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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Federal Register: January 16, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 11)]
[Notices]               
[Page 2238-2239]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr16ja02-87]                         

[[Page 2238]]
=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Provision of Aviation Training to Certain Alien Trainees

AGENCY: Department of Justice.

ACTION: Notice of advance consent for providing aviation training to 
certain alien trainees.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
SUMMARY: Under section 113 of the Aviation and Transportation Security 
Act (ATSA), training providers subject to regulation by the Federal 
Aviation Administration (FAA) are prohibited from providing training to 
aliens in the operation of aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff 
weight of 12,500 pounds or more, unless they provide prior notification 
to the Attorney General. This notice temporarily grants advance consent 
for the training of certain categories of aliens, without requiring 
that they provide identifying information to the Attorney General, 
based on a provisional finding that they do not constitute a risk to 
aviation or national security at this time.

DATES: This notice is effective January 15, 2002 and remains in effect 
until further notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steven C. McCraw, Director, Foreign 
Terrorist Tracking Task Force, U.S. Department of Justice, 950 
Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20530, Telephone (703) 414-
9535.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On November 19, 2001, Congress enacted the 
Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA), Pub. L. 107-71. Upon 
enactment, section 113 of the ATSA imposed new constrictions on persons 
subject to regulation under Title 49 subtitle VII part A, United States 
Code, with respect to providing aviation training to aliens. Persons 
subject to regulation under Title 49 subtitle VII Part A, United States 
Code, include individual training providers, certificated carriers, and 
flight schools (hereinafter collectively referred to as ``training 
providers''). Pursuant to section 113, training providers must provide 
the Attorney General with the alien's identification in such form as 
the Attorney General may require in order to initiate a security risk 
assessment by the Department of Justice. After notification, the 
Attorney General then has 45 days to inform the training provider that 
the alien should not be given the requested training because he or she 
presents a risk to aviation or national security. If the Attorney 
General does not indicate that the person is a risk within this 45-day 
review period, then the training provider may proceed with training. 
The ATSA, however, permits the Attorney General to interrupt training 
if he later determines that the alien poses a risk to aviation or 
national security. The Attorney General has delegated his authority 
under Section 113 to the Director of the Foreign Terrorist Tracking 
Task Force.
    The Department recognizes that section 113 of the ATSA became 
immediately effective, and that training providers have been forced to 
suspend the training of aliens covered by the ATSA pending the 
implementation of the process for notification to the Attorney General. 
The Department plans to issue any necessary implementing regulations as 
soon as possible. However, because the suspension of training imposes a 
substantial economic burden on regulated training providers, the 
Department is granting provisional advance consent, effective 
immediately, for training providers to resume aviation training for 
certain categories of aliens who appear to pose a risk to aviation and 
national security which is sufficiently minimal that the Department 
would not deny them training. In addition, section 113 also permits the 
Under Secretary of Transportation for Security to specify other 
individuals for whom the Department should conduct security risk 
assessments. At this time, however, no other individuals have been 
specified. The Department plans to publish implementation procedures 
shortly to provide a means by which training providers may notify the 
Attorney General with respect to covered individuals seeking aviation 
instruction who are not eligible for advance consent in order to 
initiate the Department of Justice's 45-day review period.

Provisional Advance Consent for the Training of Certain Aliens

    The Department believes that the primary intent of Congress 
regarding the enactment of this statute was to prevent potentially 
dangerous aliens from being taught how to pilot aircraft with a maximum 
certificated takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or more. Based on that 
standard, it appears that certain categories of aliens pose little such 
risk. For example, currently licensed pilots who seek recurrent 
training already know how to fly the aircraft for which they wish to 
maintain proficiency. Denying such retraining would appear to offer no 
benefit to aviation or national security. Indeed, the purpose behind 
recurrent training is to make flying safer for the public. The 
Department has identified several similar classes of aliens who appear 
not to pose the risk to aviation or national security contemplated by 
Congress in section 113 of the ATSA. The Department will revisit this 
provisional advance consent when it promulgates any necessary 
implementing regulations to determine whether these pilots should 
continue to be granted advance consent.
    Accordingly, effective immediately and until further notice, the 
Department is granting a provisional advance consent for the training 
of the following three categories of aliens, based on an initial 
determination that they do not appear to pose a risk to aviation or 
national security:
    (1) Foreign nationals who are currently employed by U.S. air 
carriers as pilots on aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff 
weight of 12,500 pounds or more;
    (2) Foreign nationals employed by foreign air carriers as pilots on 
aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or 
more who are current and qualified as pilot in command, second in 
command, or flight engineer with respective certificates and ratings 
recognized by the United States; and
    (3) Commercial, corporate, or military pilots of aircraft with a 
maximum certificated takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or more who must 
receive familiarization training on a particular aircraft in order to 
transport it to the purchaser.

Determination of Status as a U.S. Citizen or National or as an 
Alien

    Section 113 of the ATSA applies to all aliens as defined in section 
101(a)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, but does not 
currently apply to citizens or nationals of the United States. 
Accordingly, training providers must make a determination as to whether 
or not a prospective trainee is an alien. If the prospective trainee 
establishes that he or she is a citizen or national of the United 
States, the restrictions of section 113 do not apply.
    Training providers should require appropriate proof of citizenship 
or nationality from all trainees who claim to be citizens or nationals 
of the United States, before commencing aviation training on aircraft 
with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or more. 
This requirement is necessary to prevent aliens from falsely claiming 
to be United States citizens or nationals in order to evade the 
Department's security risk assessment.
    The Department believes that the following documents are sufficient 
to establish proof of citizenship or nationality:

[[Page 2239]]

    (1) A valid, unexpired United States passport;
    (2) An original birth certificate with raised sea documenting birth 
in the United States or one of its territories;
    (3) An original U.S. naturalization certificate with raised seal, 
Form N-550 or Form N-570;
    (4) An original certification of birth abroad, Form FS-545 or Form 
DS-1350; or
    (5) An original certificate of U.S. citizenship, Form N-560 or Form 
N-561.
    If a training provider has questions about the documents above or 
any other documentation presented by a person who claims to be a 
citizen or national of the United States, the training provider may 
seek further guidance from the Department or the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service.

Commencement of Aviation Training for Aliens Granted Advance 
Consent

    After a training provider reasonably determines that a prospective 
alien trainee falls within one of the three advance consent categories, 
the training provider may proceed with training the alien immediately 
and does not have to submit any identifying information to the 
Department. The training provider, however, should retain records to 
document how the training provider made the determination that the 
alien was eligible for advance consent. Appropriate measures will be 
taken by the Department with respect to any alien who is determined to 
pose a risk to aviation or national security. Available civil and/or 
criminal penalties will be pursued with respect to any training 
provider who knowingly or negligently provides training to aliens not 
covered by this notice.

    Dated: January 14, 2002.
Steven C. McCraw,
Director, Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force.
[FR Doc. 02-1250 Filed 1-14-02; 2:51 pm]
BILLING CODE 4410-19-M


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