March 5, 2013

Flight Training Security Program: 4 Common Errors Before Training Starts

Clint Braswell

Updated April 8, 2023
The rules and regulations pertaining to the Flight Training Security Program (FTSP) can be confusing. Our team supports this program and we often see common problems that occur during the fingerprinting process. Below, I have detailed the four most common errors that cause a foreign flight student's prints to be rejected or delayed.
Mistake #1: Typing errors

This first mistake occurs early on. Students, when filling out their information on the website, should make sure the information is correct. Incorrect data will result in the Training Request numbers being sent back to ‘draft’ status, which means the whole process will have to be re-started. If you, or your student, has any questions on what to fill out, you can check out the flight training security program website where they have an application guide, leave a voice message for the FTSP Help desk (571.227.1004) or send an email to

Mistake #2: Visa / passport issues

The student’s passport and visa numbers must be accurately submitted to the FTSP program during their initial enrollment. If any information is inaccurate, the student will need to work with the FTSP Help Desk to make the correction. This additional step will cause delays in receiving the Fingerprint Instruction email and/or the Initiate to Train clearance.
If FTSP determines a student’s visa is not one that allows them to take flight training, FTSP will cancel the request immediately, and notify both the flight school and the student by email. Therefore, it is important to make sure the student has applied for and received the proper visa.

Mistake #3: Getting fingerprints taken too early

Foreign flight students cannot have their prints taken until they receive their fingerprint instructions email. After the candidate has paid their fee to the TSA, the TSA will send a preliminary approval email to the student which is just that, a preliminary approval. Once FTSP has gone through their documents acceptance phase, the student should receive a fingerprinting instruction email. If the candidate submits prints before receiving the official FTSP fingerprinting instructions, their training request number(s) will be canceled and both the flight school and the student will receive email notifications of this. To avoid this, ensure the candidate has their official email before their prints are collected.

Mistake #4: Failing to escort a student when using a law enforcement agency for fingerprint collection

This is one of the most common issues, if not the most common. Non-compliance is a dangerous move and can cause the student’s training request(s) to be canceled. When the candidate receives the fingerprinting instructions email, they are given an option of where they can have their prints collected. They can go to a Law Enforcement Agency in the United States or a TSA approved location.

If the student chooses to go to anybody but a TSA approved collector, they must be escorted to the location by an employee of their flight training facility. This requires the flight training facility employee to accompany the student to the law enforcement agency, monitor the fingerprint process and provide a pre-addressed envelope to the FTSP in Springfield, Illinois, for the prints to be put into and mailed immediately after the completion of the printing process. If this process is not completed and FTSP becomes aware of this at any point, the prints will be rejected and the training request number(s) will be canceled.

These four errors are the most common issues that will either slow down the foreign flight student's process or stop it altogether. Knowing which mistakes are common can help you avoid them. In my next blog post, I’ll show you how to speed up the process of getting prints submitted and accepted.

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