49 U.S. Code § 40130 - FAA authority to conduct criminal history record checks
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(a) Criminal History Background Checks.—
(1) Access to information.— The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, for certification purposes of the Administration only, is authorized—
(A) to conduct, in accordance with the established request process, a criminal history background check of an airman in the criminal repositories of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and States by submitting positive identification of the airman to a fingerprint-based repository in compliance with section 217 of the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact Act of 1998 (42 U.S.C. 14616); and
(2) Release of information.— In accessing a repository referred to in paragraph (1), the Administrator shall be subject to the conditions and procedures established by the Department of Justice or the State, as appropriate, for other governmental agencies conducting background checks for noncriminal justice purposes.
(3) Limitation.— The Administrator may not use the authority under paragraph (1) to conduct criminal investigations.