting remotely to accomplish the IACRA process?
3 Replies
Joined 01/30/2020 - 67 Posts
AOPA Staff Answer
Hi Keith,

I'm unaware of any restrictions or guidance from the FAA concerning what you propose. I do know that Airman Certification Representatives (ACRs) process CFI renewal applications all the time when the applicant is not present. The main problem with a remote pilot certificate application (Part 61) is the back and forth in the same instance of IACRA. It sounds that you may have a handle on how to solve that as well.

My recommendation would be to keep very good records of your processing and be prepared to defend your method should an inspector take issue with it.
Joined 06/11/2017 - 789 Posts
I assume we're talking about applicants already holding a pilot certificate with a current flight review, because those without must apply directly to Oklahoma City.  In that case, per FAA Order 8900.1, Volume 16, Chapter 3, Section 1:
"The applicant must present the completed FAA Form 8710-13 along with the online course completion certificate or knowledge test report (as applicable) and proof of a current flight review or other criteria required by § 61.56. FAA Form 8710-13 will be signed by the applicant after the FSDO, DPE, ACR, or CFI examines the applicant’s photo identification and verifies the applicant’s identity."
How would the applicant "present" that material and the certifying official "examine" the photo ID if not physically present?  In addition, allowing a "screen share" is contrary to the guidance in FAA information security training.  Unless and until the FAA provides guidance for conducting such activities remotely, as a CFI, I wouldn't do it.
Joined 01/30/2020 - 67 Posts

I appreciate where you're coming from, but presenting IDs and an application can be handled electronically. This is true CFI renewals, an applicant must present their current CFI certificate (front and back) as well as a Gov't issued photo ID. Presenting of these IDs is typically done by sending us a scan or digital photo. In addition to that, they must present an 8710 (that is signed), this is handled through IACRA.

Personally I wouldn't want to be the test case, and would not do this without direct guidance from the FAA. But if I did I would make absolutely sure that I had pristine records of everything I did.