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    Flight Training Security Program Information (formerly AFSP)

    Posted by Claudia Culmone on Mon, January 31, 2022

    NOTICE: The TSA has renamed the Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP) as the Flight Training Security Program (FTSP)


    Under the Flight Training Interim Final Rule, persons seeking flight training must undergo a security threat assessment if they are not citizens or nationals of the United States, and if:

    • They wish to receive flight training in the United States or its territories, whether or not training will lead to an FAA certificate or type rating; and/or
    • They wish to receive flight training from an FAA-certificated facility, provider, or instructor that could lead to an FAA rating, whether in the United States or abroad.

    Flight training providers are required to verify an individual's citizenship or nationality by checking official documents presented. Students who are U.S. citizens or nationals need to present these documents when they appear for flight training. Flight training providers must retain these records in accordance with the Privacy Act and other statures (see the Legal Notices tab on
    Providers also must enter flight training requests for candidates who qualify for recurrent training to maintain type ratings.
    For all training events, providers must upload a photo of candidates when they appear for training, indicate whether a candidate's training has been completed or not completed, and maintain records as required.
    We can help you easily comply by collecting and processing fingerprints as required by the Flight Training Security Program (FTSP).

    FTSP Categories

    Candidates seeking flight training fall into one of four categories. A brief explanation of the categories follows:

    Category 1

    Candidates who seek flight training in the operation of aircraft with a maximum certified takeoff weight greater than 12,500 pounds but do not fall into Category 2.

    Category 2

    Candidates who seek flight training in the operation of aircraft with a maximum certified takeoff weight greater than 12,500 pounds, and who:

    • Hold an airman's certificate that is recognized by the FAA or a US military agency, and that permits the candidate to operate a multi-engine aircraft that has a certificated takeoff weight of more than 12,500 pounds.
    • Are employed by a foreign air carrier that holds a security program approved under 14 CFR part 1546;
    • Have unescorted access authority to a secured area of an airport under U.S.C 44936(a)(1)(A)(ii), 49 CFR 1542.229; or
    • Are a flight crew member who has successfully completed a criminal history records check in accordance with 49 CFR 1544.230

    Category 3

    Candidates who seek flight training in the operation of aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or less for the following training events: an initial airman's certificate, Instrument Rating, and Multi Engine land (MEL). Each of these training events requires a separate training request.

    Category 4

    • Candidates who seek recurrent flight training for an aircraft with a maximum certified takeoff weight greater than 12,500 pounds, and who are current and qualified on the aircraft for which they are requesting training.

    Further details on flight training candidate categories are available in the Flight Training for Aliens and Other Designated Individuals; Interim Final Rule (Docket ID - 19147), which can be viewed at IFR_Alien_Pilot.pdf.

    What is your next step?

    • If you are a flight training candidate who qualifies for Categories 1, 2, or 3, then proceed with the login steps on the flight school candidate website and begin filling in the TSA application.
      1. After you validate and submit your application for flight training, your flight training provider will be notified via email and required to validate or reject knowledge of your intent to receive flight training with them. If the flight training provider validates your request, you will receive email notification and must submit payment via the AFSP online portal.
      2. Once TSA receives confirmation of your payment, you will receive email notification with instructions on how to submit fingerprints.
      3. Candidates in Categories 1 and 2 are required to wait until approval from TSA before commencing training. You and the provider will both be notified when final approval to train is granted.
      4. Candidates in Category 3 may commence training upon payment of the application fee and acknowledgement of receipt of their fingerprints by TSA. You and the provider will both be notified once TSA receives the fingerprints and you have permission to initiate training.
    • If you are a flight training candidate who qualified for Category 4, please contact your flight school for further instructions.
    • Fingerprinting for FTSP

      A candidate is required to submit his or her fingerprints to TSA as part of the identification process. The candidate’s fingerprints must be collected by either:

      • A NATACS Certified Fingerprint Collector.
      • A fingerprint collector under the supervision of a U.S. Federal, State or local law enforcement agency.
      • Another entity who would follow guidelines approved by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or TSA.

      In order for TSA to match the candidate’s information with his or her fingerprints, the candidate must complete the online TSA form and submit it to TSA electronically prior to the submission of fingerprints.
      The candidate must show his or her passport (if a non-resident alien), or resident alien card or U.S. driver’s license (if a resident alien), in order to confirm his or her identity to the entity collecting the fingerprints.
      if you should have questions throughout the application process please view the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) link or you can contact the FTSP Help Desk.

    Tags: FTSP

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    I got a gold star from the TSA inspector who inspected our flight school last year, but that's because my company paid me ground time to research AFSP and make a new AFSP student checklist. Even so, I had one (of 3) AFSP applicants rejected initially due to some of the errors you talk about in the blog. I just wanted to shoot you an email and say thanks for making the effort to clarify the process for all of us. I get the impression that there are a lot of the CFIs out there in the small flight schools who haven't got a clue about the AFSP process. So go ahead and feel good about yourself for helping all us lost boys stay in business and out of the trouble.


    - The CFI