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not employed as pilots, including recreational pilots, shall cease until Executive Orders 53 and 55 expire or are rescinded.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.