FAA proposes changes to pilot certificates

The FAA is proposing that pilot certificates include photos, as well as other security measures. The incentive for this is to help improve security.

Here’s the FAA press release: https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=12158

First: I have no issue with this proposal. In fact, when I was in flight school I was surprised to learn that a pilot’s certificate wasn’t more like a driver’s license. I’m proud. I’d love to show my pilots certificate as ID instead of my driver’s license. I’m sure we will all hand them to confused cashiers all over the country.

That said, I question that this is about security. Is there a percentage of people pretending to be pilots? We currently can’t use our certificates as ID for anything. The only time I’ve ever shown it to anyone official is when I take checkrides.

Okay, I know this is about commercial pilots, not general aviation. However, the only benefit I can see is that airline pilots would be able to use it as identification as they go through security. Still, they currently already have identification. Is it that they want to get rid of the airport identification?

I don’t buy that it’s for security. There seems to be some other motive at play here that I just don’t get. Or, is everyone just paranoid, and taking every measure they can without thinking it through?

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