Knowledge Test Accessibility Remains Watch Item

A reduction in how much FAA knowledge test contractor PSI reimburses third-party testing centers is not resulting in significantly reduced capacity for FAA knowledge tests--at least according to the agency.

Responding to a letter sent by an industry coalition, including ATEC, the agency said the data it has "does not indicate that changes imposed by PSI have created any obstructions to FAA airman certification." Among testing centers offering FAA Airman Knowledge Tests (AKTs) before 2023, 98% continue to do so, the agency added.

Testing capacity is key to ensuring prospective mechanics have a clear path to obtaining their airframe and powerplant licenses. PSI's fee changes, effective Jan. 1, 2023, and the resulting reduction in an already narrow profit margin for third-party testing centers, threatened to reduce available capacity.

While FAA's feedback is encouraging, the issue is far from settled. ATEC will continue to monitor the AKT testing process and push for improvements to ensure testing remains as accessible as possible for prospective certified mechanics.